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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My family walked a mile to the grocery store and bookstore last night. (Same plaza.) Dh went into StarBucks to get me a tea while I tried to nurse ds2 (11.5 mos, just started walking) at the train table while ds1 & dd played and looked at books. Ds2 finished nursing so I let him crawl around and toddle a bit by the train table. He was having a great time!<br><br>
An employee came up and asked me "Ma'am? Does the little one have shoes?" I replied that he has socks. She said, "Well, he needs to have shoes on in case someone drops something. [<i>Pause, seemed to wait for my response.</i>] We wouldn't want him to get hurt."<br><br>
I JUST read yesterday that there is no law requiring you (a patron) to wear shoes in ANY establishment, including restaurants. However, I did not feel like getting into it w/ her, so I let it go. Besides that, I'm sure someone must have sued someone else at some point for this kind of ridiculousness. But I've been so annoyed by it!<br><br>
I went ahead and put ds2's' socks on him, but when dh got back w/ my tea, we just left. I had the kids put away the books they had and we walked out. (We'd already purchased something a few min earlier and left the store, but came back so I could nurse comfortably.)<br><br>
That woman really irritated me! How is a thin layer of cotton going to protect him if "someone drops something" and it lands on his foot? If someone is dropping things that close to my child I think I'd worry more about his HEAD than his foot.<br><br>
Then after we got home my neighbor came by so dh could fix her internet and I griped to her about it. Apparently the same woman was equally rude to her the other night over another issue!<br><br>
So I think I should contact B&N and let them know. But let them know WHAT? What is it that I'm irritated with?<br><br>
Her manner?<br>
The stupidity of having shoes on a baby?<br>
The stupidity of the rule?<br><br>
Help me out here, folks.<br><br>
ETA: Since there appears to be some misunderstanding of my point:<br><br>
My problem was with her ATTITUDE. She was condescending and rude. Additionally, I found out later that same night that she'd been rude to someone else a few nights before, so I know it's not just me. She's been snotty on more than one occasion to more than one patron. And YES, we DID purchase something there just a few minutes before this took place, so in case anyone gets huffy about THAT, I may as well address it now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

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Ugh. That really is annoying. I probably would have feigned ignorance (like I didn't understand that she was ordering me to put shoes on) and said, "oh, he's fine!" in a really cheerful sort of way. There's no way they can insist on that.<br><br>
But yeah--I sympathize with your urge to write a letter, but am not sure either what exactly you could complain about. It doesn't sound as though she was actually rude, was she? Personally, I'd probably go back there and prominently display ds2 walking around with no shoes on <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> and hope she'd come and say something again so I could get into it with her. But I guess I'm kinda a troublemaker.
 

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That's crazy. Sounds like a new employee taking the rules to seriously. Sorry.<br><br>
I have not had a issue with b&n but with other stores.
 

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I actually think it is a health department regulation.<br>
When I worked at a convenience store many years ago, we had to strictly enforce the no shirt, no shoes, no service.<br>
I don't think it was about something falling on his foot but rather him stepping on something and getting hurt.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">But let them know WHAT?</td>
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That she's doing her job? I don't think they'd mind hearing that.<br><br>
There may be no law, but the stores can make their own rules and enforce them. If she actually bothered to come over and say something, I'm guessing they've had an incident reacently and have been told to enforce this particular rule every single time.<br><br>
I worked in Gap for a while. We were all given a big lecture about not letting kids play with the front doors, roll all over them, put their faces on them, etc (it was a street level store front) because some kid had managed to get a hand caught and there was some glass breakage and it was really really just not pretty. I can not tell you how many moms chewed me out for saying, "sorry guys, we can't play with the doors, it can be dangerous" or "we have to ask you not to let your child play with the doors. It can be dangerous."<br><br>
Store employees do not ever make the rules but they HAVE TO enforce them. All stores have the right to set rules and refuse service. Considering all the things that get dragged around your average bookstore, I think shoes are a good idea. Those massive box staples are hard to see and hurt like a mother when you step on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>XanaduMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12383474"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It doesn't sound as though she was actually rude, was she?</div>
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It was a little snotty, but not quite... yk?
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Personally, I'd probably go back there and prominently display ds2 walking around with no shoes on <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> and hope she'd come and say something again so I could get into it with her. But I guess I'm kinda a troublemaker.</td>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> We will, for sure (we go every couple days). He's just BARELY walking, actually, so he crawls mostly. Unless I sit him in the stroller.
 

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If she has already been rude to someone else, I personally would check with the manager and make sure it really *is* store policy.<br>
Then I would politely explain 1) she could have communicated more clearly and 2) please post the rules about these things-- maybe just back in the child area-- so that we know what is expected. Same with the Gap store-- if the doors are dangerous, put a sign on the door. I *want* to know to protect my child, not to protect Gap's/BN's liability.<br><br>
My DD goes without shoes all the time, and I would rather know by reading a sign than by being confronted.
 

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Well her logic is off. I've got some flip flops that are nothing more than a small bit of fabric attached to the sole. They would in no way protect my foot if something was dropped on it, but no one has ever told me that I need to leave and come back with close-toed shoes.<br><br>
I would guess since the B&N sells food, the health department requires that patrons must have shoes on.<br><br>
I guess if you want to write a letter or make a call, I would do so to 1) determine what the actual shoe policy is and 2) make sure employees know to give the correct reason for requesting that shoes be worn.<br><br>
~Julia
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think I'm more irritated w/ her condescending tone and attitude. I couldn't put my finger on it till now.<br><br>
Also, ds was more at risk with his socks ON because of slipping. The train table is on a wood floor area of the childrens dept. Dh was concerned he'd slip and smack his face on the table so we took the socks off.<br><br>
I think I want to talk to a mgr and get the rules. I will happily follow rules. No problem. But don't condescend to me or my kids. I am an adult and fully capable of making decisions for my family.<br><br>
As for someone stepping on something or having something dropped on their foot (she said that was a concern, too), sorry -- *I* will judge what's safe for my kids.<br><br>
And a door is a far different scenario than a wood floor.
 

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HER logic isn't the problem, she didn't make the rule.<br><br>
That's the sucky thing about retail - you don't make all the silly rules that you know darn well are going to tick people off, nor do you really make any money. You just have to enfource the rules and no matter how nice you are or how many times you had to role play (yeah, roll your eyes, it really is that stupid) this particular thing with your manager someone is still going to get ticked no matter how simple or reasonable the request. No matter how nice you are, any little request makes you "rude" and people are calling your manager.<br><br>
OP, I just don't see how asking you to have your child wear shoes (and failing that, socks) is all that rude. You're in a store which does not qulify as a public space, really and they can make rules about attire (ever been to a tie-required restaruant?). They could have said no shoes, you leave. But she worked with you (and probably wasn't supposed to). That's not rude. Sometimes you do have to follow the rules, even if they are stupid.<br><br>
No one likes stupid rules and no one likes being told what to do - some people are a lot more sensitive to that than others. If you really have an issue, call and complain about the rule. The poor bookseller didn't do anything except her job. And here's the thing - if you do complain about her, chances are you'll be told, "Oh no, she was wrong, that's not how we do it at all" but they're just telling you what you want to hear. I have done that myself.<br><br>
Having just seen this:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">sorry -- *I* will judge what's safe for my kids.</td>
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Then there are probably some stores where you will not be welcome. They all have rules of some sort and they all have the right to ask you to comply or leave. The rules may seem arbitrary but usually them stem from an incident.<br><br>
Another personal example:<br><br>
In college I worked for Disney back when they had big mountains of plush in the back of the store. You can't see the structure they sit on so even while in there straightening it out, you can get hurt and the top was about five feet off the ground. Obviously, there is a rule that children are not allowed to climb the plush structure, right? Who would let a kid do that? Daily, I had to ask someone to remove their child and daily I was told that "I can decide what's safe for my kid. I bring them here to roll around in the stuffed animals" (ok seriously, you want your kids to roll around in stuffed animals, buy some and take them home, but that's another gripe). Well, no. Sorry. It's a rule, we can ask you to leave and we can call security if you won't get your kid out of the plush.<br><br>
You can't go in a store and act as you would at home. You don't own the place, you don't get to make the rules. Again, I agree that a lot of the rules seem silly (I'm sure we could compare notes and come up with a long list) and are inconvenient but they are the rules and they can insist you follow them. NO ONE at store level (for the big stores) makes ANY kind of rules of any kind. Not a one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>NiteNicole</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12384250"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">HER logic isn't the problem, she didn't make the rule.</div>
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Her ATTITUDE IS the problem.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">That's the sucky thing about retail -</td>
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I've worked retail for many years -- believe me, I know.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">OP, I just don't see how asking you to have your child wear shoes (and failing that, socks) is all that rude.</td>
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It wasn't. Again, her attitude WAS.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Sometimes you do have to follow the rules, even if they are stupid.</td>
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Trying to avoid snark, but it's really hard here... I'll give it a shot: Yes, I know.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">You can't go in a store and act as you would at home. You don't own the place, you don't get to make the rules.</td>
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I'm not looking to. My main gripe was her attitude.<br><br>
As for the rule itself, I can talk to the mgr about it and try to figure out where they come up with this crap. Maybe nothing occurs, but at least my concern/issue is addressed and heard.
 

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Well I'm not reading much attitude from your description of the situation. You just seem peeved she had the nerve to ask you to put shoes on your child.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>NiteNicole</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12384427"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well I'm not reading much attitude from your description of the situation. You just seem peeved she had the nerve to ask you to put shoes on your child.</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Justthatgirl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12383159"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Apparently the same woman was equally rude to her the other night over another issue!<br></div>
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There.<br><br>
But I agree-- I didn't otherwise fully describe the encounter.<br><br>
She was condescending and her tone really didn't sit well with me.<br><br>
The othe rnight when she confronted my neighbor/friend, she told her, "You need to watch your child."<br><br>
The kid was looking at a book at the little table, my friend was looking at books on the shelf, within ear shot and sight. (The kid is 5 and VERY well behaved.)
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>NiteNicole</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12383966"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That she's doing her job? I don't think they'd mind hearing that.<br><br>
There may be no law, but the stores can make their own rules and enforce them. If she actually bothered to come over and say something, I'm guessing they've had an incident reacently and have been told to enforce this particular rule every single time.<br></div>
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<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that"><br>
It's a private establishment and is free to make up (almost) any ridiculous rule it wants. And you are equally free to not shop there.<br>
As a side not, if your B&N is like ours, there is a coffee shop inside it. And b/c of the coffee shop, they have to follow all the "extra" health codes for places serving/selling food. Which includes the wearing of shoes.<br><br>
A second thing occurs to me, you claim that you had no idea shoes were required, again, maybe this is just stores in the area(s) I've lived, but isn't there usually a "No shoes, no Shirt, no Service" sign up on the door? And really, people need to be *told* via a sign or confrontation that they might not want to let their kids play with heavy glass doors? I mean, not intending to flame anyone, but isn't this stuff kind of the norm for most places of business?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Freefromitall</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12384516"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that"><br>
A second thing occurs to me, you claim that you had no idea shoes were required, again, maybe this is just stores in the area(s) I've lived, but isn't there usually a "No shoes, no Shirt, no Service" sign up on the door?</div>
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No, there actually isn't a sign at B&N or at Starbucks. But either way -- for babies? He's 11 mos old, just started walking (at that B&N, in fact, just 2 days prior to last night's event), and it was obvious that he was crawling or holding on to the table, had she paid any attention.
 

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I would imagine the rule is there to protect feet against stepping on glass.<br>
But telling this to a crawling baby is kind of ridiculous since his hands and knees are also in the 'danger zone'.<br><br>
So the traintable is at the bookstore? or Starbucks?<br>
It sounds like they need a kidzone with pillows and soft floor, so they don't have to worry as much about this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dawncayden</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12384851"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
So the traintable is at the bookstore? or Starbucks?</div>
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In the bookstore, in a corner of the childrens dept. Starbucks is adjacent.
 

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I've had a few similar experiences here and there and I got a little irritated, too. In my case, it has always been from old ladies. I have always completely ignored them, as if they hadn't said anything at all. If someone feels the need to comment, it implies that they think you are being incompetent or not handling things correctly or what have you. And THAT is what irritates me. Like the overbearing MIL stereotype. Once I remind myself that it is <i>their</i> problem, not mine, then I feel less irritated.
 

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I obviously didn't hear her tone but it doesn't sound all that bad to me. I'm sure they have rules to protect themselves should someone get hurt.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">As for someone stepping on something or having something dropped on their foot (she said that was a concern, too), sorry -- *I* will judge what's safe for my kids.</td>
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Do you really think Barnes & Noble cares if your child gets hurt? Companies have to make rules like this to protect themselves. I know you get that but if you have a problem with this employee, talk to the manager. But the rule itself seems pretty normal to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Evenstar</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12385255"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've had a few similar experiences here and there and I got a little irritated, too. In my case, it has always been from old ladies. I have always completely ignored them, as if they hadn't said anything at all. If someone feels the need to comment, it implies that they think you are being incompetent or not handling things correctly or what have you. And THAT is what irritates me. Like the overbearing MIL stereotype. Once I remind myself that it is <i>their</i> problem, not mine, then I feel less irritated.</div>
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Yeah, it was bossy and she stood there waiting for me to put something on my kid's feet. (Just like my mil. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">) This girl was young, mid-20's, approximately.
 
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