October 21, 2012 at 6:25 pm #605274
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…….October 21, 2012 at 7:38 pm #774624
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.October 21, 2012 at 8:17 pm #774625October 21, 2012 at 9:46 pm #774626
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?October 21, 2012 at 9:56 pm #774627
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….October 21, 2012 at 10:04 pm #774628
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.October 21, 2012 at 10:33 pm #774629
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.October 21, 2012 at 10:33 pm #774630
i believe the car has to be running for it to be illegal.
or if they are parked at a place where booze is being sold for consumption on premises.
please cite if there is more to this. maybe seattle has something more than this.October 21, 2012 at 10:39 pm #774631
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.October 21, 2012 at 10:56 pm #774632
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?October 21, 2012 at 11:01 pm #774633
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?October 21, 2012 at 11:02 pm #774634October 21, 2012 at 11:31 pm #774635October 21, 2012 at 11:33 pm #774636
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!October 21, 2012 at 11:38 pm #774637
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.October 22, 2012 at 12:54 am #774638October 22, 2012 at 1:09 am #774639
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.October 22, 2012 at 1:27 am #774640
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.October 22, 2012 at 2:33 am #774641
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.October 22, 2012 at 2:44 am #774642
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.October 22, 2012 at 2:56 am #774643
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?October 22, 2012 at 3:04 am #774644
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.October 22, 2012 at 3:19 am #774645
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.October 22, 2012 at 3:19 am #774646
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.October 22, 2012 at 3:20 am #774647
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