Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Parenting ... so many fails ... all in one GO train trip

from:Name Withheld by Request
to:"Cindy (Cj) Smith"
date:Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 3:39 PM
subject:Re: My Niagara Falls Excursion experience....

Me, the wife, my kid (19 yrs old) and her friend got on the train at Oakville for 9:30 last saturday morning. We got on the second car from the cab car because it's close to the station in the falls.

When we went upstairs because the kids wanted a view, I was shocked to see that a group of parents had their SUV style strollers in the aisle. Six of them lined up effectively blocking about 6 quads and the aisle completely. UPSTAIRS. The first event was when the fare checkers came around. They asked politely, I might add for the people to move the strollers either downstairs or place then inside a quad since the car wasn't crowded. They explained patiently that this was a hazard and not allowed. Well one of the mothers exploded with the "I pay taxes and I know my rights" routine. They adamantly refused to move them because they weren't bothering anyone. The fare checker patiently explained again that in the case of an emergency, they are blocking escape routes. Of course they said that it won't happen. Then the fare checker said that if they didn't move them out of the way, they'd be escorted off the train at Burlington. This caused a stream of profanity directed towards them right in front of the children (who I'll get to). They did comply and bitched about it the entire time. They demanded his badge number and promised to get him fired. I showed them my badge and told them to call me if required (editor's note, this person works for the province in an official capacity). I wish I had my phone recording.

Next we got stuck at the Welland canal by a boat passing through. In that span of 35 minutes, their kids went from well-behaved kids oohing and ahhing at the landscape to a bunch of monkeys in the zoo. They ran all around the coach, up and down the stairs, and took turns seeing who could slam the bathroom door the hardest. The kids were using the floor to ceiling pole in the aisle to jump from seat to seat playing tag. One kind of tripped and fell into my wife's leg. When she mentioned what they were doing was not polite, the kids' mother came steaming down the aisle yelling at my wife to not talk to her kid that way. I mentioned that someone should. She grabbed the kid and stormed off.

Next, when we were actually crossing the canal, one little guy was looking out the window wondering what all that stuff was. About 8 or 9 years old. I described what he asked about and explained in a kid's way what they were doing. We were having a great time. Until another hell-mom came screeching down the aisle yelling at me to stop talking to her little boy. If I didn't stop, she was going to press the yellow bar and claim I was luring her kids. We were sitting back to back, so that would seem an awkward way to lure kids like that. I actually dared her to press the bar. When I said my kid's phone is recording this whole conversation (I was bluffing) she slunk off, calling me names and questioning my heritage. I said thanks for the footage and see you on youtube.

Anyway, she returned to her gaggle of hens and they continued to talk about us from their safe perch. I later learned that their men were downstairs playing cards in a quad totally ignoring the kids as they ran rampant.

You might wonder why we stayed there and that's because it was only 10 more minutes to the station, and since they thought we were recording, they calmed down and stayed away. The kids got bored with the rampage and eventually sat back down.

I can't imagine being around people with so few manners and so little respect for others. I watched them struggle to get the strollers down the stairs and out the door. I had no intention of helping in the slightest, where normally I'd be the first one to offer my help despite my bad knee and my bad hip. It never occurred to them that it's ok if you take the stroller in one trip out the door and the extra gear in another. They tried to get it all off the train at once. Those bars dividing the doors nearly foiled their plans.

OK rant over. Of all my trips on that train, that was the only bad experience and it was a doozey.


Bicky said...

If I hadn't seen mothers behave like this in the past, I'd swear this person is the greatest writer of fiction ever. I can completely visualize all this happening.

So much entitlement.... so little warranted. *sigh*

Good on the fare inspectors for standing firm. And poopie points to the men for keeping away.

Squiggles said...

I have said it before, I will say it again: people need to be licensed to procreate!

I mean, if we have to be licensed to drive a car, pilot a plane or even show ID to vote, then there should be something along similar lines before you bring a child into the world.

All the parents in that situation (minus the gentleman writing) need a slap upside the head and the riot act read. Because you KNOW the monsters are being raised to be just like mom and dad.

C.J. Smith said...

I'm with Bicky. Ten years ago I would have said, "Lies!" But no. It's all truth.

Ali Gator said...

I'm sorry your trip to The Falls was tarnished by the bozos you encountered, but I'm glad you shared your experience with us.

I've come to rely on my phone more for it's audiovisual capabilities than a means of communication, because I know when the GO Transit trip is done, there is always a story to share with CJ.

Cameras ready? GOod! We ride!

Anonymous said...

I would have vandalize their strollers if I was the enforcement officer.

Nora1968 said...

And, once again, a group of parents who elect to sit in different seating quads (or even on another floor) from their children and then freak out when someone talks to them. If you feel your kid is too young or immature to be able to handle a pleasant conversation with another GO passenger, make damn sure your entitled ass is sitting beside them on the train.

The threat of accusing this gentleman of "luring" is a serious one - I would have been tempted to counter with the fact that she'd be hard pressed to prove something like that, but since things were headed toward the ridiculous, I had a pretty good visual case for child abandonment and see what Mother of Year thought of that.

TomW said...

I don't support a licence to procreate, but I do support free as-close-to-mandatory-as-possible parenting classes. (I don't just mean the ante-natal stuff - something every year until they're a teenager). I'm convinced some people simply don't know how to be better parents.

Anonymous said...

Re: the author of this story works for the province.

He writes he pulled out a badge. Is he OPP? Because if it was law, there are grounds for charges here, right? Harassing a transit fare inspector? For sure, right?

C.J. Smith said...

No, not a cop. At least, I don't think so.

mark p said...

wait, these idiots got the suv strollers on the top deck (im assuming thats where when they mentioned upstairs) ? holy.... mom must be wonder woman (t to get those up there..... those stollers are big and you dont have much space on the stairs between decks....

Anonymous said...

g folks. I am the author of that lamentable trip to Niagara Falls saga.
First off, I'm not OPP and when I refer to my badge, it's a term we use for our provincial ID cards since most of us where I work have multiple ID cards to get us into buildings that the province leases. I will not answer any questions about where I work or what I do.

You might think after reading that I must be a cool customer under stress. Not so. My hindbrain was trying to figure out how I could stab this person in the eye with a pen and get away with it while my forebrain nodded and kept cool. That's a useful skill when dealing with provincial government managers. I didn't even talk back much which surprised the family all to heck. I've found that a youtube threat works wonders in situations like this. This one never even claimed I'd be violating her privacy doing that. I was so disappointed in that.

There was more. One of the mothers laid out a nice buffet for the kids using at least two seats. Need I say that kids are not the neatest eaters? Running up and down the aisles carrying food and eating at the same time was challenging for them and they failed. A lot. Several people switched cars during the wait at the canal. I wanted to see (my sadist side appears) how long it would be until one of them hurt themselves and what the mom would do.

As far as the ticket checkers went, a person can say whatever they want as long as there are no overt threats and no physical actions. Otherwise it's all good and people realize that.

Without going into too much detail, I'm around 60 and my memory constantly reminds me of my mother in situations like that when I was around 10 years old. She had to corral 6 kids whose ages were only 8 years apart and there were 4 boys, me included. She would have rewarded us with a hard smack and a public dressing down if we misbehaved like that. She was an expert in the lost art of wooden spoon-fu. Once one of us got her riled up, we all fled in panic when the spoons started swinging. Nobody wanted to be collateral damage. Many times if one of us acted up we all missed out on a root beer float at the Woolworth's drugstore counter. We learned fast. My own kids (19 to 38) also learned quickly what misbehaving does to one's privileges. No spanking, no yelling just a simple explanation of where their toys went and why.

My mother when we wanted something she would tell us to get going and earn some money for it. We got what we needed but anything we wanted aside for birthday and Xmas gifts we had to get ourselves. I also raised my kids that way and my oldest two kids paid for their own education, 4 years of university each and one is going for her Masters. I've only had to donate when necessary and one paid me back all the money she needed and the other is going to when she graduates this year and starts work. Neither had any student loans.

I wonder when this fell out of favour with parents? If my grandson acts up when he is with me, then he too will learn the consequences.

I will say though that this was a one time happening and all the other times it was a pleasant trip. I also won $350 at the casino too. In no way can I blame GO for this since they can't be everywhere at once and the fare checkers have no real authority unlike the safety officers.

I blame people who have no idea how to raise kids and are so self-entitled that the world ends at arms length. No respect or consideration for others at all.

Thanks CJ for the rant space. It felt good.

Anonymous said...

I've been saying this for YEARS. The right-of-way attitude of these parents with monstrous strollers. If you can afford a $800 stroller you can afford to take a cab to wherever you are going and not endanger public transit users.
They're the same ones that come directly at you in a retail store and expect you to move out of their way. I don't think so!

Tal Hartsfeld said...

It's not just a public transit problem.
It's everywhere: in libraries, in restaurants, supermarkets, public sidewalks.
It's always the "same people" too: the ones with either "too much money", "too many friends" or "too many personal liberties".

GO Voyageur said...

How is the behaviour described in this story any different from drunk and disorderly conduct? Here's how it's handled on buses: (copy/pasted to browser address bar).

The fare inspectors should have called their Transit Safety dispatchers and requested an intercept to deal with the hooligans.

Chris P Bacon said...

I can only assume the person did not claimed violation of privacy, because she had some understanding that in situations like this it's considered "collecting evidence".

Some links I've shared before:

Anonymous said...

You will never change the behaviour of people like this. Best to get up and move to another car.