Assaulted at a Mom & Pop Shop
Ok, I'll admit that I can be annoying. I have a tendency to question things. I am also quick to speak up when something or someone is wrong. Does it make me a bad person? Does it make me disrespectful or crazy? Well, apparently some may think so.
I often visit this local Korean spot in my old neighborhood. You know, the little market that sells all the fruits, veggies, fish, and Caribbean stuff. It's where I purchase all my Jamaican food and spices. On our way home, my hubby and I decide to stop off at the little shop that my family and I have frequented for years. I want to pick up some great nut ice cream, one of Princess's favorite flavors. When I get there, the lady says they are all out. I end up buying a few things there anyway, and convince my hubby to stop by the other store (owned my the same family). Hey, if one doesn't have great nut ice cream, maybe the other one would.
We get there just by the skin of out teeth. It's almost Princess's bed time and want to give her a little treat before hitting the sack. I go to the back of the store, open the freezer, and I see the container of ice cream staring back at me. I bring it to the counter, whip out my debit card to pay for it. Instead of ringing me up, the lady points to the sign and says in broken English "Ten dolla!" Being the inquisitive and outspoken person that I am I question the reason for the minimum purchase.
"I've been coming here for years. There was never a minimum charge to use a debit card. When did this happen?" I ask.
With an attitude she repeats, "Ten dolla, debit!"
I respond half joking/half serious, "I feel like I'm on a show. I'm seriously having a Seinfeld moment."
A customer begins to defend the lady by telling me to read the sign. "I have no trouble reading. I can read the sign just fine. They aren't allowed to do this" I reply. I also tell the guy to mind his own business. That's when things get heated.
The guy then says to me,"You're f******* crazy."
I couldn't believe my ears. It becomes a three on one match up. Even though I am out numbered, I thank god my hubby and daughter are in the car. I wouldn't want her to see this and I know how my hubby can get. In the midst of all this I try to tell them that I'm not there to argue. I just don't remember there being a minimum required purchase to use a debit or credit card. Then the lady tells me to give back the items (after my purchase). I tell her it's ok. There's no need to return them.
I'm here thinking she's so annoyed by me that she wants her stuff back. She then comes from behind the counter, grabs me, and rips the bag from out of my hands. I couldn't believe it! By this time the disrespectful customer has already made his exit. It's just me, the lady, and her son (who speaks perfect English).
So many different thoughts are racing through my head. "Why are you doing this?" I ask. After what seems like an eternity, I look at my receipt which read invalid and everything started to add up.
I unknowingly entered the wrong pin. It's an honest mistake on my part. But, there's no reason for her to put her hands on me. I feel so violated. In this struggling economy I do my best to support the local mom and pop shops. It wouldn't be fair to pull the race card because the customer who cursed at me is a black Jamaican (like myself). Although the woman doesn't speak English, her son does and could have translated. After giving them a piece of my mind, I leave the store in tears. What makes things worse is that my daughter hears be crying in the back seat, and then begins to cry. It breaks my heart!
I'd like to think this is all a misunderstanding. But, I don't think I'll be going back there anymore. The next time I want great nut ice cream or any thing else Caribbean, I'll just hit up C-Town.
I may have a tendency to questions things, but it doesn't make be a bad person. I just speak up for what I believe in and there's nothing wrong with that.
After contacting consumer affairs to investigate the matter, I received this note of apology from the Korean mom and pop shop. The moral of this story is always stand up for what you believe in and you'll get results. I still don't think I'll go back to this place, though.
Weather Anchor Mama
Labels: Sound off