Food For Thought, Inc Complaint - I Was Asked To Leave The Store By The Manager

Review by claudethe on 2007-04-25
WICHITA, KANSAS -- This had to be the worst experience in my life ever, I have been to Food for thought for about 3 times. Today as soon as I got to the store the manager approached me and said I had to leave, she claimed that some customers have complained about my daughter. I am positive she was lying, I felt I was being discriminated, because I am not American, the first time I was at the store my daughter took some stickers and put them on a notebook, right after that the manager came to me, in a rude tone and said that if the stickers didn't come off, I was going to have to pay for them, and I said fine, anyway the stickers came off and I did not pay. Today when I was kicked out of the store she referred to that time too. There is a little place in the store for kids to color, that is what my daughter does when we go there, and every time she draws sometime she will show it to me. The woman at the store said that my daughter runs everywhere, which is a lie. Anyway the manager kicked me out and said to go shop somewhere else. I am very sad, for the way I was treated and disappointed, that there is no much I can do about it.
Comments:33 Replies - Latest reply on 2007-07-30
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-25:
Uh, don't go there anymore? It's your money shop someplace else. There has to be another store that would love to see you, your daughter and your money.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-25:
I feel that we are not hearing the whole story, here.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-25:
Emt_c, agreed.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-25:
"I" think that you need to watch your daughter a little closer. What your daughter did could be considered theft (stickers). You are here legally aren't you? If you are then you too are an AMERICAN! You must be referring to your race or ethnicity. Find someplace else to go.
Posted by One-Eyed Willie on 2007-04-25:
So you are leaving your daughter unattended to color and play, which already shows your parenting skills are open to question. Then every time your daughter draws something she runs around the store trying to find you probably bugging customers as she tries to find you. I'm thinking your daughter has the run of the place while you turn a blind eye. Keep your kid in the cart and stop expecting other people to watch her, regardless of where you are from.
Posted by Justusryan on 2007-04-25:
Why would you let your kid steal stickers?
Posted by Sparticus on 2007-04-25:
I got the impression the stickers were the kid's own... and she was just putting them on merchandise.
Posted by Slimjim on 2007-04-25:
Here's the deal. Any store can refuse service to anyone provided it is not proven to be discrimination. Money has only one color and that's green. Clearly your daughter is a high maintenance situation for them and not worth having you shop there. Accept the fact you did not adhere to YOUR responsibility in watching her closer and stop blaming it unjustly on origin.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-25:
You are lucky that the store manager asked you to leave and did not call security on you for not paying attention to your child. They could have called CPS or Children's Aid on you if you make a habit of letting your child run around the store unsupervised and charge you with neglect. Also your child was stealing those stickers you should be glad that they did not press charges on your daughter, or you for allowing your daughter to steal.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-25:
Well I don't think the daughter was stealing stickers, they were probably provided in the colouring section. I think the child put them on the notebooks that the store was supposed to sell. As for the OP, you should have told your child that if she wants to colour in the kids section than she should stay there until you are finished shopping otherwise she should stay with you. I also have one question how old is your child. If she is too young to know that she can't stick stickers on merchandise than she is too young to be left in the children's colouring section. Anyway if the story you told is happening the way that you said and you are not leaving out any details(which I think you are) than I think the manager should have handled this differently and talked to you about the concerns about your daughter running/wandering around the store. I am assuming that you were already talked to about this but did not follow through but are leaving that out. Also if people are complaining about your daughter they are probably doing so because she is not behaving as innocent as you see and because theya are concerned about her safety. Lastly this is a store not a playground so your child like I said earlier if your child decides she wants to colour rather than spend time with you than she should stay there until you are done shopping, otherwise she should remain with you.
Posted by Demonoid Phenomenon on 2007-04-25:
I'd love to hear the manager's side of this.
Posted by doescustomerserviceexist? on 2007-04-25:
First off I hate it whe people cry discrimination, when things don't go there way. You said nothing that made us believe that.
Second, it doesn't matter what store you go to you should never leave a child unattended in any public setting. FM gets that you check your children in and out of there playland, children can't just run free.
Third, you said "manager" not owner. If you have a problem take it to higher people. If you still don't get a good response, then why would you want to spend your hard earned money where people are going to treat you bad.
Fourth, I agree with DP, what's the managers side????
Posted by doescustomerserviceexist? on 2007-04-25:
One more note. This store is obviously set up for kids, so they are accepting of children that come in. If they feel that your daughter is too much to handle, then why not shop there when you don't have her and see if the same thing happens?
Posted by tander on 2007-04-25:
If they have a place for children to play, and if the mother is supervising her, then she wouldn't get any shopping done. I think the child had her own stickers and were putting them on a notebook. The manager could have sounded rude to the poster too, there are different ways to handle situations like that. And come on, call welfare and charge her with neglect, that's going a little too far.
Posted by doescustomerserviceexist? on 2007-04-26:
tander: apparently you have no children yourself. If you do you wouldn't be a very fit one. To leave a child unattended in public is wrong. It takes only moments for a child to be kidnapped, ask Jhon Walsh.
I REALLY want to know what Food For Thought's take on this matter is.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-26:
claudethe, just find another place to shop and keep your little girl close to you.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-27:
tander - From the letter it appears that the mother was not supervising the child, and the child was wondering around unattended searching for the mother. If a child is left unattended for a long period of time and on a often than yes, if the store manager, or security calls the proper authorities than yes that can be considered a case of child abandonment. Also like doescustomerserviceexict said, it does not take a long tim for someone to kidnap a child. Some kidnappers are even bold enough to do so in front of lots of witnesses, and no one would stop them because they would think that the child belonged to the kidnapper. I am assuming that these children's colouring sections are for older children. I doubt very much that they are supervised. I sure do hope that doescustomerserviceexict is right and that you do not have any children. I agree with you that the manager may have been rude, but if the OP was spoken to about this before than she obviously did not listen. The bottom line is the OP should have talked to her child about wondering around in the store. Also if the child was wondering around in the store unsupervised she was not in the childrn's play area as she was supposed to be. Also it looks to me like the mother is not supervising the daughter because the daughter spends time searching for the mother. Also if the mother was supervising the daughter she would not let the child put stickers on books belong to the store.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-27:
doescustomerserviceexist? - Also if the child has a habit of wondering from the children's play spot to go and find her mother if she were really kidnapped the mother would not know it until it was way too late. The mother would think the child was still in the store trying to find the mother. Also whether this shop was set up for kids or not it does not seem well supervised. The moral of the story is take your kids with you and bring your own colouring supplies.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-27:
lidman - great advice, she should probably keep her child in the cart, and bring along her own books for the child to read so she does not get bored. I am sure that if she did that food for thought would have no problem with the mother coming with the daughter.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-27:
tander - It's not going too far if she is shopping more than 30 minutes and the child is not supervised. In Canada you can call the police for this especially if you talked to the parent before or if you paged the parent.
Posted by healthy on 2007-04-27:
As the store manager and part owner of Food For Thought, I would like to respond to the comments posted by the customer that was asked to leave and shop elsewhere.
First of all, she has been in our store numerous time, each time with her daughter and another small child that she keeps in the shopping cart.
1. We do not discriminate against any particular race, color or creed with our customers.
2. We have a large ethnic customer base.
3. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.
4. This customer has been in the store numerous times, not just the 3 times as she wrote in her comments. On each occasion we have had to speak to her to please watch her daughter, or to her daughter to please stay with her mother. (The daughter is probably 4 years old-not in school yet.)
While in our store, her daughter was asked on one occasion five times, by two different employees to stop jumping up and down on the coloring table before she finally complied and got off the table. Her daughter colored all over the table on one occasion, which our employees quietly cleaned up. On another occasion, her daughter threw crayons and coloring pages all over the floor, which our employees quietly cleaned up. On another visit, her daughter went behind an area, that was marked for employees only and was chained off, to help herself to stickers that we had in that area, she placed them on a notepad that was for sale, and when I approached her mother I informed her that unless the stickers could be peeled off, we would have to charge her for the notepad. The mother was able to peel off the stickers, so we didn't charge her for the pad. We also didn't charge her for the stickers but could have. We found later that the girl had also colored in that notepad, so we were unable to sell it.
On another occasion, her daughter took several lip balms and rolled them around in her mouth, she was asked by an employee to leave them alone and find her mother. On a different visit, the daughter ate a chocolate bar and left the wrapper on the coloring table-we showed it to her mother (who was in another part of the store) and we did charge her for that.
We have been more than patient with this situation, but upon receiving some customer complaints recently of the little girl running through the store, we felt it was time to take action.
When I approached this customer on Wednesday, April 25, 2007, I asked her politely to leave our store and to find another place to shop because of the constant problems we have had with her daughter's misbehavior and her lack of response when we have asked her to watch her daughter. We are a large (15,000 sq. ft.) natural foods market and have been in business since 1971. We do not provide child care services as part of our business, but rather we expect parents to take care of their own. When they do not comply, they are asked to leave, as we do not want the burden of something happening to the child while in our place of business. If this mother would take the same amount of time and energy she has spent trying to besmirch our reputation as a superior retailer and put it towards taking charge of her daughter, it would be time welll spent.

Posted by scooterkitty on 2007-04-27:
Lady, you need to be a responsible mother and watch your child! YOUR child, not some store's problem. I am so tired of parents in the world that expect everyone around them to put up with their kids bad behavior! It is no wonder this up and coming generation is so messed up, they are taught ZERO responsibility, ZERO manners and ZERO accountability from their parents! Take ten minutes to improve your parenting skills instead of using that time to write something hurtful about a small business. Shame on you lady.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-27:
healthy - If you are the store manager of that store as you say you are than why did you not call the police and report the mother for abandoning and neglecting her child. Also if the mother was giving you attitude you should have charged the daughter with theft for the chocolate bar and stickers. You can also even charge the mother with theft if she is not watching the daughter and the daughter steals. Hopefully this will teach her to take care of her child.
Posted by purplekoolaid on 2007-04-27:
If they have a coloring table set up, there are tons of kids that shop with their parents that are probably well behaved. You need to keep an eye on your daughter, unless you want to pay the store to babysit for you because your daughter is NOT their responsibility.

Also, they have every right to ask you not to shop there any longer. The store says your daughter runs around everywhere, you deny it, but how would you know if you're not right next to her watching? If you're in denial about her behavior, perhaps they have surveillance videos you can ask to see. Also, if your daughter were to knock over a shelf and be injured, that store is the first place you would sue! They are protecting themselves from a lawsuit because we live in a "sue-happy" society.

This business is not being unreasonable at all and if I were you, I would be sooo embarrassed that my child musbehaved that badly. They handled the situation appropriately by quietly cleaning up the messes left behind, but it probably just kept escalating so they asked you not to come back. From the business's point it sucks to lose a customer, but since other customers were complaining, it's better to lose one unhappy customer (you) as opposed to several. You need to learn to take responsibility for your actions and teach your daughter to do the same.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-27:
Well if the daughter is four years old than she is too young to wonder around the store. At four children can follow simple instructions. You sound like an irresponsible parent, and maybe you need a strict babysitter for your daughter while you do shopping. Sounds to me like you need to be more strict with your daughter. If she is taking things of the shelf and opening or eating them than you are not supervising your daughter.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-27:
ghostbuster - You can't press charges against a four year old, but the store certainly can call Child Protection and report this as neglect as the child appears to be leaving the child. unsupervised for a long period of time on a every time she shops. However there is probably a reason that the manager or security did not call Child Protection, for one having a visit from them not only stresses out the parent but the child as well, and number two they do not want to risk the chance that the family will be split up and number three they do not want to be involved.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-27:
healthy - Sound to me like you have a lot on your hands. You have a mother that constantly allows her child to run wild in the store. The mother is apparently unaware of her child's behaviour and when you talk to her about it she claims that you are discrimating against her because she is "not American" The child damanges merchandise, eats chocolate off the shelf and you do not make the mother pay for it, yet the "mother" makes you out to be the bad guy when she is not watching her kid. I bet if that child got hurt at the store the first thing the ungrateful "mother" would do was try to sue you, when you she should be watching her child in the first place. You obviously tried everything and the "mother" does not seem to have a clue as how to raise children. If I were in your shoes I would have done the same thing. As a scout leader a few years ago I had to kick a Scout out of the program because his mother refused to let us discipline her undisciplined son. We tried to come up with a solution but the mother did not cooperate. I know how you feel.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-27:
purplekoolaid - You are right we do live in a "sue_happy" society. There have even been cases where people created hazards for themselves and sued, there have even been unfortunate cases where parents risked their children's health and safety just to sue and make a buck. To protect their business and other customers the store had every right to kick the mother and daughter out. They have a colouring section for children but if people keep acting like OP and expect the store to take responsibility for their children than they will get rid of it because too many children were running around. It is not fair for them to do this so they have to kick out the troublemakers so the kids that do know how to behave and whose parents actually discipline them don't lose that privilege.
Posted by doescustomerserviceexist? on 2007-04-28:
An employee is paid to do certain duties in his/her shift. They are allowed a certain time to do there duties. Having to follow a child to watch for the childs well-being can end up costing a company lots of money, espcially if something more scary did happen. Being a parent is a 24 hour responsibility that doesn't stop just because you enter a store that is "Kid friendly". A parent should know what the child is doing at all times in a forign environment, not knowing everyone around you is a forign environment. Does a 4 year old really know "Stranger safety". I was 7 when a man tryed to lure me away with a balloon, it wasen't candy so it had to be OK I thought, my Mom and an alert neighbor saved me.
This women should be counting her blessings that her child didn't get hurt in any way, all because she took advantage of a good situation, then trys to make them look like the bad ones, really shame on you.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-11:
doescustomerservice - Looks to me like claudethe was expecting a free babysitter while she was shopping.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-16:
mr Mafia - Or like in your other stories about when you wroked in security, maybe she wants her child to get hurt so she can make money off her injuries. Also I am allowed to look at the toy section or electronics.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-11:
I don't know if this mother wants her child to get hurt, most parents don't. However some parents ignore the warning sighs, neglect to watch their children and when they get seriusly injured they sue the store. It's a shame that the child is too young to sue the parent for neglence.
Posted by doescustomerserviceexist? on 2007-07-30:
Mr. Mafia: Sure does.
I sure hope that someone turned her in, or at least this blog might have opened her eyes to the fact that it's wrong to let young children out of your site in public period.
Did anyone here about a 12 year old girl in the back of her house with her family? Zina Linik? She was the last one comeing in or something like that, and a man kidnapped her. raped her and killed her. Then they start to link him to other deaths, attacks, and rapes in the area over the past 12 years.
She was 12 not 4. She was old enouph to be playing in her back yard on the 4th of July. This happened in her back yard it could happen in a grocery store.

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