A cafe in a little Manawatu town has created a big social media storm after a customer made a request for a change table in the men’s toilets. But it’s not the request that has everyone up in arms, but more the response.
The customer’s request
The message sent privately to the cafe’s Facebook page read (abridged):
“Hi there! We love your cafe … Just some feedback – please consider putting a change table in the men’s toilets. It is dad’s responsibility too to change their baby’s nappy, and not just fall back on mum. It sounds pedantic but it’s a super important way of messaging that looking after our children’s needs is a parental responsibility, not just a mum’s job.”
With no response, a few days later the customer followed up her message and received this reply:
“The reason for the delay in a response is due the fact that we have a lot more on our plate to worry about than another change table being put in the men’s toilet. I have however asked numerous people about their opinion on this and have to say your request is very much in the minority … we endeavour to create an atmosphere of times gone by when mums were the ones who changed their babies, however fathers are more than welcome to use the changing table in the ladies if they request to do so.”
Is the customer always right?
The cafe are well within their rights to reject the request for another change table and have provided a solution, albeit one that not everyone would be comfortable with. It is their business and they are free to run it as they choose (within the laws of NZ). They are also entitled to their opinion that only mums should be changing nappies. Customers are also free to choose where they dine and making a polite request for an improvement would be welcomed by most businesses. The conversation could have ended there but the cafe chose to publish the conversation on their Facebook page and seek opinion on the request which they commented was part of the “PC world we live in”.
Drawing attention to the matter has brought out a variety of responses, ranging from those who say they will never visit the cafe again due to the owner’s outdated view of parenting and the role of dads, and those who are appalled at the treatment of a customer’s request, through to some support for the cafe’s stance, including one person who commented, “You have great food and a great atmosphere. Why change it for some pathetic hen-pecked excuse for a male who needs to stand up to his wife and tell her to sort out the kids nappies.”
Wow. Just wow.
Do you think that parenting has become too “politically correct” or is it just a sign of the times? How do you feel that parenting has changed since your parents’ or grandparents’ time as new mothers and fathers? Join the discussion in the comments below.
This article was written by Julie Scanlon, Editor for Kidspot NZ.
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