So I work in retail.
Some days it really astounds me what people expect from a total stranger.
I work in the kids dept. I get all kinds of requests. But the strangest one happened today.
Woman walks up to me holding hands with a young child. The little girl was around 5 years old. The woman then proceeded to thrust their joined hands (I am assuming it was her daughter) at me and bark, ‘Can you take her to the toilet?’
Yes, this woman, walked up to a total stranger in a bookshop and asked them to take her child to the toilet. Regardless whether I had a uniform on that identified me as a member of staff, I’m still a stranger. Who she wanted to take her child to the toilet.
Am I the only one who thinks this is beyond the pale?
Is it usual to trust you child to stranger and then give them unrestricted access to them in the worst possible way? Was I out of order to refus?
I said in a completely stunned voice, ‘No, I am not taking your daughter to the toilet.’
She looked at me like I was a frickin’ idiot.
I then had to qualify that with, ‘I’m sorry, but you are asking me, a stranger, to take your little girl to the toilet?’ And she was still looking at me like I was throwing poo at her or something.
In the end, I told her I was extremely uncomfortable doing what she asked and politely reminded her that the kids dept is not a creche and I was not a trained as a childcare professional and that I had not been screened by the police like anyone who works with kids for a living has to. I work in a bookshop.
Seriously. Does no one remeber Jamie Bulger…or Madeline McCann?