General Etiquette > Family and Children

Pushy or appropriate?

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Knitterly:
Today was the Bricktober (lego) promotion at a well-known toy store. 

We went last year with Little Knit and got her the Duplo set that they were giving out.  This year, they were only doing one small lego set - geared at boys, with no duplo option.

That was fine, as Little Knit plays with small lego now, too (always supervised), and I don't care about gender segregation in toys.  She likes boys toys as much as "girl" toys.

Last year, the tables were set up such that every kid could walk around the tables, collect their pieces, then sit down at a separate table to put them together.  This year, there were only 2 tables.  It was arranged so that the kids were grabbing their pieces and putting them together at the table.  It was pure chaos and VERY badly arranged. 

Little Knit is a pretty big lego fan, in spite of being ostensibly "too young" for it.  It was not arranged in a way that she could participate.  I asked the organizer if I could collect her pieces in a bag and so she could put them together at home.  He gave me a bag and the instruction sheet and sent me to the table.

The table was very crowded with about 2 dozen 5-10 year old boys.  I found two nice short kids whom I could easily reach over/through without getting in their way and began to collect my pieces.  The father of one of the kids there gave me a really dirty look and told me I wasn't allowed to collect the pieces, that it had to be put together at the table.  I responded that the organizer had said it was okay and that this really wasn't an ideal setup for smaller children.  I continued collecting my pieces.

Another little boy shoved his way through the crowd and wanted to stand where I was standing.  A woman I presume was his mother told me I needed to let the kids be at the table.  I smiled and told her I was almost done, I just needed 13 small yellow pieces and then I'd be gone.

My question is:
If Little Knit was not capable of putting the pieces together then and there, do you think it was rude to collect them for her so she could do it later?  The father who called me out on collecting the lego pieces certainly seemed to feel she was too young and that I was therefore being rude by taking up space.

I was careful to pick a spot where I could reach over the smaller kids rather than a spot right at the table.  But I wonder if even that was rude.

I got to leave with my little baggie of lego for Little Knit, but I also walked away feeling kind of weird about it.

Do you think it would be out of line to send a note to the business and suggest they set up differently next year?  Last year's Bricktober was smooth and well-run.  They were in a nice, open section of the store.  They had enough tables to accomodate plenty of kids.  There was a clear line to pick your piece and put it together.
This year, it was pure chaos.  There was lots of whining, crying, and generally angry/annoyed parents and children.  It was a stressful situation.  Some older kids thought the younger kids were taking too long.  Some younger kids were crying because the older kids were pushing them out of the way.

I should note:  By taking the pieces needed for Little Knit, I was not preventing other kids from having a finished product.  They had boxes upon boxes of the necessary pieces - Apparently they plan for 2 or 300 sets.
I should also note, the official start time was listed as 11:00am.  We arrived at 10:45am to find it in full swing.  We tried to get there early specifically so that we could get in and out before chaos hit.  Apparently several dozen others thought the same thing.

TootsNYC:
You were completely fine--because you checked with the organizers.

The other parents weren't that out of line, mostly because they didn't know.
(though the "let the children get to the table" thing would be better handled by saying to one's kid, "You'll need a wait a minute," and checking to see if you'd be done soon)

And you would be completely IN line to write to the store and say, "I was disappointed, my child is a loyal Lego fan, we spend money in your store, and we were not made to feel comfortable. I know it can be done, because you did it last year."
    Maybe even say, "For your 'what to do next year' files, here are my observations of what worked well last year:"

Promise:
I don't think you intended any pushiness, but in the end, it probably wasn't appropriate. It seems that the point was for your daughter to get a free toy and you would take her place at a child's table to get it. I get that last year it was organized better and had an appropriate place for younger children and that they didn't this year. I think in retrospect, if you see that it's not appropriate for child to participate because of the set-up, you leave without you getting the toy or ask the "worker" to get it for you since the other parents will assume you are behaving in a way that causes their eyebrows to raise.

greencat:
Hmm...I'd probably have given you the stink eye in the same situation.  It probably came across more as you, the parent, wanted the Legos for yourself, and were using your (apparently) too-young-for-Legos daughter as a means to get them. 

I think that "I'm sorry, there's not enough space here for my daughter to safely put hers together.  I wish they had more tables like they did last year!"and "I'm just getting my daughter's pieces so your son can have a spot, instead of waiting on her!" might have eased the other parents' ire a bit more.  Of course, those are "l'esprit d'escalier," rather than things that most people would have come up with on the spot.

Err, in other words, what you were doing wasn't actually rude, but definitely looked rude to other people.

I would certainly offer feedback to the store management about the organization of the event.  Allowing people to begin prior to the scheduled start time and the very limited space offered both adversely affected your customer experience.

cicero:

--- Quote from: greencat on October 26, 2013, 01:23:28 PM ---
Err, in other words, what you were doing wasn't actually rude, but definitely looked rude to other people.

I would certainly offer feedback to the store management about the organization of the event.  Allowing people to begin prior to the scheduled start time and the very limited space offered both adversely affected your customer experience.

--- End quote ---
that's what i think.

and yes, let the organizors know that it was Chaos - obviously they *know* how to do it better, because they did it better last time.

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