I was at Home Depot the other night with my 6 year old daughter and, as usual, she was riding on the cart. She loves going to Home Depot with me because riding on the cart is fun. I like having her with me because she's fun, and she's interested, and of course, because I love her.
Then the well-trained Home Depot guy comes up to me and says she needs to get off the cart. And I say back to him "It's all right. She can ride." And he says, "No, sir, she really has to get off the cart." Firm, but polite. Not rude in any way.
And that's when I went off on the guy. Not sure what all I said, but I do remember saying "Weren't you ever a kid?", and "I don't care about Home Depot's lawyers!" I wasn't, remarkably, profane, but I was pissed and I think I had some Bill Cowher style spittle flying there for a minute. I shouldn't have been quite so forceful with the guy, who was just doing his job, but really!
- I am the DAD. I will decide what level of safety is appropriate for my children.
- If I say it's OK, then it's OK. Back off, quickly.
- There are way too many lawyers and they need to be ignored and defied more.
- There are too many risk managers and we've given them too much power. Take it back.
- You might get hurt in life -- this does not give you any kind of legal standing whatsoever.
If I see that guy today when I go to get some ogee baseboard to replace the termite-eaten baseboard in my bedroom I'll apologize to him. I'll also tell him to tell his manager to back off on this one -- when we go back to Home Depot my daughter will be riding in the cart whether they like it or not.