The World Has Gone Mad

By: Patrick Maguire

Book Chapter: Customer Hall of Shame

Posted: 09/4/2012

Every time I watch National Geographic, Discovery Channel, or Animal Planet, I am reminded that there’s not much difference between wild animals and some human beings in shared public space.

 This story, courtesy of Utah’s, takes the cake. You have to watch the video.

LEHI — A young mother of twins took potty training to the table — the dining table — in a popular Utah deli Tuesday.  And the picture an onlooker snapped and posted on Facebook has a lot of people talking.

If anyone understands how stressful potty-training can be, it’s mother of three, Kimberly Decker. In fact, she just finished potty training her little boy and couldn’t leave her house for several days during the process. That’s why she was so shocked at what she witnessed Tuesday at the Thanksgiving Point Deli.

“I noticed that this lady was having her two — she had two twins, two little girls about 2-and-a-half years old, sitting on what I thought were booster seats,” Decker said.

But after doing a double take, she realized they weren’t booster seats, they were child port-a-potties.

“She had to undo the jumpsuits, and take them all the way down so they were completely nude, with the jumpsuits down to their ankles just eating their chicken nuggets, sitting on little toddler potties,” Decker said.

Decker snapped a picture on her cell phone, while she and her friend stared in awe.

“The more you thought about it, the more unappetizing everything looked around me,” Decker said. “I was like this is not ok, we’re eating, there was a business meeting with about five or six businessmen going on right next to me. The place was packed.”

Spokeswoman for Thanksgiving Point, Erica Brown, said they received several complaints from patrons. Their staff didn’t realize what was going on among the crowd until after it was already over, but she added they would have asked the woman to leave and take the potty training into the restroom.

“I think state and local health codes were probably an issue, as well as just social norms,” Brown said.

You’re probably right, Erica…

13 Responses to “The World Has Gone Mad”

  1. Susan says:

    Wrong. Just wrong. I would have asked that they leave. My dog doesn’t pee in a restaurant even outside dining. Why would it be ok for kids?

  2. p.mac says:

    What ever happened to “baby sitters”? If you can’t afford one, then stay at home! At what point did you think that this would be “OK” in any diningroom exept you own,at HOME!
    I am trying to dredge up a bit of empathy for these parents, but all I can see is disrespect for EVERYONE involved here.
    Who, for instance, would ever think of “house breaking” a new puppy on their neighbors lawn and think that it would be a good idea? Potty Training lessons usually include a little lesson in privacy and the importance of it. We all went through this…. SHAME on these parents! And when did the poop as you eat thing come into play? SHAME on THEM!

  3. Darren says:

    That woman could have gotten that restaurant a serious rap across the knuckles. And you know what else? This is just the natural progression of people changing diapers on restaurant tables. I would have had no qualms about going up to that woman and telling her to take her kids into the bathroom to do their business, and if she got in a huff about it I’d have just quoted health and safety law to her. that is not acceptable both socially and from a health and safety perspective.

    I have no problem with children, kids are kids and as adults it’s our responsibility to teach them how to behave and what is and what is not socially acceptable. It’s a minority of parents like the woman mentioned in the above post, acting like the world revolves around them and their kids and that the rules don’t apply to them, who give a bad rep to all parents and have caused establishments to bring in the so called “brat bans”

  4. Gigi says:

    I thought I’d seen it all but that takes the cake. I worked in a deli many years ago and I once had a woman pour ketchup onto the table for her children to dip their fries into. Not onto a plate – onto the table!

  5. nana909 says:

    There’s no rationale for this. It’s just sheer and total ignorance.

  6. Lou says:

    OMG!!!! This is wrong on so many levels. The world has gone crazy with the “child-centeredness”…I don’t, nor does anyone else, want to be involved in any way with potty training your precious child.

  7. Sarah says:

    This is disgusting. I’m not sure why you would take a picture to post on FB though rather than approach the mom directly to complain.

  8. Darren says:

    @Sarah that question raises a good point;

    why are we afraid to speak out when we see something wrong, if someone is verbally abusing a server or if an inconsiderate customer is ruining our dining experience with their behavior, why do we feel it is not or place to stand up and ask them to stop?

    Maybe it’s a matter of politeness, we feel we can’t because we don’t own the place so we have no right to speak out.

    In the same vein why do servers allow things like this to happen?

    I can’t remember the amount of times I’ve seen people change diapers on tables or bring in food from other stores with nothing being done about it. From personal experience, I put this down to spineless manager enforcing the customer is always right and being more concerned with profit margins instead of the quality of the clientele and the overall dining experience at the establishment. One of the reasons this stuff goes on is because managers act like spineless cowards and enforce the “customer is always right” bullshit, which sets a precedent for that stuff to continue and get worse.

    Typically what happens is….
    1. The customer does something bad,and the server asks them to please stop.
    2. The Customer throws a strop and complains to the manager.
    3. The Manager instead of backing up the server and enforcing store policy, apologizes for the server’s “inconsideration” and gives them free stuff.
    4. The Server may or may not be chastised for doing their job, but either way feels like they’ve been made to look like a fool for doing their job properly and in future wont stop the bad behavior from happening and so it continues and so it escalates.

    As for the facebook thing, it is a name and shame strategy. If you post the picture, hopefully people will share it and eventually it will come to the attention of friends or family of the perpetrator

  9. big paulie says:

    This is the natural next step for entitled parents. The same ones who clog the aisles with SUV-sized strollers. The same ones who neither control nor apologize for their hyperactive children who melt-down and ruin others’ meals. And on and on…

    The unmitigated gall of someone to bring feces in close proximity to a dining table in a crowded restaurant stuns me, but sadly, no longer surprises me. Yes, these kids may be your special little darlings, but their feces is still, well, feces.

    My heart goes out to these children, who will most probably grow up being selfish boors — or worse.

  10. Lydia says:

    While appalling, this is a pretty efficient way to eat.

  11. carpebliss says:

    This episode deserves it’s own chapter, “Hall of the Untamed.”

    Obviously this level of obnoxious entitlement/total narcissism/optimal ignorance/complete absence of human dignity, respect and decency– reaches a “low not fit for humankind” and does remind all of us of our constant “duty to respond” wherever and whenever we are subjected and insulted by such crazy behavior!

    Wouldn’t you just love it if someone spontaneous was walking by and observed this circus and very loudy and naturally yelled out, “Are you —–ing me???”

  12. p.mac says:

    Good point carpebliss!
    Afew summer’s ago, I observred a woman changing a diaper in a beach parking lot on the back trunk of “her” car in full sun. Turns out that it wasn’t her car at all, but somebody else’s located a few cars away. The owner of the car just happened to spot this from 30 feet away, and went NUTS! Everyone else in the parking lot joined in, with loud yelling and fist waving….. the closest to a social “stoning” that I’ve ever seen.
    What WAS this all about? What was the thought process here?
    Hooray for me and to hell with you, I’d say.
    Lesson learned here is that EVERYBODY is equal in the parking lot. These are the same types who use department store garment store changing rooms to change their kid’s diapers, and leave the nice little discarded diaper in the stall for everyone to enjoy. Where does it end?

  13. Darren says:


    I’ll go one better, I once found a used tampon in the changing rooms at the end of the shift. Other things that have been found include used sanitary towels and a pair of socks covered in poo. I really cant understand that, it’s not like we don’t have customer toilets, so why not use them!?!?

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