what would you do??

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  1. ok, this is a situation that i have ran into numerous times. we are at a store [wal-mart or target] grabbing a few things and some how we end up in sporting goods or in the toys. so my sons like to play with the bouncy balls. they put them right back and we are always standing right there.

    the first instance was me looking at something and my dh was rolling...yes rolling the ball back and forth to my oldest son [he was 4 at the time]. a lady who worked there decided to take it upon herself and get in my 4 yr old sons face and tell him to not play with the balls in the store and she took it away. oh i was furious! she had no right to get in his face. so i proceeded to tell her that. she could have just as easily walked up to my dh and said that they don't like the balls being played with for such and such a reason. why get in my son's face?? she got very defensive and i had to report her to her manager. it pretty much turned into her yelling at me.

    the second instance happened when i was pregnant this last time. a young man that worked at the store saw the boys once again holding the balls. we were right around the corner from him and he starts in on them in a stern voice "i don't want to find those balls all over the store, and i don't want to have to bring them back here." he rounded the corner and saw us and then got this look on his face. i told him that we were their parents and that we were right there and he doesn't need to tell them what to do.

    the third time was just the other day. my oldest grabbed a ball bounced it a couple times, an older gentleman that works there decided to tell him [while im standing right next to my son] "you can't play with that, put it back!". the issue was that i had already told him to put it back, and he was on the way to putting it back. ok so then my youngest grabbed a ball and he dropped it so it bounced maybe twice. and the man raised his voice and said "young man i told you not to play with that!" right then and there i rounded the corner and i told him off. i told him that i was their parent and that i would take care of it. he decided that he was going to back talk to me and tell me to not let them touch the ball, so i told him THANKS I GOT IT!

    i HATE when people [that aren't family or friends] decide to tell my children what to do. if they were running a muck and trashing the store or causing harm to someone or something then i would understand it and they would deserve what they get. but each time me or dh or both were right there with them.

    are children misbehaving so much these days that no matter what employess think they have the right to tell them what to do?? shouldn't they talk to the parent or a grown up instead of the child? oh it gets me hoppin every time i think about it.
  2. Hmm...I personally would stop shopping at that store if it were me. I mean, you've complained to management about it and it continues to happen, so, I'd just shop elsewhere.

    If anyone ever had the audacity to talk to my kids like that, I can promise you there would be hell to pay!!! Shoot, my husband would have probably taken that dude out!!
  3. #3 Jul 3, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2009
    If this the same store, it's def. a problem that should be reported as high as you can go, manager/owner/corporate office. It is completely inappropriate.

    I only had something similar happen one time, my son (around 6 or 7 at the time) was standing right next to me (I do not allow them to wander around when we are shopping) in a luggage store at the mall as I was looking at something. They carried lacoste purses and bags, too I already had some pieces with me to buy...my son was idly gently swinging a lock on a suitcase. A sales woman glanced up and viciously snapped at him, "don't play with that"...I turned and looked at her with dagger eyes and calmly said, "Don't speak to my son in that tone, it's completely inappropriate. I am standing right her, and he is not hurting anything." Right then the manager happened out of the back and asked, "Is there a problem?" I marched up to the front and deposited all the things I had planned to purchase in front of them...this is what I was going to buy, but won't be...and I nor anyone I tell this story to will be patronizing your store in the future...and that's a shame (I held up my 3 large LV shopping bags)...because my friends and I buy a lot of bags. Your sales person can tell you why." and I marched out of the store to their sputtering apologizes.
  4. I'm going to play devil's advocate here. I highly doubt that your children are the only ones playing with the balls, so we can assume that the shop assistants are forever having to pick them up from all over the store and I guess that would make them a little cranky. Also, you stated that you were around the corner (out of sight?) so they may have thought that the children were not being supervised. One thing I am curious about, and I'm not trying to be a smart mouth, but: Your children have been asked more than once not to play with the balls, so why do you allow it?
  5. Okay I Just have to chime in.

    I work in retail(pharmacy) and every summer we have a big bin of bouncy balls. Probably about 15 times a day, a kid/kids will walk by and start bouncing/playing basketball/catch and knock stuff over and leave the balls all over the store. I dont mind if the kids bouce the balls a couple times and keep it under control, but once they start playing games, I have to ask them to stop. Usually there are no parents in sight and I calmly say 'Can you please not play with the balls in the store?" It might be rude but we take a lot of time cleaning up the store and to have every kid playing with the balls it does get annoying. Not to mention, the 'kids' range from 3-20 years old! LOL Most parents let the kids do whatever they want and dont watch them. Today the dad actually told them to stop bouncing the balls and put them back, this was a first.

    I totally understand what you are saying and I dont think that was right, but from my perspective, I can relate. Again, I agree that they could have phrased what they were saying differently.

  6. I was going to say something similar. I think children should be taught that items in a store are to purchase and once you leave the store, then they can play with them. Just my opinion. I can understand the employees not wanting to have to clean up after kids. I used to work in retail and it's really tiring picking up after people who don't put things back where they belong, thinking they can just dump something off and someone will clean up after them. That's probably what the store has to deal with. Maybe they shouldn't have spoken so harshly to your kids (I wasn't there, so I don't know how they said it to your kids... just saying it nicely should be enough, though.), but it can be a good learning experience for your kids so they know that there are certain ways to behave when they're in a store. I mean, maybe the first time was out of line, but the other times, your son should not have continued to bounce the ball after he was told not to. After working in teaching and having to make several requests to kids in order to do something or stop doing something, I find it very frustrating and disrespectful when they continue the behavior after being told to stop. So I can see why the guy spoke to him again. Plus, you weren't right by your child's side... I just don't think it's good for kids to be out of their parents sight. I don't want to upset you, but that is just the way I see it, because I've been on the other side of it before.

  7. Maybe the woman was out of line with her tone toward your son, but why not give the manager a chance to make it right for you?
  8. There was no making it up, her voice was horrid...there are way too many stores around to even consider supporting one who would allow something like this.

    To dallas and itsonly4me...I do hear you, there are some kids who are not supervised properly and it can be annoying...it still is not appropriate for a store employee to speak to a child like this, ever. Speak to the adult.

  9. Perhaps, and of course you can shop wherever you choose, but I don't think the manager had a fair chance to fix it and perhaps he wouldn't want his employee speaking like that, either.
  10. #10 Jul 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2009
    i used to work in retail too...so i know how it is and how it can be. but i still would not get in a child's face and tell them not to do something when a parent is right there. and as for them bouncing the balls, it's a couple of bounces and they put it back because we tell them too and we make sure they do it.

    and it's not at the same store, they were 3 different locations.

    and yes if they were knocking things over and being out of line, i would be the first to tell them to stop and to clean up any mess they made. and i can understand an employee not wanting to have to pick up a huge mess because there are children messing around and they are unsupervised...i had to do it many many times. so that is one of the main reasons that i always have them put things back where they picked it up from.

    and as for them thinking they were unsupervised we are talking about [at the time] a 4yr old with his father in plain site right next to him and then they were 6 and 3 and then 7 and 4. so i have no idea who would let their children of that age just run around a store.

    and i didn't really explain the last instance all that well. the man walked right in front of me so he saw me, and he heard me talking to my youngest. which was when he [the man that worked there] went around a corner and onto an aisle. so then he proceeded to talk to my youngest very rudely. he talked to my oldest son first...which was after i had already told him to go and put it back. my son was carrying the ball back to the holder. which was when he went around the corner and my youngest dropped one and it bounced twice and he was picking it up to put it back when the man said "young man.......etc"

    and the second time we were right the corner from the boys and we could see them. we didn't go down the aisle with them because i was in a scooter thing and there were other people. so he saw them touching the balls and decided to get stern with them

    and we are sure they are always by our side or in view of us. they don't wander off...EVER. i'm too scared too let them out of my site. too many kids disappear that way.

    i don't agree with it at all...asking nicely is one thing. starting out rude and just plain nasty is another.
  11. #11 Jul 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2009
    I've had that happen a couple times with my son. One time he was bouncing a basketball, I told him to put it back, he didn't. Then a saleswoman asked him to put it back and he did. So I told him that if he didn't listen to me when I told him not to do something because it was not appropriate, that was the consequence - someone else might come and tell him not to do it, and not so nicely either! That's life.

    Another time, again a store employee told him not to play with something and I just made him put it back. No biggie. I can't really blame the store employee for being short with people, dozens of kids come and mess up the place everyday, not all of them are well-behaved and employees don't have time to figure out which ones are going to make a mess and which ones aren't.
  12. I would be upset if somebody got in my kid's face over something like bouncing a ball, but...

    I was taught as a child to not play with the items for sale at stores as you do not play with things that are not yours.
  13. In some cultures, and not too long ago even in the U.S., it was normal for adults to be able to discipline children that were not theirs. That might be where these people are coming from. You're in a store where they are responsible for all of the items and making sure they are new, in good condition, unused, and in their proper place. I just don't think kids should be bouncing balls in stores and playing with things, because while your child might not cause harm, it happens all too much in stores where the employees have to clean up someone else's mess or an item gets damaged. And to know that your child had to be spoken to three separate times, he probably should have been taught after the first time that playing with balls in stores is not okay. Honestly, I'd have to actually hear the tone or if the employee was actually right in your child's face to make a judgment, but I really don't think it's wrong for someone to tell the child directly not to touch an item. It's good for kids to learn about respecting other adults besides their parents. If the employee really did use a nasty tone and was right in your child's face, well, that is not nice and at that point you could say something in return or speak to the manager.
  14. and i can understand that. but since when did being an employee of a store give you the right to get in a child's face and then try to parent them?? we were right there with them the whole time. if we were no where to be found, then like i posted in the 1st one, i would understand them getting told to stop or leave something alone. but every time we were right there. the young guy [2nd time] may not have seen us, but that still doesn't give him the right to talk to my children that way. and he easily could have said "oh, hey...sorry. just dont want a huge mess to deal with" when he did see us, instead he just gave us a weird look. and then the other 2 decide to talk back to me when i said that i would handle it....wth? i am not a parent that lets her children run around and trash a store. so yes they touched the balls. and yes they may have bounced...but they were put right back where they came from. and im sorry but i see nothing wrong with them bouncing a ball or playing with it. they aren't throwing it at people. they aren't endangering anyone. they aren't knocking things down and breaking them. they bounce a ball and it goes back and we continue on else where in the store. if they had approached the matter with kindness maybe i would not be so put out by it.
  15. #15 Jul 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2009
    I also thought it was important for my son to see, I knew he had done nothing wrong...he was absolutely mortified and the on verge of tears. My children are very well behaved and are used to being complimented in stores. They do not hear that tone and anger from me, and to hear it from a stranger, especially when it shouldn't have even be an issue, was quite upsetting.

    Also, you made some valid points in your last point, but pink herats said basically what I was going to...when the parent is there, there is absolutely no reason to speak to the child, especially rudely. Would a store employee ever think of speaking to an adult that way? Of course not...then why would it ever be ok to do so to a child? How would the employee handle ie if it was adult? Politely say something like, "oh, those have been ending up all over the store, would you please put it back?" That's fine, their tone and demeanor should be no different.

    Yes, people used to discipline others children, they also used to know how to do it reasonably without anger and bitterness.