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Woman yells at mom for letting 7-year-old son use self-checkout at busy grocery store.

Woman yells at mom for letting 7-year-old son use self-checkout at busy grocery store.


In many cases, the best way to learn is by doing.

You can hear instructions over and over, but getting your hands dirty in the learning process is a surefire way to build confidence in a new skill. And this is extra true for children who are constantly absorbing new information and abilities.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a parent asked if they were wrong for letting their son use the self-checkout, and subsequently annoying a woman in line.

They wrote:

'AITA for letting my son operate the self-checkout?'

I took my son with me to the grocery store today. He is seven. I am a big believer in learning by doing. I like to give my son as interactive a role in things as possible, and if he wants to do something himself I always at least let him try unless it's unsafe.

When we got to the self-checkout he confidently told me he could do it by himself, so I let him. There are about ten self-checkouts and one line for all the machines, so people don't line up behind individual machines.

He was a lot slower than I would have been, but he managed to do it all with my supervision, even the produce. As we started to wheel away, a woman walked up and slammed her grocery basket on the counter.

She said 'thanks for doing that as slow as possible, a**hole.' I thought that was incredibly rude and uncalled for. Some people are slower than others. It is what it is.

There were several other machines being used and freed up, so we can't have made that big an impact on her wait time.

People jumped on with their thoughts on the situation.

dejausser wrote:

EDIT Based on OP’s response that the store and line were quite busy, ESH. You should have let your son help with a few items, not all of them, or taken him at a less busy time so you’re not inconveniencing others.

I N F O: was there a long line waiting for the self-checkout machines? Learning by doing is great, but there’s always a time and place for things.

IllTakeaGuinness wrote:

Yeah, the lady is definitely an AH for saying that, but OP said it took the kid like 10 minutes to do the checkout, on a busy Sunday, with a line. I usually don't mind waiting extra time for parents to help kids learn really new world tasks.

It actually warms my heart to watch kids learning that kind of stuff. But after 10 minutes, I'd probably be getting frustrated, too. Respect for each other in public goes both ways.

One party should have some extra patience for a parent handling a child, but the parent should also show respect for the time of the other customers.

Like maybe don't do it when there's a line, or only when you're getting a couple items, but if all else fails, at least apologize to the line for talking up their time.

A simple 'I'm sorry, he's been learning to use the checkout and was very excited to do this all on his own. I really appreciate your patience.' Would go a long way to easing the tension.

RandomGirl42 wrote:

Given your replies to others make it sound increasingly like the place was pretty busy, changing to ESH.

Using a busy time on Sunday for a learning experience was inconsiderate on your part, but that woman was technically talking to your son, so... nice person, that.

brownbro22 wrote:

ESH—the woman definitely sounded like a jerk, but come on—having a seven-year-old learn the checkout when there’s a line to use the checkout sounds like a jerk move that inconveniences everyone.

If there are that many machines and someone was still waiting for your machine, it means that this place was too busy to choose that moment as a learning opportunity.

Definitely even more ESH based on OPs comments (and time stamps of them).

She starts by saying it was “fairly busy” on a Sunday and five minutes later as more ESH/YTA comments start to roll in she starts minimizing it with saying it was just “average” lines.

It definitely sounds like it was busy and she picked a poor time to teach this lesson.

omensandpotential wrote:

YTA. Do it when the store isn't busy. Yes some people are slower than others, but many can't help it. You could have easily done it yourself, but you chose to take longer at the checkout, knowing that there was a line behind you.

LittleC0 wrote:

YTA since there was a line when you did this. It doesn’t warrant the extreme reaction you got, but I’d certainly be upset if there was a long wait and someone did this.

It’s a fine lesson for a child, but the same lesson could easily be done when there isn’t a line of people behind you. It was very inconsiderate.

SwanPuzzleheaded4304 wrote:

NTA. I don’t even care if it was that busy. It’s not Black Friday or anything. Plus that one line for 10 registers moves super quick compared to standard check out. That lady was nasty and rude and I would’ve said some shit back tbh.

Good job teaching your son.

shaunnotthesheep wrote:

NTA. I'm disabled and would have been even slower than her son. Does that make me T A for using self-checkout ever? A kid's gonna be a kid which means in this case working at the speed a child can work.

I see nothing wrong with this except the usual impatient customers who don't know how to handle someone going even a little slower than them. I would know. Again, NTA.

Stranger0nReddit wrote:

NTA. There's not a time limitation on self-checkouts. Hell, I see adults on their own moving at a glacial pace in the self-checkouts almost every time I use them, but they're allowed to and there's no sense in getting butt hurt about it.

You did nothing wrong, that lady was just a miserable AH.

Clearly, this post has the internet deeply divided.

Sources: Reddit
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