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(94 posts)

RANT: Shame on you Trader Joes

  • Started 2 years ago by melissab221
  • Latest reply from pattilea

  1. melissab221
    Member Profile

    This morning after doing my Sunday shopping I came back to my car to see a toddler and baby left alone in the car next to me, my first thought the adult with them is putting the cart back so I unloaded my groceries and put my cart back, not adult. I sat for a few minutes; no one came back to the vehicle. I went into the store to report it to the three gentlemen at front area they all looked at me like I was speaking gibberish. I asked do you have a policy, do you do anything they just again gave me a blank stare. So I said I was going to call the police because it was an issue of child safety and it was illegal.
    I called 911, reported this from my car still next to this car with the kids alone at this point it has been 10 minutes, several other shoppers walked by noticed the same thing and just kept walking. The women who was with the kids finally came out, groceries in hand, got in the car all smiles. I sat for another few minutes hoping the police would show up but they didn’t. ....and off she went. Shame on you Trader Joes, I thought you were about community and that was FAR from my experience today. Shame on you countless shoppers that passed by and did nothing. The thing I love about West Seattle is its true community spirit today I was really let down and so were those two kids. Thank goodness nothing happened to them, this time anyway. On my way home I called 911 back to let them know this car left, the 911 operator was clearly irritated with me, another disappointment this morning the intent of my call was so an officer’s time was not wasted. I hope this is something they follow up on; I did provide them with a plate number.
    Trader Joes you have lost this customer…….

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  2. anonyme
    Member Profile

    I do understand both your frustration and concern, although I don't exactly see this as a failure by Trader Joe's. You did the right thing by calling the police, especially as you were the one who observed the situation - not Trader Joe's. Even if they understood that such actions are illegal (many people don't know it's illegal to leave young children unattended in a vehicle) they may have felt uncomfortable calling police on a customer. In my experience, police do follow up on such reports even if the vehicle has since left the area, so your actions are unlikely to have been in vain.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  3. not TJ's problem

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  4. Yeah, not TJs problem. By this logic, anyone doing anything remotely illegal in a store parking lot would be the responsibility of the store? Smoking pot in your car? Assaulting someone on the sidewalk? Abducting a child from the store? These are all unfortunate examples of bad and illegal things, but are in no way the responsibility of the store. Rather, it was a bystander's job to report it, as you did. Why, I wonder, didn't you ask the parent what was up? Also, is there an administrative code against leaving your kids in the car in Seattle? Or is it just frowned upon?

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  5. melissab221
    Member Profile

    Yes, it is illegal children in the car and I am happy to hear the police generally follow-up. I am not saying this is Trader Joe's responsibility. I am disappointed in the response 3 folks at the front desk gave when I reported this was happening. They didn't say, company policy prevents us from doing anything, or it's the parking lot we have no authority. They blankly looked at me....and gave no response. Instead of we can't do anything but if you call the police we will watch the car to make sure nothing happens to the kids until the adult returns or the police arrive. There was NO concern for two helpless kids, a toddler and baby. I don't understand the lack of concern or action. I always felt like Trader Joe's was about community, this showed ME differently. If this was my kids I would want everyone that saw this to do something....

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  6. Why blame Trader Joe's? Blame the mother. I hope you told her what she did was not smart and I hope you gave the cars license plate number to the Police.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  7. I too don't like the of reaction by those PEOPLE who work for Trader Joes as members of our community, however thier action have nothing to do with the store itself. Melissa sharpen your aim to them.

    Thank you for doing the right thing and calling the police, might want to be the first thing done in a situation like this instead of going into the store and waisting time there.

    The two times I've come across this situation I called immediately and waited unitl the unit arrived, one time the parent came out and wanted to leave but smartly didn't as I was sitting on the trunk of her car.

    It's illegal and needs to be dealt with constantly and immediately any time it occurs.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  8. i believe the car has to be running for it to be illegal.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.61.685

    or if they are parked at a place where booze is being sold for consumption on premises.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.91.060

    please cite if there is more to this. maybe seattle has something more than this.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  9. kootchman
    Member Profile

    Mother was at fault. TJ's is a retail store, not arbitrator of child welfare laws. I am happy they follow food sanitation laws.. and the things associated with their business. This one is on the mom.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  10. Why did you take the time to say something to Trader Joe's but when the mother came out to the car you watched her get in all smiles and drive away? Why didn't you take the effort to say something to her?

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  11. I remain disturbed by this rant and the fact that the title is aimed at TJs and not the mother. While I understand your frustration Melissa I find it disturbing that you complained to random employees and expected something to be done, but when the mother came walking out, apparently said nothing to her? Doesn't this violate WSB rules, btw?

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  12. Finally, I agree with Kootch.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  13. Careful kgdlg...don't get Kootch too excited.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  14. I disagree with like 99 percent of what he says but something tells me I would like him a lot if we ever sat down over coffee...that is what I love about the WSB forums!

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  15. OP did you ask the employees if they had an intercom system if they did they should have at least said something over that. If not then other than yelling, not much they can do. Um I would have started actually going around and asking if they had left their children in a car.

    Now what if it had been during the middle of summer, those kids could have seriously hurt. I have done this several times with people leaving their pets in cars.

    I ABSOLUTELY would have stepped up and straight up told that "mom" what she did was illegal and just irresponsible.

    Whether the car is running or not, you just don't leave kids a car period. I don't have kids and even I know that. All to many times you have heard the stories of kids getting out of their car seats and something bad happening. It is just common sense.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  16. kootchman
    Member Profile

    Pawning off your offended sensibilities for someone else to handle?

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  17. The OP has contacted Trader Joe's management, according to an e-mail exchange.

    Meantime, here is how this is written in the Seattle Municipal Code. Though it's clunkily worded, it looks to me to go beyond the state code and SEEMS (any lawyer care to read too?) to say that it's illegal if the car is parked.

    http://is.gd/aKxLys

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  18. Genesee Hill
    Member Profile

    Genesee Hill

    Did this horrible parent leave the motor running? Keys in the ignition?

    Am I the only neglected human that was left in the car as a kid while my horrid MOM picked up a few groceries?

    I am sure all parents keep an eye on their kids every second of every day.

    What a joke.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  19. I am sorry, WSB but this is like criticizing a restaurant in the junction for not breaking up a fight on the sidewalk. And ironically here, the kids were not in immediate danger since Melissa was presumably watching them. Really not fair at all in my opinion. Has nothing to do with their business.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  20. EmmyJane
    Member Profile

    EmmyJane

    It's a strong possibility the Trader Joe's employees just didn't know what to do. As my wise mother says, "Never attribute to malice what you can attribute to ignorance." If I worked at Trader Joe's, I don't think I would have known what to do, or if it was wrong, or what my responsibility was. Nor can I think of a single job I've had in 15 years that has mentioned what to do or trained me in this situation. These employees not knowing what to do doesn't even remotely tarnish Trader Joe's image in my eyes.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  21. Betty T
    Member Profile

    I didn't know the age limit for leaving kids unattended in a vehicle was "16"? that surprises me. What's to say someone could've grabbed those little Ones. It doesn't take 10 minutes to do that.I probably would call the police myself. If she'd said anything to the mother she'd probably told her to mind her own business. Another thought what if another vehicle had hit the car they were in?

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  22. Is it really 16? Crap! I left my 8 1/2 year old in the car for 3 minutes while I ran into the West Seattle Nursery today. She had hurt her foot and didn't want to walk in with me.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  23. shihtzu
    Member Profile

    16! That's ridiculous. It's silly rules like this that make such things meaningless.

    I know I'm in the minority, but kids left in the car just isn't THAT big a deal to me. I sure wouldn't do it, but still.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  24. I would fault the mother in this situation and the store as well. The parking lot is "their" property once notified of illegal activity they have a duty to report that to the police. Beyond that having worked in a grocery store (over a decade ago) it boggles my mind that they didn't use their PA system to contact the vehicle owner regarding the issue.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  25. shihtzu
    Member Profile

    I imagine the TJs workers were just wondering why you were telling them and not the police.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  26. melissab221
    Member Profile

    I do blame the person who was with these kids, but understand this was an infant in a bucket car seat and a toddler maybe three years old. Would the toddler know what to do if the baby started chocking? What would happen if the car was hit by another car, or worse yet someone tried to take the car. So many things could have happened to those kids and luckily nothing did. I am saddened that no one that passed the car or anyone at Trader Joe's who I made aware of this did anything but walk on by or act like it wasn't there problem. Protecting kids of our community is all of our jobs. Whether you see a child who is by themselves fall off his/her bike and get hurt, see a child who is lost, would you look the other way, say not my responsibility. I hope if my kids were in a situation where they needed help whether it was from there own doing or an adults decision that put them in harms way someone wouldn't walk the other way, someone wouldn't say not my job, that someone would stop and help.

    What I always thought was West Seattle was a community that didn't look the other way.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  27. Sooo.... Did you say anything to the mother??? The person that was actually responsible?

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  28. But why didn't YOU say something to the mother instead of complaining to TJ, other people and people on the blog here? It was your responsibility to say something to her. Not to us. I agree, what she did was wrong but you should have done something about it.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  29. If for NO other reason... a half century ago my mom found out the hard way. Either me (probably me) or one of my brothers managed to release the parking brake while mom was in the store, and she came back out to find that her car had rolled back and smashed into another car :)

    That was the last time she ever left us alone in the car.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  30. Kevin, the same thing happened to us. I was in the car with my little sister and she released the brake and it rolled down the street.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  31. kootchman
    Member Profile

    That's why new cars .. you can't remove the ignition key unless the vehicle is in park.... and you can't remove it from park until the key is in the ignition. A gamma burst from another galaxy could have arrived too, without warning. If the car was locked, and in this cold weather... I am doubting the kids were in any more danger than mom in the basement doing a load of laundry or taking a shower.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  32. http://www.kidsandcars.org/

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  33. goodgraces
    Member Profile

    So I can leave my 13 year old alone at home but not in a locked car while I run into Starbucks? Wha?

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  34. goodgraces
    Member Profile

    I really do not understand why Trader Joe's deserves public shaming here (in the form of this post). Perhaps they could have been more proactive (intercom, etc., as others have suggested), but they did nothing wrong legally.

    I'm also completely baffled as to why the OP didn't speak with the mother in question?? I am not sure even she would deserve "shaming" ("educating," more likely), but why TJ's should get any bad PR from this is beyond me.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  35. waterworld
    Member Profile

    waterworld

    WSB: I'm a lawyer and I read both the state statute and the municipal code. I don't see any meaningful difference. The structure is a little different: SMC 11.58.190 opens with "no person shall...," while RCw 46.61.685 opens with "it is unlawful for any person to..." But the relevant language about leaving a child in the car when its motor is running is the same. So I don't see an infraction or misdemeanor here. That's not to say it isn't unsafe to do this; just that there seems to be a clear line between situations where the motor is running and those where it is not.

    Personally, I'd rather live in a world where my fellow citizens are comfortable approaching me and talking to me if I am doing something that endangers my children than one where people feel like the first and best option is to call the police or have someone else call the police.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  36. I’d rather live in a world where everyone puts the safety of children first; OP did state these children were an infant and a toddler; never acceptable to leave alone in a car; I would have called 911 if the parent was nowhere to be seen; and gotten the license plate, and stayed with the children to make sure they were safe; and talk to the mother when she reappeared; child safety should be #1 priority

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  37. It in NOT against the law to leave your kids in the car unless it's running or you're parked in a tavern/bar lot. I repeat it's NOT against the law.
    Get over yourselves people, parents can choose to parent differently than you, it doesn't make it a crime if no law is being broken.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  38. So if the lawyer is right, then TJs is being publicly shamed and ranted against here for something that isn't even illegal. Back to my previous comment that this is a totally inappropriate rant. TJs deserves absolutely no blame here.

    Now, if the car were actually rolling down the hill; if the kids were actually in danger, that would be a different story. One cannot blame a business just because one feels uncomfortable!

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  39. luckymom30
    Member Profile

    TJ is not at fault because someone made the choice to leave their kids in a parked car. It was the mothers decision, if someone had happened to the kids, someone taking them, one of the kids got hurt, etc... then the mother would have to live with her decision.

    per seattleschild.com
    Washington state law regarding leaving children unattended is interesting. It’s illegal to leave a child under the age of 12 in a parked car alone while entering a tavern. As written, the law applies only to taverns, but if someone thinks a child’s well-being is in danger in a parked car, the person can file a child neglect complaint regardless of where the car is parked. You also can’t leave someone younger than 16 alone in a parked car with the engine running. Washington has a law against abandoning refrigerators, but nothing about leaving kids alone at home.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  40. WorldCitizen
    Member Profile

    zgh2676

    To the OP:

    What is wrong with you? Why didn't you speak with the mother? Why wait for the police to act on your moral concerns? This is a community and if you have a legitimate concern for the safety of children, it is YOUR obligation to speak up. You failed your community and yourself by your inaction and looked for someone else to blame. You should be ashamed.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  41. Have to agree with the majority of comments here. You "rant" about Trader Joes-not being community-minded & that you will not patronize it any longer-but YOU were the one there-YOU saw the children unattended-YOU called 911. Yet YOU did not say anything to the mother when she returned??
    I just don't get that. If you were so worried to the extent you called 911-why in the world did you not say something to the mother?? See post by World Citizen-I say amen to that.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  42. when did the West Seattle Blog forum turn into the youtube comments section...

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  43. Don't get the comment EdSane .. This is the Rant & Rave forum -- where someone posts a rant or rave & folks comment-- don't see anything "YouTube" about the comments-- but then I don't look at YouTube much-- unless of course I'm watching PSY with my granddaughter!!

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  44. anonyme
    Member Profile

    In a way I can understand why the OP did not confront the mother. It's a lot like confronting an off-leash dog owner. They believe that they know better than everyone else, and that you are an idiot who should mind your own business. Often they'll be happy to tell you just that, in somewhat more colorful terms. That said, I think it would have been a good idea to inform this mother that her illegal actions had been reported to police - especially since nearly everyone else BUT the mother had been informed. Hopefully, that would at least shake her up a bit and make her think twice about doing it again.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  45. @44

    Maybe you didn’t comprehend the above posts, the mothers actions were NOT illegal. And yes, I would tell you to mind your own f’ing business…..

    How dare you try to dictate to me what is best for me and my kids.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  46. kootchman
    Member Profile

    and.. in Boston, NYC, you would have a) had your ass kicked fo poking your nose in other peoples business, b) other people are not as timid and paranoid, c) parent feels the community is safe enough to run in and grab a few sacks of groceries.. hurrah for us! What a great neighbor.. a 911 nanny! Send the mother a $2000 per month check and she might let you co-parent.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  47. luckymom30
    Member Profile

  48. @brew Just to be clear you are advocating leaving an infant child in a vehicle most likely without any monitoring device. Lets throw in a toddler too. Really. Like anyone here would actually do that.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  49. I am advocating minding your own business. Neither you nor anyone else has the right to tell me what I can and can’t legally do with my kids, nor do you have any clue to what the situation may or may not be.

    I will take locking my kids in the car any day vs. leaving them with Uncle Larry to watch….
    http://www.nsopw.gov/Core/documents/TJC_bebraveguidebook.htm

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  50. @brew...Not everyone is an adequate or capable parent. Society should (and does) set standards for raising children. Parents should be judged and held to a 'standard.' This is an issue where people shouldn't just 'mind their own business.'

    Posted 2 years ago #         

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