Manager at Santa Paula Big Lots - Rude or Racist?
SANTA PAULA -- I've been a Big Lots customer for several years now and have had nothing but pleasant experiences there. I know most of the employees at my local store on a first name basis, and everyone is very kind and helpful. However, when I went to the Big Lots store in Santa Paula (Calif.), I was left shocked, humiliated, and very angry.
I was at this store with my son, and I excused myself to use the restroom. I asked one of the store employees where the restroom was, and she told me I would have to go to the front desk and ask management for a key. When I got to the customer service desk, there was a gentleman there. When I asked him if I could have the restroom key, he gave me a very nasty look and demanded my driver's license. I asked him, "Are you serious?", and he replied, "Yes!"
Now, in all my years of shopping at different Big Lots stores, I had never experienced that before. And then, I noticed other customers in line looking over at me. Anyway, I obliged and handed him my license. Upon returning to the desk, there was different employee there - a young woman. When I asked for my license back, she said to me, "Ma'am, I am so sorry. I've never seen him do that to anybody before." So, right away, I was confused. It wasn't much longer that my confusion turned into humiliation, because I finally realized why all those people were looking at me that way. Then, my humiliation turned into anger. Later that evening, I went to my local Big Lots store - where I know all the employees, and none of them had ever heard of such a policy and told me that it was NOT Big Lots procedure to ask for a person's ID to use the restroom. And I was told that I was not the first person to complain about this gentleman. He had apparently just been promoted to that store as manager, and was throwing his weight around.
I am not at all in the habit of using the race card, but I am very curious as to why he would ask me for my driver's license, if that is not their store policy. My son and I were the only African American customers, and while I would hate to assume he was being prejudice, I cannot help but to feel completely disrespected. This young man is apparently new on the job and was trying to be a big shot, but it was simply a classless move and I will never shop at that store again.