Plastic Parenting

, , , , , | Right | June 17, 2017

(I work in a clothing store. We use sizing nubs that go on the hanger to help us organize the garments. The nubs are about the size of a dime, and very colorful. I’m working the fitting room today, and on one of the walls we have, clear, open pockets for each nub size. There’s a five-year-old girl that keeps running in and out of the women’s fitting room while her mother tries on clothing. She spots the nub organizer and reaches in to grab a handful of them. I’m afraid she’s going to put them in her mouth and choke on them.)

Me: “Oh, sweetie, no, those aren’t to play with! Can I have them back?”

(With a little persuasion, she gives me the nubs back and goes back to the fitting room. This scenario happens a number of times until her mom comes out of the dressing room. Right now she has a small handful of nubs.)

Me: “Honey, you can’t have those! You shouldn’t be playing with them!”

Customer: “Excuse me, are you telling my daughter what to do?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but she keeps taking the nubs we use on our hangers and I’m—”

Customer: “My daughter is an angel! She can play with whatever she wants, and you can’t tell her what she can and can’t do!”

Me: “Ma’am, these nubs could potentially be dangerous for her. If she—”

Customer: “Did you not hear me?! I said she can do whatever she wants! Give her back the d*** toy!”

Me: “This isn’t a toy, and if she puts one in her mouth she could choke on it.”

(As if on vue, we hear a choking sound. The little girl has indeed put several nubs in her mouth and is choking on them. Her mother quickly bends down and hits her on the back several times before the girl spits them out. Then she stands up and dumps the handful of contaminated nubs into my hand.)

Customer: “Well, maybe if you hadn’t made them so brightly-colored, this wouldn’t have happened!”

(When I went on my break an hour later, she was ranting about me to a manager, and how I was “choking her daughter with brightly colored plastic.”)