I am sufficiently calm now to be able to relay today’s events in a somewhat non-histrionic manner. I need to set up the boys’ rooms for when they come down. There are a few odds and ends of furniture that I need to get. I was recommended to go to a specific store in the heart of Monsey that has fabulous stuff at good prices. I walked in there ready to look seriously for what I needed. I know my budget, I know what I need, research has been done. I am primed for the buy! I looked around for a sales person to help me. I heard someone on the phone, so I followed the sound. There was a woman sitting at the register yammering away on the phone in a language other than English. It was apparent to me that she was talking to her daughter (I have a flair for languages). I cleared my throat. Loudly. Nothing. She didn’t even look up. Finally I said in the same language she was speaking – Excuse Me!! She told her daughter to hold the line a second please, looked me up and down, and asked me in a sulky tone – “can I help you?” I explained what I was looking for. She waved a hand dismissively at the showroom – “this is what we have, go look”. She resumed her phone call. I was obviously dismissed. I walked right out of there. They may have good stuff at good prices – but I will be damned if I will give my business to anyone that can treat others that way.
Fast forward a few hours. The KoD and I return to the heart of Monsey but this time to a different store. We walk in, and the woman is yammering on the phone. As soon as it was noticed that we were looking for some help, she ended her phone call and came over to help us. Another sales assistant also helped out, and they could not have been more polite or courteous, and they certainly didn’t look at me or the KoD with disdain. They were knowledgeable about their products and worked extremely hard to make sure we left their store happy.
Gee, I wonder which store will get my business?? The interesting thing is, that after my first experience today I was tempted to say that all people from a certain background were like that, and they are all disgusting and rude and judgmental. And who would have blamed me for that? My second experience put the lie to that and proved what I really know, that they aren’t all like that. But you know, it is all too easy to pigeonhole people, and to use the behaviour of visible minorities (or those that dress differently) to label the rest of the group. A slippery slope, my friends, a slippery slope.