Author Topic: when another child hogs the freebies  (Read 6308 times)

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Drunken Housewife

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when another child hogs the freebies
« on: January 14, 2013, 05:31:38 PM »
Yesterday I found myself unsure about how to politely handle a situation and so did nothing.  As it will most likely come up again, I'd like some input. 

My daughter and I belong to a mother-daughter book club for girls of a certain age & their moms.  It's run by a woman who works at a bookstore (and it's a great way to promote the bookstore & get people in and buying books).  The moms & daughters read a young adult novel each month and discuss it.  The delightful woman who runs it often brings galley prints and lets the girls take them for free (these are paperback editions sent as freebies to reviewers and bookstores in the hopes someone will look at them, like them, and recommend them). 

Yesterday the leader put out about a dozen galleys on the floor at the end, and one particular girl instantly snagged a full six books, stacked them up, put one proprietary hand on them to keep anyone off them, and then kept looking for more.  So by the time my own daughter had even reached the free books, about half of them had been claimed by one person.  In the end, my daughter did end up taking one book, the other girls had 1 or 2 books, and the aggressive book-claiming girl had half the books. 

I was hesitating and came close to saying to her, "Sweetie, leave some for the others!" but I don't know her and don't know her mother (they are newish to the group, and the mother doesn't really participate in the discussion, instead spending time using her smartphone).  It offends me that someone would grab so many and not let the other girls have a fair crack at them.  My own child is very conflict-averse and extremely polite, and I hate seeing good behavior end up with a bad result while bad behavior pays off. 

The other mother did say something in a low tone to her daughter, but it didn't stop the daughter from taking a full half of the books.  I don't know what she said. 

If this happens again, is it appropriate for me to say something?  Or should I say something to the bookstore employee who runs the group?  The reason I hesitate to complain to the leader that is that I fear that if people whine about the free books, then she might stop giving them away (point in case:  my hardware store used to give everyone free light bulbs, but they discontinued that as too many people complained that they didn't like the free light bulbs, they should be different).  If it matters, I've been going to this book club for several years (one child aged out of it and my other aged in).
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oopsie

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Re: when another child hogs the freebies
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2013, 05:40:38 PM »
I don't think there is anything wrong with saying what you suggested.

 
"Sweetie, leave some for the others!"


Katana_Geldar

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Re: when another child hogs the freebies
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2013, 05:43:49 PM »
I don't think there's any problem with casually mentioning this to one of the staff. Something like 'How many books are you giving away? I'm not sure everyone has gotten their fair share.'

Then it's up to them to decide how to act.

kckgirl

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Re: when another child hogs the freebies
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2013, 06:05:25 PM »
I'd stay out of it, but mention it to the store employee.
Maryland

Marbles

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Re: when another child hogs the freebies
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2013, 06:21:55 PM »
I don't think there is anything wrong with saying what you suggested.

 
"Sweetie, leave some for the others!"

I'd do that, too. Or, perhaps, "please wait until everyone has one before you take extras."

Roe

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Re: when another child hogs the freebies
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2013, 06:38:36 PM »
Email the organizer so they can create some rules to try to prevent "hoggers" from getting more than their share.  If that doesn't work, I don't see anything rude about speaking up.

Thipu1

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Re: when another child hogs the freebies
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2013, 06:43:52 PM »
Why not suggest this? 

When free books are available make it a sort of raffle.  The first child showing up at the book club meeting gets a '1' token.  The second child in gets a '2' token and so on.  The children then are allowed to select a book in order.  If there are books left over, run down the list again. 

This could go a long way towards stopping the little book glutton.   

doodlemor

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Re: when another child hogs the freebies
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2013, 07:13:45 PM »
Why not suggest this? 

When free books are available make it a sort of raffle.  The first child showing up at the book club meeting gets a '1' token.  The second child in gets a '2' token and so on.  The children then are allowed to select a book in order.  If there are books left over, run down the list again. 

This could go a long way towards stopping the little book glutton.

I love this, because it would also promote being on time to the meeting. 

Otherwise, you could ask the employee privately, or publicly at the meeting, what the quota is when the books are first presented.

Danika

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Re: when another child hogs the freebies
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 08:42:14 PM »
My own child is very conflict-averse and extremely polite, and I hate seeing good behavior end up with a bad result while bad behavior pays off. 

I spent most of my life being like your child. It took a very rude incident a few years ago to change my approach.

I was in the pool with my first (and only, at the time) child who was about 8 months old. A little girl about age 10 was purposely splashing us with a ton of water with a mean look on her face. I said to her politely "please, stop. My daughter doesn't like that." The girl outright ignored me and kept maliciously splashing a ton of water in our faces.

A man seated in a lawn chair about 15 feet away looked up from his book, looked at the girl, hesitated and then looked back at his book. I assume he was the father/guardian because there weren't many other people at the pool that day.

I had planned to leave anyway, so I didn't give the girl the attention she wanted. I just took my baby and left. But for the next two days, I berated myself because I hadn't had the guts to stand up to a child. I spent my life not defending myself, but I wanted to be able to defend my infant. I asked my husband what he would have done because he doesn't have my fear of confrontation. He said if a parent isn't disciplining or watching their child and it is harming his own child, he will correct the offender.

I rehearsed and ever since then, I say to the offender exactly what I would say to my own child, and in the same tone and words.

In your book situation, what would you have said to your own child had she done something like that? Maybe you wouldn't need to use a horrified tone, because it sounds like your daughter would not do something like that and you'd likely use a horrified tone. But just talk to the other child as if she's 2 years old and you're correcting her. I probably would have said directly to her "Honey, it's not fair for you to take so many books when not everyone else has gotten one yet. Please, only take one and put the rest back so that others can have a chance."

So far, I haven't had a parent scold me for correcting their child. But I have had kids ignore me. And I just repeat myself louder the next time. Usually by about the 4th time, their own parent feels bad enough that they step in and take action.

sammycat

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Re: when another child hogs the freebies
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2013, 09:19:25 PM »
I would mention it to the shop owner/person in charge of the club and politely ask her to make an announcement next time that people may only take X number of books at first.  If there are any left over once everyone has their fair share, then people may go back for seconds.

If the owner is unwilling to do that and/or the child hogs all the books again I wouldn't hesitate to tell the child that she needs to leave some for other people and may not take that many (or, if, the owner does make an announcement, ask the child if she heard the announcement).

I can't stand greedy people, so this sort of thing would really chap my hide.

snowdragon

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Re: when another child hogs the freebies
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2013, 09:33:32 PM »
It's someone else's child, if I understand etiquette correctly this is up to the shop owner or the parent to deal with, other than  no one gets to say anything and remain in the bounds of etiquette.

Penguin_ar

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Re: when another child hogs the freebies
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2013, 07:45:05 AM »
I would approach the leader- not to complain about the other child, but to suggest some policies regarding the freebies, to ensure everyone gets their fair share.  The token system is good, but may be too much work for her if she also needs to run the store during the meeting.  It could be something simple such as a sign saying "one free book per child only please" (extra books could be held back till next time), or allowing each child to take one book at the start of the meeting, and then at the end- once you know how many kids are there- say "ok, you can all take another book/  X more books" (where X is the number of books divided by the number of children present)

camlan

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Re: when another child hogs the freebies
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2013, 07:54:31 AM »
In the moment, when something like this has happened, I've seen parents call a halt to the grabbing and turn to the person in charge for clarification. "Hey, let's hold on for a minute and check with Miss Lucy to see how many books each of you can take. Miss Lucy, can you help us out over here? What's the rule on how many books each member of the group can take at a time?"

That's not parenting someone else's child. It's asking for clarification of the situation so that everyone knows what to do. Last time I saw this, it was at a birthday party with one of those cakes that are made out of many cupcakes that are frosted to look like one big cake. One kid was making off with about 5 cupcakes and a parent, not his own parent, just asked the mother of the birthday child how many cupcakes there were per child. The cupcake thief had to return three of the cupcakes. It also works when it's an adult who is hogging all the cupcakes.
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weeblewobble

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Re: when another child hogs the freebies
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2013, 09:37:28 AM »
I would take it up with the shop owner/director of the program.  If she's been at this for a few years, I'm sure she's run into this issue before. 

I will say that book pigs are rampant, and behavior like this is why the "freebie room" at my favorite book conference has to be policed like a bank vault.  There are tables and tables of free, new-release books, hundreds of copies of each.  There is a long list of rules. Each person receives a ticket in their information packet, and that ticket gets you into the freebie room.  No ticket, no entry.  And yet, every year, someone goes around bragging that they managed to report their ticket missing, get a second ticket and double dip.

If you want first pick of the books, you have to get in line early.  We cannot save a spot for someone else in line. Some participants travel in big groups, and if one person holds a spot for nine people, and more than one person acts as a line holder, it can descend into chaos really quickly.

We are only allowed to take as many books as we can carry in our arms.  (If you have a physical problem with this, a staff member will collect your books for you, but only as many as that person can carry.)  No bags allowed, no rolling box contraptions, like you might see people in big cities use to haul around groceries.  One lady tried to bring in a mini grocery cart. 

The freebie room actually ran out of books on the second day of the conference last year.  Every year, the rules have to be adjusted to address the "creativity" of the book pigs.

TootsNYC

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Re: when another child hogs the freebies
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2013, 01:34:11 PM »
In the moment, when something like this has happened, I've seen parents call a halt to the grabbing and turn to the person in charge for clarification. "Hey, let's hold on for a minute and check with Miss Lucy to see how many books each of you can take. Miss Lucy, can you help us out over here? What's the rule on how many books each member of the group can take at a time?"

That's not parenting someone else's child. It's asking for clarification of the situation so that everyone knows what to do. Last time I saw this, it was at a birthday party with one of those cakes that are made out of many cupcakes that are frosted to look like one big cake. One kid was making off with about 5 cupcakes and a parent, not his own parent, just asked the mother of the birthday child how many cupcakes there were per child. The cupcake thief had to return three of the cupcakes. It also works when it's an adult who is hogging all the cupcakes.

This is brilliant.

I think we should all do it.