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Tinkle, Tinkle Little Faux Pas

A few months ago, my husband and I were shopping at a small clothing store at our local mall. There were these two women who were shopping and they had a toddler with them (I would guess he was 1 1/2 to 2 years old). Now, I’m sure that this little boy was in the middle of being potty trained, and I understand that accidents happen when it comes to little kids, but this little boy decided that he had to go to the bathroom, so he preceded to pull down his pants and just pee all over the floor of the store. Instead of notifying management or trying to clean it up, the women who were with the child just grabbed a shirt off of a shelf, and threw it down over the puddle to hide the fact that this boy had just peed all over the floor, they then just continued shopping. Another customer had noticed this, and notified the employees, who had to go over and clean up the puddle. Being a clothing store, they didn’t have a lot of cleaning materials on hand, so once they finished cleaning up the puddle, they poured some perfume over the area to get rid of the smell.

I’m not sure why the management didn’t say anything to the women at this point, presumably since they hadn’t seen it with their own eyes, they didn’t feel comfortable confronting them, but a few minutes later, the women brought all of their purchases to the register. My husband and I were in line right behind them, and the women started yelling at the cashier and telling her that they needed a discount on their clothes because the perfume smell had made them sick. Seriously! Your kid just peed all over the floor, you destroyed merchandise trying to cover it up, and now you are asking for a discount. I was flabbergasted. At this point the manager stepped in and informed them that the reason the perfume was there was to cover up the smell of their kid’s pee, and she also informed them that they needed to pay for their stuff (at full price) and get out before she called the cops on them for destroying the shirt. The women were so offended that they just left, much to everyone’s relief. I still cannot believe the nerve of those women!! 1005-11

{ 67 comments… add one }
  • Diana October 12, 2011, 1:30 pm

    Hey guys, the OP here.

    Noodle: The women were not Chinese, they were good ol Americans

  • Lucy October 12, 2011, 4:47 pm

    FerrisW: (Not that this was your fault, of course) but what kind of children’s shop wouldn’t have an accessible bathroom?? That’s just asking for endless clean-up!

  • Midnight Kitty October 12, 2011, 7:15 pm

    Just last week I was waiting for a bus in the middle of Waikiki and a woman (who appeared to be homeless) lifted her long skirt and peed on the sidewalk in front of the bus stop sign. There were 3 or 4 of us waiting for the bus who saw this, but none of us said anything. I blame the fact that my jaw was on the ground. I also have a policy of not engaging the crazies.

    It’s probably one of those things that one should not laugh about, but when she was done, she pulled a tattered tissue out of a pocket, wiped herself, and tossed the tissue in the nearby trash recepticle. She looked quite pleased with herself, like “paperwork completed, job done.” Then she looked at the pool of pee on the sidewalk with a puzzled expression, like “where did that come from?”

  • weasel October 13, 2011, 1:13 am

    AS and kiki – I’m Chinese, but from an Asian country that is not China. We do not tend to piss in the middle of supermarkets or malls. I can’t speak for Chinese people from China, but I do know that most of my countrymen would be more appalled at that kind behaviour than anything.

  • earl qhamsher October 13, 2011, 5:14 am

    Aside from the obvious disgusting behavior what would make anybody think they were entitled to a discount because they didn’t like the smell inside a store? Just leave-they’re not holding you hostage.

  • LovleAnjel October 13, 2011, 9:44 am

    About the Chinese peeing (I can’t believe I just typed that), China being the most populous country on the planet, you’re going to have a lot more crazy public pee-ers there than here in the States. Just because you’ve seen it happen several times does not mean it’s normal or acceptable. I’ve seen more than my fare share of turds left on public transit rail cars, but that does not mean it’s a cultural norm or acceptable to poop on the CTA.

  • kiki October 13, 2011, 1:32 pm

    weasel, In no doubt this type of thing would be considered acceptable in Hong Kong, Macau or Singapore (those are the countries with Chinese population that I have been besides mainland China). In big and educated cities like Shanghai or Beijing this will not be something normal (I used the word educated because Chinese government has took a lead on educating Beijing locals on how to behaive with foreign visitors before the Olympic games). However, in cities where there are less foreign visitors or smaller cities, kids peeing in public places seem to be the norm, after a year of living there I got so used to it that I stopped noticing it (seeing at least 3 peeing kids a day in various locations).

  • kiki October 13, 2011, 7:35 pm

    correction to my previous post: I meant to say that it would not be acceptable in Hong Kong, Macau or Singapore.

  • FunkyMunky October 14, 2011, 3:51 am

    Lucy: It is not a store’s job to endure they have a toilet available for children (regardless of what they sell) – this is why there are public toilets. If your (general) child is likely to spontaneously start peeing, either prepare for cleanup or don’t take them out without diapers/nappies until they can give you adequate warning.

  • nifferka October 14, 2011, 3:57 am

    My son was one of those kids who would insist that he didn’t need to go until it was almost too late. He rarely had an accident in public, though, and when he did I always cleaned up–except for one time. Maybe I deserve E-hell for it, but I couldn’t see anything to do about it. Neither could any of the 50 or so people who witnessed it.

    We were in transit at the airport in Frankfurt. We’d already had about 24 hours of traveling, and still had another 8 to go, so my emergency supplies were pretty much exhausted. (We live in the former Soviet Union, and this was the end of one of our rare trips to the US to visit my family.) We’d had a bite to eat at one of the restaurants, and DS had gone to the potty and I’d changed DD’s diaper (he was 5, she was 2 1/2–and we’d specifically postponed potty training for her until after that trip). We were then standing in line to go through some sort of ticket and passport check before we could go down the hall to do the whole security check thing. We were standing in line for what seemed like ages. It must have been lunch break, because there were only two people working the huge lines. And then DS started crying, saying he’d wet his pants. Sure enough, there was a sizeable puddle spreading out over the smooth tile floor. I don’t know how he had that much in his bladder when he’d been to pee just before we got in line, but we HAD been standing in line for about 20 minutes.

    I had nothing left in my carry-on to clean up with. Not even a wet-wipe. With two small children, I couldn’t leave the line to go find help. I looked around, and there was NO staff. No guards, no cleaning people, no one. The only staff were the two people in the little booths miles ahead of us in line. No one else who worked at the airport was in that area. I looked around at the other people in line, and they either looked disgusted by the accident or shrugged their shoulders. At least one person laughed with their companion and pointed. I tried asking someone, but everyone around me seemed to just speak German. So, I just pointed it out to the person behind me in line, so they wouldn’t step in it, and hoped someone would alert cleaning staff when they came. I apologized to everyone who made eye contact with me, but what could I do?

  • aventurine October 14, 2011, 4:46 am

    Louise October 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm
    “I wish the planet had a “bounce” quality. Like a person watches his/her child pee on a store floor, but the urine magically bounces off the ground and hits the parent in the face or something.”

    This mental image makes me laugh every time I think of it. 😀

    Oh, and ITA with Javin. I hope that the referenced poster’s kid learns to cope with public bathrooms, and sooner rather than later. I didn’t like them either (wasn’t used to them – we didn’t get out much when I was a little kid) and school was an especial torture in that regard.

  • Enna October 15, 2011, 10:05 am

    This is disgusting behaviour the Manger should have got them to pay for the shirt. The only time it would be acceptablte to use a shirt and not pay for it would be to stop serious blood loss that could lead to death. The cheek of the women though wanting a discount. As for the poster whose costomer vommitted in the boot at her mother’s insistance I’m glad that she was made to pay. It’s one thing if it just happened but that girl had the chance to use a bag.

    @ Green123 – the child maybe old enough to pull his trousers down but that doesn’t mean he is old enough to quite put 2 and 2 together. I agree with Teapot that the women could have ingored the boy until it was too late.

    As for the whole Chinese public peeing thing – sterotyping is wrong Noodle and you are sterotyping by assuimg the women and the child were Chinese. From what I’ve observed is that Public Pee-ers comes from all walks of life, some are rude and revoluting showing lack of respect, others go to pee in a bush or something if they are caught short. I’ve mentioned before on pervioius posts where I’ve wittnessed public peeing.

    The first time was when I was living in the studnet village and two men who were taking a short cut across the village decided to pee UP someone’s house – clearly they had no respect for students. They saw me because I was glaring at them and they stopped. I knew they weren’t students from what they were saying when they were chatting me up: for example they mentioned nothing about living in the village or studying at the university plus I hadn’t seem them before and they were heading to a gap in the fence which is used by many people taking short cuts. What annoyed me about those two men is that there was a little spiny not 5 metres from where they were going to pee and they could have gone there if they were desprate.

    The second time I was with a firend and we were returning from a day trip, a man asked if he could borrow my phone and I said no. He got a bit offended at that. I was happy to make a call for him but I wasn’t going to hand my phone over, he could have stolen it or run up a huge bill on it. He then procedded to go to a wall and urinate. Which is a third reason why I won’t let strangers borrow my phone as I don’t know their hygine!

    All these men were white in the late 30s or so.

  • Enna October 15, 2011, 10:07 am

    P.S where I work at a GP Surgery if a child needed to use the toliet I would let them, even if they weren’t registered. I aslo had one man who was a gas or eletricty meter reader asking if he could use the toliet. I was fine with that because he was polite and I could also tell he really needed to go.

  • Kai October 15, 2011, 10:35 am

    I agree with Javin. I don’t like public toilets either (I’m a completely neurotic germaphobe). But hey, when you got to go, you got to go. I just spend about 5 minutes covering the seat with paper before I sit down.

    If the boy who doesn’t like public toilets refuses to use them, personally I would keep him in diapers and tell him he’s wearing them until I’m satisfied he’s learnt to access a toilet properly. It’s no good knowing how to use the toilet at home if he refuses to use one in public because when he starts school he will still be having issues.

  • Enna October 16, 2011, 4:55 pm

    One tip I heard form a mum when traveling long distances with small children: put cotton underpants on the child and the nappy over the top that way the child knows they are wearing knickers but if an accident happens the nappy is there. If the child has dry knickers praise the child/give them a reward. This could work during potty training and when going out this is the kind of tip I will remember should I ever have my own children.

  • Jess October 18, 2011, 6:05 pm

    This is to the commenter Lucy at #52:

    No where in this post does it say it was a children’s clothing store. It says this was at a small clothing store INSIDE OF A MALL. All malls have restrooms. Only the large department stores in malls are even allowed anything other than an employee-only restroom, and I think most of the small shops inside malls have to share employee restrooms with other nearby stores, some don’t even have that luxury.

  • NicoleK November 4, 2011, 4:52 am

    FunkyMunky, where do you live that there are public toilets outside of stores?

    When I was 2 or so I was in a Medimart and had to poo. My grandmother begged the store to let me use the restroom, but they refused. So I pooped in the middle of the aisle. My grandmother, normally very prim and proper, was so outraged that she let me.

    We’re not Chinese, we’re Swiss, a people normally obsessed with cleanliness and hygeine. I don’t actually remember this incident, but my grandmother sure does.

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