Thursday, March 12, 2009
Open Letter to the Beauty Counter Sales Associate
Dear Sales Associate,
The other day when I came in for foundation matching, I know my son was a touch out of line, just a touch. Spinning in the counter stools and jumping from them seemed a little bit much for our encounter, but when I noticed his behavior I began to correct him. I guess you noticed too because you joined me in correcting him, actually stepping in as if you were the second parent.
Yes, you spoke more firmly and seemed to know how to get a child in line. You joining in my efforts to calm my child caught me off guard, but from the grin on your face, I figured you meant no harm. The third time though, I did have to stop you because you were clearly overstepping the line at that point. It's one thing when you rub me the wrong way, but it's another when I'm rubbed the wrong way for my child. See what you have failed to realize is that my son is in a structured learning setting from 7:30am to 4:30pm. After that, he's in aftercare until 6pm. I gave him dinner on the go so that I could have a little retail therapy. By 7:45, 8:00pm, the kid should have finished taking a bath and winding down for the night, but he was with his mom looking at blasted foundations. So when he's spinning around and doing things that you don't think are appropriate, he's trying to keep himself busy and fight his tiredness. I don't scold him for that. He's 4 years old and is doing his best. He knows that when I instruct him to do something, he's supposed to do it right away. While he doesn't always do that, I'll admit, I don't necessarily need anyone else's help to get him in line especially without my expressed permission.
Maybe you didn't realize that I've been at this for 5 years and a little longer working in youth outreach and having 2 younger siblings of my own. I have my moments where he'll get cut off the break, but I'm still working on grooming him to respond to me talking to him, not barking at him like a dog, pointing my finger, furrowing the brow and getting loud. So the next time you want to pull your parenting skills and leadership, try your own child. I'm doing fine by mine. After, I stopped you and had a serious eye to eye with my kid he understood my disappointment in his behavior and acted like an angel.
Thanks, but no thanks,
Your last random foundation customer with the kid spinning in chairs
What do you guys think? The MA was right? My child was out of line? I was too leniant with him? What's your take on a situation like this?
*Usually, the Kid knows exactly what to do in makeup stores. He either strikes convo with the MA's or nicely has a seat on a stool or in a corner (aww my lil' puppy) and chills, occassionally getting hand sanitizer until I'm done.... thank you very much.
**pic source I got the above pic from an appropriate reference, as the article relates to this topic.
**EDIT TO COMMENT**
I loved reading all of the comments agreeing or disagreeing. Thanks everyone for chiming in. I do reply to all/most of my comments.
For the record, I didn't take the lady personally. I just had 'thoughts' on the situation because the older my kid gets, the more I'm experiencing as a parent. So for those that have children/ like them, thanks for understanding. Many of you know, at one time in my life I didn't like children or even want a kid so if I wasn't on the parent end of the situation, I might feel differently. Of course, my blessing changed all of that. I think SweetBonita summed it up and really got at the heart of my matter (re: comments). I couldn't have said it better. Here are a few of my other 'thoughts':
1. i purposefully went during the week cuz NO ONE is in the stores. i'm allergic to malls on the weekend. furthermore, I'm usually doing something at the kid's school on the weekend, so I don't get to go.
2. understand this scenario happened over approx. a 20 min. span.. i asked him to stop, he'll stop and then i'll catch him later spinning in the chair... this happens again, but the last time he corrected his behavior for the night.
3. he wasn't bothering anyone, he was actually sitting very close to me.
4. i accessed the situation and decided that's how i wanted to handle him. when i'm super strict on time, the store is busy and conditions are different like i said, there are times when he gets cut off the break.
5. i said she caught me off guard, but i didn't get at her initially cuz i know she didn't mean harm or to offend me. my subconscious sense of community kicked in for a second.
6. i believe she was 'stepping in' because she was more so reacting to his reactions to me when i told him what to do. he would kinda stop or ask me "whyyyyyy?" instead of doing like he's trained which is to say "ok or yes mommy" and just do what i say.
7. i was being a bit lenient cuz he really wasn't bothering anyone, just not acting appropriate.
8. it could have been MUCH worse... like him being on the other side of the store wrecking displays with no parental control.
9. i've been in other situations where MA -PARENTS know how to respond if they want to help... "here would you like something to write on. show me how you write your name" which i pull these techniques too but.. just that night i wanted him to sit still with no tricks involved.
10. i guess parents aren't supposed to buy makeup or get a babysitter to steal a few minutes at the counter.
11. good for you if you have military trained toddlers and small children. if i' m dealing with the same issue (speaking to him more than once) a few years from now, i will actually have a problem. he's learning and being groomed right now.
12. there are some things i never understood until i became a parent. i can't and don't expect everyone to understand.