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Aibu with shop assistants comment 'wrecking the place'

(615 Posts)
Harmonyrays Sat 16-Mar-19 10:59:35

Browsing in a large charity shop wuth a toddler pottering about. In the childs section, i was looking at books while she was looking at toys getting things out admittedlt leaving 3 or 4 on the floor. I was just turning aeound to pick them hp when an assistant came over and said 'could you please not let your child wreck the place'.

Thoughts please as im annoyed at the comment as shes a very yound child who was doing what kids do, i was close by ready to put things away and was going to help the charity by buying several items.

Harmonyrays Sat 16-Mar-19 11:00:06

Sorry for typos on the phone

twinkle999 Sat 16-Mar-19 11:00:23


WellErrr Sat 16-Mar-19 11:01:21

YABU. You need to control your child when you’re in a shop, and teach them not to get things out and drop them on the floor!
Poor shop assistant who has to clear it all up.

Absolutely staggered that you think it’s ok for your child to do this in a shop.

Merryoldgoat Sat 16-Mar-19 11:01:23

The assistant could’ve phrased it better but I wouldn’t let a toddler take toys off shelves etc.

regularbutpanickingabit Sat 16-Mar-19 11:01:36

It’s a shop, not a library or a play area. Yabu.

JellyBook Sat 16-Mar-19 11:02:35

She jumped the gun a bit, but she’s probably experienced these parents who let their kids roam free and wreck the joint while happily ignoring them.

Fatasfook Sat 16-Mar-19 11:03:09

It’s s shop! Of course yabu, and entitled. As well as not teaching your child to behave in shops.

ColeHawlins Sat 16-Mar-19 11:03:43


It's your job to stop your toddler taking multiple toys out and leaving them on the floor. It's one of the benefits of using a buggy IME.

ZippyBungleandGeorge Sat 16-Mar-19 11:04:31

I agree with PPs it's a shop not stay and play. YABU

PurpleDaisies Sat 16-Mar-19 11:05:31

You are being completely unreasonable.

CluedoAddict Sat 16-Mar-19 11:05:56

YABU you need to supervise your child.

AtrociousCircumstance Sat 16-Mar-19 11:05:56

She expressed herself rudely.

MitziK Sat 16-Mar-19 11:06:16

A charity shop is not a playground.

ScreamingValenta Sat 16-Mar-19 11:07:46

I think 'wreck the place' sounds harsh and exaggerated for what happened - very over-dramatic.

It was reasonable for her to say something, but she should just have been factual - 'please could you stop your child leaving the toys on the floor' would have been a sensible thing to say.

GruciusMalfoy Sat 16-Mar-19 11:09:18

Sorry, YABU. Shops need to keep a clear floor.

rose789 Sat 16-Mar-19 11:09:27


Awwlookatmybabyspider Sat 16-Mar-19 11:09:44

Oh here we go the Judgemental brigade.
FFS it was a child playing with a few toys. Hardly makes her a delinquent in the making,does it

ThisMustBeMyDream Sat 16-Mar-19 11:09:58

She had no idea you were not buying those items. She should have asked politely. There is no need for rudeness.

Luckingfovely Sat 16-Mar-19 11:10:54

Yup YA totally BU.

Precious first child much?

Spotsmum Sat 16-Mar-19 11:11:58

You were being very unreasonable. What if someone had tripped over the toys? You are responsible for your child. The shop assistant could have phrased it better, but she was likely a volunteer and has to watch feckless parents allow this day in, day out. Please have consideration for others.

littletreasure2017 Sat 16-Mar-19 11:12:17

I disagree on this one, I don't think you were unreasonable I think she sounded rude xxx

Madein1995 Sat 16-Mar-19 11:13:34


She's probably encountered lots of parents who let their children pull things about, run around, drop things etc. I know I did in a supermarket. Parents letting their kids eat the (to be weighed) pick n mix, or worse, put their hands in the stands and eat them. Pull things about, drop jars, run about, leave then alone while they try on clothes etc.

It's a common thing in retail for some parents to behave like this and leave their children to roam. While by no means the majority, its common enough to cloud people's views. Letting your child pull things about and leave them in the floor, isn't ok. It might be what kids do, and it might be ok in a nursery, crèche, home, child's section of a library. A shop is none of those things. It doesn't matter that she's a young child, or it's what children do. It's not a nursery where children are allowed to do those things.

From her perspective, your child was pulling out toys while you were looking at books and not intervening. Most parents I've encountered would have walked off without tidying. As you weren't stopping your child, presumably and understandably, she thought you the same.

No one expects children to behave perfectly. They tantrum, cry, shout, it's normal and expected. What's also expected Is that parents control their children

LoudBatPerson Sat 16-Mar-19 11:17:13

YABU. It sounds like you were letting your child get out multiple toys and play with things whilst you browsed a different section.

It is absolutely not ok for a child to get out multiple items in a shop, play with them and leave them on the floor.

You should have stepped in once the first item was left out, not wait till there 3/4.

VampirateQueen Sat 16-Mar-19 11:17:16

YABU, do you even know how annoying it is when people let their kids take stuff off the shelves and not put them back? Then if you don't put it away immediately someone falls over it and complains or another kids comes along and takes more off. It is a Nightmare and makes a thankless job even more difficult to do, shop staff have more to do than pick up after your child.
You may have had the intention of picking them up but not every parent does and the shop assistant doesn't know that you will. Your child was probably the 5th or 6th to do it that day, just teach them to look and not touch.

Mmmmbrekkie Sat 16-Mar-19 11:18:56

So you didn’t help the charity because of this?

Bloody hell YABU

katykins85 Sat 16-Mar-19 11:20:58

Do you even need to ask?! confused

Children should not be taking books and toys off shelves. If they can't manage they stay in a pushchair. Simple.

SenoritaViva Sat 16-Mar-19 11:22:08

I think you weren’t supervising enough. Your daughter should be being taught that that is not what you do in a shop.

She could have said it more nicely but then you could’ve been more thoughtful.

PCohle Sat 16-Mar-19 11:22:50


How was the assistant meant to know "you were just turning around to pick them up"? She's not a mind reader and based on what she had to go on you were a total CF.

Letting you child make merry hell with toys all over the floor whilst you browse the books isn't really on.

The assistant volunteers his/her time to help the charity, they're not a skivvy for other people's kids

ralphfromlordoftheflies Sat 16-Mar-19 11:23:30

I bet it wasn't 3 toys and I bet you weren't just about to go and pick them up.

Desperateforspring Sat 16-Mar-19 11:24:10

OP charity shops are brilliant places to try toys . I've brought countless toys from charity shops and always my DC have happily played with them there and other toys. As I'm, like you were picking up after

Totally ridiculous. Maybe someone had been in and left DC to actually wreck it but if that's the case put a sign out. ..

DC welcome too play here but please put toys away after!!

adaline Sat 16-Mar-19 11:24:13


Drives me nuts when parents just let their children play with things in shops like that.

Savoury99 Sat 16-Mar-19 11:25:16

I think she sounded like a miserable cow and could have been more polite but I wouldn't have let my toddler get the toys.

Aridane Sat 16-Mar-19 11:26:06


Plus the fact that it was a charity shop doesn’t give you a free reign to supervise your child to a lesser extent

Afternooninthepark Sat 16-Mar-19 11:26:27

YABU, my dsis was a manager of a charity shop. You would not believe how people treated the place. They would wreck displays, leave crap in the changing rooms (including human excrement!!) and barter on prices. That poor shop assistant was probably a volunteer and fed up clearing up after people. Children should be taught not to play in shops they are items for sale after all, shops are not play areas. Do you think it’s ok because it’s a charity shop? Would you allow her to do this in Tesco or M&S?

blue25 Sat 16-Mar-19 11:26:51

Uh you're one of those parents. You think your child making a mess and causing a nuisance is just "what kids do." It isn't. Have some respect for those around you & stop indulging your child.

mimibunz Sat 16-Mar-19 11:28:03

A three year old is old enough to understand that they aren’t allowed to touch anything in the shop. YABU.

Skyejuly Sat 16-Mar-19 11:28:31

Indont think you are being unreasonable. I think she was rude.

Desperateforspring Sat 16-Mar-19 11:29:05

We have so many charity shops round here, all of them allow DC to touch the toys!! Some have little seating areas as well.

Maybe you need to contact the manager and say it maybe a better idea to create a little play area for toddler too try the toys as that's the way to increase sales.

I've spent fortune's in charity shops when DC little. One in particular was brilliant! I could browse, she could browse!

YouTheCat Sat 16-Mar-19 11:29:11

If your child is young enough that they don't understand that they can't pull things off displays, then maybe you should supervise them more closely instead of going off to look at the books?

Plurabelle Sat 16-Mar-19 11:29:24

The shops are also often understaffed.

So if somebody has to go over and tidy up after a parent who doesn't supervise the child, that means the till gets left unattended and/or there is less time to restock the shelves.

LettuceP Sat 16-Mar-19 11:29:38

YABU I'm afraid. I might let my kids pick something up off a shelf in a shop (not breakable so yes toys would be fine) to have a look but it needs to be put back in its place as soon as they've finished looking. You can't just let your kid take toys off the shelves and dump them on the floor, even for a couple of minutes. Teach your child to be respectful.

Desperateforspring Sat 16-Mar-19 11:30:49

All charity shops in my area are Very hands on for toys and DC being able too touch them is one reason they are brilliant. .. it's after all secon hand goods.. often not cleaned... and sometimes incomplete with broken bits.

trancepants Sat 16-Mar-19 11:31:18

YABU on several levels. Odds are the shop assistant was a volunteer rather than staff. She was the one not just helping the charity but enabling you to have access to cheaper goods and helping to reduce the impact of over-consumption on the planet. She owed you nothing for your potential 'help' to the charity of buying something you wanted for a low price.

lozster Sat 16-Mar-19 11:31:30

I don’t know if you are ‘one of those parents’ but the fact it was a charity shop makes a difference. The toys are out not packaged so playing with them is easier and less disruptive than in The Entertainer and you hadn’t walked off when the comment was made. Also, the ‘assistant’ was likely a volunteer so not finessed in customer service hence over the top and a bit rude.

Harmonyrays Sat 16-Mar-19 11:31:46

So daughter is 1, doesnt really understand the etiquette of good behaviour in shops. Ive worked in shops, m and s, funnily enough, and if a child got a toy out or left something on the floor then i wouldnt have spoken to a customer in that way. It seemed very rude. I agree its not a playground but in charity shops the toys are all opened and 'ready' to play with hence it makes it more difficult to prevent them from going at them. It was 2 teddies and a tray confused

HotpotLawyer Sat 16-Mar-19 11:31:54

Sorry OP, I don’t think you should ever let a toddler get anything off a shelf by themselves in any shop.

furrybadger Sat 16-Mar-19 11:33:03

Tbh I would have probably said the same, nothing more annoying, teach your child to look not touch, this was always drummed into me as a child

minipie Sat 16-Mar-19 11:34:00

Hmm I think there’s a difference between letting your young child try out a toy while supervised (ok) and letting them get several out while you’re looking at something else (not ok). The latter has a high chance of breakages, tripping up other people etc.

That said - she was rude.

havingtochangeusernameagain Sat 16-Mar-19 11:34:23

YABU. Small kids do wreck shops (and libraries) and their lazy parents (usually mothers) smile and look indulgent. I think the member of staff was perfectly fair. Keep an eye on your kids and don't let them touch stuff on the shelves.

YouTheCat Sat 16-Mar-19 11:34:26

Your child is 1 and you weren't closely supervising in a shop. That's not on.

Stinkytoe Sat 16-Mar-19 11:34:34

She’s going to have a tough job selling those toys if she’s down the throat of every parent who walks in.

You’d have been unreasonable to not tidy up but as you were planning it I don’t see the problem. “Wreck the place” was a bit extreme too.

Honeyroar Sat 16-Mar-19 11:34:39

Your daughter is 1 and you left her pulling toys off shelves while you looked at books?? Of course she's too young to understand the etiquette of shops, but you aren't!!

Hamsternauts Sat 16-Mar-19 11:34:48

She wasn't to know you'd pick them up. She probably thought your child would pull out even more. I'd have put back each one she picked up at the time. I doubt she'd have said anything then

LIZS Sat 16-Mar-19 11:35:10

If it had not been a charity shop would you have allowed dc to behave same. The assistant may well be a volunteer and while it does not excuse her abruptness may explain that it would be a nuisance to sort out.

MaybeitsMaybelline Sat 16-Mar-19 11:35:27

A 1 year old should have been in a buggy or holding your hand, not pottering about. What if your DC had pulled a glass vase on their head instead of a toy on the floor.

I fail to see how you can consider this anything but unreasonable on your part.

HotpotLawyer Sat 16-Mar-19 11:35:55

No business letting a teddy for sale being in the flpot.

She was rude and OTT and could have asked more nicely but in the end , you seem to think it is OK to let your toddler do this.

LoudBatPerson Sat 16-Mar-19 11:36:11

As she is only 1, you should have been supervising even closer! That is no excuse to have let her just get on with doing it.

pudcat Sat 16-Mar-19 11:36:15

So daughter is 1, doesnt really understand the etiquette of good behaviour in shops. Then teach her or keep her in her pushchair.

ColeHawlins Sat 16-Mar-19 11:36:41

Why are you trying to shop with a one year old "loose"?

Just put her in a stroller like everyone else.

notsmartenough Sat 16-Mar-19 11:36:46

I volunteer in a charity shop and our manager has had to remind parents that we are not a creche.
I had a customer complain about me when her kids were 'wrecking' the shop. Whizzing around the shop on a skateboard, taking stuff off the counter, toys all over the floor... I hadn't said a word to her either - just warned a customer with a walking stick to be careful.
The manager apologised on my behalf!

ataleoftwothenthreethenfour Sat 16-Mar-19 11:36:53

YABU on so many levels, firstly, letting your child get out several toys to look at, secondly by cutting off your nose to spite your face by not buying stuff, and thirdly by conflating a volunteer in a charity shop with a shop assistant. Shop assistants are supposed to be professional, volunteers aren't. You were rude to treat the place like that.

greenpop21 Sat 16-Mar-19 11:37:16

Poorly phrased but you shouldn't allow your child to do that in any shop.

greenpop21 Sat 16-Mar-19 11:37:57

Teach your child to understand "No!"

PCohle Sat 16-Mar-19 11:38:21

Your daughter might not understand etiquette in shops but you should. She's too young to be tidy so you need to supervise her properly.

I also think it's unreasonable to expect the same level of customer service from a paid shop assistant than a charity shop volunteer.

BartonHollow Sat 16-Mar-19 11:38:25

I volunteer in a charity shop in my free time

Organising the shelves takes a lot of effort and time

For all you know that assistant had literally just finished organising that area before you came in

Stock is precious too, a man with severe LD broke a shelf once when his carer left him unattended, we didn't charge him obviously, but he smashed goods of value that could have benefitted the charity.

We have also had thefts, multiple, from a charity shop!

She was asking you to show some courtesy and manners that's all.

greenpop21 Sat 16-Mar-19 11:38:39

1 year old should be in a pushchair or your arms or holding your hand in a shop.

ColeHawlins Sat 16-Mar-19 11:38:49

* e. I agree its not a playground but in charity shops the toys are all opened and 'ready' to play with hence it makes it more diffic*

So how do you stop her diving into traffic, for example?

If you genuinely have no control, then she's not safe in your care.

Belenus Sat 16-Mar-19 11:38:54

She should be more polite. You should be more careful. Otherwise, no big deal.

Chutneygloss Sat 16-Mar-19 11:38:58

Your child shouldn’t be touching anything in the shop. If you can’t stop them putting goods on the floor then strap them in a buggy or shop online.

gamerwidow Sat 16-Mar-19 11:39:09

I know children sometimes touch things they shouldn't but this wasn't your child taking one thing and you putting it back. She took 3 or 4 things off the shelf and left them on the floor before you did anything about it.
When she took the first thing you should have said sorry that's not to play with and put it back. The toys are to play with after you've bought them not before.

BumbleBee27 Sat 16-Mar-19 11:39:41

'Wreck the place' is very over dramatic. She could have worded it much better.

Can't believe some of the comments directed at op though tbh. Mumsnet is frightening sometimes confused

CatAndHisKit Sat 16-Mar-19 11:40:46

Exactly, Deesperate - these are not new toys and been played with. As far as a child has clean hands and the parent then puts the few toys back on shelves, I can't see why is this BU.
If it's more than a few toys and a child is proceeding to clear the shelves by dropping things down -that's different. Also depends if they play quietly or it's a tantrum and they throw toys - completely unacceptable then, but OP's dd was quietly trying them out. How do you know even if you should buy a toy without letting a child handle it - to see if they like them!

lozster Sat 16-Mar-19 11:41:14

hmm sometimes people just can’t wait to have a go because other people have done whatever the annoying behaviour is (leaving toys out, breaking toys, leaving child unsupervised - insert as applicable) at some time in the past. Consequently they over react when they see someone do something slightly like that, or who they think might do that and say something too early and too strongly. Seems to me like this is what happened here.

keepforgettingmyusername Sat 16-Mar-19 11:41:31

A 1 year old should have been in a buggy or holding your hand, not pottering about. '

Have you ever met a 1 year old 😂 YANBU OP the shop worker was a CF.

Tomtontom Sat 16-Mar-19 11:41:49

I think there is less respect shown by (some) customers in charity shops, as demonstrated by the OP. You wouldn't behave that way in M&S or John Lewis, so you shouldn't do it in a charity shop.

killpop Sat 16-Mar-19 11:43:12

So daughter is 1, doesnt really understand the etiquette of good behaviour in shops.

Guess who's job it is?

Madein1995 Sat 16-Mar-19 11:43:17

Seriously, 1?! How far away were you from your daughter? Children can run away very quickly - I worked in a nursery and know. 1year olds have no sense of dsnger, of right or wrong, they can sprint away in a moment's notice, they can get lost, etc.

Seriously I expected your child to be 3ish from your post. At 1 the child should be in a pushchair, in your arms or holding your hand. You shouldn't need to turn around to pick up the toys. They should either be in your sight or somewhere like a buggy, where you know they are safe.

Nomorepies Sat 16-Mar-19 11:44:38

Of course your one year old doesn’t understand the etiquette of good behaviour in shops- that’s where you come in as the parent. You are responsible for your child- not your child! You should be supervising her and not allowing her to disrupt a shop. We’ve all been there but it’s not the shop’s fault.

Harmonyrays Sat 16-Mar-19 11:44:45

Quite bumblebee! Cant believ some of the responces. I was directly next to her whilst she was looking at the toys, it qas literally a few seconds of her putting two hands in the box and pulling out toys and diving back in for another when the assistant appeared and made the comment.

Also not PFB grin

cushioncuddle Sat 16-Mar-19 11:44:56

I think the shop assistant could have worded what she said better.

I also think that a 1 yr old shouldn't have been free to wander about.

The shop didn't have a play area so like other shops it wasn't set up for children to play with the stock.

Wearywithteens Sat 16-Mar-19 11:46:45

I so wish sales assistants would be brave enough to say this in all shops, cafes, libraries etc.

Harebel Sat 16-Mar-19 11:46:49

Nothing to do with the fact the toys have been used already as it's a charity shop, most things are second hand. But they're still FOR SALE to make money for the charity.

YABU. FGS it's YOUR responsibility to teach your child not to pick things up in shops unless you're going to pay for them. You even have to ask this? Stop taking umbrage at the shop assistant, you were in the wrong.

Harmonyrays Sat 16-Mar-19 11:47:45

[Keepforgettingmyusername] 😂 someone who understands my pain

Pinkbells Sat 16-Mar-19 11:48:13

'3 or 4 things on the floor' could trip someone up and cause a lot of damage to an elderly person, but I agree they could have put it nicer/better!

FemalePersonator Sat 16-Mar-19 11:48:57

Adding my voice to YABU. It's a shop; not a play area. Shop assistants are not there to pick up after your child.

BrylcreamBeret Sat 16-Mar-19 11:49:52

I honestly don't know if everyone here is tense with all the brexit shit but the judging is astounding.
Op there are a few of us on here who have either volunteered or worked for charity shops and kids playing with the toys (that we deliberately display on bottom shelves wink ) is normal and fine. I'm sure the store assistant was just having a bad day or otherwise is a raging arsehole. You and your child have done nothing wrong.

Readysteadygoat Sat 16-Mar-19 11:50:30

madein1995 the OP is the mother of a 1 year old, I'm sure she's fully aware how quickly her child can run. Especially as she's had more than one child. She has even said she was within arms reach

Madein1995 Sat 16-Mar-19 11:50:36

I saw a fab sign in my local independent coffee shop! Not related to op perhaps but definitely at people who leave their children wander/run about/while they get changed etc (recognise them from my retail days)

"Any child left unattended will be fed bags of haribo and promised a puppy" 😂

Takethebuscuitandthesink Sat 16-Mar-19 11:50:52

YABU learn to control your child or only take her to appropriate environments. I agree not a perfect phrase but it is more than likely she is sick to the back teeth of having to clean up after other people’s children and you were just on the receiving end of that.

Lovemusic33 Sat 16-Mar-19 11:50:53

I always see children playing with toys in shops, most shops lay them out so kids can touc them, charity shops and other shops such as ELC. If I’m going to buy something I like to pick it up and touch it (try it on if it’s clothes) so why is it so wrong for a child to pick up a toy and test it out? I don’t let my kids make a mess or wreck the joint but if they are looking at toys it’s ok to pick them up if we are looking at buying something.

bobstersmum Sat 16-Mar-19 11:51:26

I've got 3 dc. Age 1, 5,+6. None of them in a buggy. They know not to drag stuff off the shelves. Yabu.

thebeesknees123 Sat 16-Mar-19 11:52:17

Yanbu. You were right next to her, she wasn't wrecking the shop, she was playing and you were clear up anyway and she didn't give you a chance to say so

Myimaginarycathasfleas Sat 16-Mar-19 11:53:17

Three or four items on the floor means she had already cut you quite a lot of slack. Also those items are for sale, not for play. The charity needs them to be in a clean saleable condition.

I think she was telling you off, and deservedly so.

Your best plan is to learn from the experience and not get upset about it. We all make mistakes.

Spikeyball Sat 16-Mar-19 11:53:24

As others have said it is a shop not a play area and you sound like you were treating it with less respect because it was a charity shop. 1 year olds are too young to potter about in shops. At that age you should be getting the things off the shelves yourself and then asking her to choose.

Foslady Sat 16-Mar-19 11:54:20

If you wouldn’t let your child do this in Hamleys or Selfridges you shouldn’t allow it in a charity shop either.

VeraWangTwang Sat 16-Mar-19 11:54:23

It's your job to parent your child
The minute they left one thing on the floor you should have picked it up

JustOneShadeOfGrey Sat 16-Mar-19 11:54:50

I don’t understand the harsh critics here! It’s a charity shop not a designer store window display!

OP’s child was not “wrecking the place”, she was sampling the toys! And OP clearly said she was picking them up. Jeez.

Children will not learn to play, explore, discover if they’re tethered to their parents and tidiness is priority over everything. At least she wasn’t strapped into a buggy with a tablet to babysit her.

The shop assistant was BU. Totally wrong thing to say.

Serialweightwatcher Sat 16-Mar-19 11:57:14

I don't think you did anything terrible - if you had walked away and left them lying round then fine, but still it was rude of the woman - don't think a toddler playing with a couple of toys whilst mum looks around is so terrible and the assistant was a bit pathetic and rude - you don't want to always have to strap them down ffs - people are so bloody intolerant at times

GirlfriendInAKorma Sat 16-Mar-19 11:59:23

She sounds rude.
There are a lot of charity shops near my house and one has a very grumpy woman in it who is rude to people, particularly those with kids.
I don't go in it.
Might be harsh as I guess I'm discriminating against the whole charity, but I don't want to volunteer to have to talk to her.

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