Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ignorance at its Best

I made a quick trip to shoprite today with Colin. While I was there, I heard an announcement several times for an employee to head to the dairy section with a mop. As I approached that area, there were several employees standing around the milk warning the customers of the mess on the floor. I grabbed what I needed to try and get out of their way quickly as another employee came from the back and appeared very flustered (she was also the same one who I heard making the announcement). One of the other employees asked her where the person was with the mop and she said "ugh, he's so retarded! This is why they shouldn't hire retarded people!".

I'm sure you can only imagine what my reaction was...
I froze. I felt burning/stinging tears in my eyes. My mind raced with something to say to this girl but I couldn't get anything out of my mouth. I looked down at Colin and he was as happy as could be smiling at me...which made those words feel so much worse.
I walked away because I just couldn't figure out how to handle the moment. I felt so mad at myself for not saying anything, but I honestly couldn't do it. It has bothered me all day so I did do something about it.
I sent an email to Shoprite (in a very professional manner) and told them what happened. I explained how hurtful the words were and why. I also told them that I understood there really wasn't much they could in response to my email to make me feel better. However, I asked that they please use that moment as a teaching moment for their employees. I included my blog with hopes that someone might take a look.
Fortunately, I had this little guy with me all day to keep a smile on my face. I know that I can not change every ignorant person in this world, but hopefully, by sending the email, at least one person has learned how hurtful words can be and at least one person was educated by Colin's and my experience today...

16 comments:

E.Coop said...

Wow, is pretty much all I can say, some people just don't understand. Sending the e-mail was a great idea. I hope they pass it along and teach others. Keep your head up!!!! Much Love

Denise said...

Way to go in sending the email. I don't know that I would have been able to do anything in the heat of the moment either. I hope you get some sort of response. Thanks for standing up for our kiddos!!

Runningmama said...

Oh how I am not looking forward to having an experience like this...Emily just turned 1 and we have managed to somehow miss the ignorance...but I know I will face it one day. I think you did the right thing, there's a chance a multitude of people will be educated because of your letter.

Jorie said...

Kel, you did the right thing today. I can't begin to imagine how you felt but hearing it now makes me sad...sad for those people that may never know the joy and love that Colin is bringing to everyone's world.

I know that you and Chris and Colin are making a difference in the world Kel...even if it is one person at a time!

We love you!

amy said...

kelli you are such a good, good person. i just wanted you to know that. :)

Rochelle said...

Kelli I believe God placed you at that store just at that moment for that very reason. Yeah for you sending the email. I pray that it will be a teachable moment for many people involved.

Kelly said...

Sorry that you had to experience that hurtful situation. I can only imagine how felt at that very moment. Good for you for sending an email and addressing the issue at hand. Colin is so lucky to have you for a mom and an advocate. Confrontation is a very difficult thing, but educating others on behalf of "OUR" children is ALWAYS OK!!! I hope they take the time to read your email and your blog!! And hopefully they address this issue with their employees! Ignorance......ugh!!!

Derek, Kenzee and Gage said...

Such a good example you are, that's for sure! I hope you hear back from them about a positive experience from it all. Thanks for sharing, Colin is a lucky boy to have such a wonderful mom!

Kristin said...

Ugh is right. I'd do the same thing. I keep thinking I need a 'canned' response ready to go, so when I'm in shock I don't have to think about a response, but every situation is different.

Becca said...

It sounds like you handled that BEAUTIFULLY. You can be pretty sure they will have a conversation with that employee or with the group of employees at that store. Don't feel like your letter will fall on deaf ears. Sensitivity and political correctness is more important these days than ever, and companies can't afford to lose business or have a lawsuit on their hands as a result of ignorant employees. Actually, your letter will probably do much more good than if you had thought of something to say at the time when you were still in the store. Good for you!!

Jenny said...

Uggg...this makes my heart ache a little. There are so many ignorant people in this world, makes me want to just keep Russell safe with me at home forever, but I know I cant do that. Good for you for writing to the store managment, you handled things beautifuly!

Cathy said...

Ughhhhh...that really stinks Kelli! I'm thankful that you had your little man to lift your spirits. Nice job writing the store on behalf of all our beautiful kiddos!!! (((HUGS)))

Emily said...

Good for you for sending the e-mail. I know it's only a matter of time until we all have to deal with something like that. You did great!

Lori said...

Sorry you had to deal with this, but it sounds as though you handled it beautifully.

Nana said...

I agree with all of the above comments! God bless your beautiful children! Hopefully those young people will be educated and at least one will learn something and fall in love with Colin like we all have! Thank goodness you have so much class and professionalism! You and Chris are GREAT parents to Colin!! Love, Nana

Melissa M said...

I'm sorry that this happened and I don't know that I would have been able to say anything right then either, and I know I would have been mad at myself later. I think you did a great job sending the email and I hope that the store takes some action, whatever it may be.