Woman mistreated in stores, business lost from racial profiling

This letter is in response to the treatment my wife received recently while shopping at several businesses in Ponoka.

Dear Editor:

This letter is in response to the treatment my wife received recently while shopping at several businesses in Ponoka. We do not live in Ponoka, but do shop there occasionally, as there are some fine stores that have amazing staff. Unfortunately there are some people who have such a strong prejudice toward assumed ethnicity they fail to provide equal service to all their customers. Here are two recent examples:

A staff member at a small gas station/convenience store was so certain my wife was trying to steal from her that she went out of her way to try to spy into her purse. While the salesperson was so busy implying my wife was trying to steal from the store three white punks were doing exactly that.

While trying to use a coupon at a local store she was told since she did not have a receipt to prove she had received the store coupon legitimately it would not be validated. This was a coupon that was supposed to be valid at any store within the chain— nothing on it to show restrictions outside of the usual sales items, tobacco, etc.

I know if I were to go into either of these two stores and follow the exact footsteps I took I would be treated very differently based on being a middle-aged white man. I have worked in retail, as well as other jobs, so I am fully aware of the challenges of operating a business. The bottom line is the customer pays you bills. I have actually found those of a pale heritage to be the biggest challenge, regardless, I always treat any customer as I would like to be treated. I would encourage all consumers to thank those who give good service and let those who treat you poorly know just why you will no longer shop at their store.

There are at least two stores in town that will never see another dime from my family. Their decision to judge a person by their colour means I can judge them with the colour of my money.

Something to consider as more people decide to shop outside of the small communities, it might not always be based on possible cost savings.

Robin Burns,

Rimbey

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