tonight, i went to Michael's craft store at Airport Way to pick up some dried flowers for a rustic vase i have in my living room. so, when i got to the section i wanted, the thing i wanted was way up on the top shelf. i couldn't reach it. the closest clerk was this lady named Pam ,sitting at the floral "arrangement" desk. she was sitting there, staring into space. i guess from the way she acted, she's must have felt exempt from showing any type of customer service whatsoever. i walked over and asked, "excuse me, would you be able to grab something down from this shelf for me over here?" she did a really obvious sigh---not just any sigh but an abrupt "ughfff" sigh to let me know i was SERIOUSLY disturbing her "floral meditation". in my head, i was like, Oh, no she DIDN'T. she then asked WHAT it was that i needed her to get down, very irritated. come again???
so, long story short, she grudgingly showed me somewhere else in the store where the same item was sitting. "thanks" i told her. if there's one thing i learned in my twenties, it's how to handle situations and people like that. she made no comment back after i thanked her. so, a few minutes later, when i saw another employee (who turned out to be her supervisor) i explained what had just happened. the supervisor stood there and made excuse after excuse for her. 'oh, we all have bad days....she's only human....no one can be 100% all the time...you probably just caught her at a bad time....' yeah, whatever. i replied that i understood that but it's not an excuse for such bad customer service. she ended up finally apologizing for Pam, but only because i pressed the issue after she gave excuses for her. but that wasn't good enough for me, because i could tell she was mentally filing my complaint way in the archives of her brain.. you don't just back up an employee when they are clearly out of line, and the customer is always right. hello, that's Customer Service 101. "oh, um hmmm...okay, and what is YOUR name?" because now, SHE'LL be named also when i talk to the manager.
couple of things: i don't know if i got that treatment from the first employee because of being black or not. it doesn't matter in this case. i mean, PROBABLY, that's just expected. but that's not the point of this post. white, black, red or yellow, that employee was in the wrong. i'm just observing that most likely it was a race factor.
secondly, i wonder if i had been white if her supervisor would have blew it off so nonchalantly. i don't really know.
and thirdly (okay 3 things), now, the supervisor is out of line for making excuses for that. i realize that it's only Michaels craft store and not Nordstrom, but still.
here's the point of my post, which ties in perfectly with one of my previous posts about the way i talk. i'm calling the manager asap tomorrow, and i'm not playing the race card. that gets me nowhere. i mean white people usually never believe it when black people claim that anyways, and just think you're just trying to take advantage somehow. i thought about talking to the manager while i was at the store, right then and there, but why take the risk of them blowing me off too because i'm black ? they need to hear my complaint objectively. i will call the store, in my most professional and diplomatic tone. they WILL think i'm white. i know this because it's happened before. they will apologize, they will take me seriously, and take some kind of action against PAM (i'm not saying she needs to be fired, but she needs a lesson on customer service. if she was just having a bad day, that's got nothing to do with me). over the phone is the only way i'll make a complaint-that way or i'll write a letter. NEVER in person. believe me, i've done it in person, and i know it felt like they never took me seriously.