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Rugrats = Bad Parents

I was in Walmart today in the produce section. A woman was there with 2 boys about 3 and 4 yrs old. The kids were running around grabbing fruits and vegetables, eating some, throwing others on the floor. I watched one squishing tomatoes on the edge of the bin. Mom, a couple of times said “Stop it boys, don’t handle the food” but they simply ignored her and she did nothing to stop them. People were glaring at her and at the produce guy who did nothing. When they left the area, a woman went over to the guy and I heard him say that they are instructed to say nothing negative to a shopper as it could turn into a complaint about the store.

BTW, how about a section called “Bad Parents”? These kids were terrible, but it was not their fault that they were not taught how to behave in a store. 0920-15

The implied inference of the “Rugrats” category is that parents *are* at the heart of why children misbehave.   It’s a shame a business is held captive by the vandalism of the barbarous hordes.


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  • NostalgicGal September 21, 2015, 8:23 am

    Had that been where and when I grew up, I would have had my hide tanned right there, and the store would have weighed/measured up the damage and Mom would have had to pay for it. What has happened in the time since? Lawsuits. And social media I think (mom being outraged because someone spoke up about the kids, and worse, if they’d mentioned she should PAY for the carnage?????) shakes head…

    I STILL put the hands behind my back and hold hands to look at something sometimes. (yes if I had grandkids they’d almost be driving age). It is too much to ask these days that someone be responsible for something, including their children. Sigh.

    • AthenaC September 21, 2015, 10:50 am

      “Hands behind your back” is a GREAT technique for managing small kids pretty much anywhere. They can’t touch anything, and it forces them to be more deliberate in their walking, so they can’t run either.

      I still remember the first time my husband joined me and the kids (then 4 and 2) on a walk in town and on a whim I decided to take a quick look in a local art shop. So I told the kids, “hands behind your back!” and led them in. My husband froze in terror. Eventually he realized that I had everything under control (almost as if I’ve done this before!) and relaxed a bit. But his initial facial expression was pretty funny!

    • Calli Arcale September 21, 2015, 11:41 am

      No, it isn’t lawsuits that have driven this. It’s publicity that has driven it, along with the dominance of the supermarket chain. Read blogs dedicated to any service industry, and you’ll see a common trend: the reason they dread angering the customer isn’t that they fear a lawsuit, it’s that they fear a complaint will be made to corporate.

      Heck, I bought my last car from a local chain of dealers. I don’t like them much, but their prices were the most competitive. (I just won’t be using them for service.) I was startled when the dealer explained the company’s survey. Customers are randomly chosen to review the service they received. Anything less than solid 5s is interpreted by the corporate office as disastrous service, and the individual office gets hammered. He seemed almost to be pleading that we would not give anything less than a 5, as if his job could depend on it, which is not something a dealer would ordinarily volunteer at that point, after the transaction is complete.

      A lot of corporations do something similar to their individual stores, where even the smidgeon of a hint of customer non-satisfaction can bring draconian reactions. That’s what makes them cowtow even to a person like that. It’s just not worth it to them. They’d lose more if they ejected her and she made a complaint than if they just ignored it and threw the ruined produce away along with all the other produce they end up throwing away anyway.

      • Mary September 21, 2015, 5:54 pm

        I had the same thing happen at a major car dealership. Basically they said “if there is any reason that you would not be able to give us a ten, please let us know before you leave today and we will do everything in our power to rectify the situation. The survey was sent at random so we never received one, but I would have given them a ten.

      • DannysGirl September 21, 2015, 9:28 pm

        I was a teller for a national bank chain for three years, and we had the same issue. Anything less than a 9 or a 10 was a problem. We had to tell customers they may receive a survey, and if they did, we really needed that 9 or 10. It made no sense to me then, and makes no sense to me now.

      • NostalgicGal September 21, 2015, 11:40 pm

        There are some lawsuits in it. Usually they get tossed, once in awhile an award gets leveled. Because they dared to have the displays set so their children or any children could get into them, my darling precious is allergic to (fill in blank) and what if they’d EATEN the offending produce instead of smash it all over?

      • essie September 22, 2015, 5:27 am

        Sounds like corporate headquarters is located in Lake Woebegon “where all the children, I mean, salespeople, are above average.”

      • shhh its me September 22, 2015, 8:53 am

        I worked at one of those dealership , yes a person with a 4 of 5 rating would be called on the carpet. Several could cost someone their job. It also effected some bonus pay , something along the lines of “Each person who sells X car during Y month will get a bonus $25 if you have a 5 star rating it will be a bonus of $50”

        Even if someone wrote in the comments “I was thrilled this was the best service I have ever had. I was happier then when my children were born. Buying a car at X dealership is better then a trip to Disney!!!! I have recommended dealership and salesperson to several friend a couple of whom have already purchased cars from dealership and salesperson. In fact I was so happy I came back and bought a car for my spouse and each of my children. ” but put a 4 out of 5 rating it would still cause issues for the dealership and salesperson.

        • NostalgicGal September 25, 2015, 9:44 pm

          Or what they called ‘green peas’ .. they have to be in the lot, no hands in pockets, WAITING for someone to show up. They do all the rough work then have a more experienced salesman do the close. If they have ONE walkin that doesn’t sign on the line (hey you’re comparing cars and will probably visit here two or three times before signing to $30-40k) and walks out, they’re history. Life expectancy of one of these is one week to three months….

      • mark September 22, 2015, 5:14 pm

        I get this ALL the time. People almost begging me for a good review. I detest it.

      • EchoGirl September 22, 2015, 6:13 pm

        I remember that the time when this really came home to me was earlier this year when I stopped to grab a sandwich from a fast-food restaurant. It was pretty busy and the noise level was higher than usual accordingly, so I decided to wait right by the counter for my food because I have a hard time making out individual sounds in a noise-filled environment. It took them less than five minutes to get me my food (and I had a special request that meant they couldn’t just grab a pre-made sandwich) and at about minute four, the counter guy started apologizing for the (all but nonexistent) wait and another employee gave me a coupon for free fries while apologizing again. At some point during this, I realized that they were acting the way they were because they saw me hovering and were expecting me to give them trouble, and that’s how they’re supposed to deal with people who cause trouble. I made a point of being extra polite for the rest of that transaction.

      • monkeys mommy September 27, 2015, 8:17 pm

        I bought from Honda this year, and got the same speech. This is apparently the newest way to bully consumers into not leaving negative feedback or reviews on the business.

        • oregonbird October 20, 2015, 1:12 pm

          This. Is the bottom line. It is a corporate silencing technique. Send in HONEST reviews, and remind those salesmen that you will include a rating on the patriarchal attitude. At least you can keep your ethical balance while spiking capitalism’s bossy demands.

      • Nicole September 30, 2015, 7:59 am

        If their corporate surveys are anything like the ones at my job then I know why. The customer can grade us a 1-2-3-4-5, but the actual values of the responses are 0-0-0-0-5. Only the highest ratings count and the rest are zero. So I can have 20 guests that are Satisfied (4 out of 5) which would seem acceptable to a normal person, but all I will get are 20 zeroes. Not only does it directly affect my pay at the end of the month, it affects morale of the entire staff. All my surveys are random and anonymous as well, what I wouldn’t do to find the people who say “I would never give a Highly Satisfied (5) because I just never do/there is always room for improvement even if I didn’t see it/this is just a sandwich place/etc.”

        • oregonbird October 20, 2015, 1:14 pm

          This is very much a corporate culture problem, and passing it on to the customers doesn’t work — obviously. Unions should be working against this attitude, and against the worker mindset that they have to accept being falsely rated by the corporation by ignoring actual customer feedback.

    • Kate September 22, 2015, 4:00 am

      This is where parents really need to step in.
      I remember once taking a licorice allsort from those lolly bins at K-Mart when I was about five or six. My mum saw it, told me off right in the middle of the shop, then marched me to the store manager’s desk and made me apologise. I think she also offered to pay for the lolly even though it was about 15 cents.
      It worked perfectly – neither I, nor my sister, ever did so much as pick up something we weren’t buying for the rest of our childhoods. A little bit of effective discipline goes a long way.

      • mechtilde September 26, 2015, 8:07 am

        If I caught mine doing that I would tell them off, buy the lolly- then give it to the offender’s brother…..

  • Molly September 21, 2015, 8:26 am

    I saw something similar at a Barnes & Noble. Two women with two kids, probably eight years and under, were at the checkout. The kids were running up and down the area in front of the register (B&N has kind of a half-wall separating a bank of registers from the rest of the store). They were also picking up merchandise (those little decorative notebooks) from displays near the checkout and throwing them at each other.

    Neither of the women did anything useful to stop the kids’ bad behavior. Even the cashier said “it’s a little dangerous for them to be running there…” but the mom (I assume) just said “yeah…” She pretty ineffectively tried to control the kids when they were hurling notebooks around. In the process, the kids dropped some on the floor and carelessly stepped on them.

    The most the mom did to control the situation was to say “I can’t believe you still have the energy to run around!” (the kids were wearing runner’s bibs from a children’s 5k event earlier in the day) and “if you don’t behave, you won’t get a cupcake later.”

    Totally inappropriate behavior. Get it together, lady.

  • sean September 21, 2015, 8:38 am

    imo, the business has the right to take some degree action when their product is at risk. their manager should have said something.

    • rachel September 21, 2015, 1:14 pm

      Retail management has high turn over, no one would risk their job for something this minor.

    • GeenaG September 21, 2015, 1:24 pm

      And doing that could have resulted in a complaint and the man using his job. If the store doesn’t care why should the manager care? He probably knows the store won’t back him up.

    • Amanda H. September 21, 2015, 1:54 pm

      And yet because of lawsuits, store complaints, corporate management dictates, stores are rarely allowed to do anything that might “alienate customers,” even if those customers are causing more money in damage than the store would lose if they stopped shopping there. This is the same reason why many stores are no longer allowed to confront shoplifters, because either employees could get hurt (and corporate doesn’t want to pay for injuries) or because the shoplifters could throw a fit. And then the stores get docked hours or scolded or whatever for shrink anyway. It’s kind of a lose-lose situation.

      This definitely IS a situation where the manager at least should’ve stepped in, but even he may have felt as if his hands were tied by corporate for the sake of retaining customers.

    • iwadasn September 21, 2015, 5:09 pm

      Unfortunately, they probably figure that the loss of some tomatoes is better than the potential loss of a customer.

      • Agania September 22, 2015, 6:50 pm

        Complaints? Lawsuits? What if another customer slipped on one of the squashed veges and fell? HUGE complaint, HUGE Lawsuit! Can anyone say compensation?? Think, you stupid retail corporation!

  • Medowynd September 21, 2015, 9:27 am

    I was shopping at a TJ Maxx and there were two girls about 7-9 running around, shouting, bumping into merchandise. They ran across my path several times and paid no attention to anyone they might run into or trip. I finished shopping and entered the long line for the registers. The girls continued their shouting and running. When I reached the register, I commented to the cashier about the girls running around and acting as a hazard to other shoppers.

    The cashier called out to the girls and told them to stop running around and go join their mother. The mother, now at a register, starts yelling at the girls that it was their fault for getting yelled at. No lady, it’s YOUR fault that the girls were running all over the place and yelling. Nice pass of the blame.

    • Amanda H. September 21, 2015, 2:22 pm

      At least the mother didn’t yell at the *cashier* for calling out to the girls.

      I’ve been in the cashier’s position before, where there were two little girls about 8-10 years old messing with merchandise at the registers, banging it against the drink coolers (they were noisemakers) to make them even louder. Several toys had already been previously broken by children and left on the display, so I asked the girls to not bang things against the drink cooler as they could break. The girls gave me a wide-eyed look, put the items back, and scampered off.

      Shortly after, one of my managers came over to tell me that the girls’ mother hadn’t been very happy that I’d spoken to the girls instead of finding the mother to have HER correct the children. The problem? The store was very busy at the time and I had no clue which woman at the tills belonged to the two kids. The manager pointed her out…halfway across the bank of registers where I wouldn’t have seen her and scowling darkly at me. When I pointed out that I had no clue the woman was their mother, my manager agreed with me and said I wasn’t in trouble, he just needed to let me know so the woman would see that I’d at least been spoken to.

  • JO September 21, 2015, 9:33 am

    I have a ‘friend’ (well, ok, we rarely speak anymore, for just this reason) who “mothers” this way. No discipline, excuses constantly made for why the kids act out, and insistence that they should simply be accepted even when being obnoxious hellions because “that’s just how they are.” Not surprisingly, she has lost a lot of friends because people just don’t want to be around them anymore. But of course it is everybody else’s problem, right? Sigh.

    • Catherine September 21, 2015, 7:13 pm

      Reminds me of a co-worker who would take her son to the homes of friends and allow him to urinate and defecate on their floors. She didn’t want to toilet train him (too much trouble) and figured that, if she cleaned up his mess, no one should object to his using their floors as his personal toilet.
      I never invited her to my house, but at work I sat amazed when she complained about so many friends not understanding her choice in this matter.

      • NostalgicGal September 21, 2015, 11:43 pm

        Unhousebroke? Call social services. This is one time and one way an intervention to wake up a parent should be done.

      • JO September 22, 2015, 9:23 am

        Are we talking about the same person?! Because the kids in question are still not toilet trained at 3 and 5 years old, and rarely keep clothes on…

        • NostalgicGal September 25, 2015, 9:49 pm

          A girl a few grades behind me in elementary, was in second grade and not housebroke. She would sometimes wait until recess then let it GO on the slide. I slid down after her once, smelled my hands, and went and told the teacher’s aide. Every time that girl went down the slide her soggy bottom resoaked the slide, and sort of diminished… I had to go home and have a bath and change clothes, and the girl disappeared from class for that year. She wasn’t developmentally challenged, those were the days just before it was mandatory they be integrated into the regular schooling.

      • Kirsten September 22, 2015, 11:55 am

        that sounds to me like child neglect

      • Rebecca September 22, 2015, 3:34 pm

        What?!?! I’ve heard some “late on the toilet training” stories but those are just stories of these kids in diapers way too long. I assume he was big enough that he wouldn’t keep diapers on even!? The horror that that child has to grow up under that kind of circumstance goes beyond “bad parenting choices” because that kid will have such a hard job adjusting to a society that expected his mother to at least potty train him 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

      • Angel September 23, 2015, 9:15 am

        I would have made the mom let him outside if he was going to do that!

      • Buggurl September 23, 2015, 5:08 pm

        I can’t even fathom what your co-worker was thinking about not toilet training her child–who in their right mind thinks that’s an okay practice? I’m sure there’s an entire wing of e-Hell devoted to this woman.

    • PWH September 22, 2015, 11:20 am

      @JO, you could be describing my BIL and SIL to a T! They are what I like to call “Hands off” parents. Whenever they attend family events, they leave the parenting of their child (DS who is eight) to the other adults. While DS is running around the house, jumping off furniture, stomping the floor and doing backflips, they are usually busying themselves playing games on their phones or watching TV. A few times DS has even gotten hurt and the question from them is “Why weren’t you watching him?” to whomever is closest at the time. It’s gotten so bad, I hate going to any family event that they will also be at.

    • UKHelen September 24, 2015, 6:35 am

      I once had to speak to a neighbour like that about her children, who’d behaved very badly. I did it politely and reasonably. I’d never done anything like that before, and I felt awkward and embarrassed – especially as she wasn’t responding as I expected a normal person to respond. Eventually I said, “This is a really difficult conversation,” and she replied, “Oh, it’s alright, the children aren’t home at the moment, they won’t have heard you” – !!!

      Yes, the important thing wasn’t her children’s behaviour and how it affected her neighbours. It was that her children shouldn’t hear anything bad about themselves. And she assumed that was the uppermost thing in MY mind, too. Wow.

  • metallicafan September 21, 2015, 9:45 am

    Stuff like this makes my blood boil. I would never allow my kids to behave in such a atrocious manner.

    • JO September 21, 2015, 4:05 pm

      I agree, and I’m the parent of a toddler!! If I had a dollar for every time I wanted to yell “where are your PARENTS?!” at a child or children in a public place, I could retire to Maui.

  • Wild Irish Rose September 21, 2015, 9:48 am

    And then there’s this:

    I was shopping once with my very young child, who somehow managed to grab a jar of baby food and drop it on the floor. Naturally it shattered and there was glass and goo everywhere. I got hold of an employee and mentioned the mess; he took care of that, and I took another jar of the food to the checkout so I could be charged for the broken one.

    The girl at the checkout counter didn’t want to charge me for the broken jar. I insisted, and finally she just scanned the jar I had brought up to her. And then tried to give it to me! We eventually got it sorted out–I paid for the broken jar and she put the other one aside to be returned to the shelf. It’s bad enough when people make no effort to do the right thing, but then when you do try to do the right thing and someone stands in your way, now what?

    I really don’t have a problem with people pointing out children’s bad behavior to their parents in a situation where things are damaged and/or someone could get hurt. Shame on the mother who refused to straighten her kids out. Someday they will walk all over her and she will wonder what happened.

    • ketchup September 22, 2015, 5:07 am

      You’ve offered to pay for the jar. That’s the right thing to do, yes.
      However, they are not required to accept it. There’s nothing wrong with graciously accepting that. 😉

    • flora September 22, 2015, 6:00 am

      The broken jar was probably already “damaged out” and taken care of. By scanning a jar and putting it back to pay for the broken jar, the inventory will be skewed. I know it seems rude to not pay for what you broke, but these days, it can create more problems.

    • MM September 22, 2015, 1:24 pm

      perhaps because you were being so kind and reasonable about it, the cashier didn’t want to charge you. sometimes when people are so nice about stuff, other people want to accommodate them

    • AnaMaria September 22, 2015, 3:12 pm

      I worked in retail many years, and chain stores usually have policies for broken or damaged merchandise that don’t involve the customer having to pay for it. Props for trying to do the right thing, but the gal was probably confused because her coworker would have filled out a “lost merchandise” report. A grocery store might be even more lenient because they would want to encourage employees to throw out bad food and not worry about being blamed for losses to the store.

      • Jandec October 4, 2015, 10:23 am

        Some years ago, I picked up–then bumbled and dropped–a set of dessert dishes at a national household goods store in a mall. I was mortified: I wished I had followed my mother’s ‘we look with our eyes, not our hands’ policy! I immediately found the store manager and offered to pay for my breakage. She wouldn’t accept, because of their damaged merchandise policy, but thanked me for reporting it. She said that was rare.

    • Lisa 6 years September 25, 2015, 6:53 am

      I understand and appreciate your desire to do the right thing, but please don’t think of the cashier as “standing in your way.” That was probably store policy not to charge for accidentally broken merchandise. I’m a cashier, and I can’t tell you how many single serve yogurts get punctured or crushed because of their position in the cart. We never charge the customer for that kind of thing, or if someone loses their grip on a glass jar and drops it, or if a 2 liter of soda hits the floor and bursts. It might be different if it were done deliberately, but accidents happen, and most stores understand that.

  • Kimberly Herbert September 21, 2015, 10:10 am

    I have found telling the manager that I’m unhappy about them allowing kids to tear up the store/restaurant gets pretty good response. The majority of the time they do something about the rude group – often kicking them out. One restaurant told me point blank the money from the larger group was more important than the money from me. They changed their tune after I left scathing reviews on yelp and several other sites. I amended my review to say they offered me a free meal after the review were posted – but I refused the offer.

    • Amanda H. September 21, 2015, 2:27 pm

      I find that telling a manager you’re unhappy usually works because it’s essentially a counter-complaint. The store fears correcting the bad customers because corporate complaints can hurt the store, but if other customers are ready to complain as well, then management has to decide which complaint will hurt more. Do they suck it up and take the complaint that they wouldn’t let someone’s hooligan children run wild in produce, or do they let them be and instead end up with complaints that they did nothing to make the shopping experience better for these other people?

      • flora September 22, 2015, 6:02 am

        Taking the complaint to corporate will help as well. Just be sure to empathise that you are not complaining about the staff, but the corporate policies that prevent staff from creating a pleasent shopping experience for everyone else.

    • mark September 22, 2015, 5:21 pm

      Repeat business is what keeps stores/restaurants open. A few bad experiences (or even one if it is bad enough) and I won’t be back. It is really shortsighted to allow a few bad customers to ruin it for everyone else.

  • Shoegal September 21, 2015, 10:17 am

    If I’d learned anything from this site is that there are tons of parents that do little to nothing to control their children. If someone dare to point this out or (gasp) say something directly to the child about their behavior the “someone” would be in for a slew of nasty words about how they have no right to speak to their child. It is a sorry state of affairs when no one can or will teach a child what is appropriate behavior.

  • Dyan September 21, 2015, 10:27 am

    having worked in retail, I have seen it all..now when I am in a store and I see someone’s child acting that way I will say…YOU know your mom is going to have to pay for that …that usually makes the mother listen and stop the kid..

  • sandisadie September 21, 2015, 10:35 am

    I think parents like this are trying to be “friends” with their children instead of “parents”. I haven’t been able to find out where that idea came from but I’ve seen a lot of examples of it for years now. I also think that businesses should have the gumption to speak up when inventory is being destroyed.

  • kingsrings September 21, 2015, 10:46 am

    Anybody who has ever spent a lot of time in Wal-Mart as I have could completely understand this happening there. While there are a lot of decent, well-behaving people shopping at Wal-Mart, it also attracts a lot of indecent people who have a serious lack of manners and civility. I see this kind of behavior happening frequently at the ones I shop at. I’m not saying anything new here – this is why there are websites called People of Wal-Mart and funny memes such as a recent one I saw suggesting that there should be an observation deck at all Wal-Marts. The employee probably feared for his well-being should he try and put a stop to this bad behavior by both the kids and their mother. Or it happens so often that they don’t even bother trying to stop it anymore.

    • Daphne September 24, 2015, 10:10 pm

      Agreed. I have solved this problem in my own life by no longer shopping at stores that cater to unsavory types. Grocery delivery + Amazon = 🙂

  • Elizabeth September 21, 2015, 10:54 am

    These are not bad parents, they are non-parents. Giving birth doesn’t make one a parent; one needs to parent the child. As a society we are increasingly tolerating children’s bad behavior in public, too afraid to offend the non-parents. I find myself speaking up, pleasantly but directly and correcting other people’s children. On the rare occasion a parent ‘talks back’ out of embarassment, I point out that I would never correct his/her children while in their home but in a public place for lack of any parental direction, we all need to provide some direction.

  • Michelle September 21, 2015, 10:58 am

    I guess if I was a business owner I would go out of business quick because I would not stand by or expect my employees to stand by while children run amok and destroy things. I would expect parents to make sure their children behaved appropriately and if they smashed or destroyed things, I would expect the parents to pay for the damage.

    I understand that children are human beings and have bad days, just like I do, but I do not go around smashing fruits and throwing things. My dad would have made me clean up the mess and he would have paid for anything I destroyed, but you better believe I would have gotten spanked in the store and maybe even again at home. My dad did not play.

    • kingsrings September 21, 2015, 2:12 pm

      Exactly. Every store has the right to refuse to service to anyone. Most stores have this posted near their entrance. If the customer is acting up, get them to stop, if they don’t, ask them to leave, if they won’t leave, then call the police. That’s the way it should work, but nowadays the customer can do all sorts of things in retaliation such as filing a lawsuit, claiming discrimination, etc., etc., that some business owners are simply afraid to do anything.

      • NostalgicGal September 21, 2015, 11:47 pm

        Security cams. Those have settled more of the issues than one wants to admit…

  • Ashley September 21, 2015, 11:05 am

    Oh my gosh, this is one of my biggest pet peeves. I’ve encountered it at every job I’ve ever had.

    That’s the kind of behavior that would have shocked me even as a kid. We knew not to touch unless we were given permission.

  • Catherine September 21, 2015, 11:37 am

    Parents have surrendered the right to raise their children. Now they just stand by helplessly and pretend nothing is wrong. I don’t know who started this trend, but it is creating entitled monsters who don’t believe that rules exist.
    Children order their parents around like servants and their parents obey them. My older brother knew that mother was going somewhere and he decided to go too. He told her he was going to drive. She said she’d like to drive. He beat her until she moved over and let him sit in the driver’s seat. That scene still amazes me. He was still in high school.

    • girl_with_all_the_yarn September 21, 2015, 4:02 pm

      On what planet did your brother learn it was okay to beat his own mother?! That speaks to something way worse than non-parenting.

      • Catherine September 21, 2015, 7:17 pm

        Mother explained it to me. She said that, if you punished a boy, he wouldn’t “feel like a man” and it would destroy his self-esteem. You know, “Boys will be boys.” If the Mom just loved a boy, he would turn out fine. No discipline was ever needed.
        He didn’t. He has beaten his way through two wives and numerous girlfriends.

        • NostalgicGal September 21, 2015, 11:50 pm

          Hope he’s gotten restraining orders, charges and maybe some therapy that turned him around. Sad. I feel sorry for you, Catherine, your mother, and those other women.

        • ketchup September 22, 2015, 5:09 am

          That’s just so sad, for everyone involved.

        • MM September 22, 2015, 1:52 pm

          that is so bizarre! and terribly tragic. God forbid someone ever hurt a man’s ego!!

        • Lyn September 23, 2015, 2:00 pm

          Oh my.

    • metallicafan September 21, 2015, 9:44 pm

      Is that right, he Beat your mother?

      • Catherine September 22, 2015, 9:36 am

        And me until I started dating a Marine Corps weightlifter with strong feelings about protecting ones girlfriend. He seldom beat our grand mother though.

    • essie September 22, 2015, 5:42 am

      I had a friend who did this. Alcoholic (not a drunk, mind you, because he only drank gin and he only drank on the weekends), abusive father, permissive, doting mother. She was picking us up after practise one afternoon and I got in the car as soon as she arrived, he continued to play around with friends; when he finally got in the car, she told him she was in a hurry and he punched her on the arm and told her not to tell him what to do!

      On the other hand, with MY mother, he was always “Yes, ma’am/no, ma’am”, constant courtesy, and instant obedience. Why? Because he knew, from experience, that she wouldn’t put up with it. (She sent him home at the age of 4, after 2 warnings, for foul language and forbid him from coming back for 2 weeks.)

  • KenderJ September 21, 2015, 12:11 pm

    I think the main problem in these situations is that businesses are so frightened of losing a customer that they will tolerate any kind of behavior. If we want businesses to hold customers to a code of conduct, the rest of us have to start complaining to the manager and/or corporate. Maybe if the “those customers spoiled my shopping” complaints start outnumbering the “my precious angels weren’t allowed to throw ketchup bottles at the elderly customers” complaints, maybe stores will be able to start fixing the problem. Personally, I’ve started complaining about bad customers to the store manager/corporate office.

    • April Damon September 21, 2015, 4:46 pm

      I think this is a valid and reasonable response when other customers are indeed ruining everybody’s shopping experience. I also cannot stand to see a “customer” rewarded with free stuff just because they complained loud and long while good, paying customers are just shuffled along.

      For instance, I’ve seen a customer complain inappropriately about “the wait” at my local chicken fast food restaurant joint. The wait was non-existence. She was rewarded by having her food comped while everyone else in line just stared. In that situation, a good customer should ask for the same manager who just handed out a free meal and demand an explanation for why the lady making a scene is rewarded while everyone else is simply subjected to the unpleasantness of that other customer’s tantrum. Then deny any free offers the manager tries to give to you because the point is that good customers were the ones that should have been valued and protected in the first place rather than annoying, non-paying squeaky wheels. Good customers aren’t looking for freebies all the time–we just want managers to buck up and protect the business and the experience.

      Maybe by complaining when they don’t, the culture will circle back around.

      • kingsrings September 21, 2015, 5:34 pm

        I worked for a few months in online retail a few years ago. I ran across this same situation more times than I care to remember. We would get some customers who would score free stuff simply by complaining, bitching, and moaning non-stop about something until we finally gave in and gave them a free whatever just to put a stop to their madness. Either it would be service-related (making up a story or turning something minor into something major and then demanding free whatever) or they would simply just beg and plead to be given something free or discounted. Goal accomplished on their end! It’s astonishing that there are people out there who really do have no shame and feel just fine pulling these stunts.

        • NostalgicGal September 21, 2015, 11:52 pm

          Then they are as proud as all get out that it worked and brag all over about it. I hate those the worst.

      • Anonymouse September 22, 2015, 8:38 pm

        If it makes you feel any better, most retailers will give the loud complainers the bare minimum they can to get them to (in non-etiquette approved terms) “shut up and go away.” Partly because it’s because corporate wants us to do SOMETHING to avoid losing the customer, and partly because dealing with an angry customer takes away from the experience of other customers (both in time spent dealing with the tantrum as opposed to the pleasant customers, and in the disruption of their quiet meal/shopping experience).

        One of my favourite stories from my time as a manager in a fast food restaurant goes like this. A woman came in screaming at me right when my shift started. Apparently, we had missed a burger on her order and now she wasn’t leaving without both her burger and something free. I grabbed her burger from the warmer and a bottle of rot beer (about a $1.50 retail), and told her to have a nice day. As well, to this day, she is talked about as one of the “Top 10 Worst Customers” I had to deal with.

        About an hour later, another woman came up to my counter. She told me “I’m sorry to bother you guys, but I’m missing an order of onion rings.” No screaming, swearing, or unpleasantness. She received a fresh order of rings, on the house, dessert for herself and her husband (about $8).

        So yeah, a screaming tantrum will get you something, but a calm, polite complaint will probably get a whole lot more.

      • Daphne September 24, 2015, 10:41 pm

        Good plan April. Good customers should complain to corporate offices about stores that do not make an effort to make the shopping experience pleasant for everyone, not just the jerks. Normally, I just stop going to stores that cater to lowlifes, but in the future I will start telling them why. The store has an obligation, imo, to at least try and ensure a decent experience for all their customers.

    • InTheEther September 22, 2015, 7:00 pm

      This. It’s especially bad when it is a business with a corporate. Frankly the way things are set up Corporate is full of people who have never actually worked in the stores, possibly don’t even shop in stores (having help who do that sort of thing), and have little to no experience with the reality of what goes on. All they see is the paperwork. Since they’re so removed from everything, they seem incapable of working out that the business would be getting more money if they banned or ignored the person who only bought $20 of whatever and either caused $40 of damage or whines their way to that much free stuff. There is no reason for corporate to be loyal to their employees either since we’re generally talking about low skill jobs and, while cutthroat, you want to get rid of these people anyway before they’re there long enough to start earning benefits. So anything that goes wrong must be the fault of someone they’re capable of firing, not a customer or general bad luck which is completely out of anyone’s direct control.

      On the employee side, we’re talking about minimum wage with little to no benefits (refer back to getting rid of people before that start earning their benefits) so frankly, they’re just not getting paid enough to deal with mommy being furious that someone accused her little darlings of being less than perfect. Especially when they know that corporate’s policy is to just throw out any employee that just might not be 100% perfect in hopes that the next one they grab will be a saint (as opposed to helping employees get better or even offering them actual incentive to do good work). This even extends to managers, which I don’t think make all that good money until/unless they move up to at least district manager (and even then I’ve heard horror stories implying that that level is full of BS high school politics).

  • AS September 21, 2015, 12:20 pm

    Parents have a very difficult job, and I have all my sympathies for the parents who are trying to control their kids, but the kids have decided to push their monsterness-limits on that day. But that said, I have less patience for parents who are not exactly doing their jobs. I remember that when I was young, my mother would have just left the store (no matter how important it was to purchase groceries on that day), and waited until I calmed down to return. I’d have gotten some trimming down when out of the store. She really had a hard time keeping her cool when she saw kids misbehaving, but the parent(s) not even trying to do something about it.

    I have seen kids like the story above too. A mother once wanted to try some nail-polishes, and went to the cosmetics counter where the sales-ladies showed the trial nail-polishes. She was carrying a 1-2 year old child (I am not good at gauging the ages, but the child could stand up on his own), who she proceeded to seat on the glass counters! When the salesgirl brought out the nail-polishes, the child started taking the bottles and throwing them on the floor! We noticed that several other salesgirls had gathered around to catch the bottles before they hit the ground. What did the baby-momma do in the mean time? She just proceeded to smile sheepishly, and looking a bit embarrassed, but continued trying out nail-polishes. That was strike 3 against the momma. My mother and I, who were looking at other cosmetics, decided to come back later. We made a “we’ll be back” gesture to the salesgirl, who was busy playing catch, and quietly left.

    That was one of the worst offenders. But I have seen kids eat fruits, play with a ball around bottles, come running and ram onto the shopping carts of other shoppers (and start crying sometimes, and parents behaving as if it was the fault of the other shopper!). I really hope that a lot of these kids do learn to be more polite eventually.

    I should also add that I have seen parents who have tried everything in their arsenal to control a baby, but being unsuccessful. A mother once spent most of a 10.5 hrs flight walking up-and-down the aisle, because the baby started crying as soon as she sits. The baby didn’t seem to want to be on daddy’s lap either! (For anyone who is thinking of commenting that parents should not take babies below a certain age in flights, let me point out that this was an international flight. Given how far people have traveled for jobs these days, the only way some babies can meet their grandparents is if the parents travel. Some older people have harder time traveling to new places. So, I’d not judge any parents traveling with their babies on flights).

    • girl_with_all_the_yarn September 21, 2015, 4:12 pm

      My friend’s youngest son has moderate to high-functioning autism. He’s 14, and one day we were out and he just had a meltdown. Too much stimulation/wrong food/wrong shirt/planets were aligned funny/who knows. Something happened and he freaked out in the middle of a grocery store and started screaming about something.

      He is already bigger than his mother, so heaven only knew how she was going to get him out.

      The sheer number of people judging this poor, single mother were staggering. This big dude came over and told her she wasn’t parenting right.

      I quietly told him that he could either help, or walk away because that would be more helpful than what he was doing.

      Eventually we figured out what caused the meltdown and it was like a switch flipped and he was fine (I’m still not entirely sure. His meltdowns can have some… abstract logic). But it finally occurred to me that sometimes a parent is doing the absolute best they can.

  • Library Diva September 21, 2015, 1:04 pm

    That’s pretty ridiculous. Wal-Mart has some terrible policies, IMO. I decided I would never shop there again after the story came out about the middle-aged greeter who got roughed up by some teenaged punks. He punched one of them in self-defense, and lost his job for it. That’s a pretty extreme lack of employee empowerment to resolve conflicts. I wouldn’t be surprised if that extends in to other areas.

  • Cat2 September 21, 2015, 1:10 pm

    Well – I can think of one thing that might sway the trail back to the other side.

    Lodge a complaint about how much of a nuisance it was to shop while watching/navigating around that kind of disturbance.

    Stores should not be looking to complaint-proof themselves at the expense of a pleasant environment for the rest of their customers. They can’t avoid all complaints. Perhaps having complaints against the permissive behavior will help leverage them to decide to cope with having complaints from parents who aren’t controlling their children at the ridiculous end of the extreme.

  • LonelyHound September 21, 2015, 1:13 pm

    LOL. This is perfect. I just had a similar experience with my children in the stores yesterday. I was grocery shopping at two different store (there is a reason behind it). At the first store they were good for the first 20 minutes and then they started to run and shout. I warned them two times that was unacceptable behavior (it was a slow time so I gave them one more warning than I usually do), and if they continue they will go in the cart (which IS a big punishment for them). Well, my 2 yr old and 3 yr old did it again. In the cart they went. That caused a fit because they knew they would not be riding the penny horse (an old coin operated ride we let them play on when they have been good). In the next store they were better behaved but my 3 yr old insisted on touching some of the produce. I told him it was not nice to touch all the produce and that other people eat it. He stopped immediately. He knew he would get punished with a ride in the cart.

    That discipline method may seem hokey to some people but it works for us.

    • Amanda H. September 21, 2015, 2:38 pm

      It unfortunately doesn’t work on my kids, who think riding in the cart is a treat (because they don’t want to walk around the store anymore). I’ve been lucky, however, where generally they aren’t disruptive and running around when they shouldn’t be, and they know that if they misbehave they miss out on treats and other privileges.

    • girl_with_all_the_yarn September 21, 2015, 4:15 pm

      You do you. Upthread I mentioned a friend with a child with autism. She had to institute some… creative punishments sometimes. It’s just sometimes better not to ask if it’s not beating them, and it’s getting appropriate results.

    • essie September 22, 2015, 6:11 am

      “That discipline method may seem hokey to some people but it works for us.”

      Who cares? If it works, it works; go with it.

  • AnaMaria September 21, 2015, 2:57 pm

    As an educator, I try to have some sympathy for parents- for a child with special needs which affect their social skills, parents can only spend so much time repeatedly correcting behaviors before they are just plain burned out, and sometimes situations that may cause a meltdown are unavoidable- dealing with something that seems obnoxious or awkward for a moment is a small price to pay on my end compared to what these parents do on a daily basis. Of course, special needs aren’t the only culprit- we never know if the family’s house just burned down and they are living in a hotel room, if they just came home from the hospital after their dad died, or if Grandma thought it would be okay to give the kids 20oz bottles of Mountain Dew and then send them home to mom.

    Not saying that any of that was the case here with the OP- This just sounds like a clueless mom. Last year my roommate had an 1st birthday-party for her daughter, and invited a handful of families. She spent days planning a wonderful dessert menu, cutting fabric squares for people to decorate (to be made into a quilt for the birthday girl) and decorating our house. Most of the families were lovely guests, but one mom let her two daughters scribble all over a pile of fabric squares and try to take some of them home (so the hostess would have to make new ones to have a complete quilt), scream and fight (upsetting the birthday girl and the other children present) and, as my roommate was opening her daughter’s gifts, these two girls SMOTHERED her, yanking presents out of my roommate’s hands and shoving them in the birthday girl’s face telling her to “play” with them (She’s ONE!! Calm down!) and blocking all the other guests from seeing or taking pictures. The mom just sat there coloring fabric squares. My roommate told me after the fact that this was typical- the girls were free to run around doing whatever they wanted and the mom never seemed to care or notice. OP, you aren’t from Minnesota, are you? Might have been the same mom….

    • NostalgicGal September 24, 2015, 4:17 pm

      There’s a related one about a shower where the two that put it on got a bunch of plain onesies, some very expensive fabric markers, and set up a couple of stations… the idea was the attendees were supposed to decorate one for the baby. It was no kids, but one attendee showed up with two little girls, that created havoc, managed to open the backup pack of markers too, scribbled horribly on several of the onesies-including ones that’d already been done, the tables, and themselves… the organizers were not amused and neither was the mom-t0-be. Mother of the girls was insistent that the hostesses should have provided something for the girls to do. (neither hostess had any kids, it was held at one of their places, and the invites were no-kids so they didn’t expect any!) Of course mom had brought nothing for them to do either…

  • Ripple September 21, 2015, 3:29 pm

    I work as a cashier at a Target. One time a woman and her two kids were in my line. The kids, one boy and one girl, were about 8 and 10, I think. They took the filled bags and put them in the cart, which was great, but as a bit of competition (who could pick up the heaviest bag or most bags, that kind of thing), and were bickering the whole time about who was right. But then they started fighting about whether a big package of toilet paper should be put on the bottom shelf of the cart or in the body of the cart. Literally fighting, pulling on either end of the package. I finally said, “Stop that. I don’t want toilet paper all over my lane.” The mother backed me up, but I think she should have started a lot earlier to control the situation.

  • Gabriele September 21, 2015, 3:32 pm

    I have been tempted to ask the mother: “did you plan on raising monsters or are you just clueless about proper children’s behavior in public?”
    I have also thought about (when children are running around a store, unchecked) turning my back so I couldn’t really see them (except reflected in a display case) and moving so I would be right in their path…and then fall down. Screaming. Demanding a manager.
    But I don’t.
    The last time I asked two boys to not play soccer in the aisles (with larger than soccer balls) the mother (who had not appeared to be the mother) verbally attacked me, said no one had been hurt, her children had a right to be in the store and on and on. Her anger was palpable. I think if she could have hit me she would have.
    From that time on I’ve wondered how much of children’s behavior is them acting out a parent’s suppressed anger. And I wonder how the parent will react when the child turns the same behavior against the parent.
    So I meander down aisles, slowing down to look at something, blocking the very pathway running children want to take. A bemused older woman who seems preoccupied with her shopping would seldom be suspected of actually planning on blocking them…
    Cell phone to the ear, carrying on a nonexistent conversation (in French which few people in LA speak)
    is an excellent reason to block an aisle for all but grown-ups.
    If they are going to amuse themselves then so shall I.
    I find myself shopping more at some of the many ethnic stores in the area. Chinese, Armenian, most Hispanic markets have non-confrontational ways to deal with things… someone dispatched to mop an area of the floor (with proper caution signs) slows everything down…or someone with a box of something that just has to be shelved at that time…
    I actually enjoy being around families in such stores (for one thing, they buy less junk food and it does my heart good to see the cart stocked with fresh fruits and veggies).

  • Terri2 September 21, 2015, 5:06 pm

    I had my little nieces in the shopping cart and was telling them not to reach out and touch things. I swung my hand over the frozen food bin in demonstration and something sliced my fingertip. Had no problem with them at all after that… for years.

  • Barensmom September 21, 2015, 6:54 pm

    This is timely, because I saw this very thing at the grocery store today. Except, after the kids smashed grapes on the floor, an older gentleman slipped and nearly fell down. In my particular case, the management of the store has a choice: (1) either have the mother corral the children and/or leave the store and face a complaint; or (2) if the man had fallen, deal with an injury claim/lawsuit.

  • Ella September 21, 2015, 11:17 pm

    Just the other day at Toys r us. They have added a Claire’s section, which is odd because Claire’s is a shop with headbands, little accessories, earrings, not toys. There was a rack of earrings and little sunglasses. I think they quickly will learn why this was a bad idea. Loads of things were on the floor but this took the cake: a little boy with a plastic baseball bat hitting the sunglasses to the ground while his parents watched. Later I came back around to see some girls pulling all the earrings down.

  • LeighW September 22, 2015, 9:03 am

    Suddenly I don’t feel so bad about taking my 2 year old son shopping with me!

    I can’t say he’s never misbehaved in the store*, but he’s never had a tantrum or thrown/broken anything. He’s too busy “driving” the cart, visiting the lobsters, and talking to the little old ladies to get into much trouble. I know not all kids are into it, but turning shopping into a game or treasure hunt makes bringing them so much easier.

    I feel for stressed-out exhausted parents, but lazy parenting is a different thing altogether.

    (*he usually has a bit of a freak-out while leaving , because he isn’t allowed to push the cart though the parking lot)

    • Amanda H. September 25, 2015, 2:44 pm

      Hear hear.

      I usually get my kids involved by giving them tasks to do to help me out. The littlest sits in the cart’s seat and gets to hold my shopping list or manage my reusable bags, and likes to play “where’s the next aisle?” (where I tell her which aisle number we want and she finds it on the sign for me). The older two are tasked with helping me find products on the shelves that are on our list. All three of them understand that if they’re well-behaved, there MIGHT be a treat at the end for them (and have learned not to throw a fit if I say ‘no treat this week’ on any given trip because they understand it’s a treat and not a God-given right), but if they misbehave it’s GUARANTEED there’ll be no treat in addition to other privileges revoked.

    • Kate September 25, 2015, 8:52 pm

      I remember being given little jobs to do at the supermarket as a child, so obviously my parents employed this strategy. I don’t know what they did when I was toddler aged, but once I was old enough to read, they would tear off a part of the shopping list and the items on that section became my responsibility. I used to love ‘helping’ with the shopping and didn’t twig for years that it was a strategy to shut me up.

  • fountainof September 22, 2015, 1:35 pm

    I was at a kids store this weekend and a little girl (maybe 3) was away from her parents and getting into all the umbrellas and purses and jewelry. The cashier finally noticed and asked if I would mind if she handled this and I said okay. She asked the girl to take the stuff off and they would go find her parents. I think that works well to stop the situation without actually reprimanding anyone. So the clerk in the example maybe could play dumb and ask the boys “do you need help with anything” and it just kind of stops the situation as no one expects kids to be asked anything and kids generally expect adults to ignore them so just calling attention to them can often stop the behaviour without any kind of issue.

  • Stephbwfern September 23, 2015, 4:39 am

    If there is one thing that parenting has taught me so far it is that one cannot judge someone’s parenting just by observing one tiny slice of that person’s life, ie. a single shopping trip.
    I really object to this woman being labelled a “bad parent” due to this one observed incident.
    Of course if could have been handled better – that goes without saying – and the woman most likely knew that herself, but we have NO IDEA what the rest of her day/week/life comprised of.
    Judgement on parents, like this, is just so poisonous and damaging.

    • Lerah99 September 25, 2015, 10:42 am

      All we have is one slice to judge anyone. And compassion is always a good thing.

      But sometimes bad parenting is obvious.

      If I’m in the grocery store and listen to the same 5 year old have a screaming melt down for 20 minutes – I’m blaming the parent. Because that kid should have been removed from the store well before that 20 minutes was up.

      If I’m in a restaurant and watch two little kids from 3 tables away darting under my table and around the dining room playing tag while both of their parents are on their cell phones playing candy crush or texting – I’m blaming the parents. Because at least one of them should put down their phone to stop their kids from tripping the waiters and crawling under other people’s tables.

      If I’m in a movie theater to see a rated R movie and the kid next to me is both way too young for the movie and spending the entire time playing on her mom’s iPad – I’m blaming the mom. Because she should have gotten a sitter. She has no right to ruin the movie experience of everyone around her as we’re distracted by the lights and sounds from her kid playing a video game.

      I understand that being a parent is exhausting and there are no vacations or sick days. I understand it is hard to raise a tiny human being and teach them how to function in society. I understand that “yes” is easier than “no”.

      But that doesn’t mean parents get to abdicate their responsibility while in public.
      When they do, those of us forced to listen to their kids scream, forced to watch their kids destroy property, forced to dive out of the way to avoid hurting their kid at the expense of possibly hurting ourselves will judge them as poor parents.

      And if those same parents then get all huffy when someone dares to tell their child “Hey, slow down!” or “It’s not ok to throw things” – we judge them double.

      • metallicafan September 26, 2015, 2:25 pm

        I agree 100%.

  • just4kicks September 24, 2015, 4:29 am

    My favorite go to with my own rugrats is “look with your EYES….not with your HANDS”.
    One time when my daughter was six or so, we went to the grocery store and while we were checking out my daughter asked if she could have a candy bar, and was picking up a particular one to put it on the conveyor belt.
    I said, “No, honey. We actually got a whole bag of those….you may have one when we get home.”
    She said “ok, Mommy”…..then stood in front of the candy picking up different ones and looking at them, and putting them back down.
    Finally I said “Hey honey….look with your eyes please and not with your hands! Stop touching everything!”
    She did and came and stood next to me.
    As she did, I noticed an elderly lady behind us in line watching the whole exchange.
    I finished up and we left.
    As I’m putting the last of the bags in our car, I notice this same old lady standing by my daughter and our car.
    I immediately thought, “oh boy…..here it comes!”
    She said, “excuse me….but I saw your daughter looking at all the candy back there!”
    I said, “um….Yes, she was?!?”
    The lady then said “I just had to tell you….I’m SO sick and tired of seeing all these little brats who make a mess here and don’t listen to their parents!!! YOU….however, young lady, listened very well to your mommy, and did as you were told!!!! Nice job to BOTH of you! ”
    She then reached into her bag and pulled out the candy bar my girl asked for and gave it to my daughter!
    “You deserve a treat for being a good girl! You must ask your mommy when you may eat it though, ok?”
    We both thanked her and all went on our merry way.
    I was very touched, and my girl learned the value of positive attention, she was thrilled!!!!
    “Look mommy!!! I got candy for being a GOOD GIRL!!!”

    • M2 September 28, 2015, 4:59 pm

      Love this! 😀

      • just4kicks September 30, 2015, 4:47 am

        I thought that was so nice of this lady, I was really touched she went out of her way for my daughter.
        We would run into her at the same store once in awhile, and she would say hello to us and always say to my daughter (if she was with me), “well, hello honey! Are you being good for your mommy? Of course you are!”
        My daughter once answered, “Hello! Yes ma’am, I’m being good today!”
        This lady started laughing and said, “Yes, ma’am?!?” Well….now you’re just showing off young lady!”

  • Wendy September 24, 2015, 5:35 pm

    While I think this mum was doing a half hearted job and certainly shouldn’t have aloud her children to run amok like that I also think people need to have age appropriate ideas and expectations. My son was sitting in the trolley today as I did a shop he had a couple of small toys to play with when he got cranky with one he would throw it away, I would pick it up put it in my bag and offer him a different one and tell him to say ta (this happened twice) he is 8 months old so unable to do anything but either smile or repeat unintelligible words back at me. An older lady next to me at one point said I was teaching him to be a rude little brat because I didn’t wait for a thankyou before giving the toy and he shouldn’t be aloud it anyway after having thrown it away (I’ll repeat I do not offer the thrown toy back to him I simply redirect to one of his other toys). My son is tall for his age so thinking she thought he was older (he is taller than an 18month old at his day care) I said he was only 8 months old even though he didn’t look it. To which she replied doesn’t matter and she could see with a mum like me that he would never be a valuable member of society. I wanted to punch her.

    • Lerah99 September 25, 2015, 9:48 am

      I agree that sometimes people who have never been around kids don’t realize age appropriate behavior.

      I was recently on a plane. In the row across the aisle from me was a woman and her toddler. The little girl was 2 or 3 years old and remarkably well behaved for a child that small being stuck in a strange and confined space. A couple of times she got a little loud and cranky. At one point she dropped an animal cracker and started crying because her mom wouldn’t let her eat it after it had been on the floor. But other than that, she was really good.

      The guy sitting in front of the mom and child appeared to be in his early to mid twenties. When he stood up to get his luggage from the overhead compartment he said something to his companion along the lines of “Thank God! This flight totally re-confirmed why I’m never having kids!”

      He said it loud enough for the little girl’s mother to hear.

      And it made me think, “Oh, you’ve never been around little kids. You don’t understand how well behaved that little one really was.”

      It also made me think he was kind of a jerk for saying something nasty when he could have waited until he was out of ear shot to complain to his companion.

  • Cheryl September 25, 2015, 11:46 am

    It seems like early 2000’s the idea of spanking a kid or giving them the mommy pinch has gone to the way side because everyone is afraid that they will get the cops called on them. It use to be that if you broke it/destroyed it in this case, you had to buy it but parents consider it the shops fault for putting it out for the kids to handle. Parents, teach your kids not to touch everything, have them help if you can when shopping but if your child breaks, eats, or damages anything that they/you will have to pay for it and they will be punished for it. As for stores not saying anything, again, they should say something, so what if that one person doesn’t come back if you are a Wal-Mart, Target and etc. guess what we all will and you may gain more customers if they don’t have to put up with unruly kids we will all rejoice, we have to put up with stupid people in the store all ready if the obnoxious kids were eliminated then that would be one less thing.

    • NostalgicGal September 25, 2015, 10:02 pm

      Or working at one of those Big Boxes and having the couple that would hand their kids toys off the shelf to play with while they were in the store shopping then finally saying put down the toys we’re leaving… leaving us with opened, damaged (aka broken) used toys.

  • Rebecca September 26, 2015, 12:53 am

    Has is really gotten so bad now that a complaint from a totally unreasonable customer can get the employee in trouble? When I was a cashier (in a large, successful chain known for its stellar customer service), on one or two occasions a supervisor spoke to me about a complaint, but really just in the context of asking me what happened, or it was an outright, “I know you probably did nothing wrong, but I am required to ask you about it.”

    Sometimes I was just enforcing store policy (ie no returns on X item because it’s perishable and we don’t know how it’s been stored, therefore it can’t be put back on the shelf) and people would complain about that. What was especially irksome was when they’d make a point of finding out my name and taking it down, with a smug truimphant look that said, “I’m going to get you in trouble” or they’d say outright that they were reporting me to management. I’d just say, “OK” because I knew management would just smile and nod and say, “I’m sorry you had a bad experience” followed by whatever it took to appease the person, and then they’d come into the lunchroom and commiserate with us about the nutcase customer.