July 30, 2006
To Whom It May Concern,
Let me just start my saying that I have been a loyal customer of your **** ******’s Haggen Store since it opened.
There are several things about your store that keep me coming back again and again. You have reasonable prices on everyday items and I can always find that “special ingredient” when I am in a bind. The store is consistently clean and tidy and the atmosphere is very “unsupermarket” like, which is nice in comparison to the glaring lights and linoleum of other stores in the area. You have a great selection of items, the seafood and meat are always fresh and the deli is unsurpassed. The store employees are always nice, friendly and helpful and I could go on and on about the kids play area. Basically, I adore the store and shopping there.
Unfortunately, I was so offended by a remark made by a cashier last week that I am considering changing my grocery shopping location.
My 7-year-old son and I were at your **** ******* store on Friday, July 28, around 12:00pm. We were waiting in line behind a middle-aged woman who was buying, among her usual grocery load, several magazines. The new issue of People magazine has a headline which reads “I’m Gay” and a picture of the former Nsync member who is coming out of the closet in the magazine. It was on the top of the woman’s stack of literature. Not a few seconds after the magazines were rung up, the cashier said (in a voice clearly loud enough for my son and myself to hear) “WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO?” while holding up the People magazine.
The look on my face was most likely priceless. A mixture of disgust, appall and genuine anger. I cannot believe that an employee trained in sensitivity training in this day and age would feel it appropriate to spew his personal biases upon his customers, the customers standing nearby and their accompanying children. I cannot believe the insensitivity that this individual felt it necessary to share. I do believe that he had no idea if the woman he was helping was gay herself, or anyone around who could clearly hear him for that matter.
Because I was so shocked and disappointed and trying to downplay the rude checker’s remark for my child, I could not think of anything appropriate to say at the time. My frustration also got in the way of me looking at his name tag (but if you’d like to know, I can return to the store and identify him 100% as he is a long-time employee and I know exactly what he looks like).
I would like your store to do everything it can to assure that the checkers working that day at that time are aware of the meaning of the words “customer service”. If they need reminders of how their words and personal opinions can hurt your business, feel free to share with them, my letter.
In closing, I would like to clarify that I do not blame People magazine in any way for their cover. I am a People magazine subscriber and do not take offense in any way to what they print. I am offended by your employees remark and I expect that something will be done to avoid this happening to anyone in the future. I may be reached at the contacts listed below if you have any questions.
Carrie *. *****
***** **th Place NE
**** ***, WA *****
I will send this letter tomorrow.