We were talking about the possibilities and I mentioned how both Kroger and Meijer hire special needs people to greet customers, bag groceries, and so on. Michelle explained how she didn't want her daughter to work there and be exposed to the general public.
She began to tell me about how she was at Kroger, in one of the checkout lanes with a special needs bagger. The man in front of her was being a jerk, giving the bagger a hard time, complaining that there were too few items in each bag or whatever. He harassed this girl while the cashier didn't say a word.
Michelle took it upon herself to tell this guy off. She told him how he was being a complete asshole and how he should never treat anybody that way, especially not somebody with special needs. What Michelle said isn't really important, just the fact that she made a huge scene and made the guy feel two inches tall when she was finished and felt really good about it.
When Michelle finished her tirade and the customer left, the cashier thanked her for her little outburst. She said she was glad Michelle said something because cashiers aren't allowed to say anything like that to the customers. I guess it's considered rude.
So that's why Erica won't be working in customer service; because Michelle (understandably) doesn't want her daughter to go through such a thing.
I can accept that some people are just rude assholes. I can't understand it or be okay with it, but I know they exist. What I can't accept is that a store would have such a policy that allows for their employees to put up with this sort of harassment. Even worse, is that nobody's allowed to defend them.
The special needs employees are some of the hardest-working employees there are at stores like this. They take more pride than any of the other employees in doing their job well, because these tasks are more difficult for them. I can't even stomach the thought that these are the people who get disrespected the most by the company and the customers.
I'd like to write the manager of the store a scathing letter. But what I'd like even more, is to know that it would produce results. I don't know that it won't, though. So maybe I'll write one tomorrow.
This was also an entry in my personal journal, hence the extra information.