Thursday, August 20, 2009

Next Time, I Won't Bother...

I got yelled at by a customer yesterday, it was awesome.

A little girl, little, like 2 years-old, was walking out of kids yelling "Mommy!  Where are you?"  I asked her if she was lost and got down on her level so she wasn't scared.  She couldn't tell me her mom's name or her own.  I called my manager.  He came over and we walked to the mall end of the store where the mall playground area is thinking she may have come from outside the store.  The little girl didn't see her so we went back to the customer service desk.  Customers keep walking past tilting their heads saying, "Oh no, is she lost?!"

At this point my manager says maybe we should wait for a parent to realize she is lost or call mall security soon.  We walk back into kids and a woman is off to the side.  I ask her if this is her daughter and she says "yes."  I tell her that she has been LOST for several minutes...the woman is shocked, or at least pretends to be.  I say something like, "Gotta keep an eye on the little ones!"

Now, I was annoyed.  I had been with the little girl for about 5 minutes and I think it is irresponsible to not know where your 2 year-old is for 5 minutes.  I get annoyed that people think the store is a safe place to let their kids run wild.  IT ISN'T.  Not only are there sharp edges to run into and benches to fall off of and when you are climbing shelves or fake ladders I freak out that there isn't an adult around to discipline.  

Let's face it...I would have never gotten away with behavior like that.  
If I had torn a book, my parents would have bought it and we were going home, never to return to that store.  
If I had taken all the stickers out of a book and stuck them all over the table and on other, non-sticker books, my parents would have bought them all, peeled off the stickers and taken me home, with a spanking.
If I was climbing on the fake, non-weight bearing ladder that Frog & Toad climb on, I would have been yanked down and spanked and then we would go home.
I'm pretty sure if I was missing for more than a moment, my parents would have done the frantic run up and down the aisles yelling my name; and when they found me, they would tell me not to wander off, and we might even go home.
Essentially, I was (and probably still am) more afraid of my parents than the police, I would have rather gone to jail at the age of 8 for tearing a book or breaking something in a store than face the consequences of my parents.  And my parents weren't even strict, but they PARENTED.

So I was annoyed and I'm sure it was in my voice.
Anyway...after mother and daughter were reunited, I told my boss that mom didn't even know her daughter was lost (which is very common).  Then I went on my 15 minute break and stood in the line for a cup of coffee.  The woman yelled at my boss, and then saw me in line and came and yelled at me...She said it was "inappropriate" to imply she didn't know where her child was (even though she didn't know).  She said she was "right there" (even though she wasn't).  She said she watched her kids (even though she wasn't).  See the pattern.  I fought right back and said she was lost for several minutes and was calling for her (most parents hear "Mommy!" and look to at least see if it's their kid).  I told her I was concerned about her safety and THAT IS PART OF MY JOB.  The woman said she was with the 6 year-old who was reading to her.  Was that supposed to support her in the argument or me?  I told her that was nice, but the little one was scared and calling for her.  I did NOT apologize, but you can be sure, the next time a kid appears to be lost (which I hate because I can vividly remember feeling lost as a kid) I will look the other way until asked to do otherwise.  I don't need to be reprimanded for doing my job and caring about a kid.  F. F. F. FML!

1 comment:

Kate said...

You should never apologize for doing your job. I just wanted to say that.

Also, I want to tell parents when I see them, not minding their own children in a retail setting that predators shop, too, and the children's sections of stores are a great place to find kids because parents can be complacent. I understand that children are a full-time, 24/7, never-get-a-break job, but that doesn't mean that you can to slack because you're someplace outside your house that is "designed for kids".