Author Topic: Teaching moment?  (Read 8229 times)

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EllenS

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #90 on: December 12, 2013, 04:01:21 PM »
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?

Yes, I do think there is a point at which it is excessive - which is why terms like "reasonable" and "necessary" have so many different opinions.

IMO, a 5-minute transaction is reasonable and not excessive, when there is only one other person in the store.  If it were not really 5 minutes, or other circumstances being different, my opinion would probably change.

I would also like to POD a post a couple of pages back, where someone said that it would be perfectly polite for OP to (cheerfully, not snippily) ask to go through.  I completely agree with this, and my feeling is that the mom's acknowledgement of OP behind her may have been her giving OP an "opening" to interrupt.

perpetua

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #91 on: December 12, 2013, 04:08:10 PM »
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?

Yes, I do think there is a point at which it is excessive - which is why terms like "reasonable" and "necessary" have so many different opinions.

IMO, a 5-minute transaction is reasonable and not excessive, when there is only one other person in the store.  If it were not really 5 minutes, or other circumstances being different, my opinion would probably change.

I would also like to POD a post a couple of pages back, where someone said that it would be perfectly polite for OP to (cheerfully, not snippily) ask to go through.  I completely agree with this, and my feeling is that the mom's acknowledgement of OP behind her may have been her giving OP an "opening" to interrupt.

I think that depends on the transaction.

A five minute transaction in the bank or the postoffice or in the supermarket while buying a largeish amount of stuff? Reasonable, because that's how long it would normally take.

A thirty second transaction like buying a bar of chocolate that turns into five minutes because you want to give your kid a lesson about coins while other people wait behind you? Unreasonable and inconsiderate.

Teenyweeny

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #92 on: December 12, 2013, 06:20:10 PM »
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?

Yes, I do think there is a point at which it is excessive - which is why terms like "reasonable" and "necessary" have so many different opinions.

IMO, a 5-minute transaction is reasonable and not excessive, when there is only one other person in the store.  If it were not really 5 minutes, or other circumstances being different, my opinion would probably change.

I would also like to POD a post a couple of pages back, where someone said that it would be perfectly polite for OP to (cheerfully, not snippily) ask to go through.  I completely agree with this, and my feeling is that the mom's acknowledgement of OP behind her may have been her giving OP an "opening" to interrupt.

I think that depends on the transaction.

A five minute transaction in the bank or the postoffice or in the supermarket while buying a largeish amount of stuff? Reasonable, because that's how long it would normally take.

A thirty second transaction like buying a bar of chocolate that turns into five minutes because you want to give your kid a lesson about coins while other people wait behind you? Unreasonable and inconsiderate.

I think that's a good point. If somebody has a huge trolley, they'll take ages. Chatting and whatever else doesn't make a huge difference. But if somebody takes ten minutes to buy a chocolate bar because they're faffing about teaching wee Jimmy what a 50 pence piece is, then I'm going to be narked.

And remember, the mum in the OP could have taught her kid the same exact lesson without it taking up the OP's time.

Before approaching the till:
"OK Suzy, so we have a loaf of bread, that's 1.40, and some milk, that's 70p. So how much money do we need? 2.10. How can we make that amount in coins? We have 1, and two 50 pences, and a 20 pence. That makes 2.20, so we're going to get some change. We should get 10p change. Here's the money."

Approaches till, cashier scans items, child hands over money, child gets change, child and adult leave.

Result: mum and kid get their learning time, OP is not inconvenienced, cashier gets to be a cashier and not a preschool teacher. It just takes the mum in question to give a little bit of thought and consideration.



EllenS

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #93 on: December 12, 2013, 06:24:43 PM »
(snip)
But if somebody takes ten minutes to buy a chocolate bar because they're faffing about teaching wee Jimmy what a 50 pence piece is, then I'm going to be narked.

(Snip)

Yes, of course.  We just don't know from the OP whether it was 10 minutes to buy a chocolate bar, or 5 minutes to buy a cart full.  Again, the gray area between reasonable and necessary.

bah12

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #94 on: December 12, 2013, 06:46:57 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.

Exactly.  If the person in line ahead of you is supposed to know that you have trouble standing for too long, or are late for work, or have an aversion to whatever it is that they are doing to annoy you, in order for your to consider them "polite". Then why doesn't that work in reverse?  If someone is doing something that takes a couple of minutes, even if you feel it's unnecessary and inconvenient, what circumstance are you not considering of them? And would it not be the best behavior to not only wait patiently, but consider that maybe your needs aren't always the most important when passing judgement on them? (And I know someone will come back and say "it's not rude to judge as long as you don't say it out loud", but trust me when I say, you don't have to say the words for your judgement to be felt/known).

The thing is it is impossible that everyone is going to always do the most necessary things to get out of your way in the fastest time possible....it's also impossible that everyone will agree on what is necessary and reasonable (as is evidenced here).  Finally, it is impossible that those of you that are so adamant that this mother was rude have never inadvertently inconvenienced someone else for something that you thought was totally reasonable.

If you feel that you would be mortified if you thought you inconvenienced someone, then you should be mortified.  Because I'd bet a million dollars that you have done it, more than once, and wouldn't think twice about the actions that caused that inconvenience.  Not every inefficient thing in this world is rude.

perpetua

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #95 on: December 12, 2013, 06:59:32 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.

Exactly. If the person in line ahead of you is supposed to know that you have trouble standing for too long, or are late for work, or have an aversion to whatever it is that they are doing to annoy you, in order for your to consider them "polite". Then why doesn't that work in reverse?  If someone is doing something that takes a couple of minutes, even if you feel it's unnecessary and inconvenient, what circumstance are you not considering of them? And would it not be the best behavior to not only wait patiently, but consider that maybe your needs aren't always the most important when passing judgement on them? (And I know someone will come back and say "it's not rude to judge as long as you don't say it out loud", but trust me when I say, you don't have to say the words for your judgement to be felt/known).

The thing is it is impossible that everyone is going to always do the most necessary things to get out of your way in the fastest time possible....it's also impossible that everyone will agree on what is necessary and reasonable (as is evidenced here).  Finally, it is impossible that those of you that are so adamant that this mother was rude have never inadvertently inconvenienced someone else for something that you thought was totally reasonable.

If you feel that you would be mortified if you thought you inconvenienced someone, then you should be mortified.  Because I'd bet a million dollars that you have done it, more than once, and wouldn't think twice about the actions that caused that inconvenience.  Not every inefficient thing in this world is rude.

Per the bolded, I can't speak for anyone else, but that isn't what I said.

What I actually said was a counter to your assertion that 'five minutes isn't an inconvenience'. It might be to somebody. I then explained why it would be to me. That doesn't mean I expect you to know what my needs are if I'm in a queue behind you or that I won't patiently wait my turn or that I think my needs are more important than yours (and I find that assumption rather offensive), just that other peoples' perspective of what an inconvenience would be may be different to yours.

Teaching your child what value coins are which in a line is also not a 'need'. It can be done elsewhere, and if it's going to hold people up, should be.

Teenyweeny

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #96 on: December 12, 2013, 07:01:47 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.

Exactly.  If the person in line ahead of you is supposed to know that you have trouble standing for too long, or are late for work, or have an aversion to whatever it is that they are doing to annoy you, in order for your to consider them "polite". Then why doesn't that work in reverse?  If someone is doing something that takes a couple of minutes, even if you feel it's unnecessary and inconvenient, what circumstance are you not considering of them? And would it not be the best behavior to not only wait patiently, but consider that maybe your needs aren't always the most important when passing judgement on them? (And I know someone will come back and say "it's not rude to judge as long as you don't say it out loud", but trust me when I say, you don't have to say the words for your judgement to be felt/known).

The thing is it is impossible that everyone is going to always do the most necessary things to get out of your way in the fastest time possible....it's also impossible that everyone will agree on what is necessary and reasonable (as is evidenced here).  Finally, it is impossible that those of you that are so adamant that this mother was rude have never inadvertently inconvenienced someone else for something that you thought was totally reasonable.

If you feel that you would be mortified if you thought you inconvenienced someone, then you should be mortified.  Because I'd bet a million dollars that you have done it, more than once, and wouldn't think twice about the actions that caused that inconvenience.  Not every inefficient thing in this world is rude.

But I think that it's exactly because we don't know each other's stories that we need to be considerate, and try not to inconvenience each other. I'm sure I've inadvertently inconvenienced somebody, I probably do it all the time. I don't ever do it knowingly though. The mother in the OP did it knowingly. That makes a huge difference for me.

And, as I've said before, by being as considerate as we can be, we keep enough 'slack' in the system so that when somebody needs to be accommodated, they can be. Because when I see somebody being inconsiderate, it annoys me, because I mainly think they're being a special snowflake. Wouldn't it be lovely if the only accommodations we made were for people who needed them?

Then I could say, "Gee, that person pushed ahead of me in the queue for the toilets. It must be because they have a bladder problem and they're too embarrassed to ask to skip ahead, because nobody does that just because they're a jerk." People who act entitled to consideration they don't need ruin it for people who actually do need to inconvenience others.



bah12

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #97 on: December 12, 2013, 07:11:05 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.

Exactly. If the person in line ahead of you is supposed to know that you have trouble standing for too long, or are late for work, or have an aversion to whatever it is that they are doing to annoy you, in order for your to consider them "polite". Then why doesn't that work in reverse?  If someone is doing something that takes a couple of minutes, even if you feel it's unnecessary and inconvenient, what circumstance are you not considering of them? And would it not be the best behavior to not only wait patiently, but consider that maybe your needs aren't always the most important when passing judgement on them? (And I know someone will come back and say "it's not rude to judge as long as you don't say it out loud", but trust me when I say, you don't have to say the words for your judgement to be felt/known).

The thing is it is impossible that everyone is going to always do the most necessary things to get out of your way in the fastest time possible....it's also impossible that everyone will agree on what is necessary and reasonable (as is evidenced here).  Finally, it is impossible that those of you that are so adamant that this mother was rude have never inadvertently inconvenienced someone else for something that you thought was totally reasonable.

If you feel that you would be mortified if you thought you inconvenienced someone, then you should be mortified.  Because I'd bet a million dollars that you have done it, more than once, and wouldn't think twice about the actions that caused that inconvenience.  Not every inefficient thing in this world is rude.

Per the bolded, I can't speak for anyone else, but that isn't what I said.

What I actually said was a counter to your assertion that 'five minutes isn't an inconvenience'. It might be to somebody. I then explained why it would be to me. That doesn't mean I expect you to know what my needs are if I'm in a queue behind you or that I won't patiently wait my turn or that I think my needs are more important than yours (and I find that assumption rather offensive), just that other peoples' perspective of what an inconvenience would be may be different to yours.

Teaching your child what value coins are which in a line is also not a 'need'. It can be done elsewhere, and if it's going to hold people up, should be.

I wasn't referring to you.  And what I said is I don't see waiting an extra two minutes (because five minutes is kind of average even for a small transaction), as such a huge inconvenience. It wouldn't even be on my radar...and the times that it has been on my radar wasn't because those extra two minutes were rude on the person that caused it, but more because of something that was totally my problem...like my lack of time, my headache, my too heavy purchases, whatever.  Five minutes might be an inconvenience to you...but that doesn't make it anyone else's problem.  Inconvenience is a part of life.  Reasonable and appropriate actions (even if you feel they are unecessary) are not rude just because they annoy or inconvenience you.

I'm pretty sure that the only reason that the OP even noticed this time is because the mother was doing something that she felt was unecessary.  And even if unecessary, it wasn't unreasonable or inappropriate. A quick lesson in a real life scenario during a non-crowded time for shopping is completely appropriate. Pointing out that someone was waiting wasn't "knowingly inconveniencing them."  Pointing it out could have been encouraging her child to be cognizant that there was a time limit.  She wasn't required to crab the coins from her child at that moment...no matter how much whoever was in line behind them didn't like it.

Allyson

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #98 on: December 12, 2013, 08:27:30 PM »
I think both "at some point someone else will inconvenience you" and "we should do our best not to inconvenience others" are both pretty obviously true, so the debate seems to be about what a reasonable amount of time taken is, which is pretty hard to say.

I don't entirely understand statements like "it's not other people's responsibility or problem if you have to get back to work". Well, yes, this is true, and nobody's saying it should be a law to only take X amount of time, or that the mother was *more* rude because of the person behind's circumstances, which she obviously knew nothing about. It still seems to me that it's in general inconsiderate to do something unnecessary that makes other people wait. It might not be 'their problem', but it's just nicer in general. I mean, I could just as easily say "it's not my problem that you want to teach your child about money".

Sometimes unforseen circumstances come up, sure, and there could always be some extenuating condition, but without knowledge of anything like this on either side, I still think it's best to take as little time as is reasonable--again, of course the definition of reasonable is going to be. I mean, to me, all of the "well, it could've been someone who was going slowly due to an impairment etc" isn't really relevant to *this* situation, which wasn't someone with an impairment.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #99 on: December 12, 2013, 08:37:39 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.

Exactly.  If the person in line ahead of you is supposed to know that you have trouble standing for too long, or are late for work, or have an aversion to whatever it is that they are doing to annoy you, in order for your to consider them "polite". Then why doesn't that work in reverse?  If someone is doing something that takes a couple of minutes, even if you feel it's unnecessary and inconvenient, what circumstance are you not considering of them? And would it not be the best behavior to not only wait patiently, but consider that maybe your needs aren't always the most important when passing judgement on them? (And I know someone will come back and say "it's not rude to judge as long as you don't say it out loud", but trust me when I say, you don't have to say the words for your judgement to be felt/known).

The thing is it is impossible that everyone is going to always do the most necessary things to get out of your way in the fastest time possible....it's also impossible that everyone will agree on what is necessary and reasonable (as is evidenced here).  Finally, it is impossible that those of you that are so adamant that this mother was rude have never inadvertently inconvenienced someone else for something that you thought was totally reasonable.

If you feel that you would be mortified if you thought you inconvenienced someone, then you should be mortified.  Because I'd bet a million dollars that you have done it, more than once, and wouldn't think twice about the actions that caused that inconvenience.  Not every inefficient thing in this world is rude.

But single mom could have taught the 4 year old about coins and their value in the park, on the sidewalk, or in the car. She didn't need to do it while interfering with normal business operations.

So let's say the same mom wanted to reach her child about the library. She gets in line to check out a book and once their time arrives, she then educates her daughter about who a librarian is, what a library card is, that books are borrowed and need to be returned, and the need to take good care of a book. All things that should be taught BEFORE they get in line to check out their book. all she needs to teach while in front of the librarian is that you hand them your book, your card, and the processes. Which should only delay the librarian by a dew seconds. Not an additional 5 minutes.

Tea Drinker

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #100 on: December 12, 2013, 09:21:11 PM »
POD to luvmyboys: what makes the change-teaching-mother rude is that she explicitly said "there's someone behind us" to her child and then continued with the lesson. Either saying "There's someone behind us, we should try to do this quickly" to her child or turning to the OP and saying "I hope you don't mind, we're working on math right now" would have been better. Even if she'd said it in the sort of tone that implies "I hope you don't mind, because I'm going to do this anyway" rather than asking "are you in a hurry, or can we take another minute to count our change?" it at least recognizes that the person behind her matters.

I don't know what she was trying to do by telling her child "there's someone behind us" and then going about the counting lesson; since she wasn't going to hurry or step aside, that's not going to help anyone, and might possibly distract the child, so it's not only unkind to the OP, it's counterproductive for the change-counting lesson.
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squeakers

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #101 on: December 13, 2013, 02:18:57 AM »
I know there is a word for this but all I can think of is MommyJacking: the art of making everything about you and your kid (usually done when posting but can also be done in real life).

 I have 3 kids... and they all learned about money at home.  They only started doing transactions when they could tell me I was ripping them off  >:D The youngest learned the quickest because he is very mathematical (and he really likes money and what the power of money can do).

Life Lessons are best taught when you have time to reflect upon them and digest the new information.  Doing so in a line situation is rude.
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nolechica

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #102 on: December 13, 2013, 03:28:39 AM »
I had a toy cash register as a kid and practiced this stuff in stores early on Saturday morning over packs of gum.  As such, there is a time and place, lunch hour in the grocery store isn't it.  She's lucky the person behind her didn't point out that her order could be saved and returned to later.  I've had my BFF do that because her coupons drive me up the wall, so not just a kid thing.

perpetua

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #103 on: December 13, 2013, 03:37:18 AM »

Quote from: bah12 link=topic=131390.msg3068732#msg3068732
And what I said is I don't see waiting an extra two minutes (because five minutes is kind of average even for a small transaction), as such a huge inconvenience.

That isn't what you said, bah12. You said 'five minutes isn't an inconvenience' and implied that because *you* were not inconvenienced by a five minute delay, nobody else should be either. That's what I'm taking an issue with.

Quote
Five minutes might be an inconvenience to you...but that doesn't make it anyone else's problem.  Inconvenience is a part of life.  Reasonable and appropriate actions (even if you feel they are unecessary) are not rude just because they annoy or inconvenience you.

Actually it does, if the person who is causing the delay is *deliberately* holding me up, having spotted me in the queue behind and saying 'Oh there's someone behind us' and carrying on with the lesson and holding me up even further. It's very much their problem, because I am going to ask them to stop the lesson and let me pay, and it would be even *more* their problem when I call a manager to have them stopped if they refuse, which I would.

Quote

I'm pretty sure that the only reason that the OP even noticed this time is because the mother was doing something that she felt was unecessary.  And even if unecessary, it wasn't unreasonable or inappropriate. A quick lesson in a real life scenario during a non-crowded time for shopping is completely appropriate.

This is where we differ. Giving one's child a lesson in the value of coins that takes five minutes when you are holding up people behind you is *not* a 'reasonable or appropriate action'.  It is rude and inconsiderate. You can teach your child about the value of coins at home, get your money out while in the queue, and if they're ready to handle the transaction *then* let them do it. Otherwise, you're (you general) implying 'My child's need to learn this right now is more important than anyone else and I don't care who I hold up while we do it'. *That's* what's rude, not the act of letting a child count out change, and that is what people (at least I) am taking issue with.

MariaE

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Re: Teaching moment?
« Reply #104 on: December 13, 2013, 04:56:06 AM »
I think that teaching the child the values of the coins in line pushed it across the line to unreasonable. Had it merely been a matter of having the child count out the coins (a child who knew the values, but was a bit slower in counting than an adult would be) then I'd think it was totally appropriate - even after she had noticed somebody coming up in the line behind her.
 
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