UPDATE: Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Corporate Office Apologizes For Franchise Owner's Refusal To Let Girl With Diarrhea Use Their Bathroom

Yesterday, we wrote about a mother whose five-year-old child had diarrhea and was refused bathroom access by a local Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. She emailed us today to say she received a call from the Chief Operating Officer of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

The mother writes:

Wanted to update you that I received a call from Bryan Merryman, Chief Operating Officer. He was apologetic, compassionate and understanding and I appreciate his call. What he did make clear and what is no doubt a challenge for him, is that this is a franchise and as such is responsible for their own policies. He made it clear that the way this franchise handled this situation is at odds with corporate. Still no word back from the owner/manager of the franchise since she hung up on me, which is disappointing because her actions are hurting other franchises who have nothing to do with this. As an apologetic gesture, Mr. Merriman offered to send some product that I refused as again, my only desire in this is that this franchise and manager adopt a more compassionate policy in the future. We’ll definitely be giving the movie theater, who graciously let us use the restroom, our business in the future but I can’t say the same about this Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory franchise. The owner/manager may think that her decision was the most sensible business-based decision, but in the end, business is about people.

In a story in the Orange County Register, the franchise owner claims she apologized to the mother, but the mother says that never happened, and she still hasn’t heard from the franchise owner since she was hung up on.

(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. donkeyjote says:

    One can even go as far as to say that the manager is shitting on the other franchisees…

  2. charmaniac says:

    We knew this was coming. I couldn’t think of a worse thing for a chocolate store to do than what this chocolate store did. Talk about brand association!

  3. Bodgy says:

    I don’t think is a “consumer” story. I didn’t yesterday. I worked at a jewelry store, customers could not use our restroom. There was stock back there. Can’t trust people. Plus, would you want some kid with the shits using your restroom? The mother probably is not the type to clean up after her kid.

  4. timmus says:

    manager = asshole
    owner = clueless

    Everyone needs to slow down the the torches and pitchforks.

  5. Jonbo298 says:

    @Bodgy: If the child has the runs, it’s best they do use the bathroom, otherwise you will experience a case that Rocky Mountain is going through. I bet you’ll love adding Diarrhea to the floor.

  6. charmaniac says:

    There is a distinct difference between a jewelry store and a chocolate store. Also, it was the sarcastic response of the owner that caused the controversy. I bet she wishes she could take it back now. Who wants to bet that corporate will be sending a delegation of compliance folks to make sure that this particular franchisee has lived up to the terms of their contract? Hope she crossed every t and dotted every i.

  7. nfs says:

    does that mean she gets free chocolate?

  8. Letsgohokies says:

    @Bodgy: The mother probably is not the type to clean up after her kid.

    How did you infer that from the story?

  9. Shadowfire says:

    @Jonbo298: Then they need to clean it up. Your need to go to the bathroom does not trump my right to private property.

    Seriously, I feel for the mother and child, but in my old job, our bathroom was for employee use only. It was in the backroom, had expensive stock right nearby, and could cause more issues (i.e. finding more places to “have an accident.”) Unless there is a law stating specifically that every business must have a public restroom, these folks had no right to expect it.

  10. laserjobs says:

    Still fuck Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

  11. chilled says:

    Besides,I like to watch them squirm and squeeze their legs together after you tell them theres no public restroom!

  12. fjordtjie says:

    if an apology isn’t enough, it’s pretty funny that the franchise owner is getting threats that people are going to throw feces…the death threats and publishing her address are more scary than funny.

  13. forgottenpassword says:

    Well, IMO …if a store refuses you the use of a bathroom & it is an emergency (like those who have IBS sometimes have)…. then you are justified in cutting loose RIGHT THERE in the middle of the store floor. And let them clean it up.

    I would say its a bare minimum of customer service to allow them to use the facilities when there is an emergency.

  14. girly says:

    in the register’s news article they say the owner said there were a dozen other restrooms in other establishments and around the area, yet on the consumerist the mother in this story did mention that the employees didn’t tell her about any of them and just flat out refused her

  15. girly says:

    @girly: ah, they mentioned that in the regersiter, story too (about no alternatives being offered)

    Would have liked to see a follow up question on that one

  16. DynamicBits says:

    I wonder if this response was prompted by the numerous people who e-mailed corporate. In addition to the story being here on the Consumerist site, the story was number 1 on Digg yesterday, with over 5,000 diggs.

    Then again, maybe the people at the corporate offices are just more humane that the manager at this particular location.

  17. Trai_Dep says:

    Probably it was the scary splashy cup of chocolaty diarrheac goodness on the original story that set off the alarm bells at Rocky Mountain Central…

  18. I'm a tweeple too! says:

    I posted the whole article on the original story discussion area.

  19. Uriel says:

    “Overturf, who said she apologized to the mother earlier, contacted police once death threats began and her home address was posted on an unknown Website. People also threatened to throw feces at her home, she said.”

    What a loser. This person has made such a mess for herself it’s unbelievable.

    @Shadowfire:

    on last week’s episode!!

    “Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory may have violated existing California Code provisions. An organization called the American Restroom Association has a Uniform Plumbing Code that requires a “toilet facility for customers, patrons, and visitors of all mercantile and business establishments.” The Uniform Plumbing Code has been adopted by California, so it seems that there IS a requirement for businesses to provide restroom facilities for customers.”

  20. Bodgy says:

    Since when do our rights as Americans entitle us to use ANY bathroom, public or not, when we deem it an “emergency”? would you go to a strangers house and demand to use their bathroom because your kid had the runs?

    The kind of mother who would demand to use a private restroom is the kind of mother who would not clean up after her kid.

  21. forgottenpassword says:

    @Bodgy:

    I dont neccessarily believe that americans are entitled to be given bathroom priviledges whereever they go, but if you operate a business & refuse someone who has a severe intestinal need…. be prepared to clean up a mess.

    And there is a difference between a private residence & a business open to the public.

  22. Alex Chasick says:

    @Bodgy: This has already been discussed and dispelled ad nauseam in the original post, please stop conflating businesses with private homes.

  23. Girtych says:

    @Bodgy:

    You’re right, nobody should go up to a stranger’s house and demand access to a bathroom. But in California, any place that serves food has to have a public toilet. Check the original article on this.

  24. I'm a tweeple too! says:

    Oh and the email to the reporter is at the end of the article I posted, it seems what was said and what happened might be of interest to the reported (who is probably reading this …)

  25. kc2idf says:

    Oh, for fuck’s sake, people! Fine, yes, the store had the right that they exercised. Now, how about a simple dose of humanity?!? I think just the idea that someone could have shown just an eensie bit of compassion could have prevented this whole clusterfuck.

    Fuck RMCF. Fuck this franchise owner. Fuck the fucking fucks who fucking blame the fucking customer every fucking time. FUCK YOU ALL!!!

  26. MyPetFly says:

    From the OC Register: “At another Rocky Mountain store Overturf owns in Westminster, a man had snuck into the back in 2006 posing a firefighter, she said.”

    Yep, I can see how they didn’t want to take a chance on a five-year-old impersonating a firefighter. (Yes, I know the owner wasn’t there when this happened.)

  27. grumpygirl says:

    kc2idf, you need to chill. take a valium.

    sometimes i NEED the bathroom, but i understand the whole world isn’t out there to offer me one.

    i can’t even imagine being a business owner, a storefront business selling candy and food, and having a mother run in with her child screaming “diarrhea!! diarrhea!! diarrhea!!”… yeah, that would really make me want to let them back into the private store bathroom.

    imagine if they had let this woman and her child in? the woman is obviously an opinionated loudmouth… what if something happened and the complaining letter was from the people who ran the store?

    again, what about “diarrhea!! diarrhea!! diarrhea!!” would allow you to let a stranger into your private employee bathroom?

  28. Cupajo says:

    @Shadowfire: “Then they need to clean it up. Your need to go to the bathroom does not trump my right to private property.”

    Why the fuck should the customer have to do that. They don’t work there. I come into your store with a kid who desperately needs use the toilet and you basically refuse because you can,I’m going to let my kid shit on your front counter. And when you hand me a mop and some Brawny I’m going to laugh in your face. Simple as that.

    Consequences, bitch. They sting like a fucker.

  29. Noiddog says:

    @kc2idf: Fuck YES!!!!!!!

  30. stevegoz says:

    I’m still not convinced that the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory people take this customer’s concerns very seriously. They treated her like crap. What a load of doo-doo! I mean, only the shitty COO called her? He’s only the number two on their org chart. Where the dookie is the CEO during this crisis?

  31. godofcookery says:

    Geez, to the people who mentioned they had expensive stock in the back near the bathroom, how is that at all relevant? The RMCF, at most, would have chocolate or some such back there, hardly expensive stock that they should worry about. And I shudder to think if the child would even be thinking of reaching for chocolate as she had to do her doodie. (See what I did there?) Or maybe this is some huge scam by the mother and her daughter for free chocolate?
    You and your inflated egos. Gah.

  32. dialing_wand says:

    @stevegoz: your comment seems a little clogged with metaphor.

  33. legwork says:

    Huh. I wonder what karma will deal the manager for this poop-denial offense? I mean, besides the poop-on-home threats already dealt. Will she be reincarnated as some kind of intestinal parasite?

    She screwed up, lied to the press, corporate, and no doubt friends, etc. Way to dig yourself into a real pile of it.

    To the customer service kids in the crowd: this is a shining example of how sticking to an ass-hat policy, existent or invented, can be worse for everyone involved: manager, customer, store, corporate… Consider the alternate possibilities, and how it could only have been better.

  34. Prions says:

    I can’t believe people are so entitled these days….

    Your seriously gonna let your kid crap all over the place? Really? So that the minimum-wage smuck has to clean it up? How compassionate of you. Show some humanity.

    There are hundreds of tiny shops in a mall, each one might have a small toilet for their staff if they’re lucky. But the customer restrooms are big, spacious and maintained on a regular basis. Guess which one people should use.

    Also…since we’re talking about humanity…wasn’t there a story a few days ago about a tech who came on a service call and asked to use the washroom? As I recall he did a number and the customer got all upset and righteous. Show some humanity. If you want the store to let you use their private washrooms out of a sense of “doing what is right” then you have no right to complain when the issue is reversed.

  35. vagabond1 says:

    @girtych
    The mall’s centrally located public restrooms satisfy the store’s fixture requirement per the Universal Plumbing Code that California adheres to.

  36. Prions says:

    Ah..I realize I’ve had my rant for the day but..

    To all of you bleeding-hearts who blast the manager for being rude to the customer: you have no idea how many times I’ve had customers scream, insult, swear at, and threaten me. They are furiously unreasonable and I must stay polite…right.

  37. JennQPublic says:

    @Prions: When a five year old has diarrhea, you don’t “let” them crap anywhere, they just crap. Also, I think in the previous post the customer was upset because the tech came (late?), crapped, and then left without doing the work.

    When I worked in retail (thank god those days are past) we would escort a customer to the employee restroom if it was an emergency, then wait outside the restroom and escort them back onto the sales floor. No theft, no lawsuits, just decent, common-sense customer service.

    This P.R. nightmare is what you get when you hire employees that are unable/unwilling to think for themselves and assess a situation with half a brain. The manager laughed at her when she said she would use her contacts to start a viral campaign? Hadn’t the manager ever heard of the internet?

  38. Prions says:

    @JennQPublic: I was referring to the following:

    “Why the fuck should the customer have to do that. They don’t work there. I come into your store with a kid who desperately needs use the toilet and you basically refuse because you can,I’m going to let my kid shit on your front counter. And when you hand me a mop and some Brawny I’m going to laugh in your face. Simple as that.

    Consequences, bitch. They sting like a fucker.”

    It sounded callous and brutish.

  39. attheotherbeach says:

    @Bodgy: You suck.

  40. Concerned_Citizen says:

    Pathetic. If that store only has a bathroom accessible via the kitchen, what this guy is suggesting is disgusting. And if the insurance factor is true, that is all one needs to deny a customer use of a bathroom. What small business is going to risk their whole store to let someone use their private bathroom? And what kind of sick person would ask them to? That COO is an idiot. I don’t care if you’re the president asking to use a bathroom because you have diarrhea. A store wold be committing a serious health violation letting someone crapping themselves walk through the kitchen.

  41. @vagabond1:

    Yep, they sure do.

    Satisfying the requirements is one issue. Behaving like an adult is another.

    I have public restrooms. They exists, by city code, for the use of my customers. Guess what? Non-customers can use them as well. But I do draw the line at street people that want to camp out in my restrooms ….. there is a McD’s across the street…. use their restrooms.

    There is proper use and then there is abuse. Sometimes the grey areas are easily confused. For me, when young children are involved the grey areas disappear. IF the store does not want to provide public restrooms, even for a young child in great need, then the store needs to be prepared to quickly direct the parent and child to the proper facilities.

  42. balthisar says:

    If the kid was sick, what was it doing out in public in the first place?

  43. razremytuxbuddy says:

    Although I feel sad for the little girl in this situation, I have some questions. Do 5-year-olds even know when they are going to have a diarrhea episode? When I was little, I didn’t ever know I had diarrhea until after I “went,” yet this very young little girl was yelling “diarrhea, diarrhea,” as if she knew what was coming. The exception to this would be if the little girl already had diarrhea, but they went to the Chocolate Factory anyhow, in which case, why was a little girl with diarrhea eating (I presume) at the Chocolate Factory? The mom could have reasonable answers to these questions, but I did want to ask them. Regardless of the answers, I can’t believe a store or restaurant would refuse access to a little girl who needed to go to the bathroom. If it was a security concern, mother and daughter could have been escorted by an employee to and from the restroom.

    And one more thing: Why do people even go to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory? There’s one on the corner of nearly every tourist hangout, so the stores are not a unique shopping or eating experience; they are practically clones of one another, and they serve huge amounts of useless calories.

  44. Gopher bond says:

    From now on, I’m only going to patronize businesses that specfically REFUSE customers from using the restroom. I think it’s good policy. Brings the snooty hoi polloi back down to earth. Everyone thinks they and their children are so goddamned special and the red carpet should be rolled out for them. Let them crap their pants in public once or twice and maybe they start to realize that we’re all just stupid animals.

  45. nmagic says:

    Essentially:

    The mother/daughter have no right to claim use of a private space (the bathroom). They also have no right to defecate on the premises of private property (the store.)

    But, from a “public service” vs. “profit” point of view, the company/employees could have granted use of the bathroom. However, their refusal is not illegal nor unexpected.

    If anyone could sue anyone else in this case, it would be the franchise owner suing the parent for damage/clean up costs of the toddler’s shit.

    Not to sound cruel or crass, but, if you want to play with fire – (pushing your agenda/fighting for what isn’t really your “right,”) in a legal frame, you’re going to get burnt and bitten when you’re so clearly in the wrong.

    An “apology” from Rocky Mountain is just a public relations stunt. They know they won’t have to shell out a dime, but, don’t want all these idiots boycotting them.

  46. RabbitDinner says:

    I don’t think they broke any codes. I’m not sure that the requirement to provide restrooms extends to candy stores.

  47. MyPetFly says:

    As an aside to the debate here, if there’s a third installment to this story, can the staff of The Consumerist run a photo of a pile of chopped nuts as the main image? : ) (Maybe even a melted Snickers bar?)

  48. NotATool says:

    @Concerned_Citizen: Yeah, this could very well have been the case. What if the kid couldn’t make it to the bathroom and crapped in the food prep area? What if you had to navigate them around vats of boiling chocolate to get to the restroom? Those are insurance problems and valid reasons to keep customers out of the prep area.

    I can understand the manager’s refusal; however it was handled extremely poorly. Why not simply direct the customer to the nearest restroom?

  49. Consumerific says:

    First, thank you Rocky Mountain for calling htis girl’s mother.

    I really think it was decent of the COO to speak with this 5 year old’s mother and I imagine this same COO may help the franchise owner develope better customer relations. Hope you find your way back to Rocky Mountain but not the store your daughter had such a terrible experience.

    BTW, yesterday I read the Rocky Mountain website and sent the founder an e-mail on your behalf. The site suggests that the company wants to be a good corporate citizen and the call from their COO was a nice gesture.

  50. tylerkinglee says:

    There is a larger issue at hand here: We now live in a society where the concept of “customer service” no longer exists, corporate “policies” abound, and common sense has been completely lost.

    While I believe the COO of the company was sincere in his apology, unfortunately, corporate leadership carries the burden of ensuring its franchisees represent their brand in a manner consistent with its values. When this trust is breached, the entire brand must inevitably suffer.

    I am frankly tired of hearing about this same sort of attitude from employees and management of “well-respected” establishments all around us. Just as politicians and corporate leaders must be held accountable for their actions, individuals managers and employees should be required to sign an indemnification agreement which would hold them personally accountable for causing such damage to their company. Maybe this would make employees, managers and franchisee owners think twice about making the ignorant decisions they often make.

    I love that we live in a time where social media sites like Consumerist, Digg, YouTube and the like abound. Finally, we have a voice again!

  51. n0ia says:

    @Prions:

    If my kid crapped their pants in a store and it got all over the place, the first thing I would do is look for somewhere to CLEAN MY KID UP, not a FLOOR, cause you know… leaving crap on a floor isn’t as big of a health concern as getting it off a human.

    And while my child is being cleaned up, are the worthless employees of your store going to stand there and wait for me to come back and clean up that mess? What about health hazards to other patrons? That’s where employees need to get the bodily fluid cleanup gear they were supposed to learn about in training and clean it up.

    @Concerned_Citizen:

    So you’re saying there’s not a single case in which someone working in a kitchen anywhere has ever had a case of diarrhea and let loose while in the kitchen? Gimme a break. People get sick. People get sick at the worst time possible. People have lost bodily fluids in kitchens. What do you do when that happens? Clean EVERYTHING. The only way you’re going to violate health code is if you don’t clean.

    And I imagine the only way that diarrhea is really going to get on everything is if the mother drops the little girls pants while in the kitchen. The original article seems to indicate that she carried her daughter to get cleaned up. If it was so bad that it would have leaked all in the kitchen, then it probably leaked all over everything else too.

    And to whoever thinks the girl shouldn’t have been out if she was sick:

    Have you never gone out in public, and while you’re out became ill?

    And I’m sure there are 5 year olds out there that are aware enough when their stomach is hurting that they have diarrhea, or at least a really good guess.

  52. drjayphd says:

    @Prions: Yeah, pretty much, until they cross a line which (as it sounds like in the original article) was never crossed by the mom.

    @Prions: Also, as seen in the original article, there wasn’t a public restroom nearby. Not like there was much of an option.

  53. azntg says:

    Having previous experience of being that customer who really just had to go (if it’s a small business giving me a favor, I’ll usually make a small purchase with cash out of gratitude, even if it’s not necessary) and having dealt with self-righteous companies who will lie their way through, I really cannot sympathise with that particular RMCF franchisee.

    While I don’t think people should be making threats and all that, in some ways, the storekeepers had it coming.

    @legwork: Indeed. Common sense would’ve dictated that the possibilities of having a satisfied customer would’ve more than outweighed the possibilities for being involved in litigation.

    Nope, obviously some people lack good common sense. So, they pay for it with bad PR and even get threats from crazies out there. Trial and error. Hopefully they won’t screw up twice on the same mistake, huh?

    @Prions: Or you could always stoop down to the same level. If you’re working in a field where you have to deal with the public, you’re inevitably going to have to deal with crazies, idiots and all the flotsam along with the nicest people on earth. So you need to develop good tact, good sense and good discretion. Otherwise, you’re no better than the same customers you despise.

  54. shor0814 says:

    What seems to amaze me even more is that people defend the “employees only” bathroom policy by explaining what a clusterfuck it is in the back. That screams Fire Code Violation to me. Sounds to me like a few fire marshals need to do some inspections.

  55. Alex Chasick says:

    Sorry to whoever Dugg this already; the Gawker Editing platform ated it. Please redigg if you’d like.

  56. ZoeSchizzel says:

    I keep wondering how many of those posters with little empathy live in the South. Down here, the first time it got out that anyone in your business said something slightly rude to Big Bubba’s little sister’s cousin’s best friend, your business would be on a wrong-way prayer chain that would render your business on the way to Hellsville. I’m not religious at all, but I’m not above putting some energy toward a Vengeful Jesus for businesses that treat people poorly.

  57. Techno Viking says:

    Mother of the child if you are reading this, do not worry. Wait and see how they fare with sales and that will be their punishment. I, would be delighted if they go out of business or a new owner shows up and cleans up the image of that location. What you can do, is just sit and enjoy a mocha and place a sign on the public street about what had happened to you and their problems will only increase. Instead of trying to apologize and bring their image to a better view, they hide and claim falsely that they were sorry, we now see what those owners care more, and it’s money and not the people who give them money. Kill their business by spreading your truth on the public street. It will give you a great satisfaction.

  58. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    They no longer have a homepage on the rmcf site: rmcf.com/CA/HuntingtonBeach50710

    Here is an earlier dispute between the franchisee & franchisor:
    [dockets.justia.com]

  59. TPS Reporter says:

    Yeah, because a 5 year old girl is equivalent to a lazy service guy that ONLY used the bathroom and then left. The crux of the story is that it is a 5 year old kid. Not an adult, NOT at your house where the premise is apparently that they are just walking down the sidewalk randomly, but a little child at the closest place the mother saw. If a mom and kid knocked on my door and asked to use my bathroom because the kid had the runs, I would let them use it. If you wouldn’t you’re an ass. If only we ALL could make the PERFECT decisions under pressure like some of you think you can, boy would this be the perfect world. As far as the stealing stuff from the back, I’m sure that was the motive all along. Give the kid a whole pack of ex-lax and take her to the mall. We can make out like bandits, Give me all your chocolate or the kid craps on the floor!

  60. Concerned_Citizen says:

    @n0ia: Way to pick and choose. You completely ignore the insurance issue. Anyone allowed into the work area that is not an employee can freely sue you and clean you out. And who in their right mind wants to close their restaurant to clean as you say it “everything” because an employee decided to ignore the liability issues and allow some stranger and their kid to walk through your kitchen while pooping everywhere. I just cannot fathom the ignorance of some people. I’ve worked in small restaurants with no public restroom with the only bathroom being only big enough for one person and all the way in the back of the place. If it was busy there is not a chance in hell we would let anyone back there, as it was crowded enough. Maybe if it was very slow we might do it, but if your yelling at me about diarrhea, I am not going to let you make a mess of the bathroom. A small restaurant probably only has a single person bathroom built like a home bathroom. No drain in the floor, not equiped to easily resist damage from crap all over it. That movie theater they went to was perfect. A bathroom designed for easy hosing down after puke and crap. Designed to be public.

  61. ohayou_kun says:

    Rules are rules, and the minamum wage smuck(aka me and alot of other people) does not want to lose their job. When orientation says No do not let customers into the employee only area we don’t. Child or not, it doesn’t matter. Its like if its a child all the rules disapear, they apply to everybody. I think if i was the mom i would have just went to the next store other, its obvious they were not going to budge. And besides if the kid craps on the floor, we have something called power blaster and maintaince staff. It’s not in our job description to clean shit figuratively or lierally…We’re abused and underpayed we aren’t going to deal with self righteous costumers that have either insult, swore, threatened, and harassed us. In the end Store Policy is Store policy.

  62. RetailGuy83 says:

    @Concerned_Citizen:Agreed, if this was a mall location it was unreasonable to expect them to let you use the restroom. Especially if getting to the restroom meant going through the kitchen.

    That being said, the general attitude of RMCF surrounding the incident was pretty crappy.

    Oh, and to everyone who would let their kids crap in the floor and then laugh, fuck you, disgusting monkey!

  63. pigeonpenelope says:

    is it just me or does the picture attached with the article have a humourous sense of appropriateness?

  64. rdldr1 says:

    You know what would have made all parties happy? If the manager on duty dealt the situation properly by saying, “Im sorry, our store policy states that the public cannot use our restroom. However, there are public restrooms you can use over at .”

  65. Crabfeast says:

    @ohayou_kun:

    All retail jobs, especially chain stores like this one, have archaic and stupid rules that employees and even managers never bother to follow. I’ve worked retail jobs, there are always stupid locker/store room rules that workers never follow. By your logic, every store employee, manager, and customer should follow every rule mandated by the government, corporate and whoever else. “Rules are rules” is a stupid excuse, you need to factor in something called common sense. In this case, I’m sure the worker there plainly saw that this little child needed to go, at that moment, and instead of using common sense, decided to bring up some fuck all rule and told the child and parent to beat it. This isn’t drunk driving, it’s a rule that should come with some leniency, and instead of that, the store decided instead that it wanted to face a reign of fury, outrage and bad PR. Here’s a rule that everyone should follow, without fail: use some goddamn common sense, and fucking THINK.

  66. legwork says:

    @ohayou_kun: Alternatives…

    a) Same situation, but this time minimum-wage-schmuck enforces policy, little girl makes mess, mother complains. Same result with another layer of denial and finger pointing.
    Losers all around.
    …or…
    b) Employee lets little girl use bathroom. With just about any outcome short of the 5-yr old being a dwarf on a rampage, (and that’s where you trust your judgement instead of blind policy) the customer wins, the company wins (with PR if everything else goes wrong), and you win. At minimum you get to go home not feeling like a complete dick.
    b2) If the company fires or disciplines you, you chat with the mother who backs you up (you did make a point of chatting that day, right?) and now the company loses while you look like the knight in armor.

    The reason these stupid CS things keep happening is because people let them.

  67. RetailGuy83 says:

    @legwork: did I miss something or does b2 leave you unemployed?

    or b3, the mother carrying her daughter through the tight space of the kitchen trips and knocks boiling chocolate on her daughter, insurance company drops the coverage and denies claim because you allowed a customer into the food prep area, customer sues RMCF, RMCF as part of a settlement pulls all of the owners franchises, Franchise owner sues you.

  68. magnoliasouth says:

    Death threats? If she’s being honest that’s taking it a bit too far.

    @Bodgy: The thing though is that it is. While I can understand the refusal, it was the employees attitudes that upset everyone. Had they apologized and been nicer, rather than sarcastic and obnoxious about it this whole thing wouldn’t have even been posted.

    I’m happy though that Bryan Merryman denounced them by saying that policies should be reasonable and compassionate. That said it all. Had Bonnie Overturf acted in this manner, again, we would never have even heard about it.

  69. forgottenpassword says:

    WOW! I am suprised at how cruel some of these responses are. Keep in mind…. we are talking about an emergency here. Not some joe schmoe casually wanting to use the employee restroom.

    I think a lot of these posts are by people who work retail & just hate customers.

    ALl I can say is… you better hope you are not in some dire need to use a restroom while some wage-slave smirks & tows the company line at your expense.

  70. SOhp101 says:

    @forgottenpassword: Keep in mind… we are talking about anonymous comments here.

    Was the woman wrong? Yes, in some sense, she was, but the store’s response was even more wrong. That’s usually the case in nearly all consumerist posts.

    I personally never liked going to any Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factories because all the owners/managers seem to be very “cheap ass” i.e., pay premium prices for product but get crappy customer service, and the product still leaves a lot to be desired. Yet another reason to stop shopping there.

  71. legwork says:

    @RetailGuy83: “…unemployed?”
    No, that’s a possibility, but the point was that the company gets to choose as well. They can look like they do and take the hit or they back you and come out smelling rosy. (part of them, anyway)

    b3a) Worker witnesses accident, quickly pushing mother into vat after child, and turning potential PR tragedy into a wildly popular (if temperature sensitive) display.

    But seriously, RG83, what I think I’m hearing from you is the absolutist, no exception thinking that results in this kind of outcome and a general loss of humanity. I’ve been there, both as schlep and owner, nose deep in the legal advisories, but now I try to choose what’s right and accept the consequences, knowing the universe tends to side with the reasonable. Okay, that sounds hippie, so take it as my right brain’s explanation for life’s experiences.

    Knowing what we do, how might you have made the best of the situation?

  72. theysaidwhat says:

    Having spent my entire career in commercial insurance, I understand the worry of the franchisee. But come on–they should have let this mom and child use their restroom!

    The original thread for this story contained many posts suggesting that the mom escalate this and further publicize it. Can you imagine being that poor kid in this internet age?? Having her emergency accident forever immortalized on the web, following her for the rest of her life???

    This stupid-ass chain needs to change the requirements of its franchisees. Plain and simple. They need to carry sufficient insuarnce to allow restroom access. And if Mr President of the Chain didn’t guarantee that such a change was imminent, then he hasn’t done a thing to resolve the issue.

  73. dragonfire1481 says:

    I hate to burst this woman’s bubble, but business is about MONEY, not people.

  74. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    What the world needs is a Consumerist Mob Day.
    A day when Consumerists across the country go out and demand access to restrooms or refuse to show receipts.. then come back and compare notes.

  75. cwlodarczyk says:

    @kc2idf: Thank you for your interjection of common sense into these comments – I was just about ready to give up on Consumerist. That would be unfortunate as I really love the site, but hate a large percentage of the asshats who comment here.

  76. tomarnk says:

    @dragonfire1481I hate to burst this woman’s bubble, but business is about MONEY, not people. :

    I made an account to point out that if this is your argument, you may as well copy/paste it into nearly every comments section on the website. It almost makes sense, but it could be argued against in every thread, with some merit.

  77. 12345abcdefg says:

    i know everyone has an idea of what happened, and it makes sense to side with the mom if you read what was written in the OC register. HOWEVER, what was written was completely biased. The story overly exaggerated, and failed to mention that the mother spent 5 minutes arguing when there was a restaurant next door that she was told to go to. Also, the employee was only doing her job, anyone who has a job would understand why at some stores customers are not allowed to use the restaurant. The little girl also did not poop on the floor of the chocolate factory. i think they should at least analyze what happened on the cameras.

  78. Not-so-common-sense says:

    OK, a comment from someone who has been to this Mall. The RMCF has no outdoor seating and is rather out of the way from any outdoor seating. The movie theater “that was kind enough” is actually right next to the nearest seating area and only fifty feet or so down the hall from the RMCF. Also, the theater does not check for tickets at the door but rather at the halls to the individual cinemas. I only point this out because they are not heroes but have found a good way to boost snack bar and game room sales. There is a SIT DOWN resturaunt about 20 feet from RMCF, that as people have pointed out is required to have public restrooms, that is between the RMCF and the theater. A small store front in the mall is not.

    I am having trouble wrapping my head around the logistics here.

    If the group was standing outside the RMCF eating then they were loitering in a choke point, approx 5ft., because of current construction right there and making it worse. I go the the theatre there often and there are always people standing in the way, typical of the “me” society we have in Orange County.

    If they were at an established sitting area they passed public restrooms and large stores/eateries that do have public restrooms to get to the RMCF.

    Ok logistic questions done for now. Why would anyone assume that a small store in a mall would have a bathroom? When I was in college I worked retail as many of us have. Many of the small stores in the mall didn’t even have bathrooms for employees. The store I worked at did have an employees only bathroom that we also had to use for our personal items (coats, purses, book bags, etc.). I would never let any one back there, not just because of insurance but the risk of theft (you don’t really think the girl was going to go in alone do you?). We would make exceptions on very rare occasions but only if the customer was very well known to us. That being said, the staff at RMCF should have given this woman the location of the nearest public restroom, of which there are many and of close proximity. I cannot say if the staff response was because of single mindedness, ignorance, or just plain uncarring, also a sign of “me” society.

    The owners response has been inserted incomplete and ad lib thus not reliable to base a judgement on. We also do not know what was said to the the franchise owner before the go ahead and sue me comment was made.

    If anyone reading this has made anyone the threats to the owner of the RMCF I have a couple of points for you.
    1. If you thought it was funny please consider being on the receiving end of an anonymous death threat.

    2. If it this truly angered you this much, there are places for you. The psych ward or prison.

    Bottom line, in my opinion, this was probably a combination of selfishness and poor communication on both sides. As for the coporate response, no changes are likely. It is just a PR save. The added insurance for public restrooms in all of their storefronts would be cost prohibitive.

  79. DH405 says:

    @Bodgy: A business isn’t a person. A business is allowed to operate at the pleasure of the general public. While this may not be true in every case, it is the basis of our society’s interaction with business.

  80. garbagehead says:

    I wonder what the little girl who pooped her pants thinks about all this. I’m willing to bet one fudge sunday that she just wants to play with her tickle me elmo or GI joes.
    Kids crap their pants. It’s what they do. You show me an asshole manager and I’ll show you a kid who just layed a fudge dragon in his diaper.
    And that’s a fact.

  81. Morticia says:

    Valid points on both sides. I’m going to sit on the fence.

    Meanwhile, being a chocoholic who doesn’t live in the US, I would so love to visit one of these Rocky Mountain shops one day.

  82. ShariC says:

    There are two sides to the coin here. The people who work in the store have rules in place for a reason and they may be good ones. However, letting a little girl in dire need use the bathroom was almost certainly a good reason to make an exception.

    These sorts of situations are built on a history of customer’s taking advantage of businesses extending them courtesies. People behave like pigs or ask too often out of convenience rather than necessity or they steal things or do something disruptive. The consequence is that draconian measures are put in place and situations like this result.

    This is something that customers who came before this woman “earned” through their actions. It doesn’t make what the shop did “right” at all, but it does add some context to it. Everyone who suggests that customers retaliate by doing something foul is actually lending weight to the store’s policy as it suggests that any angry customer will do whatever he or she can to damage or inconvenience the store.

    We live in the culture and society we earn. If you want kinder, gentler shopkeepers, then be kinder, gentler customers, not rude, reactive, vindictive ones.

  83. kc2idf says:

    @cwlodarczyk: I can’t really tell whether you are serious or sarcastic, so I will just say that I had (obviously) sort of hit my limit around the time I posted that message. I am really sick of the “blame the customer” crowd that hangs out here (though they do occasionally have a point . . . occasionally), and largely wish that Consumerist had a karma score system like on Slashdot. It allows a more finely-grained moderation than “keep it or kick it” and works on community consensus.

    @ShariC: That is probably the most balanced counterpoint I’ve seen on this thread or its cousin. Yes, by all means, we need to treat the shopkeepers like human beings, and they likewise to us. Either side could start at any time.

  84. Gopher bond says:

    you don’t like their bathroom policy, you don’t support the business, end of story. You don’t force businesses to do what you think is right. If enough people find it as outrageous as you do, there will be consequences.

  85. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @Bodgy:

    You fail it. Please stop talking.

  86. god_forbids says:

    I worked at a place that didn’t have a bathroom, but the place next door did. Customers who requested bathrooms were presented with timely and relevant information, were able to use the restroom, and came back happy (and ready to spend money).

    Why this was so hard for Rocky Mountain to accomplish is beyond me.

  87. lemur says:

    @ohayou_kun:

    Rules are rules,

    You begin with this and the proceed to write a piece in which both spelling and grammar rules are ignored. Your own behavior contradicts your argument. Maybe there’s a prize somewhere for shooting oneself in the foot so badly.

  88. tc4b says:

    @cwlodarczyk:

    Hello, and welcome to the internet. Can you see us down here, from way up on your high horse?

  89. Indecent says:

    I actually got a short call back from corporate when I emailed both them and the branch itself with the following letter:
    I work for a company that regularly purchases large amounts of goodies from RMCF for our clients, family, friends, and banquets. In fact, I just looked back over our file, and we’ve already spent over 16,000 dollars this year. Not too shabby.

    But after reading about what your employees and management did to a 5 year old girl and her mother – who were paying customers – I’ve sat the partners down and we’ll be switching to Harry & David’s Inc to handle our gift baskets and chocolates from now on.

    Hope you realize in the future that denying human decency to one customer will lose you other customers many times over.

    Thanks,

    —————
    In short, they did they same as with the customer, calling to remind me that each franchise is individually owned and operated, and they were working on the issue.
    Sad for them, I’ve already got my order in with Harry & David’s this week, and have no intention of letting a company that allows franchisees to treat their customers that way have our substantial business.

  90. Mike_ says:

    If you Google Joann Fabrics, the first two results are for the company. The third is that article on the Consumerist under the headline “Worst Customer Service Ever”. That was a year ago, but the Internet is slow to forget, especially when you refuse restroom access to a sick child.

    When Joann Fabrics responded appropriately, all was forgiven (though not forgotten). Telling a newspaper “I already apologized” is, well, unapologetic. If you want fix this, add the “customer emergency restroom access” rider to your insurance policy, and send the reader a box of chocolates and a sincere apology.

  91. patodonnell39 says:

    I’m all for getting back at @$$holes with no compassion like the owner of the franchise, but who’s making death threats? Over a story they saw online? Seriously people…

  92. EdnaLegume says:

    I was able to enjoy this very scenario yesterday. My 5 year old daughter and I were out shopping, having a rather fun time in a kitchen store. All of a sudden she turned to me and said “I have to POOP and I already did a tiny bit”.

    Immediately the sirens sound, and my body takes on the flight command. We rushed to the customer service desk and my only concern is keeping my daughter from having a god awful mess.

    While the associate wasn’t exactly sympathetic, I’m not even entirely sure she was alive, she directed us to the back of the store. Low and behold, a public restroom.

    We avoided catastrophe, but up until that woman pointed to the far corner of the store, I was in a panic. For me and for my daughter. No mother wants her child to experience this kind of mess, embarrassment, future therapy session, etc. Nor do we want to deal with the simple mess of it.

    No, I don’t want to clean up my daughters shit. I figured that was done with once we tossed the last diaper. And frankly, the last thing on my mind was the five finger discount.

    However, had that clerk said no, I’d likely have taken a second or two to beg, but I’m fairly certain, by the time I got my daughter out of that store and into another, we’d have a mess.

    How sad that now, future outings require a map of area bathrooms and a check of all toilet seats for glue and other adhesives.

  93. mikesgrrl says:

    I worked retail…at a mall…right by the food court and the restrooms. But there was no question: If customers badly needed a restroom, we escorted them into the back, waited in the stockroom just outside the door for them, then escorted them back to the floor. Simple, easy. No problem.

    The worst part is the attitude exhibited by the owner. If she had apologized instead of being so nasty, this never would have gone further.

  94. Jbball says:

    Death threats? People, come on. Get a grip on reality now. Atleast I now know not to piss of anyone here.

  95. I would of taken my child’s pants/underwear off, left them in their wide open garbage, cleaned the child up right in front of them….

    Come ON. We aren’t talking diamonds in the back, we aren’t even talking about scamming teenagers. We are talking about customers in an emergency. It wouldn’t of been hard for the employee to escort the mother/child to the bathroom if there was a concern. I fully understand the whole “no public access” bathroom, but I’ve had many understanding employees open them up for me.

    This was a child, who doesn’t have the skills that maybe an adult has to “hold it in” until they find a restroom available. I feel horrible for the child, who probably felt embarrassed over a situation that could of been handled privately and much more appropriately.

  96. VA_White says:

    Yes, the owner apologized. She said, “I’m sorry you can’t use the restroom.”

  97. @Bodgy: I think I’m going to give you this one. Yeah, you’re absolutely correct. The franchise owners were entirely within their rights to deny access to facilities.

    I’m also entirely within my rights to note that this was a tasteless, unkind and ultimately unwise thing for them to do.

    Our social obligations don’t end at the bare minimum of our legal requirements of behavior.

  98. ThinkerTDM says:

    I would think an emergency is when blood is gouting from the eyes, a limb has been lost, or something equally bad.
    A child who can’t hold it is NOT going to require therapy. It is NOT going to turn them into serial killers.
    Accidents happen. I expect to have many as I turn older. I do not expect anybody to bow down before me because I have to go poopoo.

  99. azntg says:

    @ThinkerTDM: Think it won’t happen to you?

    I hope you are forced to take a crap on your pants because you’re far away from your home and because no merchants will let you use their bathroom. After all, it’s not an “emergency” and you’re not going to need therapy or become a serial killer if you don’t have access to a restroom.

  100. pegr says:

    Maybe the owner doesn’t particularly like corporate. Seems here she’s suing them:

    [dockets.justia.com]

    Gawd, I love Google!

  101. RMCF_Snoop says:

    I was just going to post the same message. This owner is sueing RMCF, so there is no love between them, and corporate. They are also trying to sell this store, so this should help lower the price.

  102. baristabrawl says:

    @laserjobs: Agreed. I may have taken a different approach, but I would still make sure I launched the best smear campaign ever!

  103. Pro-Pain says:

    @testsicles: I’m sorry that you are fat, bald, and have a small penis.

  104. Gopher bond says:

    @Pro-Pain: Oh yeah? Well I had sex with your wife!

  105. RStewie says:

    I read the article at the link and the comments posted there, and there are some seriously ignorant assholes out there! Going on about how the woman was stupid for feeding her kid, how she shouldn’t have posted the manager’s home address and asked people to harrass her (she didn’t do that, did she?), how she just wants to sue (she isn’t, is she?). Wow. HATERS AHOY!!

    I was shopping with my mom after she had knee surgery, she had to go, I asked the store clerk. They told me it wasn’t public, I pointed out her limp, they let her use it. No drama, no laughing, no sueing. Why is it so difficult for people to just BE NICE?

  106. failurate says:

    By now, quite a few of us have seen maps of the place… There were public restrooms available. Why did the mom insist on using the Rocky Mountain one?

    This company is getting burned at the stake because a mother lost her bearings and didn’t keep track of where the public restrooms were.

    This whole story and the “outrage” that Rocky Mountain Chocolate is having to deal with is a load of crap.

  107. JoeVet says:

    While I feel for Corporate RMCF I don’t think they did enough. They have more abilities to persuade a franchise owner to take care of their customers. Until that franchise owner is brought to face their inhumanity then the whole chain is tainted. And for all you libertarians who are siding with the business, yes they have a right to be d**ks but I also have equal rights to boycott and spread the word about the incident.

  108. picardia says:

    About three years ago, I ate some bad fish. Some really bad fish. I felt fine as I was walking along the sidewalk late at night, then had a couple moments of dizziness, then instantly knew I had to vomit a lot and soon. It came on that fast. I ran into the nearest coffee place, which was closing up. The guy said, “We’ve closed the bathrooms.” I didn’t say anything, but my stomach cramped, and I think I turned green. The guy immediately said, “Next door on your left.” I did what I had to do, did not leave a mess and apologized profusely as I left. The guy said, “Everybody gets sick sometimes.”

    Which is true. And I’m really glad I ran into him instead of some of you pricks.

    (I managed to hold myself together for a quick cab ride home, then spent the next two days not feeling so good. Beware the fish.)

  109. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    The only argument I’ve seen in favor of the store that makes the slightest bit of sense is the one regarding insurance. A store that is not required to maintain a public restroom may not have proper liability coverage if a customer is injured in one of the areas that is not normally open to the public.

    But even that seems to be a case of taking a sensible general policy (“I’m sorry, we don’t have a public restroom”) and bureaucratically enforcing it under ALL circumstances, including those that are rare, extreme, and warrant an exception, like this one.

    @Shadowfire: Your need to go to the bathroom does not trump my right to private property.

    @Bodgy: The kind of mother who would demand to use a private restroom is the kind of mother who would not clean up after her kid.

    @Prions: If you want the store to let you use their private washrooms

    It never ceases to amaze me how many people think that businesses are (or should be) allowed to do pretty much any damned thing they want, because it’s “private property”.

    A retail store is NOT private property. The land and building may be privately owned, but the retailer is a public corporation, operating with a retail sales permit, engaging the public in a commercial activity – therefore acting as a public entity. Once the doors are open and the public invited in, the argument of “private property” won’t cut it.

    I’m also surprised at how many people seem to lack even one single iota of compassion. Even if they are not required by statute to have a public restroom – and I’ve seen at least one strong argument that may be so required – we’re talking about a five year old child here, with an immediate and urgent problem. We’re talking about a little bit of common fucking decency.

    So please, all you people going on about how “you people always act so entitled…” and “the store has no obligation…” and “the mother should have to clean it up…”, please, just shut your selfish fucking pie hole and go buy a book on how to be a member of civilized society.

  110. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @Danilo Campos:

    My point exactly. Except it took me three paragraphs of ranting.

    +1 for conciseness and eloquence

  111. Gopher bond says:

    @TinyBug: you’ll get over it.

  112. PlanetExpressdelivery says:

    Point 1 (Bathrooms)
    Does anyone actually even know if this lady purchased anything from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory? All I’ve seen is that “she was eating outside” before said mishap and ran into a “candy store” of all places to use the bathroom. I don’t know much about RMCF, but candy stores don’t usually have tables that allow patrons to eat outside. Another thing to consider is that it does appear that there were public restrooms available to this lady and her child. Why argue with a candy store that has an employees only restroom and waste time?

    Point 2 (Oh the Humanity)
    Noone knows for sure what kind of correspondence took place between the manager and this lady. We’ve only heard one side of the story, and of course, the manager is going to look like a grade-A asshole.

    Point 3 (Public or private?)
    The fact of the matter remains that unless a full-fledged restaurant is the matter of discussion, I’d find it hard to believe that any private business is at the public’s beck and call when it comes to using designated employee facilities. There are those of you who tout the “it’s an emergency” and “have a heart” slogans, but the fact of the matter is liability. Anyone willing to pay out of their own pockets if either mother or child were hurt trying to get to the bathroom? Just because you say it’s not likely to happen doesn’t mean that the notion can be discounted. In addition, the interpretation of the word “emergency” can differ from party to party. “Emergency” to me, indicates someone in need of immediate medical attention. In those cases, non-action supercedes liabilities. To confound matters even more, who’s to say that this wouldn’t have been on the consumerist if the mother and her daughter had been hurt trying to get to and use the employees only bathroom?

    Point 4 (Oh the Humanity Pt. 2)
    The issue of vandalism (it’s not just pimply-faced teenagers) should be prevalent in the minds of anyone with a business that contains a restroom, public or private. Would anyone on this forum be willing to clean shit stuck to the walls for this candy store because they let the wrong person use the bathroom? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that mother and daughter are vandals, but they come in all shapes and all sizes.

    Finally, as a parting note, for those of you who advocated that the mother pull down her daughter’s pants and “let’er rip” on store property;
    -Allowing such a purposeful act can be construed as defacing or vandalizing private property
    -May violate CA penal code section 640
    -Would do nothing to help this lady’s daughter in the short run and may actually cause psychological damage in the long run
    -Is infinitely lacking taste and intelligence

  113. MisterE says:

    Too late for Rocky Mountain – the negative publicity they received from their lack of common sense is worth the read. The damage is done! Let’s hope other store owners learn a lesson from Rocky Mountain; somehow I don’t think it’s going to happen.

  114. Prions says:

    @TinyBug: Sorry bub but the employee restroom is private. The public restrooms found in the mall fulfill the “public corporation” requirements your talking about.

  115. Crymson_77 says:

    @dragonfire1481: Hey bud. So where is the money coming from? It doesn’t magically appear or grow on trees. You have to earn it from the public. If there is no public, there is no money. Therefor, it isn’t about the money. It is about the people as without them, there simply is no money to be had. Doof.

  116. EJXD2 says:

    One thing I’d be interested in is if the owner of the offending franchise owns other franchises (Rocky Mountain Chocolate or otherwise).

    If this person also owns the Wendy’s down the street, then I wouldn’t want to eat there either–same if s/he was an investor in a car dealership.

    This is a case where I would want to avoid any business associated with him/her.

  117. PlanetExpressdelivery says:

    @EJXD2

    Why don’t we just egg their house, flatten their tires, and post their information on bathroom stalls while we’re at it.

    /end sarcasm

  118. angryblur says:

    I have to really wonder if the manager ever really mocked the mother. I’m totally sure that as an angry mother who’s kid just crapped her pants I would hear it sound like a twisting knife but we only have her side of it. We don’t even know how the mother treated the minimum wagers when she asked for the toilet.

    The mall restrooms are far, and I hate this mall for it. However, the sushi place and Johnny Rockets next door have restrooms she could have run into instead of insisting on going into their backroom.

  119. SybilDisobedience says:

    As a rule, I never write to companies after their customer service disasters are reported on Consumerist – a lot of times there’s a gray area as far as guilt is concerned, or the company has already rectified the issue before Consumerist reports on it. But I wrote to RMCF after I read the original report here to let them know they won’t be getting my business – not just because they let a kid soil herself in the middle of their establishment, but because of their callous and indifferent response.

  120. people should picket in front of that location with chocolate sauce smeared all over the butt of their pants holding signs that say “GARBAGE IN GARBAGE OUT”

  121. infecto says:

    Reading all the pigs who post on this site is just disgusting. I keep seeing comments about throwing human waste at the store or smearing it all over in the store. You people are honestly disgusting and are the reason we have such rules in place to this day.

    This is probably the dumbest thing I have ever read and even dumber that people are rallying behind it. Ok the kid had an accident. Sucks the mother decided to go into a store with no public restrooms instead of one that does that are easily around in that area.

    We are talking about high school kids working at this store. They have a store policy and they stick with it. You cannot assume large amounts of compassion from minimum wage workers. To top it off we do not really know how the phone call played out. For all we know the mother was very aggressive on the phone and could have even been threatening to the store owner/manager.

    All that is truly clear is some kids working at a store with no public restrooms denied use to a customer. An accident then occurred and now we have all these immature people posting slander about the company on various review sites. On top of that we have people making threatening comments on this site just because some high school kids followed store policy. Real mature on you guys….Bravo. I hope all you internet heroes feel good at the end of the day.

  122. Superawesomerad says:

    @infecto: I’m honestly just happy that we’ve gotten to 120 comments without someone using the word “crotchfruit.”

    Oops.

  123. riverstyxxx says:

    This is in my area, not surprised to see another rude business report.

  124. samurailynn says:

    @Superawesomerad: Crotchfruit sounds so exotic… It sounds like it would be lovely sliced over some raspberry sorbet.

  125. riverstyxxx says:

    If anyone in the area wants to help me pass out flyers, pm me.

  126. angryblur says:

    @infecto: I agree. Its just so easy for people to be asshats and spout off in anger because of the sense of anonimity and lack of consequences.

    Now where can I buy some crotchfruit sorbet?

  127. glycolized says:

    I wish someone could take a picture of this shop – this particular one. I’m dying to see it. There are a couple shops at the mall here in town, where if someone ran up yelling “Diarrhea! Diarrhea!”, the person at the counter would practically have to draw a map to explain how to get to the back of the store where the employee restroom is located.

    Is this a little tiny shop that’s essentially just a display case and counter? The one I’m thinking of doesn’t even have a way to get behind the counter unless you go down the back service hallway and in through the back of the store.

    “Here! I’ll just hand her over the counter to you! Hurry!”

  128. glycolized says:

    @infecto: Thanks for reiterating that we do not know how the phone call actually went. That is worth repeating, because I too think more people need to take her story with at least a wee grain of salt.

    Given her reaction to the original incident, we can be pretty sure that she got into the phone call with an axe to grind, and some people do not come off well in those types of situations. Short of a recording, there is no way to know how either party behaved.

  129. fair_to_all says:

    Well, first off, all of you who use cusswords in public posts must have the mentality of schoolyard children!
    Second, I do feel sorry for the mother and her child, but the only true thing wrong is that a FOOD service business didnt have a public restroom set up AWAY from the food production area!
    Since they didnt I feel bound to support their refusal to allow the mother to take her child with THAT problem right past the FOOD production area!
    The mother said “she lost it all over herself and me” – well what if she had “lost it” just as the mother was taking her right past FOOD in the process of being prepared for public consumption?
    I dont have the right, nor does ANYONE else, to threaten the health of others. And if somone were to get sick from food tainted because they allowed the mother to take her sick child through the food production area then the business could be sued both by the person who got sick AND by the state health board

  130. Superawesomerad says:

    @fair_to_all: You really like capitalizing random words.

  131. s2eb779 says:

    Bless that child’s heart. I was having a some tests run as a child in the doc’s office. Nobody would listen when I said I had to go ( I was pumped massive amounts of fluid). So I screamed and I screamed……… and then I just blew all over the x-ray equipment. I wish that child was old enough to think about standing there and spinning, while she shit all over the place.

  132. STOREOWNER says:

    TO EVERYONE out there who has given their opinion, Wow, even I think I sound like a heartless bitch. Unfortunatly I think alot has been left out of the story or even added for theatrical effect. But until you have owned a small store like ours it is very hard to understand all of the different situations that arise. I only tonight started reading some of the comments that you all have about me. And I really hope that some of you can understand where I am coming from. First of all everyone is under the impression that the little girl actually went #2 in my store and that is absolutely false. When I spoke to this lady on the phone the next morning she told me that her Daughter had almost poopooed in her panties. And as far as me telling her to sue me, I would never tell even the worst customer to do something like that! Trust me there was no laughter this was a very serious conversation.I have appologized to her on the phone, I have appologized on tv, and now I will tell all of you I was not there when this happened. Had I been there then it probably wouldn’t have even been an issue.As some of you have noted, it’s a hard call to make. Am I supposed to risk the wellfare of my own children if she gets hurt and sues me for everything I have. Or do I enforce the use of public restrooms which are less than 50 ft away. If it makes any of you happy, I have had to clean up many peepee messes from people who never even asked to use the restroom. They just let me know as they were leaving. It’s not a big deal just one of the perks of the job I guess! I also wanted to say that my employees are not the dim bulbed bimbos that they are being made out to be. They are very bright and talented ladies who just felt thay were donig their best and protecting us from all of the weird stuff that happens here almost daily. And I have to say that this is definetly taking first prize. Not the little girls discomfort, but things like the deaththreats and phone calls and posting of my home address. So I hope that if any of you read this you can understand my point of view. I understand that many of you have made up your minds about me and nothing I do or say will probably change that. But please know that I would never purposely do anything to hurt any child or any adult for that matter.And if you don’t want to buy our product I understand that to, It’s expensive and even I can’t afford to buy it! I guess if you want to say anything else to me, you know where to find me.

  133. infecto says:

    @s2eb779: Wow what a mature response. I am really glad you support vandalism for something that was no ones fault.

  134. seanpfc says:

    sure hope they let prospective buyers know about their legacy…
    [www.bizbuysell.com]

  135. Christa Jaime Bryan says:

    Okay I’ve read all 134 comments on this story and I have to say I’m so angry at the clueless people who have left their self-entitled opinions on this site.

    I work in a small shop that serves frozen yogurt and we too have an employee only restroom. I have been cussed out and threatened by customers because of my refusal to let them use our EMPLOYEE ONLY restroom. The reason, It is unlawful to allow anyone other than staff near our backroom because we serve FOOD to the PUBLIC. We could be shut down because one person vomits near our products, let alone goes #2. It is a serious health code violation. I’ve directed people to the nearest restroom which is a 2 min walk from our store, mind you these people aren’t always customers, just people who seem to think every place of business should allow them to use their restroom. I have a problem with this because for some reason, people think they have every right to demand anything they feel like and treat me like crap because I’m a “minimum wage slave”. When in actuality I’m the supervisor of the store and I’m 20 years old, not 16 like some people might think. I would love for you all to think about how you treat employees because you are not entitled to anything you want because you’re giving me $3 for product. Why waste your time arguing with me about the restroom when you can walk down the way to one? because you want your way, when you want it and when your kid pee’s on my floor, you walk away and leave me to clean it up. Thanks a lot. Maybe I can come to your work sometime and pee on your copier or your desk and let you clean it up. See what the health code says about that. Or would you prefer for me to wipe you butt for you because you’ve graced me with your $3. Get a grip and start treating people like human beings and maybe I’ll have compassion for you and risk a violation to help you out, but before that happens, take a hike to the nearest restroom because I’m not letting you near mine.