Author Topic: Please stop chewing on the bags of chips.  (Read 4969 times)

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Coley

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Please stop chewing on the bags of chips.
« on: August 19, 2013, 02:13:45 PM »
Yesterday, DH and I were at a sub sandwich shop (a large chain in the U.S.). At this restaurant, customers line up at the counter to order sandwiches and customize them with ingredients. In this particular location, there is a narrow shelf that runs the length of the counter to display single-serve bags of chips. The shelf is probably 5 bags of chips deep and about 8 feet long. On an adult, the shelf is at waist level. Customers pick up bags of chips as they go through the line and pay for their orders at the end of the counter.

When we were in line waiting to place our order, a man and a little girl (probably around 4 years old) were ahead of us. Their order was taking some time. The man was ahead of the little girl, so she was standing between him and me. At one point, I glanced down and noticed that the girl was chewing/licking/sucking on the corners of the bags of chips. I watched her move down the line and continue licking and chewing on the bags. I don't know when she started doing it, but she was about 5 feet down the counter by the time I saw her. For all I know, she may have had every front bag of chips in her mouth all the way down the line. Her dad was paying attention to the order, so he didn't see what she was doing. She had about 3 feet of bags ahead of her when her dad called her over to the register because she'd fallen behind in the line.

When I noticed her, I wasn't sure what do. I considered telling her to stop. "Please don't chew on the bags of chips. Other people will be using those." Then I considered telling her dad. "Excuse me, your daughter is chewing on the bags of chips." Either way, I would be interfering with a stranger's kid, and I felt uncomfortable with that.

In the end, I didn't do either of those things. When I got to the cash register, I told the two workers what the girl was doing. I figured if I told them, they could remove the front row of chips from the shelf. No matter what, they needed to know about it so they could get rid of those chips. The two workers were annoyed when I told them (not at me). Then one of them asked in rote fashion if we wanted to add chips to our order, and we all laughed at the irony. (No, we didn't get chips, but we didn't want them anyway!) I do hope the workers removed those bags of chips.

How would you have handled this?

Zizi-K

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Re: Please stop chewing on the bags of chips.
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2013, 02:18:28 PM »
I would have couched it in terms of danger to the child. "Honey, no stop! There could be germs on those! Yucky!" That way, the dad is alerted to what's happening and you also don't look like you're chastising another person's kid.

But I think that throwing away all those chips is OTT. Unless she punctured a bag, the contents are still fine.

Library Dragon

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Re: Please stop chewing on the bags of chips.
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2013, 02:19:49 PM »
Quote
"Please don't chew on the bags of chips. Other people will be using those."

I think this is fine.  It's polite and gives her an explanation. 

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Hmmmmm

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Re: Please stop chewing on the bags of chips.
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2013, 02:22:16 PM »
I would have couched it in terms of danger to the child. "Honey, no stop! There could be germs on those! Yucky!" That way, the dad is alerted to what's happening and you also don't look like you're chastising another person's kid.

But I think that throwing away all those chips is OTT. Unless she punctured a bag, the contents are still fine.
Exactly what I was thinking.

It's pretty easy to get away with correcting other's kids if you express it in terms of "protecting" a child.

Coley

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Re: Please stop chewing on the bags of chips.
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2013, 02:32:24 PM »
Just to add: I didn't suggest to the workers that they remove the bags of chips. That was their call. I just figured that's what they would do. When we were on our way out, they were removing the bags.

JoieGirl7

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Re: Please stop chewing on the bags of chips.
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2013, 02:33:55 PM »
"Excuse me sir, your little girl is putting her mouth on all the bags of chips."

It's not his attention you really need to have but others in line.  He is already not paying attention to his daughter.  Who lets a small child get that far behind him in line?  Not great parenting there.

I would do it more as a public service announcement to other customers who can then also bring it up to the cashiers.

Who cares if the little girl gets germs in her mouth?  What germs?  Maybe from the last kid that came through there doing the same thing?   ;)

Ugh, now I am going to think twice before ordering chips in that situation.  Of course that would be good for my diet...

*inviteseller

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Re: Please stop chewing on the bags of chips.
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2013, 02:44:25 PM »
I have said something when I see a kid put something in their mouths when I have been in line at the grocery store.  The parents are busy trying to pay and the little one has grabbed a pack of batteries or a candy bar and is gnawing away.  Usually I just say "Ewww, yucky, you don't want to eat that." with a smile and the parents take care of the rest.  I have never had a parent get mad (yet).

DottyG

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Re: Please stop chewing on the bags of chips.
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2013, 02:44:45 PM »
"Excuse me sir, your little girl is putting her mouth on all the bags of chips."

Just say this. I don't understand why speaking up and just saying something to people is always hesitated on. For goodness sakes, it's not a horrible thing to just direct someone's attention to a problem.

These types of situations are being made more complex than they actually are.


auntmeegs

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Re: Please stop chewing on the bags of chips.
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2013, 03:24:28 PM »
"Excuse me sir, your little girl is putting her mouth on all the bags of chips."

Just say this. I don't understand why speaking up and just saying something to people is always hesitated on. For goodness sakes, it's not a horrible thing to just direct someone's attention to a problem.

These types of situations are being made more complex than they actually are.

Total POD.  If someone has a problem with me addressing their child in a polite and friendly way, I really don't care and consider it their problem, not mine. 

Bijou

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Re: Please stop chewing on the bags of chips.
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2013, 10:30:00 PM »
I would have handled it the way you did.  You could have drawn it to the dad's attention since he wasn't aware of it, and as someone else suggested, couched it as a safety issue for the child (which it may well have been).
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Midnight Kitty

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Re: Please stop chewing on the bags of chips.
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2013, 10:40:18 PM »
I saw a small boy with dirty hands and a runny nose picking up the sourdough bread "bowls" in a grocery store.  The bread rounds are partially wrapped in paper because they are fresh baked in the store.  They aren't completely wrapped in plastic like a loaf of bread from a commercial bakery.

At first all I could think to say was "that's disgusting."  Then I told the bakery staff that the boy had handled almost every bread bowl/round on the bottom shelf.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that putting half-wrapped bread on the bottom shelf is pretty disgusting, too.  Now I don't buy bread bowls from that store at all.

The boy's mother didn't do anything to correct or stop him.  Nor did she respond to my comment.  In fact, the boy decided to throw a temper tantrum and laid on the floor (blocking the employees from entering and exiting the bakery/deli service area) kicking his feet and screaming.  At that point she walked off with the shopping cart, leaving the boy screaming on the floor and the employees looking bewildered.
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jane7166

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Re: Please stop chewing on the bags of chips.
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2013, 09:24:36 AM »
I saw a small boy with dirty hands and a runny nose picking up the sourdough bread "bowls" in a grocery store.  The bread rounds are partially wrapped in paper because they are fresh baked in the store.  They aren't completely wrapped in plastic like a loaf of bread from a commercial bakery.

At first all I could think to say was "that's disgusting."  Then I told the bakery staff that the boy had handled almost every bread bowl/round on the bottom shelf.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that putting half-wrapped bread on the bottom shelf is pretty disgusting, too.  Now I don't buy bread bowls from that store at all.

The boy's mother didn't do anything to correct or stop him.  Nor did she respond to my comment.  In fact, the boy decided to throw a temper tantrum and laid on the floor (blocking the employees from entering and exiting the bakery/deli service area) kicking his feet and screaming.  At that point she walked off with the shopping cart, leaving the boy screaming on the floor and the employees looking bewildered.

Wow.  I know that you are supposed to ignore a tantrum but Mom's response is beyond the pale.  Evil Jane wants to respond by picking up the child, carrying him back to Mom, depositing him in her cart and saying, "I think you dropped something." 

Zizi-K

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Re: Please stop chewing on the bags of chips.
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2013, 10:53:05 AM »
I saw a small boy with dirty hands and a runny nose picking up the sourdough bread "bowls" in a grocery store.  The bread rounds are partially wrapped in paper because they are fresh baked in the store.  They aren't completely wrapped in plastic like a loaf of bread from a commercial bakery.

At first all I could think to say was "that's disgusting."  Then I told the bakery staff that the boy had handled almost every bread bowl/round on the bottom shelf.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that putting half-wrapped bread on the bottom shelf is pretty disgusting, too.  Now I don't buy bread bowls from that store at all.

The boy's mother didn't do anything to correct or stop him.  Nor did she respond to my comment.  In fact, the boy decided to throw a temper tantrum and laid on the floor (blocking the employees from entering and exiting the bakery/deli service area) kicking his feet and screaming.  At that point she walked off with the shopping cart, leaving the boy screaming on the floor and the employees looking bewildered.

The woman was either a SS-extreme edition, or an exhausted mom and her wit's end...I would guess the latter.

The Wild One, Forever

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Re: Please stop chewing on the bags of chips.
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2013, 11:16:18 AM »
I saw a small boy with dirty hands and a runny nose picking up the sourdough bread "bowls" in a grocery store.  The bread rounds are partially wrapped in paper because they are fresh baked in the store.  They aren't completely wrapped in plastic like a loaf of bread from a commercial bakery.

At first all I could think to say was "that's disgusting."  Then I told the bakery staff that the boy had handled almost every bread bowl/round on the bottom shelf.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that putting half-wrapped bread on the bottom shelf is pretty disgusting, too.  Now I don't buy bread bowls from that store at all.

The boy's mother didn't do anything to correct or stop him.  Nor did she respond to my comment.  In fact, the boy decided to throw a temper tantrum and laid on the floor (blocking the employees from entering and exiting the bakery/deli service area) kicking his feet and screaming.  At that point she walked off with the shopping cart, leaving the boy screaming on the floor and the employees looking bewildered.

The woman was either a SS-extreme edition, or an exhausted mom and her wit's end...I would guess the latter.

Exhausted mom or not, that was some pretty awful parenting.  It put her child in the way of the employees, which is inconvenient for them & potentially dangerous for the little boy.

I agree with Audrey Quest, that simply informing the dad would have been OK.  I dislike confrontation with a passion, but sometimes, you have to say something.  This is definitely one of those times.
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rose red

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Re: Please stop chewing on the bags of chips.
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2013, 11:41:37 AM »
HA!  And my friends/family make fun of me for always picking merchandise from the middle or back of the shelf.  I'm going to show them this thread.