Top News

Embarrassing moment for customer; no apology


Editor; For the past 28 years my husband, Earl Brushett, and myself have regularly shopped a local grocery store in Marystown. My husband actually worked there in his younger years.

Monday, Jan. 17, just after 5:30 p.m. my husband went to pick up some groceries there on his way home from work. When he was finished checking out, an employee of the store asked him to wait with no reason given to him.

After going to the cash office, speaking to a customer (who happened to be the owner of another nearby local business) and speaking with the manager, the employee finally told him what was going on.

It seems they had seen a person shoplifting on their monitor, a few days previous, and that person had on a dark jacket like my husband’s. By this time, they realized that person was not my husband.

The employee apologized and told him he could go. This all took about 10 minutes.

The whole time he was in the front of the store, near the exit, where any customer who was leaving the store could see.

When he finally left, the manager and the owner of the other business were in the porch of the store talking. My husband passed by them but the manager did not speak to him, despite the fact my husband was told by the employee that he would.

When my husband came home and told me, I could tell he was upset about what had happened. Within a couple of days, I sent a letter of complaint to the store’s head office.

In that letter I discussed the fact my husband was stopped solely on the fact he had a dark jacket on. The jacket was by no means unique – it was a navy jacket with the local public college logo on it, similar to hundreds possessed by current and former students. As well, although he often goes to the store to pick up some groceries on his way home in the evening, my husband had not been in that store for at least a week, which is when they said they had seen the person on camera.

I also expressed my concerns about the lack of confidentiality, and the way in which the incident was handled.

My husband has worked in the retail industry most of his life, as have several others in our family. We are very well aware of the issues surrounding shoplifting. My husband knew very quickly what he was being asked to wait, and said he had no problem doing so. He knew he had done nothing wrong.

Keeping him waiting in front of the store’s customers and employees, while the employee and manager were speaking with the owner of another business is totally unacceptable. It has the potential to impact the business he works for, and for others to question his good reputation.

Within a week the store manager came to our house to apologize, and discuss the matter with my husband and myself. At the time we expressed our concerns my husband’s reputation had been compromised, unnecessarily and wrongly, and the anxiety and stress it had caused the family.

We also felt the store’s own ethical policies and procedures, required of all employees, were certainly not reflected.

The manager asked us what we thought would rectify the situation. We did request additional training be provided all employees, in customer service more specifically, in how to deal with situations like this.

We also requested a public apology, which if not forthcoming would cause us to bring the matter to public attention.

He indicated the employee had already been reprimanded and asked if we wanted the employee fired. We told him no; we absolutely did not want that.

He also said he would look into incorporating more training into orientation for new employees, or revisiting the topic regularly with employees. As for a public apology, he would have to confer with others on that.

My husband and I have not been in the store since – we feel that to do so would condone the actions of those involved – which we certainly believe leave a lot to be desired. And as of this date, which is past the date I gave for reply, we have not heard back from the manager, or head office, nor has a public apology been forthcoming.

We, therefore, feel we have no choice but to bring the matter to the public’s attention.

Thank you,

Susan Brushett

Winterland

 

Recent Stories