I took all four children to our outdoor shopping area right after school. Shopping for four (two of which are very picky girls) takes time and I did not want to waste a minute. They had snacks and drinks in the car to save time too.
Our first step was an all-girls store. 75 minutes and 8 outfits later, we were onto out next step. A fancier clothing store. Empty and pricey. But the clerk (like the clerks at the girls' store) were beyond sweet and understanding. Running from the back to the front, searching for the right size and the shirt Dino just had to have in his size. They were great. Sadly, nothing he liked was in his size.
And so we went to the next stop. Another empty store but this time both clerks stood behind the counter chatting away and did not want to bothered with a frazzled mother and her four children.
I proceeded to view the boys' clothing with Dino and wondered aloud if any of the orange shirts were in a size 4T? The conversation between the two clerks continued. Obviously it was an important conversation--much more important than the only customer in their store for the past ten minutes. Actually not a single customer came into the store for our entire visit.
I continued picking up some shirts and shorts and then looked down to see Dino do the infamous potty dance. I knew I had a very short window to find facilities for my son. I had to act fast.
With a smile on my face, I came up to the counter and asked if my son could use the restroom.
"There are restrooms at the book store at the opposite end of the shopping center," the clerk with short red hair did not smile and met my face with a glare.
"Oh please," I smiled. "He doesn't have great control and there is no way we can get there in time. He'll pee before we get there."
Not smiling, she said "We don't have restrooms here. None at all. You need to go to the book store."
"Ma'm, "I tried to remain pleasant. "I have worked in retail. I know you have a restroom in the store."
And it is true. I worked in a children's store and we had an employee restroom that we allowed our smallest customers to use because small children have very small impatient bladders. Since having my children, my kids have seen restrooms at Baby Gap, Gap Kids, Hanna Andersson, CrewCuts, Limited Too, Children's Placce among smaller kiddie boutiques. And never has a clerk ever said 'No' because they understand kids (good thing as they are kids' clothing stores).
"We don't have a PUBLIC restroom."
"But you do have a restroom."
She said nothing. If she said, yes we do but it is dangerous and things are a mess, I would seriously understand. Heck, if she had at least greeted us when we walked in the store or asked if we needed help, I might be a little understanding.
As it was, she was being nothing but unhelpful. So I got angry.
"OK. Let's hope for your sake, my son doesn't need to go because I would like to pick out some clothes without having to walk back and forth to the other end of the shopping center."
"Soooo (and this is my really mean side) if he can't wait, he's just going to end up having an accident and peeing on your floor."
"No," she reached over and snatched the clothing I was about to buy out of my hands. "We will hold these for you. You will take your children to the book store and then you can come back and buy your clothes." Yes, she was loud and no she was not smiling.
At this point I saw red. At this point I no longer was calm, cool and a lady. I became the very angry, ignored, frustrated customer.
"No, I'm just going to let him pee on the floor, OK?"
She began to raise her voice louder, "You are rude. You are going to have him pee on our floor."
Now I realize I am dealing with a moron. No mom would ever tell her child to pee on a floor. She was heartless or had little experience with children and moms.
"OK," I try to be peaceful. "I think you are not understanding how it is for kids. Do you have kids?"
Looking at me straight in the face, still no smile,"Yes, yes I have a child."
And what do you say to a mother who treats another mother in desperate need like this?
I took the kids and we ran like crazy, dodging cars and shoppers to the book store. And Dino just made it :)
And for the first time in my life, I called the corporate store with my story and I emailed the corporation with my story. I am that angry.
And I will never return to this store again. Their corporate office knows this very well now. Crewcuts, Hanna Andersson, GapKids, Children's Place and Limited Too is much better stuff anyway.
FYI for the executives at the store where the incidence occurred: After our potty break, we went to Children's Place for Dino's clothes and spent $134.00 Money your store just might have made if the clerk was human.