June 30, 2005

A door with attitude.

This is the door of a shop here in Madison:

Shopkeeper attitude.

Reactions?

20 comments:

Steven Taylor said...

I can feel all the welcoming vibes from the place all the way down here in Alabama.

Is Oscar the Grouch the main proprietor?

Brendan said...

I feel sorry for the well-mannered 17-year-olds.

Mark said...

Um, I forgot - what are the rules of society?

HaloJonesFan said...

More power to 'im, says I.

Nick said...

Well... they have every right to do those things... but I probably would not go in.

Akiva said...

Well, because of the cooler comment and noting the cigarette sticket, I'm assuming this is a mini-market, which is the kind of place I often enter with a child in tow or send in a child to get something (go in and buy 2 soda's while I...).

Doesn't even allow for supervised entry. Obviously, their store their rules. But my wallet won't be going in there.

Are the youngsters in Madison really so horrible?

Simon Kenton said...

The youngsters in Madison are probably generically horrible/good and graceful/clumsy. My guess is that there is a sour story here about a kid trashing or something. Instead of the parents paying for it and requiring the kid to earn it off, or requiring the kid to go to work for the store to pay it off, the parents did a screw-you to the proprietor. Perhaps Ms Althouse could enquire as to the rest of the story?

A little of that kind of parental behaviour could have a souring effect on me.

ziemer said...

i'm in milwaukee, not madison, but it can't be much different.

my experience is that young people today are very gracious. if you treat them with normal human politeness, they return it tenfold.

by way of comparison, i think we (age 38) were disgusting animals in our youth.

and i suspect we were not as bad as the boomers.

Ann Althouse said...

"Perhaps Ms Althouse could enquire as to the rest of the story?"

I've been walking down State Street for 20 years and never yet set foot in the place. It's too sleazy for me. And going into a place that is conspicuous about suspecting people of shoplifting is very unappealing to me. I've never shoplifted in my life, or even considered shoplifting, and I would never do it even if I knew I could get away with it, but I nevertheless feel bad about shopping in such a place. I feel like I need to make a special show of not being the kind of person who shoplifts. Like, if I have to go into my bag to get my reading glasses to check a label, I feel like I want someone to pay attention and see that that's what I'm doing. They make me feel like a criminal.

And when places are mean to kids, it just makes me not like them. The small grocery near my house and near the high school used to have a rule about the number of kids allowed in the store at a time. Kids had to line up outside and wait -- and it's often very cold here in Madison, of course. Adults could walk in, bypassing the line.

Once one of my sons was turned away from the store when I had sent him there on an errand. He had done nothing other than be too young. He was thrown out because there were already maybe three other young people in the store. After that, I never shopped there. I just permanently hated the place.

Of course, these are the locally owned, mom-and-pop places that people act like you owe special support to. The grocery in question went co-op some years ago and neighbors came around asking me to buy in and "save Joe's" -- as if Joe were a good friend. But I'd been pissed at Joe for years because he was unkind to my son.

bookman said...

hey... thats across the street from my apartment.

I don't think the age rule is very strict. The store has an intentional counter-culture vibe to it, with stickers and ad/news cutouts taped up everywhere. all the employees are actually really nice... i do give them a lot of my money however.

jeff said...

I was the poster child for ADHD when I was younger... my parents liked to go through antique shops. Many a time I was left in the car to wait for them (different age people, different age). But the training went in so deep that if I'm in an antique or curio shop, you'll usually see my hands clasped tightly behind me.

And half the time I won't realize I'm doing it.

Tom Dilatush said...

I would think to myself "Here's a shopkeeper who's been put upon, been abused, been cheated. And he's decided he's not going to put up with it. Better yet, he's doing so in a manner that shows a sense of humor, and determination. And aggressive defense of what is his. I'd think further that this is someone whom I should support, and I'd ask myself if there was a little something that I should (or could) buy for myself, that he might carry. I'd almost certainly think of something, and then I'd go in and get it. And ask the shopkeeper how his measures were working...

MarkT said...

I don't think I'd press my luck.

Dave said...

If the store's been around for 20 years, then clearly enough people like it for it to remain a viable business.

Unless, I suppose, the person who runs it is some sort of trust fund baby and pays its operating expenses that way.

My guess is enough people like that kids are not welcome in the store, that it has survived.

JB said...

I notice that 2 posts later is the...Milwaukee is no longer in the top 20... Coincidence? Granted it's Madison and not Milwaukee, but I think families quickly get the idea they're not welcome in the city, and move out to the much friendlier sub and exurbs.

John said...

At first glance, I thought this might be the Pipefitter (a local head shop, for those who haven't been to Madison), but of course there are many reasons why those under 18 shouldn't be allowed in there, and they haven't been allowed for a long time (maybe ever?). And no coolers in any case.

I feel a little ignorant, but what are the legal aspects of age discrimination? Is it that you can prevent anyone from 18 and below coming into your place because they aren't yet full citizens? What if you just think people from 12-13 are lousy, but everyone else is ok. Would that work?

What gets me is that wordy footnote about the lights in the cooler: "Thank you for your help in helping us make this world a better place." I have no problem with their saving a few bucks, but why do they have to make it into a mini-benefit concert? By that definition, my not deciding to buy another six-pack of Leinie's would be helpful as well, right?

ziemer said...

the law regarding age discrimination is very clear. it only prohibits discrimination agaisnt those over the age of 40.

when it comes discriminating against the young, its pretty much the same as it was years ago (before miranda rights were extended to juveniles), i.e. "you're a minor, kid. you don't have any rights."

headzero said...

So - if he closes up his shop and moves one, how soon before everyone points a finger at Walmart as the cause?

Jack Bog said...

For many years, my late dad lived across the street from a place like this. He never patronized it. Taking the cue from him, we all referred to it, very matter-of-factly, as "the grouchy store."

Ann Althouse said...

Headzero: It'd be a tight squeeze for a Walmart. This place is a total hole-in-the-wall.

But for people who complain about big, corporate, impersonal places, it's good to have an example of the polar opposite so you don't overly romantize the Mom-and-Pop store. Maybe Mom and Pop were bastarcs.