Picture this: you're standing in the children's section of a bookstore. You've got money. You've got books to buy. And then an employee tells you that you have to leave. The reason? The other customers are freaked out that you're a man.
It's a story a grandfather from Arizona is screaming from the rooftops this week. Omar Amin says he went to Barnes and Noble to buy books for his grandkids, and he got kicked out because he was a man. And a store spokesperson is defending the action.
So who's right?
In this case, based on information as presented, I side with Amin. We have no sign this grandfather was doing anything besides shopping for books for his grandkids or that his "crime" was anything other than being a male. If everything he says is true, it's a clear case of discrimination. I am sick and tired of the tired old "man around kids must be a pedophile" reaction. It's unfair to the millions of males in this world who wouldn't dream of such base and disgusting actions. And when you consider there are female pedophiles out there, it's far too simplistic.
And yet, if customers are approaching a store manager complaining about a person in the store who is giving them the willies, what's a store manager to do? It's a basic rule of business that the customer is always right ... right?
Well, nope, not at all. A manager could have 10 customers pitch a fit, claiming a breastfeeding mom is freaking them out because OMG, boobies. But the law (not to mention common sense) protects Mom and child from getting the boot. Or there could be a small but vocal contingent of skinheads in the store on any given day, moaning to management that they shouldn't allow a (insert slur for ethnic minority here) into their establishment. Again, the law and common sense trump "customer is always right."
The customer is always right is a nice motto, but it doesn't hold up when ethics are on the line. People, real people, have to come before old mantras.
What do you think of this store's actions?
Image via loranger/Flickr