I understand that your concern for shortage isn’t high on the priority list. You are just a body so the store can be open from 6-9. The fact that it took me more than 5 min to find you tells me this. And where did I find you… squatting on the floor playing with sunglasses. I know you would rather be somewhere else. I get it. I’ve been there. Its a pay check. My complaint however is not really about your lack of service.
When a parent takes the trouble to come down to the store to make their little one apologize for stealing, the reaction they are looking for isn’t one of laughter with a side of “thats so cute.” At least you could have feigned disappointment.
We are trying to teach our son that stealing is a big deal. When you tell him he is cute (a comment he has heard far too often in his life from retail people) it undermines us. Then we have to be harder on the child than we were in the first place. This is a less affective method as we look like crazy old people who don’t know what we are talking about because really, what is the big deal, they weren’t mad and stealing doesn’t hurt anyone. Besides I’m cute I can get away with it.
So next time when you see a parent pleading with their eyes for you to say something that will emphasize the seriousness of the situation say something like the following:
“Oh man.” and make a serious face rubbing chin might be good. “This is very serious. I can’t have people who steal coming in my store.” Fold your arms a get at eye level with them too. “Stealing is wrong, it is against the law. People go to jail when they steal. Is that what you want to happen? Do you want to be taken away from you mummy and you daddy and go to jail.” Then stand up and appear as if you are thinking. “I could call the police, but you did come back so I think I will just ban you from the store. You cannot shop here for at least a month.” Use your discretion I would have been fine for a whole year. “And when you come back, if you do steal again I will phone the police.” Then it might even be good to say “I’m also going to tell my other shop owner friends about you and if they see you stealing they will call the police too.”
You don’t have to follow this word for word, but at least do something other than laugh.
Tomorrow I will be coming down again and hopefully your manager will do something more. I don’t want to have to send him a letter too.
A Parent Who Is Really Trying