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Receptionist tells mother she can't understand her child, 'she's holding up the line.' AITA?

Receptionist tells mother she can't understand her child, 'she's holding up the line.' AITA?


"AITA for telling a mother that I can't understand her child and that it'd be easier to talk to her instead of the child?"

I'm a receptionist for a dentist's office. We were packed today, one of the patient's was a little girl, maybe 6 or 7. Her and her mother came up to my desk to check in. She was one of those mom's that instead of telling me the child's information, let's the child themselves do it. But the daughter spoke so quietly and mumbled that i couldn't make out a single word.

I asked for her name and her mom said "Go on, sweetie. Tell the nice lady your name". She stared at me and looked around, and finally whispered something and I couldn't understand, so i asked her to repeat.

Once again I got a whisper. So I asked to repeat again and finally got something, i couldn't understand though. It sounded like Sharon, I repeated back Sharon and she shook her head no. Marion? Helen? all got no's. Her mom is just sitting there letting this happen.

Mom finally blurted out her name. Next, I ask for her birth date and mom nudges her again, daughter gives me "Next week. Mama's buying me a clown." I just rolled my eyes and sighed and mom told me her birthdate.

Every question was like that. She'd either whisper it so quiet and i could never hear her or have no clue what to answer. ANd the whole time, mom is just standing there and smiling, like it's not a problem.

The last question got a whisper and I just said "I'm sorry, I can't understand a word you're saying." and told her mom "You know, it'd be easier if you just gave me her information."

She just frowned at me and said "But she's being such a big brave girl right now." She started praising her daughter for being brave and smart, but I just told her she's holding up the line and making my job tedious. Mom said "Oh, come on, she's just a kid, you don't have to be rude."

I told her "I'm not being rude, I've got an office to run and you're holding everyone else back." Mom frowned at me, answered and she just took her daughter and went to the waiting room.

Then after their appointment, my boss told me her mom will file a complaint, leave a negative review and plans to find a new dentist for their children. Am I wrong? I was just trying to do my job.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Famous-Composer3112 said:

NTA. Talking to a receptionist is not the time to teach your child confidence skills.

AGoodFaceForRadio said:

NTA. I doubt she’ll do any of the things she threatened. Too much work. She just knows the magic words to get the receptionist in trouble. Or maybe she will leave: sometimes the trash actually does take itself out.

I understand what she was trying to do. I’ve done the same with my daughter. But there is a time and a place for that, and at the head of the line in the dentist’s office ain’t it.

Also, getting the kid to attempt to interact is good for the child’s development. But ffs don’t just leave the kid to twist in the wind like that! That’s just cruel, and will likely make the kid’s problems worse.

BlueGreen_1956 said:

NTA. This mother was one of those "Isn't my child so cute" parents. They are the worst. On the plus side, she will be some other dentist's problem.

Cybermagetx said:

NTA. And your boss is an AH. Anyone who dont have thier employees back when they did nothing wrong just means you need a new job.

OctoWings13 said:

NTA. I get what the mother is trying to do...kind of...but this isn't an appropriate time or situation for this.

Inevitable-Age-692 said:

NTA. My son is learning to talk and answer questions, so when we are out to eat I will ask him “do you want water or milk” when the server is taking drink orders. If he mumbles, whispers, or ignores me, I order for him to avoid wasting time.

If she had just had the child say her name and then taken over, no problem. But sweet little Suzy whispering her demographics for 10 minutes is cute only to the mom.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this situation?

Sources: Reddit
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