Man in chemist

(61 Posts)
Fluffymonster Fri 28-Jun-13 19:51:19

Gets right up my effing nose!!!

The chemists is next to our GP's practice, and I go there to get meds for dd's asthma or whatever.

I have two kids, 4 and 6yo and they're happy, cheery souls - they chatter to one another while waiting (but not in a shouty way) and the 4yo will look at the items on the shelves and might touch one or two items - but the older one is sensibly behaved and won't. Neither of them would ever take or steal anything though.

When 4yo was younger i.e. toddler - she may have moved the odd thing, like put a shampoo bottle a few inches to the left or something while waiting, or brought an item to me, and I've told her to put it back - she's never broken or opened anything, or stuff like that.

Well, there's this guy who works there, I'm not sure in what capacity - as I don't think he actually does the dispensing. He works the till though. Anyway - he is really OTT. As soon as 4yo literally lays her finger on something, like for a couple of seconds, he's there, asking me to get her to leave them alone. He's like fucking Gollum with His Precious. Then he makes a point of coming out with his stupid clipboard, and fiddles with the shelves, obviously stocktaking. All she's doing is having a look fgs - it's not doing anyone any harm, and what do you expect small kids to do in a chemist when there isn't always a place to sit?

So today we popped in to buy some plasters, and out he pops within a minute, with his I'm-an-officious-twat clipboard, and immediately goes to the shelf where dd was (she'd literally just pointed at, and touched with the tip of her finger, a Mr. Men gel pad). Grrr.

I was paying for the plasters two feet away, and hadn't even left the scene yet - it's so fucking rude!!! I feel like my kids, and therefore I, who are generally polite, and upstanding citizens are being treated like kleptomaniacs!!

Anyway, this has gone on long enough and though I've never really said anything to him about it before, as when they were toddlers I could understand the raging paranoia cautiousness a bit more. (Even so, I've NEVER been in a chemists anywhere else, where they've actively been prevented from looking at or touching anything - imagine if that happened in Boots!). I can't decide if he's like that with all kids or just mine, as mostly it's other adults in there waiting. It's not like we are there that often, maybe once every few months - but gradually I've noticed he does it every single time we're in. It's not even funny anymore.

WIBU to have words, if he so much as touches his blasted clipboard again, within two hundred yards of us next them we're in?

Or maybe I could just double back and move/touch everything myself, each time he's finished stocktaking?

Or get as many of my mum mates and offspring to descend on him in one fell swoop and see what he does?

Oh I realise I could go to a different chemist, but it's got to a stage now where I am drawing battle lines. Officious Git.

Redorwhitejusthaveboth Fri 28-Jun-13 19:54:10

He's a knob... It's war girl!!!! Play group outing to the chemist? Really interactive session wink

maja00 Fri 28-Jun-13 19:54:26

I would ask him if there's a problem.

Oh please go in and shuffle everything around yourself! And report back....

maja00 Fri 28-Jun-13 19:55:14

I bet you'll get a load of responses saying of course YABU for letting a child touch anything in a shop grin

DameFanny Fri 28-Jun-13 19:56:02

Turn all the bottles round as if you're looking at ingredients and leave them that way.

And when he leaps out from the counter say "excellent, could you help me choose between these two pile cushions" or similar.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 28-Jun-13 19:56:41

"He's like fucking Gollum with his Precious."

Thats disgusting!!


scratchandsniff Fri 28-Jun-13 20:09:20

That would wind me up. I'd have to shift stuff about on purpose and would be actively encouraging my kids to look at stuff. I imagine him looking like Noris off of Coronation Street. Perhaps take your own clipboard in grin

Fluffymonster Fri 28-Jun-13 20:12:26

I actually was SO tempted to mess with his shelves - in fact I did start to, cos I went back to them, and bent down to 'look' at more boxes of plasters, but wimped out of touching them.

Then I got home and thought how absolutely ridiculous it is!

Fluffymonster Fri 28-Jun-13 20:13:22

Chortle at Duck grin

currentbuns Fri 28-Jun-13 20:23:36

Perhaps he's decided for whatever reason that your dc are particularly suspicious. I had this once with a loon security guard at a Sainsbury's I used to frequent when pregnant with dc1. I'm convinced he thought I'd concealed stolen goods beneath my bump because whenever I entered the store he'd be lurking about, hovering behind displays and ducking back quickly, keeping a close eye on me. It was ridiculous.

Oldraver Fri 28-Jun-13 20:28:11

Oh I would wind him up and move bottles around and stuff

Fluffymonster Fri 28-Jun-13 20:42:17

Is it possible for him to ban us if I did?

I mean, I would think it's my right as a customer to browse...if I felt so inclined...

Not that it would be a huge hassle as there are others I could go to...but oh, the indignity.

WhoBU Fri 28-Jun-13 20:46:54

Dare you to do some precious Gollum style hissing under your breath grin

weisswusrt Fri 28-Jun-13 20:55:18

Buy the plasters.....then next time put them back on the shelf so his clipboard says his precious items don't add up!
Nasty tricksy fluffy!

Eyesunderarock Fri 28-Jun-13 21:05:36

He does sound like my DS. I find it very disconcerting when he's had a spare moment and I look in the pantry to find that everything is lined up and organised, all the labels on the cans and packets at regimented angles.
Same with my random scatterings of stuff in the bathroom.
You could ask him why he's bothered.

Oldraver Fri 28-Jun-13 21:10:26

....Is it possible to ban us if we did...

But who the fuck is he ? He sounds far too officious and I would be having a word with the manager that his actions are intimidating to you and just hope he isnt the manager

cjel Fri 28-Jun-13 21:15:30

i am going to say i have 2 dcs and 5 dgcs and they just know not to touch in shops ! but this horrid little man is an idiot !!!

Eyesunderarock Fri 28-Jun-13 21:25:48

Yes, use your words to talk to him. Or his manager.
Unless you are enjoying the drama? The man may be oblivious to the level of anger he is generating in you.

HollyBerryBush Fri 28-Jun-13 21:35:18

My mantra to my children was "you look with your eyes not your fingers, put it back"

what do you expect small kids to do in a chemist when there isn't always a place to sit?

|Call me old fashioned but stand still, not touch and not be a pain in the arse to the world around them

Gruntfuttock Fri 28-Jun-13 21:37:10

I'd talk to him about his behavior, preferably in front of his manager. It shouldn't be accepted but challenged calmly and reasonably.

cjel Fri 28-Jun-13 21:51:15

Holly, you are braver than me saying what i thought outloud here on mn!!!!

MammaTJ Fri 28-Jun-13 21:56:02

Where do you live? I start every visit to every shop with 'look with your eyes not with your hands' to DD. I wouldn't bother in this shop, it would kill him!! grin

MalcolmTuckersMum Fri 28-Jun-13 21:57:45

You know OP - really - your kids shouldn't be touching the stock. It's not there to help them pass the time. I understand that the assistant is OTT and probably deserves smiting dead with his clipboard but really - if you worked there would you like everything rearranged every two minutes because some entitled mother thought her entitled kids had every right to treat the shop stock as a toybox?

HollaAtMeBaby Fri 28-Jun-13 21:58:44

YABU. Teach your children not to touch!

MammaTJ Fri 28-Jun-13 22:02:04

Malcolm and Holla feel free to borrow my ADHD DD any time you want and demonstrate how you would manage this!!

why do you even let this bother you op
seriously just let it just wash over you

its not important and neither that that twatish bloke with his silly clipboard

Queenmarigold Fri 28-Jun-13 22:10:51

Gather all the children you know. Have a 'chemist party' with all the children in the chemists at once. Film his reaction, put it on YouTube and make millions. That'll teach him.

Eyesunderarock Fri 28-Jun-13 22:12:14

Lessons in being PA from MN. <sigh>
Words, use your words.

Fluffymonster Fri 28-Jun-13 22:15:44

Heh here comes the backlash...

Yes I know I should teach them not to touch - 6yo doesn't - 4yo is on the can't-keep-still side, and struggles with standing still if the prescription is taking a while.

This is when she goes over to the shelves and has a look or a poke - it's harmless! I'm talking about going as far as "Oh look there's Mr. Bump on a box!" [poke] and picking up a pack of Lockets and going "Can we buy some of these?" [to which I reply no, put them back, and she does].

It's not like she's emptying the shelves and rearranging them!

But whatever. Maybe I do need to discipline her more, or take her outside. He's still an arse.

WorraLiberty Fri 28-Jun-13 22:17:37

At 4yrs of age and assuming your child is NT, they should be taught not to touch.

He does sound like a bit of a jobsworth (though obviously we only have your side of the story) but there's no reason for your kids to be touching things they're not going to buy.

youarewinning Fri 28-Jun-13 22:19:37

Going to add "look with your eyes, not your hands/fingers" to my "speak with your voice, not your hands" I'm always spouting at DS. (he has communication problems)

He also has a problem with fiddling - and it is a problem when its not his to touch rearrange!

YABU - your DD shouldn't be touching, she's not buying.

Indecisive90 Fri 28-Jun-13 22:21:25

I doubt he thinks she's going to steal anything. There are glass bottles on the shelves, not only can it be dangerous for children to poke about and potentially break things, he'd have to clean up whatever lotion was spilled. Your children might not break things but other children do, it won't just be your children he asks not to touch things. I think you're overreacting.

Suttonmum1 Fri 28-Jun-13 22:23:57

I have spent my fair share of timing waiting in the local Chemists with small children and have always tried my hardest to stop them touching stuff. However, think about the situation differently. This country is rammed with small chemists shops which exist only because of the prescriptions they dispense, not because of the overpriced rubbish that your kids might touch. He is in business because of his proximity to the GP and his right to dispense.

It will not be long before this situation changes and we and the NHS stop subsidising him. If the local Post Offices can be decimated then surely crappy little chemists are next.

OK, I know they're really useful but he should realise that he is on borrowed time and pissing of the customers won't help.

Eyesunderarock Fri 28-Jun-13 22:25:41

It causes my DS discomfort when he looks into my cupboard of chaos and sees labels randomly pointing in different directions. So he organises it.
Oddly enough, my spices not being in alphabetical order doesn't bother him, as long as they are ordered.
Talk to the man,or his manager and say that his behaviour is making you uncomfortable because...
Don't make it into a feud.

Fluffymonster Fri 28-Jun-13 22:26:23

whiteandyellowiris Oh don't worry it will fade soon enough into a minor irritation. It's just because it happened today AGAIN, and it's just obviously not a coincidence now.

If he got the clipboard out after everyone in there had picked something up, it wouldn't bother me (I'd just think he was a bit odd) - but it's offensive because he's singling my kids out even though they aren't doing anything to the items, just having a look/browse, asking what's this etc - at the most - quite often they're just standing by the shelves and not even touching, just looking.

I'm right by them, making sure nothing breaks or gets nicked and he treats us all like petty thieves...that riles.

landofsoapandglory Fri 28-Jun-13 22:26:41

I'm another one who has always said "you look with your eyes not your fingers!" She shouldn't be touching or picking things up.


youarewinning Fri 28-Jun-13 22:30:24

eyes I can see my DS doing this when he can reach the cupboard. He moves things in the house because it just makes no sense to him that I put something where I did grin

Signet2012 Fri 28-Jun-13 22:30:58

I told the lady in boots once to sod off.

I was at uni so regularly used to go in to kill half a hour and buy a drink before lectures. I used to have great fun taking the most bizarre routes because every single time the security guard would follow me. (Didn't help I had jeans trainers and a hoody on most days). I would have a look at the perfume counter see if there were any offers on and not once did anyone speak to me! Once they even moved the tester pot out of my way !!! ( I swear I didn't look that bad!!!!)

One particular day I'd wore my hair down and was dressed a lot smarter because I was going to a meal with some friends and popped in to buy some nail polish and the perfume counter lady asked me if she could help and would I like a sample!

I told her to sod off and explained that every other day when I come in I look scruffy they send security round after me. So no. Just because my hair was done for a change I didn't want some of their bloody samples.

evelynj Fri 28-Jun-13 22:38:05

Could you ask the pharmacist who the manager is & 'check with the manager' if he has special needs-OCD or something-explaining that you not understand why he is acting the way he is, in the hope that they have a word with him or affirm that it's a common problem?

At worst/best? It will let him know you are aware of his oddness but seeming concerned. Or he might actually have special needs & it could change your perception.

Alternatively, I'd send in some other families and ask for a report back. Let us know the outcome please!

Fluffymonster Fri 28-Jun-13 22:38:57

The thing is, it's not just where there are bottles, that he's super vigillant, it's everywhere - even with the unbreakable stuff like plasters.

And she doesn't tamper - just touches, if that. You would think that after a few stocktakes, he would actually realise that the things ARE in the right place and nothing is missing, and would stop treating dd like she's a menace to society, but no. Out comes the clipboard within seconds, out he comes, bloody well touching everything himself as he counts. Ffs..

Still. I will use the phrase "Look with your eyes not your fingers" with dd as it seems to work so well!

Floggingmolly Fri 28-Jun-13 22:39:33

That's a fairly bizarre post, Suttonmum hmm
The NHS is subsidising his shop, so he should be so grateful for customers he should let their kids run amok and use the shop as a playbarn?

Floggingmolly Fri 28-Jun-13 22:42:33

God it gets better grin. If he has special needs...
He doesn't want to have to mark down stock as shop soiled after hundreds of grubby little fingers have left their sticky residue on it.
Special needs?????

Catinthebed Fri 28-Jun-13 23:34:43

I seriously doubt that he is the pharmacist. Why don't you ask to speak to the pharmacist and just say he makes you feel unwelcome. Pharmacies like everyone else are struggling these days. They will value your business!

WilsonFrickett Fri 28-Jun-13 23:44:20

Och come on cat. We've all had 4 yos and they are sticky fingered, shelf display destroying nightmares. Op goes in every 3 months yet still manages to get pissed off I hardly think they'll be weeping in to their prescription pads if they lose her custom.

Fluffy, this sounds like the man in the chemist I now avoid, but if it is the same one I'm totally happy to join in on a flashmob!

Are you in the North-West?

solarbright Sat 29-Jun-13 00:53:28

Ummm, I'm not sure what the problem is with touching things in a shop, even if you happen to be 4. I often touch things I have no intention of buying. Picking up breakables, rearranging a make-up counter, etc, is not okay. But: Mummy look at these Barbie plasters! Poke. That's fine. Such tactics from my own DC have every so often resulted in me buying said Barbie plasters, because now they mention it, we're out of plasters...

ChestyNut Sat 29-Jun-13 10:09:00

Another "look with your eyes, not your hands" here.


jellybelly18 Sat 29-Jun-13 10:28:30

I've worked in retail and it is so annoying when darling children make new displays on the shelves while mum / dad looks fondly on 'ooh he / she is so clever building a castle'. that being said I don't run round after every child clearing up. I silently seeth and wonder why parents don't teach children to look with their eyes not with their hands. I appreciated the parent who said put that back please, don't touch etc

Fluffymonster Sat 29-Jun-13 10:33:41

Frances No, not in North-West lol - there must be more of them.

solarbright - yes you're spot on - it's that kind of situation, and not as if dd goes along each shelf systematically picking everything up - it's just the odd thing, under my supervision.

To me it's all part of browsing, and we did indeed end up buying the slightly more expensive Peppa Pig plasters yesterday, because of dd saying "Look! Peppa Pig ones?" [points, takes off shelf and hands to me] - so she actually got me to spend a bit more! If this guy was a bit less anal, perhaps they'd get more custom.

cjel Sat 29-Jun-13 11:25:14

fluffy, you seem to be backtracking now about what your dcs do in the shop? you started with what else are they supposed to do while waiting and now minimise what they are doing?

Fluffymonster Sat 29-Jun-13 21:57:44

Not backtracking or minimising cjel. Not sure where you got that idea.

This is what happened:

4yo had grazed her knee in playground and I thought we'd pop in for some plasters.

Dd had been looking at the plasters shelf (calmly, and with me next to her).

There was a Mr. Men gel pad for bruises on the same shelf as the plasters, which she poked at with the tip of her finger whilst we were browsing. She then picked up the Peppa Pig plasters and asked to buy them. I took them to the till, which was a couple of feet away.

Mr. Paranoid Stock-Taker, appeared like a shot with his clipboard and went up to the shelves we had just been in front of and immediately starts readjusting and counting everything on those shelves. We were in there less than a minute at this point. 6yo dd had been perfectly behaved, standing there, 4yo dd had browsed with me.

I felt really annoyed as there is a history of this person doing this - just gradually I've realised it's not coincidental he does this while we're in there - as it happens too often now for it to not be deliberate. I was especially annoyed as yesterday we weren't even in for prescriptions - just in and out, yet there he was again, clipboard in hand. It's incredibly rude and off-putting to say the least, and I came here to have a good old rant.

I stand by that comment. The full context was: All she's doing is having a look fgs - it's not doing anyone any harm, and what do you expect small kids to do in a chemist when there isn't always a place to sit?

The point being is that they are looking and not doing any harm. NOT 'running amok and treating the place like a playbarn' as inferred by some folks. Not 'making new displays'. They are having a look if there is a wait - esp 4yo who struggles with standing still after a few minutes - I don't have a massive problem with her browsing as long as she doesn't move things to different shelves, opens/breaks anything or steals. But she doesn't do that - I'm with her anyway. It's a poke here and a "can we buy this" there. I think it's fine, but accept that other people wouldn't let their children touch anything at all.

Still, you don't have to believe me! I suppose there will always be the odd bod who wouldn't - after all, we MUST have done something wrong to keep getting that treatment. So...never mind!

Anyway - not feeling so bothered today. He's an arse, it's not going to do their business any good and they'll only have themselves to blame.

However I think I should also employ the "Look with your eyes and not your hands" mantra with dd as that sounds fair enough. Also, maybe he does do this because of other kids in general and it may not be down to just mine. Though that remains to be seen.

Anyway it's yesterday's news. Right now I've calmed down and can't be arsed to go back and have words - but will report back if he does it again next time, as I probably will mention something about it being really off-putting for potential customers-with-kids.

Lazyjaney Sat 29-Jun-13 22:06:46

"if he has special needs-OCD or something"

Ill bet The only special need he has is for parents to control their grubby fingered kids. I'd also bet the OPs kids are not the paragons of virtue she describes, and I'd bet too that she is not the only one with fiddling kids they have to deal with every day.

I'm with you fluffy, YANBU

i would vote with my feet, shop elsewhere

cjel Sat 29-Jun-13 22:20:22

the point is they were looking not touching OH NO she poked one packet and picked up another one, you were right by her, OH NO you went to the till?Make up your mind!! I believe you, I have no reason not too and anyway why do you feel the need to have everyone believe you are honest>

You have just contradicted yourself in the above post twice, if you compare your OP with all your other posts that is why i said you were backtracking.
Glad you've calmed down hate to try and talk to you when you are wound

Bugsylugs Sat 29-Jun-13 22:21:48

Odd that it is ok for adults to pick up hold look and touch but everyone expects children to look but not touch. Just incase I teach the same put pick up touch etc myself

cjel Sat 29-Jun-13 22:29:52

adults have more control on how they handle things, usually have cleaner hands, usually picking up to get closer look at potential purchase, dcs are picking up to play,may well damage,dirty , make things unsaleable.
not odd at all, adults are allowed to do a lot that children can't.
BTY I also think its wrong for adults to pickk up for the sake of it and can't stand people wh think its ok to read magazines in shops without paying!!smile

Fluffymonster Sun 30-Jun-13 00:28:22

Cjel - you asked two questions, specifically addressed to me.

I didn't want to appear as though I was ignoring you at the end of the thread so I posted a reply. Wow.

Eyesunderarock Sun 30-Jun-13 00:32:25

You could just not go back. Ever ever ever again. That'd larn him.

Salmotrutta Sun 30-Jun-13 00:38:38

I didn't let my kids prod and poke stuff on shelves. I also used the "look with your eyes and not your fingers" phrase! It's pretty well known surely?

And as for the poster asking about adults prodding and poking - generally adults are the people with money who are actually selecting and comparing goods to make a purchase.

Not many 4 year-olds have purchasing power.

AaDB Sun 30-Jun-13 09:33:21


Go elsewhere.

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