18 comments

On Sunday, May 19, 2013 a little after 10:00am I walked into World Market in Santa Barbara, CA located at 610 State Street. I purchased an item in the store the evening before and was truly looking forward to picking up my brand new TV Media Easel that had already been paid for. As I made a right turn into the parking lot I yielded for two pedestrians (male and female) making a left into the World Market parking lot as well. Focused on the two pedestrians entering the small parking lot I happened to notice the female pedestrian mouth “I don’t know where she is going, there is no parking here”. I proceeded to look for a parking space, as there were none available; I pulled into the handicapped spot. I got out of my vehicle, proceeded to enter the store only to be approached by the female pedestrian who obviously was waiting for me to enter the store so that she could give me a piece of her mind. When the female customer came up to me she said, “That space is for handicapped people only”. I completely ignored her comment, did not make eye contact with her and said “good morning, my name is _____, I purchased an item last night and am here to pick it up. I am parked in the handicapped spot right there” to the cashier on duty. The cashier (male) asked me for my receipt and as I reached into my purse the female customer called me a “***”. I turned to her and said “what did you say to me?” She responded, “I was talking to my husband”.

The reason for this letter is to express my dissatisfaction and disappointment in the way the situation was handled by the store members, especially the manager, Paul on Sunday and Monday. I would also like to note my follow up call to the store on Monday, May 20, 2013 only exacerbated an already deplorable experience at World Market.

On Sunday, May 19, 2013 after I was called a “***” by a customer within earshot of other customers and World Market associates, not once was my safety, security and well being ensured or considered. Not once did I receive an apology. I was however, told by the manager to “calm down” when I made the situation known to everyone who could hear me yell, “this woman just called me a ***!” Paul, also asked me whether I had called the police as opposed to immediately doing so himself once he realized the gravity of the situation and how physically shaken I appeared. Paul did not come to my defense in any way, in fact it took me to yell for help when I stepped out of the store, was on the phone with 9-1-1 and the female customer came out and continued to verbally attack me. It was not until I yelled “get away from me now, someone please tell this woman to get away from me!” that Paul approached her and asked her to leave me alone because she was “only going to make the situation worse”. In short, Paul did absolutely nothing to diffuse an escalating situation and instead made me to feel like I was the offending party. In addition, once the item I purchased was delivered to my car (after repeated requests), Paul added insult to injury by telling me that in the future I should call prior to arriving to pick up an item instead of parking in the handicapped spot since it is obvious that I do not have a handicapped sticker. The response I received from Paul was absolutely insensitive, unnecessary, beside the point, hurtful and preposterous!

On Monday, May 20, 2013 I called World Market a little after 8:30am to make a formal complaint about the issue. I was again made to feel like the problem, was not treated with kindness and never received a genuine apology from anyone that I spoke with. I requested a phone call back from Paul, left my name, phone number, but did not receive a call back for over 4 hours. The return phone call came only after following up for a second time via phone to inquire about the reason I had yet to receive a phone call back as I had requested that morning. When I did follow up the second time, I was told by an associate (Grant) that the reason Paul had not called me back yet was because Paul “was busy”. A situation of this magnitude should be the ABSOLUTE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY.

As a paying customer and petite female that entered the store alone, I felt like I was not being protected as a human being, American citizen or paying store customer should. I was repeatedly verbally attacked by an individual in and outside of the store and NO ONE CAME TO MY DEFENSE. If the store manager had asked her to leave after both the customers and store associates became aware of the issue, I would have felt like my safety was not in immediate risk, but unfortunately that was not the case. I felt like I was being attacked by all parties including World Market. We have all seen instances where a store manager will ask a person to leave the store when they are creating a scene and making other customers feel uncomfortable. This did not happen for me.

The only person in the situation that did the right thing was me. I prevented a major PR nightmare for World Market by keeping a level head and not allowing the situation to escalate into a violent encounter. Believe me when I say this, it could have easily turned violent if the wrong Black person were called a *** in public by a white person!

I am the Executive Director of a national non-profit organization. I have local and national media contacts and a very large social media network. I would like to provide World Market with the opportunity to rectify this situation IMMEDIATELY in WRITING and via PHONE before I decide to take things to the next level. I am a professional person and am providing World Market with the same professional courtesy that I would hope someone who has a grievance with my Association would give me. I would like to know in detail what steps are going to be taken to ensure that something like this NEVER happens again.

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Anonymous
#1388087

What a massive drama queen. Good grief!

Anonymous
#1170702

"The only person in the situation that did the right thing was me. "

No, you did not.

You parked in a handicap parking space. That is illegal.

It is never okay for anyone to use racial slurs. If I were the manager, I'd have called the police on both of you.

Anonymous
#1120945

Handicapped parking spaces are for handicapped people, NOT for your own personal parking convenience.

Anonymous
#1082639

You sound like a complete and utter nightmare. I feel sorry for anyone who has to put up with you on a daily basis.

Good. God.

Anonymous
Richmond, Virginia, United States #899016

What does the "****" stand for? Let me get this straight...you parked in a handicap spot because you only have time to do things wrong and have no time to do things right?

You see where this is going?

From one minority to another, stop hiding behind race!

Anonymous
#859295

I know this is old, but I gotta ask,.....what the *** did you want the store employees to do? Beat her up for you?

YOU did something wrong and illegal, and a customer called you on it, not an employee. Therefore, put on your big girl panties and fight your own battles, or call your mama to fight them for you.

Anonymous
New York, New York, United States #859047

Good grief, this has got to a fake complaint. Surely no one is that thick in the head to believe they are entitled to park in handicapped parking when they aren't handicapped.

I wish like heck a police officer had come along and written you a ticket and given you a stern lecture. Perhaps that would have cured you of your attitude of self-entitlement and hopefully educated you on how to behave in a public place.

I don't normally approve of people who call complete strangers names in public, but in your case, I applaud that stranger. Personally, I would have whipped my phone and called the police to come and ticket you.

This letter reminds me of a time when I was a store manager and a customer came in to 'quickly pick something up'.

He told me he was in a hurry because he wasd parked in handicapped parking. About that time, a man entered the store and bellowed 'are you the one parked in the handicapped spot illegally, because the police are out there about to ticket you'! The customer gushed his thanks and was about to quickly leave when the man said 'no, not really. But I have my handicapped mother in the car and saw you take that spot.

You have 1 minute to move your car or I am calling the police. Also, I've written down your license and it I ever see your car in a handicapped spot, I will make sure you regret it'.

Justice! I loved it!

Anonymous
#859006

*** off all of you.

I have seen SO MANY PEOPLE use the handicapped spaces before at my place of work and they were not handicapped. All of them were white people and no one gave them any *** for it even if there were plenty of other spaces available that were not handicapped spaces.

Her visit was supposed to be short, a simple in and out pick up, and again I cannot tell you how many people I have seen do this that were white and NO ONE CARED. Acting as if this woman's racism and harassment is justified is disgusting when I know for a fact that no one would have said anything if it was a white woman.

Shame on all of you.

Anonymous
to Sarah #859048

Shame on YOU for being a dumbfucking twit and shame on your for being a BIGOT!

Anonymous
to Sarah #1082641

I dont believe there was any racism. It's nonsense.

She parked illegally. End. Of. But noooo!

Gotta bring race into it to justify own bad behavior. Give me a break.

Anonymous
#824997

You are the offending party, you parked in the handicapped spot when clearly you are not handicapped and then played the race card when someone called you out on it. You started the whole thing by not parking in the non handicapped part, why should Paul bail you out just because you cannot finish something you caused.

He did call 911 and stop her later, but can't you fight your own battles or do you need a bodyguard for this. What is insensitive, unnecessary, beside the point, hurtful and preposterous! is you parking in the handicapped parking spot because you are too lazy to walk a few extra feet, then you play the race card. The lady was not talking to you she was talking to her husband and you interrupted.

I wonder if you stole the pick up, now don't turn this into a race issue, I am wondering because you were listening in on a private conversation between the husband and wife, and because you wanted someone to play bodyguard. Why should Paul apologize just because you are too *** to know not to park in the handicapped spot. I hope the police gave you a ticket for this, though if they had you would accuse them of racism.

You did not do the right thing, you parked in the handicapped spot and played the race card when confronted about it. You are not a professional person, a professional person does not park in the handicapped spot and play the race card when confronted.

First Born Triplet
to Anonymous Markham, Ontario, Canada #824998

This whole thing could have been avoided if you did not park in the handicapped spot, what if someone who needed the space could not park there? The lady was out of line, but the manager is not a kindergarten teacher, it is your responsibility to protect yourself, especially when you started this whole thing.

Anonymous
to First Born Triplet Tucson, Arizona, United States #881559

Exactly!

Anonymous
#824993

Um...they are not cops nor in the military and it most definitely NOT there responsibility to protect you....AND you actually started this with your "Entitled" mentality as to parking in the handicapped spot. I as a citizen find you more offensive for doing this and thus taking that spot from ANOTHER customer that may be wheel chair bound, because you are what an Executive Director...big deal, be a human being first and quit complaining because you couldn't fight your own battles

Anonymous
Sacramento, California, United States #777802

You should not have parked in the handicapped spot if you are not handicapped. The person who cursed at you was out of line but so were you for inconsiderately taking a spot to which you were not entitled. Race is irrelevant in this scenario unless the mouthy woman added it in (unable to tell which curse word was used).

Anonymous
Wheeling, Illinois, United States #760834

I thought I was going to read a legitimate complaint, but I had to stop reading when this woman admitted to parking in a handicap spot. The world is full of pompous idiots.

Anonymous
Sumter, South Carolina, United States #695862

Ive to agree with previous commenter. This person is absolutely selfish and ignorant.

Obviously noone in that store was willing to defend her because of her selfish ignorant behavior. She can't even tell what is right and wrong but expected to be treated humanely.

Grow up! The world doesn't revolve just around you!!

Anonymous
Newark, New Jersey, United States #679418

Are you kidding?

You park in a handicap spot, illegally, fight with a bystander customer that is disgusted with your selfish illegal behavior, and you are pissed at World Market?? You blame them for a perceived racial slur given by a non-employee because YOU felt so self important that you could park in a space legally saved for someone who is disabled?

It's all about color isn't it. Your behavior has nothing to do with it

You're disgusting.

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