Author Topic: Teaching moment?  (Read 8207 times)

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bah12

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #75 on: December 12, 2013, 02:03:21 PM »
Again, the OP said the whole transaction took around five minutes.  To me, that's about the average time that most transactions take without also teaching someone at the same time.  It wasn't five extra minutes...it was maybe two.  And I don't think it sends a very good message to a child to say "Oh, I was in the middle of teaching you/letting you do something, but I have to stop now because someone is behind us and you're inability to automatically know these things is a burden to everyone else."  Instead, I think it's totally appropriate to say, "Look, there's someone behind us, so let's try to do this as quickly as is possible because someone is waiting. Do you want more help?"  It doesn't mean stop.  The lesson isn't "you're a kid and your needs are always secondary"...it's "you're a person and you have the right to take your turn, but also need to be cognizant."  In five minutes, I say that mom was pretty darn efficient.

I'm sorry, but the fact that anyone leaves themselves a five minute buffer to get to work is not the problem of anyone else.  You need to be better at managing your time.  A million things could happen that would take up that extra five minutes.  I work, I have a child, I have after-work responsibilities.  Trust me, I understand cramming as much stuff into a short amount of time as possible.  My busy life and the times that I don't manage the time I do have properly isn't the problem of anyone else.  It doesn't mean that others have to walk at a brisk pace because they CAN, when their normal pace is totally reasonable (just to save me three minutes of not having to slow down and get aroun them).  It doesn't mean that someone in line in front of me can't ask a question because it adds 60 seconds to the transaction that kills my timeline. And it doesn't mean that mom can't help her kid count out change and take two extra minutes. 

And again, if you're on crutches and I'm in line in front of you I might be nice and offer you the place in front of me (maybe), but if I'm already doing my transaction in what is considered a very reasonable time, I'm not going to stop everything that I'm doing to accommodate you.  It's neither required nor is it a reasonable expectation. 

What if the child was an elderly person or someone that needed rehabilitation?  A friend of my husband did this with his wife who had a stroke.  He would take her out and re-teach her all the things she needed to know.  I'm sure there was a situation where he had to help her count out change at a store.  Is it ok then? Is it only unacceptable because it's a child?


perpetua

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #76 on: December 12, 2013, 02:11:33 PM »


What if the child was an elderly person or someone that needed rehabilitation?  A friend of my husband did this with his wife who had a stroke.  He would take her out and re-teach her all the things she needed to know.  I'm sure there was a situation where he had to help her count out change at a store.  Is it ok then? Is it only unacceptable because it's a child?

But the mother in the OP wasn't helping her child to count out change. She was *teaching* her child the value of each coin before she even *got* to the counting out change part. That's what people are objecting to. That needs to be done at home, not in a line when you're holding everyone else up. If a child (or whoever) doesn't know the value of coins, they aren't ready to count out change in a line.

I don't think anyone's objecting to a child counting out change.

bah12

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #77 on: December 12, 2013, 02:33:32 PM »


What if the child was an elderly person or someone that needed rehabilitation?  A friend of my husband did this with his wife who had a stroke.  He would take her out and re-teach her all the things she needed to know.  I'm sure there was a situation where he had to help her count out change at a store.  Is it ok then? Is it only unacceptable because it's a child?

But the mother in the OP wasn't helping her child to count out change. She was *teaching* her child the value of each coin before she even *got* to the counting out change part. That's what people are objecting to. That needs to be done at home, not in a line when you're holding everyone else up. If a child (or whoever) doesn't know the value of coins, they aren't ready to count out change in a line.

I don't think anyone's objecting to a child counting out change.

Well, if she did it in less than two minutes, then likely that lesson had already been taught at home.  And it doesn't really answer the question you quoted.  That same lesson could have to be taught to an adult as well.  Is there a difference?  I say there isn't, but when it comes to some people and their view of children, there always seems to be.

whatsanenigma

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #78 on: December 12, 2013, 02:36:27 PM »


What if the child was an elderly person or someone that needed rehabilitation?  A friend of my husband did this with his wife who had a stroke.  He would take her out and re-teach her all the things she needed to know.  I'm sure there was a situation where he had to help her count out change at a store.  Is it ok then? Is it only unacceptable because it's a child?

But the mother in the OP wasn't helping her child to count out change. She was *teaching* her child the value of each coin before she even *got* to the counting out change part. That's what people are objecting to. That needs to be done at home, not in a line when you're holding everyone else up. If a child (or whoever) doesn't know the value of coins, they aren't ready to count out change in a line.

I don't think anyone's objecting to a child counting out change.

Well, if she did it in less than two minutes, then likely that lesson had already been taught at home.  And it doesn't really answer the question you quoted.  That same lesson could have to be taught to an adult as well.  Is there a difference?  I say there isn't, but when it comes to some people and their view of children, there always seems to be.

I would like to think that if I personally needed rehabilitation of some kind that I would be mortified beyond words if someone insisted on doing it when it was obviously inconveniencing others.

Amanita

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #79 on: December 12, 2013, 02:37:23 PM »
But that's the thing.  It's really not my problem that you didn't budget enough time to buy groceries before work.  I could further add that perhaps buying groceries before work is not the best time to do that, and perhaps you should be buying groceries on your day off when you don't have time constraints.  Maybe you should plan an extra 10 minutes just in case you get stuck behind the coupon lady.  The fact that you are now running late is not my problem.  The woman helping her child was not unreasonable and was no more unreasonable than the extra time the coupon lady was taking.

Were you aiming this at me? In my case, I don't do a whole load of shopping, just something for my mid shift meal (Fresh food, no frozen, and not the kind of thing that could be bought in bulk and frozen for later),
and no I do NOT always have time to do those things on my off days. I'm a non driver in an area with transit service that's useless to anyone other than 9-5 office workers, and the nearest grocery store is not within reasonable walking distance. So I need a ride to the grocery store, but that doesn't always happen, due to scheduling conflicts and other issues. So it's usually buying my lunch before shift starts, which is NO more unreasonable than "normal" office workers buying their coffee and bagel on the way to work. And getting there earlier? I try, but this being the real world, it doesn't always work out. Traffic snarls and other things happen sometimes.

Buy a bunch of things in advance and make up lunches? Not always an option either, thanks to very limited fridge space, and other people working in the kitchen, who really don't want me in "their" space when they're doing something. (That, and I can't make sushi at home)

If you were ahead of me, holding up the line by explaining to your child what pennies, nickles, and dimes were, and how much each one was worth, while the child slowly did the math, all the while blocking the checkout lane so myself and anyone else behind me was now stuck waiting for your teachable moment to finish, then yes, I would politely say something. Perhaps "Excuse me, but I need to get back to work- could you step aside and let me check out, please?"
And yes, I did almost get stuck behind Miss Gift Card one night. As soon as I saw how many of the things she had, I hoofed it to another checkout, figuring a couple of college students with loaves of bread would be much faster. I was right.

Sorry, but it really frosts my asphalt when people who know nothing about my circumstances try to lecture me about how I should order my life.

EllenS

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #80 on: December 12, 2013, 02:46:39 PM »
I don't think anyone's personal circumstances matter to the essential question, which I see as:

How much extra (or nonessential) time is it appropriate to spend over a public task, when someone else is waiting?

Even if the mom was just chatting with the clerk, and it added only 2 minutes to the transaction, and there was only 1 other person in the shop, I don't think that's unreasonable. Especially since it was apparent that they were moving through the process to an end point, and not just standing there.  Etiquette does not require that everyone do every public task in the fastest possible way without any pause for human interaction.

Being slightly inconvenient to other people by conducting your ordinary life is not necessarily rude, in and of itself.  Everyone is entitled to a reasonable turn, and I think 5 minutes for a shop transaction is well within the realm of "reasonable."

Amanita

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #81 on: December 12, 2013, 02:52:23 PM »
Mom chatting with the clerk could still be done so that while they're catching up, the clerk can check somebody else out. Or if there's only one person behind, Mom could step aside and hold the chat, allowing the person behind them to get checked out, then resume her chat. Or the mom in the OP could have stepped aside to continue her lesson, and allowed the person behind her to get checked out in timely fashion.

m2kbug

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #82 on: December 12, 2013, 02:53:56 PM »
Were you aiming this at me?

No.  I was using your example as my own example, but "you" could be considered general.  Sorry for not clarifying. :) 

Hmmmmm

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #83 on: December 12, 2013, 02:56:36 PM »
Again, the OP said the whole transaction took around five minutes.  To me, that's about the average time that most transactions take without also teaching someone at the same time.  It wasn't five extra minutes...it was maybe two.  And I don't think it sends a very good message to a child to say "Oh, I was in the middle of teaching you/letting you do something, but I have to stop now because someone is behind us and you're inability to automatically know these things is a burden to everyone else."  Instead, I think it's totally appropriate to say, "Look, there's someone behind us, so let's try to do this as quickly as is possible because someone is waiting. Do you want more help?"  It doesn't mean stop.  The lesson isn't "you're a kid and your needs are always secondary"...it's "you're a person and you have the right to take your turn, but also need to be cognizant."  In five minutes, I say that mom was pretty darn efficient.
snip

I think you're reading the posts differently than I am. To me it sounded as if the lesson caused their transaction to take an additional 5 minutes over what it would have been if the mom had halted the lesson. In her second post she mentions the mom went back to explaining the coins they received back as change. So to me, when the change is received back, the transaction should be over and the mom needed to move out of the way. Spending additional time discussing each coin and it's value with the child could have waited for another time. It was inconsiderate of the mom to make the OP wait and to make the cashier a captured audience.

edited to fix typo
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 03:07:02 PM by Hmmmmm »

EllenS

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #84 on: December 12, 2013, 02:59:05 PM »
Mom chatting with the clerk could still be done so that while they're catching up, the clerk can check somebody else out. Or if there's only one person behind, Mom could step aside and hold the chat, allowing the person behind them to get checked out, then resume her chat. Or the mom in the OP could have stepped aside to continue her lesson, and allowed the person behind her to get checked out in timely fashion.

Yes, could have.  They could also install a bank of self-checkouts with card swipers, or those key fob things so that you don't even have to come to a complete stop while walking.

However, these things are not required by etiquette.  I understand why this was annoying/frustrating, but I just don't think it was rude.

Many people are inadvertently annoying to others, for a myrad of reasons.  That does not mean they were rude.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #85 on: December 12, 2013, 03:10:21 PM »
Mom chatting with the clerk could still be done so that while they're catching up, the clerk can check somebody else out. Or if there's only one person behind, Mom could step aside and hold the chat, allowing the person behind them to get checked out, then resume her chat. Or the mom in the OP could have stepped aside to continue her lesson, and allowed the person behind her to get checked out in timely fashion.

Yes, could have.  They could also install a bank of self-checkouts with card swipers, or those key fob things so that you don't even have to come to a complete stop while walking.

However, these things are not required by etiquette.  I understand why this was annoying/frustrating, but I just don't think it was rude.

Many people are inadvertently annoying to others, for a myrad of reasons.  That does not mean they were rude.

Using items for purposes other than they are intended and that causing an inconvenience for others is rude.

A check out lane is for use by the store to check out customers. Not to be used as a classroom. Teach your kid what a penny looks like and what it's worth at home.

But I'd be fine with handing a child who already knew each coin and the value of each a handfull of change and having them count out correct change. They are just doing it slower than I would be.

Amanita

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #86 on: December 12, 2013, 03:11:05 PM »


I think you're the posts differently than I am. To me it sounded as if the lesson caused their transaction to take an additional 5 minutes over what it would have been if the mom had halted the lesson. In her second post she mentions the mom went back to explaining the coins they received back as change. So to me, when the change is received back, the transaction should be over and the mom needed to move out of the way. Spending additional time discussing each coin and it's value with the child could have waited for another time. It was inconsiderate of the mom to make the OP wait and to make the cashier a captured audience.

I agree with this. Discussing each coin and its value is perhaps something better introduced at home, when there's lots of time and nobody waiting behind you.
Once the basics have been taught at home and the child has a grasp on things, then they're ready to try things at the store, "like a grown up".

esposita

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #87 on: December 12, 2013, 03:22:50 PM »
I'm in agreement with Ellen.

I don't think we really get to decide how others teach their kids.

Since we're very keen on theoretical scenarios, lets give one to the mom. Single mother, works two jobs, picks up daughter for lunch, and spends some time teaching her about monetary value before taking her back to day care/preschool for the rest of the day. Then the mom picks her up at the end of her first shift, takes her right to grandma's for a quick dinner and says goodnight before rushing off to stock shelves during the midnight shift.

Just as we don't know if someone in poor health might be in line behind her, we don't know this mother's story. She might not have time at home with her kid. Far-fetched, but just as possible as any of the other possibilities we have given to the theoretical people she might be inconveniencing.

NutellaNut

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #88 on: December 12, 2013, 03:34:59 PM »
Again, the OP said the whole transaction took around five minutes.  To me, that's about the average time that most transactions take without also teaching someone at the same time.  It wasn't five extra minutes...it was maybe two.  And I don't think it sends a very good message to a child to say "Oh, I was in the middle of teaching you/letting you do something, but I have to stop now because someone is behind us and you're inability to automatically know these things is a burden to everyone else."  Instead, I think it's totally appropriate to say, "Look, there's someone behind us, so let's try to do this as quickly as is possible because someone is waiting. Do you want more help?"  It doesn't mean stop.  The lesson isn't "you're a kid and your needs are always secondary"...it's "you're a person and you have the right to take your turn, but also need to be cognizant."  In five minutes, I say that mom was pretty darn efficient.
snip

I think you're reading the posts differently than I am. To me it sounded as if the lesson caused their transaction to take an additional 5 minutes over what it would have been if the mom had halted the lesson. In her second post she mentions the mom went back to explaining the coins they received back as change. So to me, when the change is received back, the transaction should be over and the mom needed to move out of the way. Spending additional time discussing each coin and it's value with the child could have waited for another time. It was inconsiderate of the mom to make the OP wait and to make the cashier a captured audience.

edited to fix typo

I agree.  The OP's original post says, "... the mother was teaching her child how to count change and differentiate between coins, etc.  After about a minute of this..." and then, "she then went back to her "change lesson" and took her time finishing.  This went on for a few minutes longer."  I read this to mean that what took more than 5 minutes (per the OP's next post) was the change lesson, counting, etc. 

Just for silliness and information, I just now timed myself making change.  I picked a random number out of the air, opened my purse and took out the right change.  It took 40 seconds, and that included finding $2 in quarters in two different sections of my purse.  I don't think the average payment/change exchange at a cashier is likely to take more than 2 minutes, if that.  So a lesson that takes more than 5 minutes is tripling the time spent.

Of course it's not a high crime, but it does seem inconsiderate.  It's not the same as an adult who might take a little longer because their hands don't work well or some other reason.  Of course it's reasonable for those people to take the time they need, because, well, they actually need it. The change lesson - as described - didn't have to happen there in the store.  Some of my fondest memories of early childhood are playing store with my Nana, who drew up dozens of pretend packages of food items to make up my "store."  I practiced reading the food names and prices, adding up prices, counting out money, receiving change, and I felt so confident when I eventually went to a real store!

I wonder, if the mother had been having the child haltingly read off candy bar names or some other "teaching moment," for five extra minutes in the checkout, would that change anyone's answer?  Is it just that some feel people can take longer than usual, for any reason, and everyone should be OK with it?  Is there a line where it crosses into being inconsiderate of those behind you? 

luvmyboys

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #89 on: December 12, 2013, 03:49:09 PM »
I'm in the camp of the mother was rude (and a SS teaching her kid to be a SS).  Pointing out that someone is waiting and then continuing was like saying "the heck with her" 
I am a mother and wouldn't dream of teaching my kids about money while holding up a line.  Sheesh.  I will admit to being an impatient NYer but don't mind accommodating someone who needs it.  I DO mind accommodating someone who doesn't.