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Don’t Get Frisky With Customers

| Working | November 6, 2012

(We’ve just hired a new manager who is really racist. He tells me to follow around anybody who isn’t white to make sure they aren’t ‘up to anything’, and has actually tried to have some people frisked before they leave if they don’t buy anything.)

Manager: *to a young African American female* “What are YOU doing here?”

Customer #1: “Um… I… I needed new clothes for work. I don’t want to have my old clothes taken in, so I was just going to buy a few new outfits.”

Manager: “This isn’t [discount retailer]. You’re in the wrong spot.”

Customer #1: “Excuse me?! I have every right to shop here. I came here because I like the clothes I saw in the catalog.”

Manager: “Look, girl, this shop is for people who can afford it. Now, go tell the loss prevention guy I said to check you for stolen items and get out.”

(Another customer has overheard the conversation and speaks up.)

Customer #2: *to the young woman* “You don’t have to do that.”

Manager: “Yes she does! I said so!”

Customer #2: “Oh, no she doesn’t. State law requires that in order to be detained or checked for stolen property you must actually CATCH somebody taking something. You didn’t even let her touch anything before you started traumatizing her.”

Manager: “Look, I know you women like to think you’re smart—”

Customer #2: “I’m going to stop you right there. Because if you finish that sentence, I guarantee you you’ll wish you hadn’t. Now, get me the number of your corporate offices, and your boss.”

Manager: *shocked, blank stare*

Customer #2: “That wasn’t an idle request. Now, please.”

Manager: “No! I don’t have to give you that information!”

Customer #2: *pulls out her phone* “Oh, look… I have [store manager’s name]’s number right here.”

Manager: “YOU CAN’T CALL HER! Don’t you dare!”

Customer #2: “I’ll do what I please. Making a phone call isn’t illegal.” *to the young woman* “I’m going to give the store manager a call. I strongly advise you file a complaint with her, and call the corporate offices. I would also write to local news media, if I were you.”

Customer #1: “Thank you, I will.”

Manager: *waves the loss prevention guy over* “Frisk both of them!”

Customer #2: “Sweet pea, if you lay so much as a fingernail on either of us, believe me I will make your life a living hell.”

(In the end, the manager and loss prevention guy—who was just as racist as the manager—got fired. The store manager came in personally to talk to both customers. I got the chance to apologize to the first customer later too, but she said she was just glad somebody did something and stepped in to help her. Even though he didn’t work there for long, I had never seen that manager get so uncomfortable so fast!)

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