Thursday, June 26, 2008

Picked on by Whole Foods for being Hispanic

Since I was in middle school, it has always amused my non colored friends my ability to attract cops, mall, and other retail security. They flock to me because apparently I just look like a trouble maker, I'm Mexican and I like to wear my hat at an angle (it's a bad combination). In a way I am used to it, but it still feels horrible when I am singled out and picked on because I look different.

As I get older this happens less, only twice in the last two years. Once at JCrew with a friend, the security guard followed me from table to table, he didn't even try to hide the fact that he thought I might steal something, making it impossible for me to look at anything. The second time was last summer at the Space Needle. I was showing my friend Bruce from NY around town and we wanted to have lunch at the restaurant at the top. We got in line with all the older tourists who were sporting their Hawaiian shirts, shorts and fanny packs waiting to enter the elevator when we were pulled aside and told we could not go up due to how we were dressed. We had jeans, shirts and I had my trusty hat on at an angle. They claimed our jeans didn't cut it, my jeans had frizzled edges and my friends jeans had on tiny hole in the leg. Our jeans were actually new, my friends were probably from Urban and mine were probably from Macys, but of course it wasn't our clothes, someone made a decision somewhere that I looked like a trouble maker and as a result we were denied access. I asked to see the manager and every single person who talked to us was extremely rude and asked me to leave the premises.

Which leads me to this afternoon. Matt and I were out for a nice walk, we had just had some tacos at my favorite taco truck and decided we would walk to Whole Foods and get some gelato. We got our two scoops, I picked out a drink, we paid and walked over to the Whole Foods cafe seating area to eat our gelato. The seating area was full of people who were also sitting down to eat their snacks or drinks. Of all the people sitting there, we were the ones that apparently had the appearance of gelato theifs. An older Whole Foods employee walked up to us specifically ignoring all the other people sitting down to eat their snacks and asked us if we had paid for our gelato and drink. Matt showed him the receipt and he walked away but the damage was done. I felt mad, angry and disappointed because I really like the Whole Foods gelato but a part of me never wants to go back again. Of all the people there sitting in the cafe, what was it about us that made them single us out.

I don't really have a point to this blog post, just frustrated and needed to get this out. In all honesty, I really like Whole Foods, I just hate when these things happen.


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Jesica said...

I used to work at that store, and its not just you. Believe me when i say you werent singled out. Gelato is the most commonly stolen thing at that store. Its so easy to get it, walk around the store and eat it without paying. Dont feel too bad! Whoever asked you was just trying to do thier job. :)

Chris Maryatt said...

The best thing you can do is make a complaint. Note the time and date if nothing else (you probably don't remember the security guard's name?) At least then, you'll get an apology letter and probably some kind of gift certificate. The "damage was" symbolically "done," but a complaint might be able to symbolically "undo" it, and perhaps provide you with pecuniary advantage. :)