Monday, April 28, 2014

How to not treat a customer

I try to use my blog for positive stuff, but I felt the need to share this with my local community.

Today, I went to the Exxon at 1318 Annapolis Road in Odenton, Maryland to fill up before I picked up my older son from school. This one is very convenient for me, so I probably frequent it at least 2 times a month. The last 2 times, there has been a sleazy-looking 20-something guy who was selling FW1 Wax. He was there again, today. This open letter is to him.  I hope his "manager," the employees of this Exxon station, and it's owner take note. You will no longer be getting my business because of what happened today. 

Dear FW1 Salesperson working at the Odenton Exxon,

You saw the pollen-covered white minivan and probably thought that I would be an easy target. I'm a busy mom who probably doesn't clean my car as often as I should. You have approached me the last two times I bought gas at this Exxon. Both times, I have told you that I'm not interested. This time, I thought I would save you a walk and told you I wasn't interested from 5 pumps away. You could have said "Okay, have a nice day" and turned around and walked back to your tent. Instead, you decided to continue your walk over to me just for the purpose of harassing me. I told you that you didn't need to come over and I wasn't interested yet again. Still, you continued walking over and claimed it was your job to check the trash cans and sell car wax. I asked you to please leave me alone. You changed your story and said that you were just throwing something in the trash. Sure, you had to pass 5 other trash cans to get to that one. I said that I was going to go lodge a complaint with the manager. You raced into the station to make sure the two clerks wouldn't talk to me or treat me like a human being. I had to unbuckle my preschooler and drag him into the station. Thanks for making both of the clerks not want to treat me like a human or to connect me with the manager or owner of the station. You taught my son that it's okay to treat women like they don't matter and that it's okay to harass them. 

I would like you to know that it's not okay to treat people like this. No mean no. I'm not interested means that you have no reason to continue talking or to act like I want to talk to you about your product. I am not gullible enough to buy a product for my car without research. The fact that you treated me in such a way in front of my child, shows that you have no respect for customers or women. What you did is harassment, plain and simple. You are a bully. I don't want my children to be a bully. I want them to tell the people in charge and to feel acknowledged. Your manager did nothing to help with that. You are a lucky jerk because of it, but it doesn't same much for your manager's attitude, either.

I doubt you will learn a lesson from today. I did speak with the manager of the Exxon station and he said that you would not be welcomed back. I hope this is true, but I doubt it is. I also spoke with FW1. They told me that they don't hire salespeople and have no control over who buys their product wholesale. They do not condone the behavior and gave me a contact number. I will be lodging a complaint with both them and with Exxon. 

We live in a culture that accepts bullying of adults and considers it normal. We accept that there is a "boys' club" that doesn't treat women the same way as men. If it had been my husband, I doubt you would have continued walking after he said he wasn't interested. 

Act like a man, not a boy. Treat women like human beings. No means no. Enough is enough. 

The suburban mom in a white minivan

I'd appreciate anyone who can share this blog. Hopefully, someone will read it and change their attitude as a salesperson. I worked in retail for a year. A simple "No thanks!" usually stopped me from pursuing any further contact. 

Thanks for reading my rant.