We Are People Too

I am writing on behalf of my nearly 3 year old daughter. She is autistic and often being in a store can create a situation that is difficult for her. The lights. The sounds and the staff all make the difference as to our experience, the employees experience and honestly the experience of the others in the store. Today, on a search for grey or white shoes we headed to Famous Footwear. With the amazing discount it was a great place to find school shoes for my kids. Seraphina walked in and immediately I knew it was going to be a challenge. There were only 3 other families in the store however the lights and heat outside set her off. She tried her best but within a couple minutes jumped on the cushions of the chair. I watched as customers clammed up and drew into themselves. I tried to sway her to sit and it was no use. She was ready to rock and roll and RUN. I asked my middle child to help watch her as I worked with my two other children but you could see, her hands were full. The young man shopping for school shoes just stared and I could feel my neck warming. The sales associate finished her transaction and checked on the other two families, they did not need help. I am certain I was noticed but no help was offered. I needed help. I had five children with me. One had special needs and I came in for the special that your site had offered. Pumas. They had white ones? I needed them. After the second check back with the other families I shouted to the clerk asking where the Pumas were. She noted they only had men's shoes and thank you for coming anyway. I wanted to shout. I wanted to leave. I wanted to make sure I was giving my kids what they needed. Shoes. After a couple minute I found a sale on basketball shoes and though its not yet the season I decided we would get them. As one of the families continued to stare I quickly tried them on my 9 year old and hustled to the register. I waited. At this point my nearly 3 year old was splayed across my abdomen. She had thrown her shoes off and her toys I brought with her were clasped tightly in her sisters hands. She didn't come. I made eye contact while standing at the counter and she simply turned around and went back to stocking shoes. I understand dealing with the public is taxing. I understand tantrums are a challenge and I understand bratty kids. My kids have been bratty more than once in their lives. I also understand customer service. I worked in the service industry for years. I also understand kindness and compassion. Sadly today Famous Footwear I was treated with such disgust that I wonder if I should ever return. It is my hope that you as a company learn from this instance and understand that all kids having a tantrum are not just brats. Some cannot contain themselves. Some cannot get it together and for some moms just getting up the energy and strength to get out with their children is a lot. I hope that others do not face this in the future. Sincerely, A Saddened Customer

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