Teaching Manners To Adults Means Something Went Wrong

, , , , , | Friendly | June 15, 2018

(I’m standing in the queue at a popular supermarket chain. It’s busy, and I’ve got my four-year-old daughter with me in her pushchair. She’s clutching a pack of kids drinks I’m about to buy her, and she asks me if she can have one, to which I reply, “Wait until we’ve paid for them,” which she accepts and goes back to sitting there quietly. Her pushchair is a special-needs one, so it takes up more room than the average pushchair, and as we are backing up against one of the shelves and there are a fair few people behind me, I leave a small gap in front of me so people can get through. Then, a woman comes and stands in the gap in front of me, and the following exchange happens:)

Me: “Excuse me, the queue is back here.”

Customer: *ignores me*

Me: “Hey, I’m talking to you, woman in the green t-shirt who is pretending she can’t hear me.”

Customer: *turning round* “Oh, I’ve only got one thing and I’ve got to get back to work. Let me go in front of you.” *I only have two things myself*

Me: “Here’s the thing. I’ve just been telling my daughter that she needs to be patient until she can have her drink because we haven’t paid for them yet, and she’s been sitting here quietly waiting. If I let you go in front of me, what kind of message does that send her?”

Customer: “Well, I’m not moving. What are you going to do about it?”

Me: *loudly* “Well, there’s nothing I can do, if you are okay with having worse manners than a four-year-old.”

(At this point everyone in the queue was staring at her and giving her dirty looks. She looked embarrassed and slumped off to the back of the queue, muttering to herself.)

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