Indoor Playground Takes Wrong Tack When Child Steps On Pushpin

Brady’s 14-month-old son stepped on a push pin at an indoor playground store at a local mall.

This business requires children remove their shoes before playing.

The proprietor’s response, inside, was the very definition of tactless customer service…

Brady writes:

    “I’ve got a 14-month-old son, and as I work nights, I stay home with him during the day. We live in Burlington, Vermont, so getting out of the house in wintertime is crucial if you don’t want to pull a “Shining”.

    A few days before Christmas, I took my son to University Mall . There’s a business there called Playdate, which is an indoor playground with swings, slides, etc… It costs seven bucks for unlimited playtime, and you’ve got to take your shoes off before going in.

    We were the first ones there, and had only been playing for about fifteen minutes when my son stepped directly onto a thumbtack that’s laying on the floor, driving it in to the hilt. He was pretty stoic about it, but clearly it was painful (remember, he’s not wearing shoes).

    I went to the counter to tell the attendant, who also happens to be the owner. I told her what happened, showed her the blood-stained sock my son’s wearing, and she cheerfully explained to me that one of her employees must have dropped it.

    No apology, no inquiry as to his well being, no offer of soap and water or antibacterial ointment, no offer of refund, nothing. Someone must have dropped it. I tell her we’re through, ask for my money back, and she gives it to me.

    After I got him home and cleaned up his foot, I called my wife to tell her what happened, who in turn called the owner to rip her a new one. Here’s where injury turned to insult.

    The owner told my wife that I probably brought that thumbtack into the playground myself, and purposefully stuck my own son so that I could get my seven dollars back. Well, the argument escalated, obscenities ensued, and my wife hung up in disgust.

    We shan’t be returning, and would encourage any other local readers to do the same.”

We followed up to ask Brady if he had any pictures available. He replied,

    “No, sorry, I never took a photo of it. It was really just a pinhole, because the tack went in so cleanly. As of now, it’s completely healed over.

    It wasn’t really the injury, I mean anyone could have dropped that tack. The really irritating part was the suggestion that I did it myself.”



Edit Your Comment

  1. acambras says:

    Poor kid.

    Brady mentioned that his wife called to “rip them a new one.” If she started off the call like that, it’s possible that she put them on the defensive from the get-go. I’m not sure if that’s what happened. I’m also not saying that their response (to the husband or the wife) was satisfactory. I’m just pointing out — well, flies… honey… vinegar…

    Glad the kid’s ok. If you haven’t already, you may want to ask the pediatrician if a tetanus booster is necessary.

  2. North of 49 says:

    Family No49 agrees – the staff dropped the ball. That tack was in the kid’s foot. But what if it had lodged someplace far more dangerous – like an eye? Or if it had been a hypodermic?

    Write the Better Business Bureau. Or if it was part of the mall, the mall’s administration. As well, tell everyone you know. Do you have a name for which place it was? We don’t like that our kids run around in stockings either, especially since Boy No49 fell at McD’s on ketchup when the play area wasn’t properly cleaned.On the one hand, shoes can hurt if another kid gets a foot in the face, but on the other hand, what if there is a piece of glass or something. When Ms No49 complained, we did get a few tokens from McDs. If he had been badly injured, it would have been a lawsuit instead. Keeping the play area clean and safe is their responsibility, which is what you pay the entrance fee for!

  3. bluegus32 says:

    Personally, I love it when a store which caters to children is owned by an evil overlord who doesn’t care about the well-being of children.

    That lady is just sick. Who doesn’t apologize for something like that? And then to claim that the kid’s dad brought the tack with him? That is so patently offensive. Lady deserves to be run out of business for that.

  4. planetdaddy says:

    When you call and jump on someone’s ass, and they bite back don’t be surprised. Sound’s like the wife overreacted. You got your money back no one died be happy.

  5. spanky says:

    What bluegus32 says.

    It says a lot about the proprietor’s mindset that she’d be so cavalier about tossing that accusation around.

    What sane, even marginally ethical human being would even come up with that scenario?

  6. Judes says:

    I once bought a jar of jam that once opened, proved to be home to a small family of maggots. I brought it back to the store and asked for my money back-it’s not like I’d found a finger in my chili and was planning some lawsuit-and they accused me of planting the maggots. Not as nuts as accusing that guy of thumbtacking his own son, but pretty crazy.

  7. bluegus32 says:

    planetdaddy: while I agree that the mom should have approached with a little less verve and venom, the store owner should have been kissing her butt hard. She should have apologized profusely for the problem. Seriously, swallow your damn pride and take responsibility for it even if it’s not your fault. Someone’s kid got hurt at your facility — a facility which caters to children. The least you could do is show some sympathy, some basic human manners, and apologize.

    Furthermore, the father should not have had to ask for a refund. The proprietor of the establishment should have immediately offered first aid and a refund. In fact, if this lady had been trained in children’s first aid, as the owner of a kid’s playground should be, she would have immediately known to do something more than make excuses and shove her thumb up her butt.

  8. bluegus32 says:

    planetdaddy: Sorry, that last rant was not directed at you nor was it meant to be an insult to you. I just get so worked up when it comes to kids. Sorry.

  9. snowferret says:

    Yeah right! Im sure every parent would be willing to stab thier child in the foot for 7 bucks. God.. the nerve of some buisness people!

  10. latemodel says:

    I wonder if such a facility has to have a special license to cater to children like a day care type situation. If so, you might try contacting your state child welfare agency.

  11. kcskater says:

    Two words: Mother bear.

    Vermont doesn’t have much going on up there with the lack of snow. I’m sure the media would LOVE to hear about this.

  12. Tom says:

    First off, the dad gets huge props for this: “I’ve got a 14-month-old son, and as I work nights, I stay home with him during the day. We live in Burlington, Vermont, so getting out of the house in wintertime is crucial if you don’t want to pull a ‘Shining’.”

    Second: This could get very, very nasty if the kid gets a tetanus infection.

  13. planetdaddy says:

    Don’t sweat it Bluegus. I hate to see anyone get hurt too.

  14. Trai_Dep says:

    Yeah, absurd on the business owner’s part. It’d take at least $10 for me to purposefully damage MY nephew.

  15. mysticspiral says:

    How could a person own a business that caters to children (and by extension to parents) and not realize how protective people are of their kids and how even a small, “insignificant” injury is a big deal when it happens to your child?!?!?!

    I’d recommend the following to the owner of this place. 1. Work on your customer service skills. They’re more important than ever when you’re dealing with an upset parent. 2. A dust mop with a powerful bar magnet should be employed before opening *EVERY DAY*. Can you imagine what would have happened if the 14 month old had swallowed that tack rather than stepping on it? 3. Develop a plan for dealing with injuries. When children play, they often injure themselves. Parents are likely to be upset (that’s their baby’s blood… On the OUTSIDE…) and the staff of the facility should be prepared and able calm both parent and child.