I had a traumatizing experience at a major chain store today. It’s not the first time I had a bad experience at this store. Your store in Middletown NY is run by the rudest manager I’ve ever met. The only reason I’ve never complained before was because I felt maybe I was wrong. Not today though, today what she did will probably end up in court.
I have a service dog who has the exact same rights as I do. ANY PLACE I GO he also has to come along for medical reasons. There are very few circumstances that prevent him from being with me; using the bathroom at a convenient store isn't one of them.
Today I stopped to get gas and a few items inside at the store not realizing my wife had my wallet. I called her and asked her to bring it to me and as I was on the phone with her I went to use the restroom. My dog identification card is always in my wallet so I didn't have it with me this day.
As I walked into the store I was on the phone with my wife and I heard someone talking behind me and figured other people were just trying to come into the store so I kept walking and went into the restroom. However, after I relieved myself I went right back outside where I was confronted by the wonderful (not really) manager who told me that dogs were not permitted in her store.
I have encountered this problem countless times and I explain my situation and after showing my ID which I usually have with me it's usually the end of the discussion most times. She didn't care what I said. She was flat out rude and basically yelling at me. Next time I have to use the restroom I think I will just do it on the side of the building. I told her my wife would be there shortly with my wallet and his identification. Once again she started yelling at me. So I turned my back to her and ignored her until my wife arrived.
At this point, I went back inside and asked one of the other employees if I could please speak with her again. She was hiding in her office. When I asked the gentleman to get her for me ( he was very nice by the way) he went in to get her and out came one of her goons. I say goon because he came out of the office looking like he was going to mug me mafia style.
I showed him my card and he read it over and told me he would have to go show it to her. I told him he couldn't take the identification because it's not federally required that I show it to anybody and I need it to stay with the dog because I have been asked to show it to the police before and he replied, "OK, I will call the police then." I told him to please go ahead because I wasn't wrong. He then started to reason with me for the first time and stop being a goon.
After he started being nicer I said look, you can take the card in and show her but please bring it back because its very important. He went back to speak with her and when he came back he told me she said I would still have to leave. This is a direct violation of the ADA. She committed a federal crime while representing this chain business. He pulled me to the side and said, "Look man its not my fault shes a b*&%h and if I don't do what she says then I have to deal with her."
He apologized and we shook hands (he's also actually a nice guy and deserves his job although he doesn't know any of the laws either.) the manager never once came back out to see me before I left. She just hid in her office like a coward while her employee handled the problem (did her job.) I've sent this same letter to the corporate headquarters for this chain store and I hope to hear back from someone there before I hear from my lawyer.
I want a written apology and something to be done about her. She's constantly rude to customers and she never even smiles. I'm not saying she doesn't deserve a job anywhere but definitely not a managerial role. Is there anything you can do to prevent problems like this in the future?! Thank you very much for all that you do as an organization. I hope that between us all we can come up with better solutions for times like these because it makes my stress level go up extremely high which is part of the reason I have a Service Dog. -Fred Graham