Sunday, September 16, 2012
I was ver pleased with the response that I received from an executive of this sports store.
Let me first and foremost apologize to you, I couldn't agree more, this is completely unacceptable and we will get this corrected so it never happens to anyone again.
I have cc'd our area manager, she will get a training plan in place for this store and provide corrective action to the staff member. Should you want to give us a second chance to earn your business please drop the area manager and I a note and we can arrange to have the area manager meet you at the store, she is really exceptional and I am sure we could WOW you again.
On a side note, I have to congratulate you on your success the last 8 weeks! Outstanding!!!
Thank you for bringing me into the loop, we will continue to work on our inventory to give you better options.
I saw an opportunity so here is my reply:
Thank you so much for your prompt an supportive reply. I trusted that your company has a vested interest in not only selling merchandise but encouraging people to become fit. This is evident through your website and the training programs that you offer.
Thank you for arranging some further training for staff. I am an elementary school principal and I work with some of the most vulnerable, at risk children in our area. Discipline means to teach. I often choose to not consequence students ( and staff for that matter) but spend time with them and teach them and help them to understand the feelings of others and harm caused.
People remember, not circumstances, but feelings; if your employee can truly understand how he made me feel then your job is done. Part of the psychological challenge of this journey is to learn to respect yourself and stop the negative messages. I have really focused on this part of my journey with the help of Sparkpeople. Unfortunately, when a situation happens like yesterday, the immediate reaction is self hatred and loathing for allowing oneself to have become obese and the message that one is undeserving of clothing or service.
I know that it is a leap to assume that the treatment I received could have been because of my size, but very sadly, this idea is borne from past experience in other retail establishments, especially clothing and sports stores. I use my experiences to help our students understand bias and stereotyping. The children and my staff are shocked to learn that I have been treated in condescending ways with the assumption that I am uneducated and of low socioeconomic status. I did so last year during our annual day of cultural understanding where we bring typically opposing cultures together or a day of friendship, play and learning. When I reveal this vulnerability to them, they only grow in their respect for me. I am so lucky to be working with the staff and students that surround me. I feel loved, respected and validated. They don't see my covering, they see me.
I also see challenges as opportunities. Perhaps this is one. I have searched high and low to buy athletic clothing that has the wicking technology available to regularly sized individuals. I have not been able to find a retailer in Canada. I did buy two shirts and two pairs of shorts from the U.S.. Unfortunately, U.S. retailers charge exorbitant shipping fees and most of the time the merchandise is processed through a customs broker that costs an additional $30-$40 dollars.
Perhaps your retail chain would consider stocking some clothing that would fit. If I were to walk into a store, have the staff member intuitively figure out that I am looking for plus size merchandise without me having to ask, if there was plus sized merchandise that could be browsed on a hanger or shelf that was not at floor level (despite my improved fitness, it is really hard on my back to bend over and look for things and crouching at this weight would result in permanent knee injury) and have the staff member have the mentality- wow this person is trying to get healthy- kudos to them, this would be a wonderful experience.
Currently, there is no clothing that I can buy in your store. I would love to be able to purchase a sports bra, pants tops and a jacket with reflective tape on it. I don't need 10 different styles and colors just one thing that will fit.
If you think you could get your hands on some merchandise for me I would love to purchase it.
Once again, I thank you for your prompt response to my email. Your efforts give me hope. I had to seek out inspiration for a renewed dedication to be healthier in July. On Sparkpeople.com you can find many incredible individuals who have been able to accomplish this through appropriate nutrition and exercise rather than drastic surgery or unsustainable, restrictive caloric intake. (I know, I have done them all including a medically supervised liquid diet twice).
There is a market out there either storefront or Internet.
Thank you again!