Grandpa Booted From Store's Kid Section ... Because He Is a Man

Say What!? 39

bookstorePicture this: you're standing in the children's section of a bookstore. You've got money. You've got books to buy. And then an employee tells you that you have to leave. The reason? The other customers are freaked out that you're a man.

It's a story a grandfather from Arizona is screaming from the rooftops this week. Omar Amin says he went to Barnes and Noble to buy books for his grandkids, and he got kicked out because he was a man. And a store spokesperson is defending the action.

So who's right?

In this case, based on information as presented, I side with Amin. We have no sign this grandfather was doing anything besides shopping for books for his grandkids or that his "crime" was anything other than being a male. If everything he says is true, it's a clear case of discrimination. I am sick and tired of the tired old "man around kids must be a pedophile" reaction. It's unfair to the millions of males in this world who wouldn't dream of such base and disgusting actions. And when you consider there are female pedophiles out there, it's far too simplistic.

And yet, if customers are approaching a store manager complaining about a person in the store who is giving them the willies, what's a store manager to do? It's a basic rule of business that the customer is always right ... right?

Well, nope, not at all. A manager could have 10 customers pitch a fit, claiming a breastfeeding mom is freaking them out because OMG, boobies. But the law (not to mention common sense) protects Mom and child from getting the boot. Or there could be a small but vocal contingent of skinheads in the store on any given day, moaning to management that they shouldn't allow a (insert slur for ethnic minority here) into their establishment. Again, the law and common sense trump "customer is always right."

The customer is always right is a nice motto, but it doesn't hold up when ethics are on the line. People, real people, have to come before old mantras.

What do you think of this store's actions?


Image via loranger/Flickr

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PonyC... PonyChaser

Curious1145, you ask, "what's next?" How about public parks banning 'all adults not accompanied by a child'? Because that's happening all over the country. People pay their taxes to support PUBLIC parks, and yet they cannot go and sit there during their lunch hour (or any other time) if they are not 'accompanied' by a child. Because they *might* be "looking" at the children, and they *might* be dangerous. We have become such an ugly, paranoid society, it makes me sad for our chilren. Every older man is now considered a pedophile. Every person on the street is considered "Stranger Danger". Boys have all but quit trying to get a job as a babysitter - even though they might be the best person for the job - because they're male, and they *must* have an ulterior motive.

Sad. Just sad. As much as I like B&N, this guy should sue their pages off.

AliNo... AliNoelle

I call BS on B&N. If all he was doing there was shopping for some books for his grandkids then wtf? My dad buys stuff for my boyos all the time and has never been told to leave because he is a man.

nonmember avatar Lord K

Surprised this even made news, stuff like this happens all the time to men in America. It's become so bad, I cannot even allow my stepdaughter to walk with me if we're in the US, lest someone calls the police on me, because everytime we are out together women give me horrid looks. Only in America too. When we've travelled outside the US like to her home country, no one gives us a second look when we're together.

nonmember avatar lilias

Pedophiles are savvy. They will bring their own child, grandchild, "family friend" with them to entice other victims into believing they are safe.

nonmember avatar lisa7

@ponychaser - I'd love to know your source for such nonsense. That is entirely illegal. Please post evidence, I think you made it up!

nonmember avatar glassx

I worked for B&N for about 7 years, and worked as a children's department lead for several years. We had problems with pedos as well, but we had pictures of him and were instructed to call the police if he showed up and escort children away from him, not try to deal with the situation ourselves.

Clearly there is more to the story, but
the bookseller in the children's section shouldn't have done that without partnering with a manager.

butte... butterflyfreak

Nonmember lisa7, why do you think ponychaser would make something like that up? Just because you've never seen a park that has banned unaccompanied adults doesn't mean it hasn't happened. I have never seen that myself but I wouldn't call ponychaser a liar over that.

I hope Barnes and Nobles ready to get their asses handed to them in court!

Miche... Michelephant


Here's the excerpt:

Exclusive Areas

Areas within the parks designated by the Commissioner for exclusive use shall include:

Exclusive Childrens Playgrounds: Adults allowed in playground areas only when accompanied by a child under the age of twelve (12)


So yeah a lot of parks are becoming children's only areas.   

nonmember avatar MikeJ

I'm not sure people are actually reading the article posted, this blog post is misleading. He was not actively shopping, he was sitting on the floor in the children's section talking on his phone. "Amin said he received a phone call as he arrived in the store and went to a quiet spot along the windows in the children's area, where he sat on the floor to talk.."

I'm not saying this warrants him to be kicked out, but there are definitely two sides to this story, and we don't know what the complaint was that resulted in him being asked to leave.

Also if you look at the language the reporter uses, making a point to say he's from Egypt and speaks with an accent suggests that it could have easily been a case of racial discrimination as well.

This blog post is encouraging knee-jerk reactions which are harmful to everyone.

Maybe the complaint was racist and sexist, maybe B&N could have dealt with it in a more diplomatic manner. Maybe he was making someone's child feel uncomfortable by sitting on the floor in the children's section.

Either way we should value children's safety over adult pride. This doesn't mean treating every man like a potential offender, but it does mean taking complaints/suspicions seriously, better safe than sorry.

nonmember avatar Jessica

As a former employee (and Kids Dept lead) at B&N, I was very disappointed when I heard this story. I sincerely hope this was an isolated incident and not a company-wide policy. Also, if there was a concern about this gentleman, then the employee should have done his JOB and offered to help him find some books for his grandkids! That being said, parents also need to be responsible and monitor their children. The Kids Dept at B&N is not a daycare.

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