Author Topic: Correct action or Over reaction?  (Read 15021 times)

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citadelle

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Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #45 on: June 24, 2013, 02:07:20 PM »
While you may have over-reacted, I think you had the right idea to reprimand him. He was an adult, in a vehicle (one which likely does not have any windows), which has pulled over to the side of the road, and he is calling out to a small child about whether the child would like to have <insert special treat>. This is exactly the scenario that parents teach their children to avoid, and to find their parent or an adult if it happens to them. It's one of the few potential child endangerment scenarios that actually happens to real kids in real life (we had an incident here not so long ago.) So even though he is just doing his job,  he's unwittingly doing the one thing that parents panic about.

In this case, I would be contacting the ice cream company and expressing all of the above. Not to get him into trouble, but to make them aware that their employees are doing this.

Except in the scenario, I assume that the potential perp is not actually a known entity doing a legitimate job!

Audrey Quest said:

Arguing about how something is described just because you don't like it (not that it was inaccurate and led the story astray) makes the discussion about the disccusion instead of about the topic.


Except the description presumably was part of the reason OP reacted the way she did, and is therefore part of the topic.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 02:09:31 PM by citadelle »

zainabzks

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Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #46 on: June 24, 2013, 02:12:28 PM »
Your only real fault was to "stereotype" the drivers. Calling one a pothead isn't a good description. ;) his body language may be the reason you felt this way.
I don't think you overreacted. Anyone in their right mind does not ask a child standing alone for ice cream. If yiur daughter had said yes, he may have asked her to get one.
Gavin deBecker always said to trust the inner hinky meter. It keeps you and your family safe.

Personally, I would have given him a cold no with eye contact. My body language would be aggressive so he'd know I am not afraid.

An adult knows not to talk to an unattended child especially one who sells ice cream.


Curious Cat

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Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #47 on: June 24, 2013, 02:18:25 PM »
Your only real fault was to "stereotype" the drivers. Calling one a pothead isn't a good description. ;) his body language may be the reason you felt this way.
I don't think you overreacted. Anyone in their right mind does not ask a child standing alone for ice cream. If yiur daughter had said yes, he may have asked her to get one.
Gavin deBecker always said to trust the inner hinky meter. It keeps you and your family safe.

Personally, I would have given him a cold no with eye contact. My body language would be aggressive so he'd know I am not afraid.

An adult knows not to talk to an unattended child especially one who sells ice cream.

Except he's selling ice cream right? Makes more sense to call through the window to see if she's interested (if she's the only kid in sight) than it does to stop for a couple of minutes.   Time is money if there is no one in this particular neighborhood that wants it he can spend more time in areas with a higher demand.  Now if the OP had said - there is a super sketchy "ice cream" guy that comes by every day but I've never seen him sell even a single cone then I could understand her reaction but honestly this was a bit much.

*inviteseller

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Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #48 on: June 24, 2013, 02:21:49 PM »
Again, even if he was clean cut, I would have been creeped out about him yelling to my DD.  Maybe I should have immediately said from the get go that the majority of the neighborhood (lower middle class) avoids this truck because it is so beat up and the guys are so filthy looking.  And I do know he doesn't solicit the other kids..I am out with DD all the time and he just drives on by.  He has never slowed down when I am out there, he has never solicited older DD.  It just seemed 'off' that he suddenly decided that day, and to my child, that he was going to try a new selling technique.  The other ice cream guy we used to have would just drive slowly and stop if someone waved them down. 

And I agree..he could be the nicest guy in the world, but when you start yelling to an unattended child, asking if they want ice cream, then you set yourself up for questions of your integrity.  Even when I was a kid in the stone age, my dad, who is not an alarmist, told us never go up to a stranger who is asking if you want candy or to see a puppy, so this guy might get himself in trouble for his selling technique. 

JoieGirl7

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Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #49 on: June 24, 2013, 02:23:05 PM »
Someone looking like a pot head is a good reason to not want them trying to sell ice cream to your child, especially in an aggressive manner.

How people dress is part of etiquette.  It communicates to other people how serious we are about what we are doing.  If you are going into the community to sell ice cream, you should be clean and well put together.

The fact that someone is not should be a key factor in determining what they are up to!


NyaChan

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Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #50 on: June 24, 2013, 02:25:51 PM »
For my part, the situation was not so dire that the extent of your reaction was justified.  I'm not saying smile or be nice to the guy - you don't like what he did and you don't want him to do it again.  There are polite and firm ways of saying that.  Instead you jumped to a level of reprimand that was simply too high for the perceived infraction.

ETA:  I say perceived because it seems there is a split between some who consider what he did inappropriate and those who don't.  Even if it wasn't inappropriate to others, you get the final say on how people approach your child - but I still think you have to be polite.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 02:28:20 PM by NyaChan »

Allyson

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Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #51 on: June 24, 2013, 02:26:21 PM »
It would never occur to me that this is a situation that was *dangerous*. Annoying? Sure, all kinds of sales people can be annoying. But to jump from 'he's selling ice cream' to 'he wants to do something nefarious' based on that is just not a leap that seems reasonable to me--isn't it more reasonable to assume he's doing his job, if badly?

And, even if he did seem creepy, why yell at him rather than just say no and leave? It's not like that was the only way you could convey 'no ice cream for us'. I would hate to feel like someone could justifably shout at me just because I set off their 'hinky meter'. Sure, being creeped out is absolutely a reason to keep yourself safe and get out of the situation, but I don't think it makes it ok to treat someone like that.

Eden

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Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #52 on: June 24, 2013, 02:29:31 PM »
I have no problem with the OP's opinion of how the drivers should dress or that she doesn't want her daughter buying ice cream from him. I also think it's legitimate to warn DD not to approach a vehicle, even the ice cream truck, without Mom with her. What I do take issue with is the assumption that the driver was dangerous BECAUSE of how he dressed and the fact that the OP told the poor guy never to stop near her house again when he was just doing his job. One would assume if he never gets business there he will just no longer stop there. Again, this is someone OP has seen in the neighborhood many times. She may not have seen him specifically call out to any other children, but that doesn't mean he hasn't.

TurtleDove

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Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #53 on: June 24, 2013, 02:30:49 PM »
If the ice cream seller had been a poorly dressed and dirty woman, would it have bothered the OP as much?  I am a strong believer that how we present ourselves is important, but for some reason the OP's descriptions throughout this thread get my hackles up. I feel sorry for the ice cream truck driver!

hobish

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Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #54 on: June 24, 2013, 02:34:53 PM »

Total overreaction.
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*inviteseller

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Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #55 on: June 24, 2013, 02:43:49 PM »
Actually TurtleDove, a few years ago, I did have to tell a woman in the neighborhood to leave my DD alone.  She was in her early 30's but for some reason, she kept wanting to get buddy buddy with DD and 2 other little girls.  She would always offer to show them her pet rats and take them to the playground.  I had to step in when DD was getting flustered because every time she went out to play (she was 11) the woman had to come over.  I did try to talk with the woman to get a feel for why she wanted young girls as friends,  but she was evasive and strange, so I finally did tell her to please leave my DD alone (as did the other mom because she was getting frustrated by the attention). 

Again, I did not run, yell, or cuss at the man, but was very sharp in my tone because I see no reason for a man who, yes I do see everyday in the neighborhood, to suddenly stop and ask my DD, who was on a partially secluded porch at least 30 feet back from the road, if she wanted ice cream.  I will concede to the majority that I over reacted, but it just seemed weird.

Sharnita

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Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #56 on: June 24, 2013, 02:47:10 PM »
I also think telling him not to stop near your house again is overreaching. You can tell him not to stop at your house  (tell as opposed to uell) but near? What does that even mean? How far way should he be before he risks stopping? How does he know where it is safe?

JoieGirl7

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Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #57 on: June 24, 2013, 02:51:13 PM »
I also think telling him not to stop near your house again is overreaching. You can tell him not to stop at your house  (tell as opposed to uell) but near? What does that even mean? How far way should he be before he risks stopping? How does he know where it is safe?

I think he knows exactly what she means.

camlan

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Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #58 on: June 24, 2013, 02:52:22 PM »
I think the OP was the one who was there and heard the driver. She's been in the neighborhood and knows the driver's usual behavior. If the OP felt there was reason for concern, then I accept that there was reason for concern.

But the manner in which the OP addressed the driver was an over-reaction. It is possible to tell someone to stay away from your child and not to address the child in the future without yelling.

And there is always the possibility that the driver was making a perfectly harmless sales pitch to one of his target customers--so I'd try to handle addressing the matter in a polite way, just in case I was wrong.

If it happened a second time, I'd be contacting the ice cream company.
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WillyNilly

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Re: Correct action or Over reaction?
« Reply #59 on: June 24, 2013, 02:52:51 PM »
...And I agree..he could be the nicest guy in the world, but when you start yelling to an unattended child, asking if they want ice cream, then you set yourself up for questions of your integrity...

I don't understand how a child standing on an enclosed porch of a private house is considered "unattended" - the logical assumption is the parent is nearby just out of sight - perhaps they are sitting on a low chair, not visible on the street, or are directly inside the house separated from the child by 10 feet and a screen door, or perhaps the parents is just behind the bushes - near the kid but not visible (which was in fact the case). And even if she was "unattended" that would be your irresponsibility issue, not the ice cream truck driver's.

...but if I am going to hire people to vend food to children, I might tell them to shower and wear clean clothes (not saying designer..I am queen of thrift but clean!)...

I'm not sure why you assume these people were "hired" by anyone other them themselves. Many times people simply buy a truck and a vendor's license and some wholesale ice cream and start driving. Even major brands like Mr Softee are franchises, and the company itself touts there is no training involved in becoming a franchise owner.


Overall I think you were quite rude to speak sharply at him over what was absolutely an innocent and to be expected question from an ice cream truck driver to a child. You just as easily could have called out "no she does not" while stepping into view.