The future of the local hobby shop

Guys I need to vent. One of the employees at the local hobby shop just yelled at my 3 year old son. What was his offense you wonder??? He touched an empty peg on a peg board. No merchandise was hanging on it, he did no damage to anything, he wasn’t running wild, he simply took an empty peg out of a peg board(the other hand was toting his hobby grade rc car which he needed parts for). I was furious. What’s worse, is that the employee essentially created the situation that led to him unloading on my child. They had a box of assorted pulse batteries on closeout with a fair discount. And you guys know from watching my flight videos that I’m wearing my youngest child in a pack on my chest, and my 3 year old is never far away. Anyway, I had just asked if he had a 4s 850mah in this discount box. It wasn’t terribly easy for me to look while holding the baby and keeping track of my 3 year old. His response was that everything is in the box and I’d have to look myself. Phenomenal customer service right. Well no sooner did I look down into the box, then he is yelling “Hey! Get your hands off my pegs” at my child. What the heck… and I do mean yelling. I feel like it would have been more appropriate to ask me to handle the situation … or maybe he could have just looked in the box himself like a good employee when I asked if there was an 850 in there and I wouldn’t have turned my back on my child for 2 seconds but instead he suddenly found the motivation he was lacking when I needed help looking in the battery box and came out from behind the counter to snatch the peg out of my sons hands … the end result - my son teared up a little and quietly said “Dad, I just want to go home.” My heart broke. I wanted the LHS to be a magical place for him. A reward for good behavior.
Seriously… it was just an empty pegboard peg.

So this brings me to my point. I left my local flying club cause they are rude to kids and newcomers. When i had kids i knew my time was done there cause it’s just not a great environment for them. And now I have to think twice before taking my sons to the hobby shop? What’s the world coming to. Don’t these businesses and organizations realize their future is in the hands of kids getting into the hobby??? We can buy stuff online cheaper and pirate any empty field without paying dues. I personally don’t need either of them to exist.

I remember my Dad standing up for me at the hobby shops and flying clubs when I was a kid so I guess it’s my turn now. I’m just disappointed it hasn’t gotten any better in 30 years. The guys that were rude to me 30 years ago as a kid in the hobby are long gone now but they have just been replaced by new ones.

Please be nice to kids in the hobby… and speak out if you see a child being discouraged. Let them have a good experience. Let them break some stuff and smile about it. You were probably gonna crash it eventually anyway :smile:

12 Likes

That is sad :frowning:
But it aligns with what I have experienced when I was visiting hobby shops around the country…
I just wanted to go home, and it made me want to create my own.
Kids are our future.

5 Likes

I’m sorry to hear this.

Hobby shops today are like that girlfriend that puts out, but you’ll never marry her. It is a sign of the times and probably like Toys R Us, it too will be a thing of the past. 30 years ago, there was no Amazon, Internet, direct links to China - All we had was a local hobby store that had to add their overhead and make most RC hobbies very expensive . Yet, they were the shit! The guys were knowledgable and the weirdest guys were the train aficionados -haha

Today, we order most of our stuff online for the cheapest price and only go into the hobby shop for an emergency or to browse.
Anyway, the store is not making money, so the shelves are bare and the schmo is not getting paid a decent wage. Otherwise, the stores would be brimming with merchandise and actual stuff we need, and the schmo would be a geek that got paid a living wage to do what he/she likes to do, which would translate into good customer service.

Regardless - there is NO EXCUSE for bad manners, especially at a small child.
Give him a hug for me and tell him “mouth breathers are very common in Florida”

2 Likes

Ahhh, sorry about your experience. Hope you’re lad is ok now? I’m trying to get my three year old girl into quads etc, shame her co-ordination isn’t quite there yet! :smiley:

Don’t be discouraged by idiots like that shop assistant, you got to take your boy back and make it a positive experience. At the least you should go back and speak to the manager because nobody should be treated like that, especially a child!

2 Likes

Sorry to hear that man… That guy had no right to yell at your kid. It wasn’t even like your kid was doing something dangerous. It was just a peg holder for god sakes!

2 Likes

Chief Ventist :joy:
A nice and steady 8 on the Beaufort scale :wink: rightly!

Until we found ‘isle of justice’ we’d gonna be role models - and as you do - encourage others to do so as well.

3 Likes

Thanks for all the support guys. It’s much appreciated! I’m very proud of our community. I often say that we are an example that the world should follow. Little man will be ok. Thanks everyone for listening!

4 Likes

Dude, so sorry about that. I had s similar experience in a hobbytown where I was getting some balsa for a sailplane I was working on. My little brother was wandering around and looking at the products, and occasionally touched some things.
I feel that they might be a little upset, especially the local ‘mom and pop shops’, about where the industry is going, all online and/or China. But yelling at a kid? Not acceptable in the least.

2 Likes

Yeah, the Internet is changing things and the LHS will have to adapt to survive. I don’t want to see them dissappear. But that old school mentality of needing everything to be a exactly certain way in the shops and clubs is gonna have to mature into a new open mindedness and acceptance. Generics will have to be embraced. And the attitudes of superiority based on the equipment you run will have to be abandoned. For example, I have 4 and 5 inch powerhouse quads too, but as you all know I spend most of my time flying 3d printed brushed micros. And they’re just as much fun! In some cases even a bigger challenge :slight_smile:

4 Likes

Sorry to hear about what happened but did you address the issue with a manager. I hope this was just an issue of a bad employee rather than a bad shop in general. The shop I deal with has a great staff and i can never imagine a situation like you describe.

With the competition the local shops face from online shopping it would be life ending if this type of treatment was the norm.

1 Like

I don’t have any other machines. (just micros)
I’m on spreading the wor(l)d of Whoop.
(Hopefully the meaning is clear, I’m not native english speaker. :smiley:)

3 Likes

That’s a shame, I love the hobby shop experience, like a kid in a candy store, walking down the aisles and picking what you need, and don’t need most of the time, is great. But incompetent, underpaid, and mostly careless employees just kill it most of the time.

3 Likes

As a professional customer service rep I am shocked and at the same time not shocked at the clerks mentality or actions and am sorry to hear you had to endure the less shocking situation.

I am an example of a mid-life crisis quadster and I have not had a great experience in the in-person interactions of my LHS, so it seems to be an infection that is spreading. I am leery to get involved with any clubs for the same reason.

1 Like

I visited a club to see if I wanted to join. They were nice, and all that, but were hardcore gas/nitro plane folks. It seemed they didn’t want to change, so I went my way and them theirs.

1 Like

I heard something similar with the one here, not overly friendly with non-forward flyers.

1 Like

Lol, that’s where multigp comes in… but only for racers. We need something for micro freestylers!

2 Likes

I’d help with that kind of effort for what ever good I could do.

2 Likes

Sorry for your experience man. I don’t think I would be giving them any more business given your experience even if it was to try to help them keep the doors open. I’m lucky that the local hobby shops here are staffed by very friendly and helpful people and they seem to stay busy enough that I don’t think they’re going anywhere anytime soon. I try to support them when I can, just wish they stocked more of the specialized/“boutique” type stuff that I tend to buy. They get stock from Horizon Hobby, but that’s about it. So they cater more toward the newcomers (which is a good thing also) than the full on “I think I might have a problem / R/C addicts” like myself.

  • Dustin

This is not encouraging my 2 year old love to steal my controller and goggles. My daughter is 13 she didn’t care much for flying until she wore my goggles. I am really looking forward to hitting the shops and clubs with them.
I’m hard headed when it comes to anyone abusing kids in any shape or form…:smiling_imp:

2 Likes