Doing the Jelly Roll Stomp

by admin on January 26, 2010

A few weeks ago, I was at the deli counter of the major chain grocery store in my area. There was only one other customer at the counter (who was also being helped at the same time). This was a woman, on the younger side of middle age, who had three small girls with her – ostensibly her daughters, all between the ages of about 4 and 10, and the older two in private school uniforms. While she spent about 10 to 15 minutes at the deli counter (she was there when I arrived, and still ordering/choosing when I left), her daughters made a general nuisance of themselves in the surrounding area. This is, sadly, not particularly surprising to me anymore – child control seems to be one of the areas in which customers are horribly lacking. However, here’s the part that really shocked me:

The deli has the typical meat/cheese counter behind glass, as is typical at many large-scale chain grocery stores. It also has low shelves (about two feet tall) in front of the glass partition, which typically hold items such as sandwich rolls and other bread options. For almost the entire time that this woman was at the deli counter, her daughters were STANDING and WALKING AROUND ON TOP OF the bread! One girl was kneeling on the packages of bread, fidgeting around just enough to ensure that all of the rolls were thoroughly smashed. And, to top it all – their mother was not more than six inches away, and did absolutely nothing about it. At all.

I felt quite sorry for the people working the deli that day…   0118-10

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jayne January 26, 2010 at 3:36 pm

If I were there, I would have called a store manager over. Children just being noisy is one thing – it can be obnoxious for everyone else who is a captive audience to them, but no lasting harm is done. Deliberately damaging property is totally another thing – especially when that property is intended for human consumption. That’s when their behavior crosses the line and becames my business.

I am always amazed at those parents who never even attempt to teach their children proper manners and behavior. I haven’t figured out why – Is it that they feel so entitled that nobody else matters, or are they so enfatuated with their children that they just can’t vision anything they do as wrong, or what? But in the end, their childrens’ lack of socialization will only hinder them. That’s a shame and the kids will probably never figure out why.

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Ginderette January 26, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Knowing me, I’d probably be the assertive type who would have went to the kids and told them in a calm manner, “It’s not polite to walk on other people’s food – would you want to eat something that someone walked all over?”

Sure, might get the mom a bit upset with me going that route – but I think that’s better giving a kids a pointer on how rude that behavior is then just turning a blind eye. It’s also an not-too-subtle reminder to the mother that “they’re just kids” doesn’t excuse blatantly inconsiderate behavior from them either.

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lilyme January 27, 2010 at 10:16 am

This behavior is not only rude but it’s destructive and equivelant to shoplifting. The store certainly couldn’t sell the merchandise after it was trampled. The loss of inventory causes a loss in revenue to the store.
The store clerk should have spoken up and the manager should have been called. This woman needs to make reimbursement for the damaged property. A knocked over jar of pickles is one thing, but a display of baked goods being intentionally destroyed is another! Perhaps if her kids were banned from the store, she’d start paying more attention…..naaah…..

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Alexis January 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm

I once stood behind a woman in line at the drugstore who’s son (maybe about 5) was opening the chapsticks one at a time, putting it on his lips, and then re-capping them and putting them bzck in the bin, right in front of his mother, who ignored him. Ever since, I only buy lip balm that is sealed in plastic.

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Cady March 23, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Maybe this makes me rude, but if I see kids doing this sort of thing, I usually say “Oh, honey, don’t walk on the bread, you’re ruining it” and then flash the mother a big, friendly smile. If she still wants to be rude to me after that, I’ll throw down.

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Maryann July 7, 2010 at 10:02 am

This reminds me of a particularly disgusting incident at a local grocery store a little while back.

The store sells food in bulk, and some of the bulk items come from dispensers with spouts that you open and close with a handle.

One afternoon, I went in for just a couple of things. I saw a woman with, I presume, her two daughters. The older girl was a teenager, the younger one a preteen of maybe between 10 and 12. I had no impression that the younger girl had any mental disability, but maybe she did, or she was younger than she looked, because I can’t imagine a normal girl the age I assumed her to be doing what I watched her do.

Some of the bulk items are sweets and salty snacks. Apparently something in one of the dispensers had some kind of tasty coating that stuck to the inside of the spout, because the girl proceeded to lick her hand and fingers and stick them up the spout so the powdery stuff would stick to her hand. She then licked it off and repeated.

Mom was ignoring this behavior. Ignoring it. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so appalled.

I stopped, looked the child in the eye and told her very firmly and disapprovingly “Don’t do that!” and went on my way before the mother could give me any kind of crap about it.

I was in a hurry that afternoon, and somehow it didn’t occur to me to go get a manager and ask that the dispenser be cleaned. I really wish I had done more, but I think between wanting to get out of the store and just being so shocked, my brain didn’t even go there. I really wish I had thought that far. I realize what a failure that was and sincerely wish I could take it back. No one should have bought anything from that dispenser until it was sanitized.

Do I even need to say I’ve never bought anything from the bulk dispensers in that store?

I agree with those who say vendors should put a stop to this, by the way. The day before yesterday, I was at the county fair. There are large buildings on the fairgrounds where vendors set up their booths and I passed a toy vendor. The toys were so fun and colorful, even I (at 26) stopped to watch some of them going. On the right side of the front of the booth, a boy was messing around with a battery powered t-rex. His mother came over and told him to come with her, and that he couldn’t have the toy. He ignored her. She kept pestering him and he said “No!” She took him by the arm and he physically threw her off and said “Leave me alone!” That’s when the man in the booth, an older gentleman with long hair and a cool vibe, leaned over the display table, took the toy from him, told him it wasn’t his and to mind his mother. Good on him!

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Chelsey August 13, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Wow. I agree with lilyme: that woman should have been forced to pay for the merchandise her children destroyed. Whatever happened to “You break it, you bought it”? I think this falls under that category.

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Allison December 2, 2010 at 9:26 pm

A few years ago I was in a very nice coffee/specialty bakery shop, waiting in line behind a man and his small son, perhaps 4 or so. Dad ignored Kid as Kid proceeded to poke his fingers into wrapped specialty cakes on display; I said to Kid, ‘you shouldn’t do that, it isn’t yours.’ Do you think Dad turned around? NO. I was standing not 6 inches from him.

Dad leaves and Kid follows him out. I point out to the person behind the counter that these cakes should not be sold and explain why. The shopkeeper runs outside and makes Dad come back inside. Turns out the cakes were $15.00 a piece and the kid ruined five of them (yup, Dad is now on the hook for $75). Dad tried to argue thqt it was an accident, and then turns and glares at me in anger.

That will teach him to watch his kid more closely. (and I didn’t want to be the one that purchased the $15.00 cake to bring to a party and have dirty fingers poked into it.) Of course it was an accident but that doesn’t mean that Dad isn’t responsible for the damage.

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