Author Topic: I am not your free in-store babysitter.  (Read 4700 times)

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LyraSilverose

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I am not your free in-store babysitter.
« on: June 11, 2010, 05:27:04 PM »
I was at the mall today, and stopped into a store I love to get a very specific item for tonight (thigh-hi fishnets, for RHPS :D).  While I was sorting through the stockings, looking for the right style and size, I noticed that my son, who was in his wagon (it's small, and he likes it much better than a stroller - and so do I!), was playing with a boy who was about 3 or 4ish. 

I looked around and noticed a woman keeping an eye on the boy, so I didn't think much of it.  A clerk offered to check the computer to see if what I was looking for was even in the store, and while she was doing so, the boy continued to play with my son, but his mother disappeared towards the dressing rooms.  I was a little startled, but it's a small store and I thought that surely she wouldn't be trying on clothing while her child was out here.  But she was. 

I paid for my stockings and started to leave, and the boy tried to follow me out of the store.  I stopped him and told him he needed to stay with his mother, who had still not reappeared (it had now been at least 10 minutes since I'd see her).  He replied with "But I don't know where she is.  Can I ride too?"  I hovered near the front of the store for a couple more minutes, because I didn't want to leave him all alone or have him try to follow me out of the store, and when the woman finally came out of the dressing rooms, she wandered over to me.  This is where it got weird.  Keep in mind, up 'till now, this woman had never said a word to me, and I've never seen her before in my life.

Crazy lady: Oh, are you leaving?
Me: Yes...
CL: Oh (looks disappointed) I was hoping you'd watch him so I could finish shopping.
Me:  :o :o :o No, I'm afraid that won't be possible.

She rolled her eyes, grabbed her (very well behaved, I might add) son's hand, and huffed back towards the dressing rooms.  I was boggled, and sorely tempted to mention it to mall security, but since she'd taken charge of her child again (for now) I didn't think there was much they could do.  I wish I'd had the foresight to tell her that yes, I'd watch her child, for $20 an hour, and she'd have to throw in extra for all of us to get lunch  >:D
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Wavicle

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Re: I am not your free in-store babysitter.
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2010, 05:31:34 PM »
I would have brought the child to an employee and told them that the mother was in the dressing room and she had walked away from her kid as soon as I realized she wasn't coming back. I do not feel comfortable taking responsibility for a strange kid, period. I also think it would have been fine to go to security then, but unless there was a guard right there I think it would have been easier to let someone from the store handle it.

Shortcake

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Re: I am not your free in-store babysitter.
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2010, 06:40:08 PM »
I can't believe a mother would leave her child with a complete stranger!   :o

What if you had just taken him? It loooks like he would have just gone with you! That is so scary! It is a good thing you are a good person and waited to give him back to his mother.

I aslo agree with Wavicle, I would have told an employee that the mother was in the dressing room. The employeees might have thought you and the crazy woman were together, and you agreed to take the kids while she was finishing up.

Edited to fix grammar
« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 06:41:57 PM by Shortcake »
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LyraSilverose

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Re: I am not your free in-store babysitter.
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2010, 06:50:37 PM »
I felt bad passing him off on the employees, though.  He's not their job either.  Also, they were pretty busy (hence it taking me 10+ minutes to buy stockings), and having been the minimum wage minion who wound up as a babysitter (here, honey, go play in this store, and mummy will be right back), I didn't want to do that to anyone else.
Soft paws and sharp claws a tiger do make.

Wavicle

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Re: I am not your free in-store babysitter.
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2010, 06:52:04 PM »
It is their job to handle the customers, not yours. I am guessing they would have either just brought him back to his mom or called security.

Shortcake

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Re: I am not your free in-store babysitter.
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2010, 07:10:12 PM »
I wasn't suggestion you hand off the child to the employee for her to babysit. I was thinking that it is the responsiblity of the employees to enforce appropriate behavior in the store.If there had been children running  and playing in the dressing room, or someone tearing up the merchandise, I would let an employee know.

 I would have said something like, " His mother is in the dressing room. I don't know her name. She is the tall lady with blond hair.", or I would offered to call security if the employee wanted.

Of course I wasn't there in the situation, so I don't know how hard it would have been to get an employee to help if they were already so busy. I just wanted to get some ideas out there in case ( heaven forbid) something liike this happens to you or other ehellions in the future.
"Carry out a random act of kindness, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you."  Princess Diana

Orisha

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Re: I am not your free in-store babysitter.
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2010, 11:20:26 PM »
I wasn't suggestion you hand off the child to the employee for her to babysit. I was thinking that it is the responsiblity of the employees to enforce appropriate behavior in the store.If there had been children running  and playing in the dressing room, or someone tearing up the merchandise, I would let an employee know.

 I would have said something like, " His mother is in the dressing room. I don't know her name. She is the tall lady with blond hair.", or I would offered to call security if the employee wanted.

Of course I wasn't there in the situation, so I don't know how hard it would have been to get an employee to help if they were already so busy. I just wanted to get some ideas out there in case ( heaven forbid) something liike this happens to you or other ehellions in the future.

I have a part time retail job.  It's always good to inform employees if there's an abandoned or lost child so that they can either page the parent or call the authorities as appropriate.  (And having an employee flag down the negligent mother might just embarrass her enough that she starts taking her responsibilities more seriously.)  You never know who can be wandering around.  That mother is asking for trouble. 

JoanOfArc

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Re: I am not your free in-store babysitter.
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2010, 11:54:33 PM »
I have a part time retail job.  It's always good to inform employees if there's an abandoned or lost child so that they can either page the parent or call the authorities as appropriate.  (And having an employee flag down the negligent mother might just embarrass her enough that she starts taking her responsibilities more seriously.)  You never know who can be wandering around.  That mother is asking for trouble. 

POD.  I worked for a kid-centered attraction and we preferred to be notified and to take charge of unattended kids.  It is not the responsibility of other patrons and we had procedures for dealing with kids and ways to find their parents (or get the parent's attention).  It was part of our job. 
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