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So I wigged out at the Walmart greeter today...

post #1 of 181
Thread Starter 
And I feel badly....kinda. My oldest daughter is 2.5 and VERY shy and likes her personal space. She was already upset because she lost her favorite binkie before we left for Walmart. As we were going inside the store she was still wimpering and the greeter, an older gentleman, said "Little girl would you like a sticker?" And she FLIPPED out, screamed, and grabbed my leg and buried her head in my butt (yeah, it was lovely) I smiled and said "No thank you." He insisted on giving my youngest a sticker, which she ate entirely (yes, she LOVES paper.) Anyway, my oldest was still shaky as we were doing the self-check out and all of a sudden she grabbed my legs again and shrieked...yep, the greeter was back. He said "You are still crying? You must be having a bad day. Let me give you a hug." He actually bent down to pry her from me and I stopped him dead in his tracks by yelling "Don't touch her and don't even talk to her. Please leave me alone NOW!" He stood up and said "I was just trying to do my job lady. He walked off and then I had a crowd of people staring at me, two girls screaming because they had never heard their mother yell like that before. : Anyway, I feel terrible for yelling at him, but geez, could he NOT see she was scared to death of him? Sorry, rant over. I just had to get this off my chest.
post #2 of 181
What a crappy situation. It is definitely not his job to hug small children he does not know. It is his job to greet people as they enter/ say goodbye as they leave. I'm not sure why some adults feel it is ok to hug/touch/invade personal space of children just because they are small. Chances are they wouldn't do the same to an adult. Perhaps you could send and email or something and let Walmart know why you do not find this acceptable.
post #3 of 181
I SO feel you! My dd is 3 and similary shy. The worst is in situations just like you described-- we're out somewhere and she's already upset about somehting, then some strange adult decides that they're going to be the "magical person who makes the little one smile"-- and it ALWAYS goes from bad to worse. Heck, it's bad enough when strangers look at her when she's in a mood, if an old man tried to actually touch her, I think she'd lose a gasket (or tell him off on her own!) It's always hard because I know that these people have good intentions, but it's still frustrating when they can't respect your word, as the child's MOTHER, for heaven's sake, that the kid does NOT like strangers messing with her!
post #4 of 181
What a terrible situation hon... WOW, handled well..
post #5 of 181
His job is to pry scared, crying children from their parents so he can "hug" them? Sounds like he needs a new job, or a better understanding of his job description. I am pretty sure I would have had the exact same reaction as you. Your poor little one. :
post #6 of 181
that is not his job in any means and I would have had choice words with the manager on duty about it post haste. Being old is not an excuse for making up your own job requirements...
post #7 of 181
I wonder if this particular Walmart greeter has some sort of disability himself that makes it hard for him to read other people's body languge.
post #8 of 181
yup, i would have FREAKED out. do NOT touch my kid, especially if he's screaming bloody murder. awful.
post #9 of 181

just the right defensive instinct

: I love your post.You just made my day. Don't worry too much about what happened I 'm sure you'll be laughing about it a week later it's still too fresh I guess. On the other side this walmart person seems pretty queer. Who keeps on approaching somebody who does want to be near you, in general? I think it's the first and right defensive instinct against an offense.
thanks for sharing
post #10 of 181
Yikes! Yea, it isn't his job to walk over to the self checkout period! They stay at the door! At my walmart, the walk from the door to the self checkout is a good distance. Weird. I wouldn't feel bad for letting him know loud and clear to not touch you kid. If you were polite about it he wouldn't have been scared away and your daughter would never have been able to go to walmart again without a complete meltdown!
post #11 of 181
: I'm with you! Call the store manager and ask him to tell his greeters that hugging is not part of their job.

The only thing to (maybe) feel bad about is the harshness of your response to a man who WAS trying to be kind. Maybe you could have stepped between him and your child and said firmly, "I'm not sure why, but she is afraid of you. Please leave her alone." But I totally understand why you reacted the way you did!!
post #12 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I wonder if this particular Walmart greeter has some sort of disability himself that makes it hard for him to read other people's body languge.
yup....if I remember, some of the greeters at my local walmart appear to have some disabilities...possibly mental or cognitive. they are always nice, but perhaps don't have the same "stops" that respect boundaries as everyone might like.

xoe
post #13 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I wonder if this particular Walmart greeter has some sort of disability himself that makes it hard for him to read other people's body languge.
That was my thought-- but if so, the boss should have made it clear that you do NOT hug customers! Ever!
post #14 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xoe View Post
yup....if I remember, some of the greeters at my local walmart appear to have some disabilities...possibly mental or cognitive. they are always nice, but perhaps don't have the same "stops" that respect boundaries as everyone might like.

xoe
Yes, I have seen this, too. My fav. grocery store employs people with disabilites as some of the baggers who take the groceries out and load them into the car. I saw X three years ago pushing a cart with groceries and a small child inside (mother walking nearby); she, the cart, and the child were involved in a collision with a moving car. It was VERY scary. No one was hurt, but I decided right then that X (and, really, any other person) would not be pushing a cart with my children inside it. I have REALLY offended her, unfortunately, just by saying, "No thanks! I'll do it myself!" She walks away when I end up in her line. It's *great* that the stores employ them, and I am happy to put up with some bruised apples, but I really think there should be a policy about pushing carts with children inside (and prob. against stranger WalMart greeters having physical contact with children. ick.)


To the OP, I think you did the right thing, definitely. I hope if I am ever in a situation like that that I take up for my DC in the same way!

ETA-- if he was just a sweet, possible disabled old man, it would seem more likely that he would be hurt by the yelling, not respond "just doing my job lady," iykwim.
post #15 of 181
hum :

Why would he hassle your kid as they are checking out? Hes a greeter, isn't that on the way in?

I really can't stand walmart. I don't know how you ladies shop there.
post #16 of 181
That is just creeeepy. Ughhghghg.
post #17 of 181
Aw, don't feel bad. I wouldn't have let him hug my kid either.
post #18 of 181
don't feel bad-you were defending your child's personal space! i wouldve done the same thing!
i don't know about your WM, but the mgmt at mine is ok-i actually had an issue once about a very creepy check out guy that kept trying to touch dd, and the manager was all over herself trying to help me-she was a mother, too, and was very disturbed by what had happened-i felt like she handled my complaint well, and i never saw that guy again.
post #19 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by kriket View Post

I really can't stand walmart. I don't know how you ladies shop there.
I hope the ones who shop there aren't also complaining about plastic and china, etc. No judgement, I just don't get it. :

but I agree with calling and complaining!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #20 of 181
Your poor dd! I have to deal with this all the time, too. My son is really terrified of people he doesn't know, and if they look at him, let alone talk to him, he really freaks out.

I spend a good deal of time defending him from well-meaning strangers. Sometimes they don't get it and really, really go too far! Yesterday we were at Kroger and the bagger wanted to give him some stickers. He won't take anything from a stranger, and he really dislikes stickers anyway. So at first he was hiding behind my legs, and she just wouldn't stop offering them to him! He was so upset that he made a break for it to get away from her, and then she actually chased him around in a circle trying to give him the stickers! He was panicking as I'm saying firmly "No thank you, no, he doesn't want them, PLEASE, NO..."

She finally looked up at me and the lightbulb came on when she saw me shaking my head. I suspect that she didn't speak English and didn't understand my refusal of the stickers. But geeze. Anyone should understand the body language of a frightened child.
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