Apr 27, 2008

Kid With Snotty Parent

I was at a local store today and witnessed an interesting confrontation. Here's how it went down. A small child picks up a glass Christmas ornament and starts playing with it. The child's parents are oblivious. Their attention is focused on other things in the store.

Store co-owner #1 goes over to small child (I'm guessing 3-4 years old) and says, "let's put that back on the shelf, ok?", and takes the glass ornament from the child. Male parent, hearing store co-owner talk to child, gets in co-owner's face, telling her to please don't talk to his child. Store co-owner #1 explains to male parent she didn't want small child hurt if glass ornament broke. Male parent snarls "my child wouldn't break it". Parents and child head to a different section of the store.

Store co-owner #1 goes over to store co-owner # 2 to discuss what all the fuss was about. Male parent, seeing discussion, starts staring at store co-owners. Stares for a long time. Store co-owner #2 sees customer staring and asks, "is there some sort of problem?" Male parent walks up and gets in store co-owner #2's face and says, "I have a problem with you hassling my kid."

Store co-owner #2 asks male parent if he has any idea how much merchandise is broken in his store by kids not being watched by parents. Store co-owner #2 says their store's profit margin is extremely small and broken merchandise can mean difference between profit and loss. Male parent, visibly angrier, says his kid wouldn't break merchandise.

Stare-down ensues. Much tension. Then Female parent walks up to male parent with embarrassed look on face and asks male parent, "What are you DOING?". Female parent tells male parent, "Lets go.", and they leave. (Thank you, female parent, for diffusing situation!)

I think Mr. male parent was looking for confrontation. I think female parent has probably had to diffuse a lot of "situations" with male parent. And what's the deal with parents these days, anyway? They think stores are playgrounds for their kids!

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