Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

Summer is here and kids are out of school, and out and about during the day. We pride ourselves here at Neptune on being family friendly. We enjoy having kids of all ages shop here. There’s even a section we have set aside for comics & graphic novels that are appropriate for younger children. Unlike some collectable shops, we don’t mind children paging through the comics and touching the merchandise.

That said, we’re not a day care or a babysitting service. So, don’t drop off your young children here and leave. Being family friendly means the WHOLE family, or at least a responsible adult accompanying any children. This week alone I’ve had 2 separate parents come in with their kids, ask them to behave (usually if you have to tell them to behave it’s not a good sign for me), and then go shopping elsewhere. Are they too unruly for you to take into this other store? It’s not just this week either. It happens a lot now that summer is here. And those “elsewhere” places they shop must be getting all of the money because 9 out of 10 times the adult picks up the children and tell them they have to go because, “I don’t have any money right now.” So now I’m just someone who watches kids for free, because I’m not seeing any money either. There are many many parents who bring their young children in here and they all shop together, or maybe they just all look around and then leave. That’s fine. I’m glad that they thought our store looked interesting enough to check out, and that maybe they each saw something they liked. But would you leave your 4, 5, 6, or 7 year old alone in the grocery store? What about K-mart? How about the George Web restaurant next door?

Now don’t get me wrong. I like kids. I like them shopping here. Nothing makes me smile and laugh like kids who come in and are filled with enthusiasm when they see what we have here. And the ones who know at least as many superhero names as I do really impress me! I don’t mind children who are old enough to behave to be left alone here for a few minutes. We have some who ride their bikes here and shop alone. That’s just fine. But don’t leave your 4 & 7 year-olds here alone, please. They’re safe—I won’t kick them out or anything. But I don’t want to have to yell at them when they try to climb the shelves, or when they pick up something they shouldn’t, or make sure they don’t destroy anything. I will because I have to, but I won’t like it. I will like it even less when you then just pick them up and don’t even say hi to me when I greet you as you walk in, demanding that they go RIGHT NOW. Maybe when parents ask why our items are “so expensive” compared to other stores (see past blog Where is the Wal-Mart sign) I should tell them it’s because I have to include the baby-sitting fees.


Anonymous said...

You are so right about this. It does happen in your store quite often. I only get in there 2-3 times a month to pick up my stuff, but i have seen it happen. That sucks. What about posting a sign on the door. I think you will onmly offend the people who know who it is directed towards. The others who do not do that will probably comment on how they are not like that.

I dod not have kids so I may have a different opinion than a parent. But it sounds like hogwash to me....

Anonymous said...

Lisa, you are so right. You guys are the best store ever (I'm not exaggerating) for customer service and friendly interaction. It seems like parents are losing their minds, and common sense, these days. My solution: a security guard. Someone with a calm, even temper. Probably has kids so he knows how to deal with them, but also has all the necessary equipment: handcuffs, pepper spray, etc. etc. Just kidding (Wink, Wink), and keep up the good work!!!!