Author Topic: Today at lunch  (Read 6694 times)

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Jocelyn

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Today at lunch
« on: May 18, 2013, 07:15:03 PM »
I had the misfortune to be seated in a booth next to a family whose adults were steadfastly ignoring the two little girls with them. The younger girl stood up in her booth, and hung over the back to stare at me as if she had never seen anyone eat before. Her older sister was up and dancing in the aisle. To my right, on the other side of the aisle, was another woman dining alone; in the booth next to hers, and across the aisle from the family was an empty booth. The older girl was jumping up and down on the bench in the empty booth, and chanting.  The other woman got up to go back to the buffet, and the girl grabbed the fortune cookie from her table, and danced around singing about how she'd grabbed the lady's cookie. Mama ignored her awhile before telling her to put it back. The piece de resistance was when the girl came over to my booth and started singing and dancing to 'I have to go to the bathroom!' The dance was an attention-getting maneuver, not the sort of desperate dance of a child in need of help.  While the child may have correctly intuited that she was more likely to get my attention than her mother's, I still was not about to take a stranger's child to the bathroom, nor do I care to dine to that sort of stage show. After several choruses, she went back to her family's table, and did her song and dance. After a few repeats, the mother snapped, 'So GO!' The child was younger than I'd send to a bathroom by herself, but the mother sighed and groaned as she got up as if an elephant had sat on her, before taking the girls to the bathroom (which was out of line of sight of the mother, AND adjacent to the back door, which struck me as even more of a concern).
Is there a polite way to tell someone, 'Please keep your children with you, and entertain them yourself.'?

Roses

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Re: Today at lunch
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2013, 07:17:53 PM »
I would have talked to management and ask to be moved to a different location in the restaurant.

JoieGirl7

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Re: Today at lunch
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2013, 07:36:02 PM »
"Please contain your children, they are disturbing my meal."

I also would have told the woman whose fortune cookie was swiped that the child had had it (if she had put it back...).  I doubt she would want the germs.

Cosmasia

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Re: Today at lunch
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2013, 07:51:12 PM »
With the staring girl, I'd have told the parents to turn her around and keep her from staring at me.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who can't eat when I'm stared at, eurg.

With the attention seeker, when she did it by you/for you, I'd have told the girl to please go away from my table. If there was no reaction I'd tell the parents to keep her from my table.

If nothing was working and/or they never engaged me in particular but where just disruptive in general, I'd speak with the people who work there.
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JoieGirl7

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Re: Today at lunch
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2013, 07:55:29 PM »
I should mention that when a child stares at me over a booth, I will try to ignore it.  If that doesn't work, I will tell the child to turn around and sit down.

No parent has ever objected to this, altho they usually are not paying enough attention to their kid to know what they are doing let alone that I spoke to them.

If they objected to me "parenting their kids"  I would probabaly say "if you would do it, I wouldn't have to.  Your child should not have been bothering me."

LeveeWoman

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Re: Today at lunch
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2013, 12:26:37 AM »
I had the misfortune to be seated in a booth next to a family whose adults were steadfastly ignoring the two little girls with them. The younger girl stood up in her booth, and hung over the back to stare at me as if she had never seen anyone eat before. Her older sister was up and dancing in the aisle. To my right, on the other side of the aisle, was another woman dining alone; in the booth next to hers, and across the aisle from the family was an empty booth. The older girl was jumping up and down on the bench in the empty booth, and chanting.  The other woman got up to go back to the buffet, and the girl grabbed the fortune cookie from her table, and danced around singing about how she'd grabbed the lady's cookie. Mama ignored her awhile before telling her to put it back. The piece de resistance was when the girl came over to my booth and started singing and dancing to 'I have to go to the bathroom!' The dance was an attention-getting maneuver, not the sort of desperate dance of a child in need of help.  While the child may have correctly intuited that she was more likely to get my attention than her mother's, I still was not about to take a stranger's child to the bathroom, nor do I care to dine to that sort of stage show. After several choruses, she went back to her family's table, and did her song and dance. After a few repeats, the mother snapped, 'So GO!' The child was younger than I'd send to a bathroom by herself, but the mother sighed and groaned as she got up as if an elephant had sat on her, before taking the girls to the bathroom (which was out of line of sight of the mother, AND adjacent to the back door, which struck me as even more of a concern).
Is there a polite way to tell someone, 'Please keep your children with you, and entertain them yourself.'?

Should this not be posted in the "All in a Day's Work" category?

jaxsue

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Re: Today at lunch
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2013, 12:14:42 PM »
I had the misfortune to be seated in a booth next to a family whose adults were steadfastly ignoring the two little girls with them. The younger girl stood up in her booth, and hung over the back to stare at me as if she had never seen anyone eat before. Her older sister was up and dancing in the aisle. To my right, on the other side of the aisle, was another woman dining alone; in the booth next to hers, and across the aisle from the family was an empty booth. The older girl was jumping up and down on the bench in the empty booth, and chanting.  The other woman got up to go back to the buffet, and the girl grabbed the fortune cookie from her table, and danced around singing about how she'd grabbed the lady's cookie. Mama ignored her awhile before telling her to put it back. The piece de resistance was when the girl came over to my booth and started singing and dancing to 'I have to go to the bathroom!' The dance was an attention-getting maneuver, not the sort of desperate dance of a child in need of help.  While the child may have correctly intuited that she was more likely to get my attention than her mother's, I still was not about to take a stranger's child to the bathroom, nor do I care to dine to that sort of stage show. After several choruses, she went back to her family's table, and did her song and dance. After a few repeats, the mother snapped, 'So GO!' The child was younger than I'd send to a bathroom by herself, but the mother sighed and groaned as she got up as if an elephant had sat on her, before taking the girls to the bathroom (which was out of line of sight of the mother, AND adjacent to the back door, which struck me as even more of a concern).
Is there a polite way to tell someone, 'Please keep your children with you, and entertain them yourself.'?

Should this not be posted in the "All in a Day's Work" category?

I'm curious - why?

JenJay

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Re: Today at lunch
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2013, 12:36:16 PM »
I would have talked to management and ask to be moved to a different location in the restaurant.

Same here

jaxsue

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Re: Today at lunch
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2013, 12:40:26 PM »
I would have talked to management and ask to be moved to a different location in the restaurant.

Same here

Agreed.

joraemi

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Re: Today at lunch
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2013, 08:04:22 AM »
I would have talked to management and ask to be moved to a different location in the restaurant.

Same here

Agreed.

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oogyda

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Re: Today at lunch
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2013, 08:21:12 AM »
I had the misfortune to be seated in a booth next to a family whose adults were steadfastly ignoring the two little girls with them. The younger girl stood up in her booth, and hung over the back to stare at me as if she had never seen anyone eat before. Her older sister was up and dancing in the aisle. To my right, on the other side of the aisle, was another woman dining alone; in the booth next to hers, and across the aisle from the family was an empty booth. The older girl was jumping up and down on the bench in the empty booth, and chanting.  The other woman got up to go back to the buffet, and the girl grabbed the fortune cookie from her table, and danced around singing about how she'd grabbed the lady's cookie. Mama ignored her awhile before telling her to put it back. The piece de resistance was when the girl came over to my booth and started singing and dancing to 'I have to go to the bathroom!' The dance was an attention-getting maneuver, not the sort of desperate dance of a child in need of help.  While the child may have correctly intuited that she was more likely to get my attention than her mother's, I still was not about to take a stranger's child to the bathroom, nor do I care to dine to that sort of stage show. After several choruses, she went back to her family's table, and did her song and dance. After a few repeats, the mother snapped, 'So GO!' The child was younger than I'd send to a bathroom by herself, but the mother sighed and groaned as she got up as if an elephant had sat on her, before taking the girls to the bathroom (which was out of line of sight of the mother, AND adjacent to the back door, which struck me as even more of a concern).
Is there a polite way to tell someone, 'Please keep your children with you, and entertain them yourself.'?

Should this not be posted in the "All in a Day's Work" category?

I don't think so.  It happened in the course of normal, everyday life involving a family and lack of parenting. 
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 08:23:25 AM by oogyda »
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Aquamarine

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Re: Today at lunch
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2013, 06:55:59 PM »
The second this sort of nonsense starts up, get a manager and insist that they deal with the situation and/or that you be moved immediately.  Parents that are this clueless would probably not respond well to anything you could say to them.  If the manager does nothing, leave and write scathing reviews about the situation on every review website that you can.  Maybe they can be publicly shamed into taking action against people who are OK with letting their children run feral in public settings.

Everyone needs to complain and not tolerate being exposed to this type of behavior.  I have only dealt with this sort of thing one time and the family was asked to leave the restaurant because of complaints.

If you don't complain then expect nothing to change.
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

ladyknight1

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Re: Today at lunch
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2013, 07:27:11 PM »
I would ask to be moved. I have before, for lesser reasons.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Today at lunch
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2013, 10:21:08 AM »
The girl staring at me over the booth would not bother me, but I can see how others might find it unsettling.

When the child who was putting on a show came over to me with the "I have to go to the bathroom" song I would have said to her "Go back to your table and tell your mother/father/caregiver".  If that didn't resolve the situation I would have called a manager and asked to be moved and tell them why.

Eden

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Re: Today at lunch
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2013, 10:27:13 AM »
I usually address the child directly, "Please sit down and stop hanging over my booth. Please leave me alone. I'm eating." Etc. That usually grabs the parents' attention. If it didn't, I'd ask the parents to keep their children out of my booth. And if that didn't work, I'd go to a manager.