I know my recent postings have been, well, lacking in diversity, as my topics have centered primarily on racial issues. But I have another that I hope will be of interest.
We recently received a complaint from a black woman at our store. As an aside, I would like to point out that the vast majority of our interections with customers are positive, however, most of those are not particularly noteworthy, or blogworthy. Anyway, the woman called us the day after she had visited our store. She stated that she was not greeted when coming into our store, while some white people were greeted. Additionally, she could have used some help, but none was offered. She stated that she left the store without making a purchase, and she felt as though her race was a factor in her treatment.
FYI, I was not present in the store on the day in question. Neither of my employees remember the woman having been in the store. Our unwritten practice is to greet people when they enter the store. Sometimes this is awkward, if, for example, some customers are between us and any new customers. In that instance, we would not typically shout past customers to greet someone. Sometimes we are busy with customers and don't have an opportunity to greet new arrivals. Of course, none of us know if these factors were involved, as none of us remember the woman.
But let us assume that the woman's version of events is accurate and I have no reason to doubt her. Is it fair for her to assume that her poor treatment was the result of her color and imagined hostility, on our part, towards black people?
Interestingly, we have noticed an increase in black customers. I welcome this development, obviously, as we, like everyone else in business, want to increase the number of customers that we serve.
My own conclusion is that the woman's reaction was mistaken and unfair to us.
My question to FreeRacine readers is this: When you have an unsatisfactory interaction in a business, do you typically assign a sinister motive to the business person or business owner? If so, or not, why?