NW Art & Frame Rude to Mother & Baby

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    I was in NW Art & Frame looking at prints w/my 8 month old. I was holding her and my purse and juggling a lot. As I turned around my purse accidentally hit a frame and it fell and broke. Flustered I bent down to pick it up while holding my daughter – all the while one of the framers stood and stared at me 1 foot away waiting for me to pick it up refusing to help. After I picked it up he took the frame and shook his head expecting me to pay for it like it I did it on purpose. Outraged I said to him ‘I can’t believe you stood there while I tried to pick the frame up with my baby and didn’t even offer to help’ – of which he said nothing. He then kept looking at the frame like ‘what are we going to do about this?’ (it was a simple wooden frame, not super expensive). And I said ‘I am not paying for that, it was an accident.’ I was so upset I was shaking and went to complain to another employee about his conduct. I have lived here for 9 years and have spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars here. I was absolutely shocked by the treatment I received from a ‘family friendly’ store. I wrote a letter to the manager but there was no response. I guess times are really hard to them if they are willing sweat a mother and baby over a frame. Booo NW Art and Frame!!



    Whether it was an accident or not you should have made an effort to pay for what was damaged by your actions, even if it was unintentional.

    When you’re in a traffic accident and are at fault, you pay for the damage.

    No excuse for the rude sales help, but you need to take responsibility for your actions.



    Let’s see.. 200 hundred dollars over nine years, is what, a little over 22 bucks a year. Don’t think they’re gonna miss you…

    I’m curious, did you apologize for breaking the frame?



    ntvnw999 – I completely understand your frustration, having a daughter of my own. I want to extend my sympathy to you that this unfortunate accident that took place.

    I do have to agree, however, with what the others have said as far as (and you said yourself that it wasn’t expensive) paying for the damage.

    I remember going to a Mexican restaurant with my daughter when she was about 2. She really loved rice, so I ordered her rice. You can imagine the mess she made all over the highchair, table and floor. It was crazy.

    I would never, in a million years, think to leave that mess for someone else to pick up. My daughter made it, my responsibility.

    I look at this the same way. You (or your daughter), unfortunately, made the mess and therefore, you should take responsibility.

    Just my opinion.



    Maybe had you offered to pay for it, he may have said “no problem”..sometimes it’s the lack of an offer that annoys people. I have accidentally broken things in stores before and have always offered to pay. No one has ever taken me up on it. Or, maybe it was such a busy day and he was just cranky.



    When did this happen and how long has it been since you sent the letter to which you say they have not replied? Did you follow it up with a phone call? I would suggest you do that, and ask for a manager/owner – can’t tell from your post if you did that at the time this happened.

    Reminds me of a time years ago when my son, then preschool-ish age, accidentally hit and broke a glass item in a store at a mall (not in WS). They told me I had to pay for it and I did. I did, like the OP here, feel pretty grumped out about that for a while and chose not to patronize that store. With time, my thoughts about it have softened … maybe being a businessperson now and understanding what it’s like to live close to the edge between breaking even, and not (and we’re not even in physical-goods retail).

    Would be interested to hear what businesspeople think. Would you tell a mom and child “oh, that’s OK, don’t worry about it?” Or would you say “hey, nothing personal, but you break it, you bought it”?




    Frames that appear not to be expensive often really are.

    If you based you eval on the price tag you should be correct, but it you based it on the simple look of the thing, you might have killed the entire stores profit for the week.



    Is it possible that the “framer guy” wasn’t even an employee? perhaps he was a customer doing his own framing, and had no interest in helping you with a wriggling child. regardless, seeing as your actions caused the accident, you should offer to pay for the frame (and without outrage).



    Well, no matter what somebody is out some money and it is NW Art & Frame because they still have to pay for the frame. Accident or not somebody has to pay for it. Maybe you could have offered to pay but only the cost value or it, not retail.

    Sorry for the inconvenience.



    out of college I worked at NWAF for a couple of years, and I can say in all honesty that the store is owned and run by a really decent guy. He runs a well maintained and well thought out store, and is very much apart of the community. With that said, there are always people that go to the frame dept to work on projects of their own and use the store’s supplies who are not indeed actual employees of the store. That very well may have been the case here, as someone else suggested. And, while I understand the incident made you upset, I don’t undertsand why its the stores fault. They played no part in your harried day and unfortunate incident. Sometimes bad days just happen…



    I am sorry to hear about your experience as well but I do have to agree that at least the offering to pay for it helps. Most times they will either match you half way or tell you not to worry about it but its the words that matter….And just an *idea* for the future….it is a great idea to pay for things that break on accident if it is your daughters fault and have her do chores to make up for paying for it. My sister did that with my niece who broke something in a gift shop a few months ago (she is 3) my sister paid for it, and took a few quarters from her piggy bank, and then had her do two extra chores of watering the plants. Simple stuff but my niece understood why and the next time she went into a similar store and heard “use your eyes only” she did not touch a thing.



    Note to self: Having a child of any age does not entitle you to extra help. Accidents happen, especially with children in hand (on hip, in stroller, or wandering). It’s out job as parents to set an example for them. I can’t WAIT for this kid’s first broken window!

    While rude sales help may be a reason to skip the next shopping trip, the fact is that you accidentally broke the frame, and perhaps could have used a hand. So it goes.

    I’ve been to NWA&F NUMEROUS times with Screemie who is now 2.5 years old. We’ve been there when he’s having a great day, and when a bit of a trial. I’ve had to leave the store, dumping my small pile of supplies with a clerk, so I could run out to get the stroller to keep him contained.

    Every time I’ve been in, the staff, largely female, have been alternately patient, playfully distracting, and great at helping fetch items I couldn’t find.

    NWA&F, I’d have a chat with your guy about customer service etiquette and happily kiss this “I’m entitled to break things and be snotty” mom goodbye. I’m glad I wasn’t there!

    See you soon to pick up my dog picture (after the street fest)!



    The mention of “going to another employee to complain” what came of that conversation? It’s difficult to comprehend one person on the floor of NWA&F with no customer service skills, let alone two. Chalking this one up to “urban legend”



    ntvnw999, it certainly can be frustrating trying to juggle a baby and shop at the same time–it does wear down your patience, and it takes an extra effort to behave graciously, regardless of the behavior of those around you. I’m sorry you were having a hard day. It really will get easier when your child gets older (keep in mind, it will get harder, first!)

    I do think one might reasonably have expected the person in the frame department, whether customer or employee, to have come to your aid in retrieving the broken frame, although outrage that he did not seems misplaced.

    But I’m disturbed by your apparent assumption that you’re not required to compensate for your accidents. The principle stands, “You break it, you bought it,” even if the breakage is accidental (most breakage is accidental). When we accidentally cause injury to people or property, we’re responsible, no matter how trivial, no matter how great. We apologize, and we make our best effort to correct the injury.



    Thanks everyone good thoughts, something to think about for sure. Its a great store but even without a child I have never been treated like that before I thought it was really ridiculous. And even with a child I did clean up the frame – trust me there are no feelings of entitlement especially with a baby. I run my own business and I don’t hold my customers feet to the fire when they make a mistake and we are talking a lot more money on the table. After all my patronage here and great experiences I never thought a place like that would treat someone like that.



    In the past you have spent 100s of dollars at NWArt&Frame. And visited the store hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times?

    And you have had ONE bad experience out of those hundreds?

    The Luck Gods have been with you!



    I’m curious about something – did you ASK for help when the frame broke? Or did you just expect someone to offer?

    I’ve seen a lot of incidences where someone will offer to help someone, hold a door open, etc., and they’ll get snapped at, as if it’s somehow inferring that you can’t handle it yourself, or you look less able-bodied that someone else, etc. So a lot more people are being cautious about offering help until it’s asked for.

    I am a person who deals with mobility issues, and sometimes I need help. For instance, had I been the employee in that situation, I would not be able to get down to the floor and help. I clearly ask for what I need, and don’t expect others to read my mind. I wonder how differently the scenario might’ve played out if you had asked for help? (And if you did ask for help and got none, then I apologize for assuming you didn’t.)



    Actually ntv, I was talking about your incident with my guy who is an attorney (a good one – he doesn’t sue anyone, he just does contracts).

    He asked about the placement of the frame that was knocked over. Was it negligent, on the stores behalf, due to it being placed in a precarious place? Was it on a shelf, out of the way, with several other frames?

    Anyways, I guess these are questions that I would have never thought to ask, but seem valid.

    Leave it to an attorney, right?



    NW Art & Frame has ALWAYS been so wonderful to our family. Last Christmas my little one touched a little ornament and broke it. I immediately took it to the cashier and offered to pay. She thanked me and told me not to worry about it. Very pleasant person. We’ve also had a couple of bathroom emergencies during potty training and they’ve allowed us to take care of things. We try our best to be careful, keep the kids close, and avoid bringing them altogether when possible.

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