Social media went mad, and so it should have, what a disgrace.
A young man, with his family were refused entry to a JB HiFi shop in QLD.
Apparently the security guard reviewed a photo on his phone and said
he 'looked like someone else who has Down syndrome'
What makes this event even worse, was that even after realizing the mistaken identity,
the security guard & manager refused to allow him entry.
The manager of the store after asking for an apology, added further insult to this event by boldly announcing "He would never, ever, ever get an apology" from him and that he had "the right to stop anyone he pleased from entering the store".
Although the manager & the security guard were WAY out of line, I also need to question JB's management and training procedures.
You would have thought, with such easy access to social media and a worldwide audience in seconds, that they may have realized they need to train their staff and management to behave in a manner that is respectful and humane to all!
Big and small organizations & businesses need to really understand the damage they do to their brand - as well as to the innocent individual and loved ones.
TRAINING 101...NEVER, EVER DISCRIMINATE AGAINST RACE OR DISABILITY
Sadly this type of discrimination from traders is not that uncommon.
Chloe & I have been affected. She went into a bookshop in Box Hill Melbourne
when she was 17 years old. I was in another store when I heard the most bloodcurdling roar...I bolted out of the store & into to alleyway to find Chloe, sobbing at the top of her voice. After calming her down, she told me the man in the bookshop kicked her out!!!
Well, i immediately turned into a ragging bull!!!
We marched into that shop, At first I was very contained & asked for an explanation.
His explanation..."children without their parents are not allowed in his shop."
"So you don't allow 17year olds in your shop?" I said, he replied, "Well yes, but not people under 10"
And I need to say at this point...Miss Chloe may be short, but with a very well developed body, she sure doesn't look 10yo!!!
"My daughter is 17yo, so what is your problem"
"Well I didn't know she was that old...I thought she was 10"
"So you didn't think to ask her????"
Eyes down, lots of fidgeting: " Huummm, well no...."
After warning him that what he had done was illegal & I am thinking of reporting him to the discrimination board he came out with this little gem:
"I don't discriminate against people with disabilities....I SELL RAFFLE TICKETS FOR THEM EVERY YEAR"
Yet he doesn't give (the people with disabilities) even the slightest respect to ask them how old they are...probably assumed she can't talk.... BUT he thinks buying a raffle ticket is enough!!!
The very sad thing about these incidences is that the traders never realize in the long term the lingering damage this kind of attitude does to the families.
8 years on & I still have a knot in my stomach every time Chloe enters a store or restaurant alone...
Life for families with a loved one with a disability is not an easy journey.
Hows about organizations start jumping on the support wagon and making a ZERO tolerance rule against any type of discrimination.
People with disabilities and their families are only asking to be treated with the same reverence you treat your other customers.
NEVER assume...just ask...and acknowledge...
It really ain't that hard....just an attitude change & some training in how to treat people.
Chloe & I would be more than happy to come to your training days and talk about how people with disabilities are more alike than different then anyone else.