cultural diversity training by customer

I was shopping at my regular supermarket today and encountered a new employee at the meat department.  This supermarket is known for its excellent customer service, by the way.

The new employee that served me tossed the package across the counter to me.  I was shocked at his cultural ignorance since this part of town serves a number of Asian customers.  I took the opportunity to tell him that the next time he serve Asian customers, to hand them the product instead of tossing it.  (In many Asian cultures, tossing things to a person is viewed as rude and disrespectful.)  

This employee responded with "But you are in America!"  

I told him his supermarket serves a diverse population.  Even though I had more shopping to do from his department, I had enough of this fool.  

At checkout, I asked to see the store director.   I told him my experience today.   His wife is from the same part of the world that I'm from, so he is much more aware of appropriate manners when interacting with international customers.

The store director apologized for the experience I had with the employee and will talk to him.  He then asked me what other items I was going to get from the meat department.  He would get them for me so I don't have to go back there.

He came back with my items and said, "No charge.  Thank you for the opportunity for us to be better.   And I'm sorry."

This store director made things better with his attitude.  And I will keep shopping there because he does not tolerate ignorance in serving customers from diverse background either.  

I don't want the employee to get in trouble, and asked the director if this jeopardizes his job.  "No."   But the director will use this as an opportunity to train the new employee.

I applaud the store director for his action.  And I am glad I took the time to share my experience with him.  Other than the stress it caused me, it was a win-win-win.




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