Author Topic: Sparing embarrassment vs. What I consider appropriate parenting.  (Read 8670 times)

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weeblewobble

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Sparing embarrassment vs. What I consider appropriate parenting.
« on: February 17, 2013, 01:32:17 PM »
Yesterday, I had one of those out-of-body, "did that really just happen?" etiquette moments.  I'm 99 percent sure I handled this appropriately, but as usual, I like to run my course of action by "the board's approval."

DD and my mother and I were at a super-mega-store yesterday.  DD is 8 going on 9 and was being her usual well-behaved self.  We were walking down the chip/soda aisle and I saw that a man about six feet away was bending/crouching to the very bottom shelf and his pants had dropped really really low.  We could see the entirety of his rump.  And because he was loading several cases of soda into his cart, this happened several times.  He never bothered adjusting his pants.

My mom's eyes went wide.  DD hadn't noticed yet, so I quietly turned her head in opposite direction.  The Low Pants Guy was on the right side of the aisle, so I was directing her face to the left. I re-directed her attention with something like, "Oh, wow, look at the super-spicy jalepeno flavored chips, I wonder if those would be too hot for Dad." We didn't make a fuss as we passed by.  I just wanted to get my daughter by without her seeing the man's exposed backside.  FTR, we do not allow her to watch movies or programs with elements of nudity, so it's not a case of, "Oh, well, it's nothing worse than she would have seen on TV."

Unfortunately, the woman with Low Pants Guy either saw the shocked expression on my mom's face or my turning my daughter's head, and said, "Grow the (redacted) up."

I directed Mom and DD to go to the next aisle and said, "I won't apologize for preventing my underage daughter from seeing a grown man's bare backside up close and personal."

She called me several names.  I walked away.  We managed to avoid them for the rest of the grocery shopping.  But I was left wondering, 1) Was my wording OK?  For some reason, I felt like I should have said more.   And 2) Should I have reported the couple to management?  I felt like that would be overkill, but my mom wondered, given the severity of the "lack of pants" and the wife's sensitivity to our reaction, if this routine was something the couple did for fun.  Like as a practical joke or stunt or something. 3) Was is more important to guard the couple from embarrassment (i.e. our reactions to the exposure) or to prevent DD from seeing something I didn't want her to see?

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 01:36:23 PM by weeblewobble »

Shoo

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Re: Sparing embarrassment vs. What I consider appropriate parenting.
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2013, 01:35:04 PM »
You were fine.  The other person was low class and rude.  I love it when people use foul language so naturally.  Shows you who they are.

« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 01:38:19 PM by Shoo »

mmswm

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Re: Sparing embarrassment vs. What I consider appropriate parenting.
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2013, 01:36:37 PM »
I think you did just fine.  Something was obviously wrong with that woman, either lack of class or more serious emotional issues. Given that she cursed at you and could have been perceived as threatening, and that other customers might not have the class and grace that you have, I don't think it would have been overkill to report them to management as people to keep an eye on.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

snowdragon

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Re: Sparing embarrassment vs. What I consider appropriate parenting.
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2013, 01:40:03 PM »
I am 51 and I would not want to see that.  The man was wrong and rude and the woman with him was wrong and rude. You would have been well with in your rights to ask management to deal with it.  Even in Walmart they don't tolerate indecent exposure. 

JenJay

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Re: Sparing embarrassment vs. What I consider appropriate parenting.
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2013, 01:49:24 PM »
Normally I'd just look away and keep going, like you did. The fact that the woman seemed to be spoiling for a fight does make me wonder if they were doing it on purpose. I find it hard to believe that someone could show their entire butt and not notice. Wouldn't you feel the fabric slide that far down and/or that "my skin feels cooler because it's exposed" sensation?

I'm not sure if I would have gone in search of the manager but I probably would have mentioned the incident to the next employee I happened across. "Heads up, there's a man on the soda aisle completely exposing his rear and when we made a point of not looking at him his wife cursed profusely at us, in front of my 8 year old."

Erich L-ster

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Re: Sparing embarrassment vs. What I consider appropriate parenting.
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2013, 02:00:39 PM »
I am 51 and I would not want to see that.  The man was wrong and rude and the woman with him was wrong and rude. You would have been well with in your rights to ask management to deal with it. Even in Walmart they don't tolerate indecent exposure.

Uhhhhh.....http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/      >:D

Kimblee

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Re: Sparing embarrassment vs. What I consider appropriate parenting.
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2013, 02:02:12 PM »
You were fine.  The other person was low class and rude.  I love it when people use foul language so naturally.  Shows you who they are.

Sophisticated as [bleeped]?

oogyda

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Re: Sparing embarrassment vs. What I consider appropriate parenting.
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2013, 02:04:39 PM »
You engaged the crazy.  Totally your call, but to say something more would escalate the situation. Contacting management would, in my opinion be overkill.
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dirtyweasel

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Re: Sparing embarrassment vs. What I consider appropriate parenting.
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2013, 02:16:48 PM »
You were fine.  The other person was low class and rude.  I love it when people use foul language so naturally.  Shows you who they are.

Was this really necessary?  There are many of us on this board who swear like sailors, but that doesn't mean that we can't be gracious and polite people.  Please don't insult us by implying that we're low class and rude.



Venus193

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Re: Sparing embarrassment vs. What I consider appropriate parenting.
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2013, 02:21:50 PM »
People like this define declasse and they defy instruction.  I don't see where you were in the wrong.

weeblewobble

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Re: Sparing embarrassment vs. What I consider appropriate parenting.
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2013, 02:33:32 PM »
You engaged the crazy. 

Gah!  I did!  I can't believe I forgot one of the first tenets of ehell.

MrsCrazyPete

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Re: Sparing embarrassment vs. What I consider appropriate parenting.
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2013, 02:36:51 PM »
Normally I'd just look away and keep going, like you did. The fact that the woman seemed to be spoiling for a fight does make me wonder if they were doing it on purpose. I find it hard to believe that someone could show their entire butt and not notice. Wouldn't you feel the fabric slide that far down and/or that "my skin feels cooler because it's exposed" sensation?

I'm not sure if I would have gone in search of the manager but I probably would have mentioned the incident to the next employee I happened across. "Heads up, there's a man on the soda aisle completely exposing his rear and when we made a point of not looking at him his wife cursed profusely at us, in front of my 8 year old."

POD to JenJay. Except I probably would have sought out a manager. I am 31 and I don't want to see that.
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SamiHami

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Re: Sparing embarrassment vs. What I consider appropriate parenting.
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2013, 03:55:01 PM »
You were fine.  The other person was low class and rude.  I love it when people use foul language so naturally.  Shows you who they are.

Was this really necessary?  There are many of us on this board who swear like sailors, but that doesn't mean that we can't be gracious and polite people.  Please don't insult us by implying that we're low class and rude.

using obscene language toward a stranger because you don't like that they turned their child away from a man's indecently exposed rear end is the definition of low class and rude. Noone is talking about how a group.of adults might talk in a social situation.

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sweetonsno

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Re: Sparing embarrassment vs. What I consider appropriate parenting.
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2013, 05:28:52 PM »
On the contrary, I think it's good that you stopped where you did. As others have pointed out, it's best not to engage the crazy.

I'm trying to see this from the other person's side, because the reaction seems so strange. My guess is that your mother's shocked expression looked like disgust to this guy's companion. Nobody wants someone telling their friend that they are disgusting, and it's reasonable that she would feel offended on his behalf. Could she see that his butt was exposed? If not, then perhaps she thought your reactions were due to something else (was the guy overweight, for example) that should not normally illicit such a reaction. It is clearly not okay to berate someone, especially not a customer and especially not with obscenities, but if the problematic exposure wasn't evident to her, I can see why she would want to stand up for him.

1.) The wording did seem like you were assuming that not only was he aware of the problem, but also that he was doing it on purpose, with the intent of exposing himself. That wouldn't make me too happy, either. I've walked out of the bathroom with my skirt unwittingly tucked into the back of my hose before, and if someone said something similar to what you had said, I'd be rather put out. A wardrobe malfunction is embarrassing. Having someone imply you were deliberately exposing yourself is insulting.

2.) As for contacting management, I think it would have been acceptable depending on how you did it. I think it would have been inappropriate to imply that this guy was doing it on purpose, but letting someone know that the guy stocking the shelves needed a better belt would have been fine. You absolutely would have been within your rights to complain about the woman who called you names, though.

3.) Finally, I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. It's possible to redirect DD's attention without embarrassing the couple. I think you did fine by pointing out the chips on the shelf. That was, I think, a perfect solution. If there really is no choice, I think you should choose your daughter, but when that isn't possible, you'll get an opportunity to teach your child how to behave appropriately in that sort of situation. I clearly remember being with my mom when we happened upon a man urinating on a Dumpster in a parking lot. She took the opportunity to teach me that the appropriate response was to stare straight ahead and walk on by.

Shoo

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Re: Sparing embarrassment vs. What I consider appropriate parenting.
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2013, 05:33:41 PM »
You were fine.  The other person was low class and rude.  I love it when people use foul language so naturally.  Shows you who they are.

Was this really necessary?  There are many of us on this board who swear like sailors, but that doesn't mean that we can't be gracious and polite people.  Please don't insult us by implying that we're low class and rude.

Well then obviously, I wasn't talking about people like you.  I presume that since you are not rude and low class, you would not just randomly swear at a stranger for no reason. Would you?