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to think this wasn't my fault? feel bad though!

(33 Posts)
echelon Fri 29-Apr-16 20:01:48

Fully prepared to be told IABU , I await the verdict!

I work in a busy supermarket. Yesterday I was on the checkouts when a harried looking mother approached with her basket and her young, cheerful -looking daughter who looked about 12.
In the course of conversation whilst putting her shopping through, I learnt that her daughter had SN and she was just about to drop her off for respite care. Her daughter was standing there grinning at me, I was smiling etc ...all good so far.

So she opens her bag to pay, roots through it, and then exclaims she's left her purse in the car, with all her vouchers etc in it.
She looks helplessly at me and at her shopping all bagged up. I say I'm happy to wait here for her to run to the car and grab her purse, as it's not busy in the store at that particular time (no queue) and I will wait with her shopping for her to come back.
She looked at her daughter with a slightly unsure expression whilst edging away, so I said immediately I would be happy to keep an eye on her daughter (the car park is right next to the entrance and it wouldn't have taken her more than a couple of minutes).
She said "great thanks" and raced off.

I smiled at the girl who is watching her mother run out of the store, about 10 seconds later the girl started crying and becoming visibly agitated sad
She pulled down her trousers and started scratching her legs, leaving red scratches all along her thighs, then pulls them up again and starts banging her chest with her hands.
She then grabs a bar of chocolate from the display, rips it open and starts munching it.

All this happened in the space of 15-20 seconds.
I was standing there saying
"sweetheart don't do that," not knowing how to calm her, (I have no experience with children with SN) and admittedly when she grabbed the chocolate I didn't stop her, it all happened so fast though.

Anyway the mother comes running back in the store, and when she saw the state her daughter was in, plus the chocolate smeared around her face, she gives me the FILTHIEST look imaginable! As if I'd just slapped her child or something.
She threw the money at me, takes the half-eaten chocolate bar away, snaps "I suppose I will have to pay for that now too?" at me, throws a pound coin for the chocolate at me and storms out.

I mean I was and still am shocked.
Did I do something wrong ? She was so nice before, and then when all that happened she was acting as if I had purposely harmed her daughter.

PattiLevin Fri 29-Apr-16 20:06:02

is this made up? I can't believe someone would leave an SN child with an untrained/stranger with no experience with SN.

HappyFatty Fri 29-Apr-16 20:07:14

Yeah. YANBU I wouldn't dream of leaving my Autistic child with anyone but DGP even for a minute. Mother WBVU IMO. She MUST have know how her child would react. x

echelon Fri 29-Apr-16 20:07:31

No not made up.

ImperialBlether Fri 29-Apr-16 20:08:00

She sounds very stressed, the poor woman.

HappyFatty Fri 29-Apr-16 20:09:42

Poor child more like. Totally irresponsible to leave a SN child with a stranger

RaeSkywalker Fri 29-Apr-16 20:10:19

I'm surprised she left her DD with you.

RiverTam Fri 29-Apr-16 20:10:30

I think she knew she'd made a bad decision and reacted in that 'I know it's my fault but I need to blame someone else and you'll do right now' kind of way. I'm sure she went home thinking why the hell did I do that? Just someone who get themselves in a pickle. Don't worry about it.

ImperialBlether Fri 29-Apr-16 20:11:13

It's possible to have "poor child" and "poor mum."

PattiLevin Fri 29-Apr-16 20:11:23

I think you have the right of it imperial. Stress makes you act like a right twat sometimes.

Kelandry Fri 29-Apr-16 20:13:12

Why didn't she take her dd with her?

Iambubbles86 Fri 29-Apr-16 20:15:13

I'm wondering if she thought maybe you had given it to the kid trying to calm her down. If that had been the case (not that I would have left my child SN or not,) and I came back and thought the cashier had given my child a chocolate bar to calm them down I would have been pissed off too iyswim, although I would have been inclined to ask if my child "stole" it or it was offered -hope the point I'm trying to get across is clean, I'm not very good at explaining myself. Basically you did absolutely nothing wrong, she shouldn't have left the child, however I understand how she could have been annoyed if her misunderstanding was as above

lem73 Fri 29-Apr-16 20:16:35

You were kind to offer but her reaction is exactly why you shouldn't have.

spanky2 Fri 29-Apr-16 20:17:06

I think you got all of the stuff that had been bothering the mum. We've got no idea of what her daily life is, but I'm assuming that if you qualify for respite care it must be very 24/7 care for the dd. Maybe if she forgot her purse after respite care she would have acted differently. Not you, everything else in her life and it spilled out on you.

bornwithaplasticspoon Fri 29-Apr-16 20:21:30

It sounds like she was at the end of her rope and took it out on you. You did nothing wrong flowers

flowers for the mum too.

AlwaysDancing1234 Fri 29-Apr-16 20:24:35

Sounds like a stressed mum made a split second decision which turned out to be the wrong one. Neither of you were unreasonable in the circumstances.

Furiosa Fri 29-Apr-16 20:24:43

Have you just joined Mumsnet today?

echelon Fri 29-Apr-16 20:31:30

kelandry I don't know, she just seemed in such a flap and was visibly stressed, she was sort of edging towards the door anyway as I spoke. She made no indication that she wanted to take her daughter with her.

echelon Fri 29-Apr-16 20:32:47

Furiosa erm no I've been a member for ages? confused

lljkk Fri 29-Apr-16 20:35:59

Don't you have a protocol, like call a manager, ring it all up, & leave the trolley with customer service & she can pay for it all when she gets back with money? Besides, why not take her DD with her.

Anyway, not OP's fault.

CaptainCabinet Fri 29-Apr-16 20:37:46

Not your fault.

Go easy on the mum too. She was obviously having a very bad day.

SN or otherwise, when supervising kids we have all done a quick dash (to the car, to the loo, to the cupboard) when things look like going OK.

echelon Fri 29-Apr-16 20:38:27

Yes we do but her car was right outside and there was no queue, she wanted to run outside to get it and so I said I'd be happy to wait for a minute.

Custardo Fri 29-Apr-16 20:40:44

oh - so rotten for all involved . not your fault, harried mother with sn child having a bad day, you got the brunt after all your kindness - but understandable from all angles

I think you were the bestest shop keep ever - well done for trying to do the right thing

Furiosa Fri 29-Apr-16 20:43:03

Sorry echelon but these threads always make me feel funny. Especially with the gut wrenching description of the girls episode.

pelvicallyfloored Fri 29-Apr-16 20:44:44

what did your colleagues/other customers say about it?

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