Why I Got Banned From The Microsoft Store


Ethan Han

Taking a coding class at the Microsoft store was not something I had wanted to do. My mother had forced me to be there — and because I was 12, I had no real say in the matter. The general atmosphere of the store was gloomy, but I had no idea that a fight was about to break out to lift my boredom. I also could have never predicted that I’d be the instigator. 

We were coding our own video games with a program called Python. I wanted to create a game similar to Minecraft, but, as I was just a kid, I had no idea how. I spotted a nearby employee, and asked him for help. He was probably in his 20s and looked strangely identical to Shaggy from Scooby-Doo— his eyebrows were scrunched up, his arms were folded, and in general, his facial expression seemed to scream annoyance. He rolled his eyes and stomped over to help me. I remember thinking it was weird that he would react like that just because I asked for help, even with my mom was sitting right next to me. I thought to myself, what’s with this guy? but disregarded it. There was no one else available to help me, anyway.    

    “Hey, can you help me figure out how to type these assignment operators?” I asked the man.

    Under his breath, he muttered, “I don’t know man, can I help you?” 

    I was silent, but my patience was beginning to dwindle. Shaggy from Scooby-Doo would never be this rude!

    He sighed and said, “Yeah, let me take a look at it.”

    After ten minutes of silence, I wasn’t sure what to do, so I asked him if everything was okay with what I’d worked on so far.

    He snapped, “I’m working on it, alright man? Give me a second! Jeez!”

    Then, he mumbled to himself, “Idiot little kid” coupled with racial terms that were completely unnecessary.

I snapped. I couldn’t take his rude attitude and racism which, even as a kid, I knew I didn’t deserve. So I retaliated. I yelled at him with a string of all the profanity a 12-year-old could muster. It’s hard to say exactly what words escaped my mouth, but I remember saying that expressed the sentiment, “The hell did you say to me? Bro, I’m ‘bout to set you straight.” I then compared him to Shaggy, letting him know, scathingly, that they had identical bowl cuts. It’s possible that I also said it looked better on the cartoon character and asked him where his talking dog was, but it’s hard to recall. At this point, the store went quiet, and I suddenly felt every single pair of eyes on me. My mother was trying to tell me to stop bringing attention to myself, but I didn’t care. All I cared about was punishing Shaggy’s rude and unprofessional attitude towards me. Even my mom couldn’t contain my 12-year-old rage.  

I must have not noticed in the heat of the moment, but I assume that the other employees who heard my rant called the manager of the store. After a few minutes of screaming — which felt like an eternity — the manager came and grabbed me by the arm. I tried to break free from his grasp, but he was too strong. He dragged me outside the store, with my poor, embarrassed mom trailing behind us, and he told me I could no longer attend the coding classes. He also banned me from setting foot inside the store ever again. 

Once she and I were alone outside of the store, my mother hit me on the arm. 

    “Why would you say those hurtful words towards that man? All you did today was embarrass me! I am going to tell Dad when we get home.”

At this point, I was really scared that she would tell Dad about the little incident, so I tried explaining the whole situation out to her. “Mom, that man was being extremely insensitive, and…” 

 “It doesn’t matter, I don’t want another word out of your mouth right now!” Me being apprehensive about the ordeal, I decided it would be best to listen to her. So, I decided to keep my mouth shut throughout the whole car ride. And I definitely found myself in even bigger trouble at home.

    I just honestly really hope that I won’t have to go back to the Microsoft store ever again.