“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Oct 29, 2013
DEAR ABBY: I managed a retail store for 10 years, and I can relate to the shop owner who signed herself "Had It With Overindulged Kids" (June 28). She could turn things around by creating a designated play area and market to the children by taking any opened items and placing them there for a children's testing ground.

I had a "play table" with toys to keep them busy while their moms shopped. I put a gated area around it and a dads' bench in front of it so they could watch the children.

They are your customers. So cater to them and be thankful the parents shop in your store. Learn the children's names and suggest new age-appropriate products. If you don't have the time, hire someone who loves children and has the patience to play with them in a controlled environment.-- JOYCE FROM MICHIGAN

DEAR JOYCE: Thank you for the helpful advice. Customers and retailers alike shared their experiences. Many of them questioned whether the children always misbehaved this badly in public and blamed their behavior on today's parenting skills -- or lack thereof. Here's a sampling:

DEAR ABBY: I shopped at a local store for years, but gave up when the place seemed overrun by unruly children and distracted parents. Out of desperation, I took a job there and vowed to find a way to make the parents rein in their youngsters.

One: I posted a sign that read, "IF YOU BREAK IT, YOU BOUGHT IT." If they refused, I didn't push the issue, but I did gesture upward. They would always look up, and when they did, I'd thank them for smiling at our cameras.

Two: Any child found unaccompanied would be escorted to our customer service area and the parents paged repeatedly until they showed up.

Since I instituted these policies, the condition of the store has improved, the morale of the employees has improved, sales have risen, and old customers who left due to the old circumstances are returning.-- SURVIVOR OF RETAIL HELL

DEAR ABBY: I was in a shop where a sign behind the counter read: "Unattended Children Will Be Sold!" It was enough to get most parents'(and kids') attention while eliciting smiles at the same time.-- NONNA OF FIVE

DEAR ABBY: You mentioned posting a sign at the cash register. No, Abby, it should be at the entrance, so parents see it at the time they walk in.

Or how about a different sign: "Well-Behaved Children Will Win a Prize," then rewarding such children with a small gift? It would be worth the expense of small tokens of appreciation compared to the cost of broken merchandise.

I sympathize with "Had It." Parents often take kids on outings, believing they're spending quality time with them. But I see parents ignore their children and spend their time on electronic gadgets, leaving the unsupervised youngsters to run amok. Too bad for the children.-- GLORIA IN LAFAYETTE, CALIF.

DEAR ABBY: I like the sign a friend of mine put up in her store: "Unattended children will be given espresso and a puppy and returned to their parents." -- MARJORY IN BLOWING ROCK, N.C.

DEAR ABBY: I owned a small business with designated play areas for many years. One mom came in repeatedly with her two small sons, who were completely unruly and disruptive. I spoke to her several times, but I was wasting my breath. Here's how I solved the problem:

When Mom checked out, I added the items the terrible twosome destroyed to her bill. When I told her how much she owed, she insisted it must be a mistake. I said, "No mistake; these items belong to your kids." She paid the bill and remained a customer, but the kids were never with her again.-- HAD ENOUGH, GAINESVILLE, FLA.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#2 Oct 29, 2013
1 Yeah, a child hating bash from bitter, lonely old people.

Get off of my lawn!

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#3 Oct 29, 2013
Oh for crissakes...rehash heartburn.

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#4 Oct 29, 2013
RACE wrote:
Get off of my lawn!
Ha!

Disclaimer: Not awake yet. First coffee.

When we had the salon, the rule was that unless they were getting a service themselves, kids weren't allowed beyond a certain area. It was a safety issue that dovetailed well with not really wanting them there in the first place.

However since some of the moms (and dads) would spend upwards of a couple (like 200.00 plus) hundred bucks a pop, every few weeks, I didn't want to alienate anyone. This was MY business so losing the money was a thing to me unlike working for a corporation where they could absorb the loss of a (let's say...600.00 a month) customer, much less a few of them.

Framing it as a safety issue (which it *was* but beyond my insurance premium I didn't really care if their little snowflake drank the H2O2...) made the parents think I actually cared. <shrug> BECAUSE I "cared" they felt a loyalty to me because they knew that their precious mattered to me.

I went to Goodwill and bought some toys (washable) and threw them into a laundry basket in the corner of the salon and voila, content kids. Several of those kids, as they grew up chose ME to do their hair (more money) because I treated them well when they were small... Too bad I HATED doing hair because many of those kids had kids who would be getting stuff done now and it would have been a family tradition to give Mimi money.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#5 Oct 29, 2013
So, instead your watching monkeys eat ants off of a stick and comparing them to humans using tools.
I have never used a stick to attract ants, I just lay on top of the ant hill and picked them off my belly.
:)
Mimi Seattle wrote:
<quoted text>
... Too bad I HATED doing hair because many of those kids had kids who would be getting stuff done now and it would have been a family tradition to give Mimi money.
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

#6 Oct 29, 2013
LW1: I was in a large, retail chain store once and witnessed a child pick up a ceramic dish and throw it on the floor! I looked at him and said, "NO, you didn't!" His mother came around the corner, scooped him up, and scurried off. Store personnel did nothing. Yawn. Happens every day. Some people don't teach their children how to behave in stores or at other people's houses. LWs had good suggestions about managing that fact of life.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#7 Oct 29, 2013
I don't think the kids are any different than they were years before. What IS different is that people are too afraid to speak up when someone's precious little kid does something awful or, when someone does speak up, the parents get all defensive.

I don't care. I'll speak up if it's bad enough. If it's just a kid being a tired kid (whiny but not destructive), I let it go.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#8 Oct 29, 2013
Toj wrote:
I don't think the kids are any different than they were years before. What IS different is that people are too afraid to speak up when someone's precious little kid does something awful or, when someone does speak up, the parents get all defensive.
I don't care. I'll speak up if it's bad enough. If it's just a kid being a tired kid (whiny but not destructive), I let it go.
Okay, I've never worked in, or been in, a store where there were out of control unattended children. Kids whining and screaming, yeah. Kids running around without a parent in sight smashing things off the shelf, no.

I tend to agree with Race on this. Bitter childless hags being over-dramatic.

I just don't think there's any real issue or problems here.
Julie

Chicago, IL

#9 Oct 30, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Okay, I've never worked in, or been in, a store where there were out of control unattended children. Kids whining and screaming, yeah. Kids running around without a parent in sight smashing things off the shelf, no.
I tend to agree with Race on this. Bitter childless hags being over-dramatic.
I just don't think there's any real issue or problems here.
Reason 557 the world is grateful you'll never be able to convince a woman to have your child.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#10 Oct 30, 2013
Julie wrote:
<quoted text>
Reason 557 the world is grateful you'll never be able to convince a woman to have your child.
Convincing a woman to have my child is easy. Convincing one to SHADDUP for five minutes... now THERE'S a challenge!!

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