Sunday, July 10, 2011

Those are fighting words...

Here's a message to the 2 employees of Costco that made fun of a person of size in front of me. Newsflash: More than two-thirds of adults - 190 million people - are overweight or obese, which means chances are your mom, sister, granny, pop, your favorite Uncle Frank, are one of those 190 million. Think about one of them being on the receiving end of your nastiness.

My day... as I was leaving Costco I walked by a couple of 20-something male employees, one tapped the other on the arm and pointed toward a checkout line where a male customer of size stood and said, "Duuuude want a belly like that guy (made a hand gesture over his stomach) quit working out." They both laughed.

Oh no you didn't just 1.) make fun of a customer 2.) make fun of one of my peeps (I actually think he might have been a weight loss surgery post-op, a few tell-tale signs made me think this... excess arm skin (aka batwings) and about a stage 4 panniculus drop)

The crowd behind me propelled me toward the door and as I walked I could feel my blood pressure rising... I was getting hot, my eyes started to bulge, and I had a deep desire to walk back and shove my foot up their.... The check-your-receipt employee at the exit says, "How are you today?" I said, "Not so good. Is there a manager I can speak with?" He said, "Sure" and got on the PA and called for one to come to the front door. I stepped to the side to wait.

Paul, the manager came and I shared with him what had transpired. I said making fun of any customer is bad and would have angered me to hear but they made fun of this man's size in front of a woman who used to be 300 pounds so I especially felt the sting of their words as I had been on the receiving end of them too many times to count. I encouraged Paul to mention in a staff meeting that saying anything about a customer's physical appearance (or anything for that matter) is wrong and told him his employees needed some sensitivity training. To his credit Paul was very apologetic and said he would "take care of it" which is the standard line I know, but Paul seemed to be sincere. I believe he will, I hope he will take this opportunity to educate his employees.

Costco corporate office if you read this... along with some training of your employees, may I suggest making a donation to the Obesity Action Coalition to help them make a difference in reducing the negative stigma the obese face everyday.

Oh and by the way 20-something jerks... my nameless friend probably works out more then you both combined.

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52 comments:

paige said...

Brava! For every person with a nasty comment, there's *got* to be a friend or family member who also fits that nasty comment. And to say it as an employee IN the store about a customer, when other customers can hear?? That's a whole 'nuther level of dumb there. :(

Thank you for speaking up!!

*hugs!*

Trisha said...

Whale watch! Blubber face, SHAMOO, fat cow, Patty Fatty, these were all titles given to me through the years. All forms of harrasment and frankly bullying. Many of them were hurled at me as I was walking for exercise. The titles made me hate myself. I didn't really LIKE other fat people UNTIL I lost weight. Now I too feel that sense of "my people" whenever I see someone who is obviously struggling with weight issues.

Thank you for saying something, for standing up for all those who would never stand up for themselves because they feel they are worthless.

sasicas said...

Good for you for speaking up!

My Switched Scoop said...

Thanks for sticking up for us :) ... As someone who was 450lbs and is still on my road down the scale.. I have been on the receiving end of those many times before :( ... It sucks.

ThatKimGirl said...

Bellisima!! Good for you Shelly for doing the right thing and in the right way! Probably all of us have been there on the receiving end (I sure was on a couple of different occasions) and it hurts like mad. God bless you for doing what you did! Wonder if there is any way to shoot a copy of your posting to Costco? ; ) xo Kim

NHSkinnygirl said...

Great post Michelle. That goes on way to much in this country and you are right, we should all step up and voice concern when things like that happen....good for you!!!!

Brenda said...

Yea, for you. Thank you for standing up to them.

DiZneDiVa said...

Thank you for saying something to the manager... It should be common courtesy to not say hurtful things about others... but no one likes to be on the receiving end of the comments, but even so... People keep saying nasty things. I am glad that you kept it real, Indifference is what causes these things to continue. Keep Squashing the indifference! Virtual High-five to you!

Anonymous said...

Woo-hoo!!!! Thanks for saying something on behalf of all your peeps!! We appreciate it. I recently had the opportunity to do the same at a local store and it felt great! It was a similar type situation and I spoke to the manager and she was actually a post-op so she got it and was going to handle it.

Melissa said...

I LOVE that you spoke up! I am so tired of people who struggle with obesity being an "acceptable" group to pick on. Thanks for being an advocate!

amy rene said...

Ohhh reading your post just made my blood boil. They had NO RIGHT! Good for you for being outraged and even better for saying something about it.

Jen L. said...

Nice :) Glad you stood up for that person.

Michelle "Shelly" said...

I think part of me was standing up for myself too... for all those snickers, nasty comments, names I *pretended not to hear* as I walked in the mall, shopped in a store, went to a concert, walked down a plane aisle, etc. not too long ago.

Terry said...

Thanks for speaking up, Michelle. As a person who's sliding down the scale, I've heard things like that about me before and would have appreciated someone coming to my defense.

Thanks for saying something!

Dorothy Y said...

I am so proud of you for saying something to the manager. Your journey has not only empowered you, but empowers us daily. Thank you for all you do.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for saying something. Too many times I have heard hatefull words hurled in my direction and never said anything. But that will all change soon. My surgery will be oct. 5, 2011 and I will never let those words be directed to anyone while I'm around. Bless you.

winning714 said...

I am so proud of you!!!! I'd hope I would have done the same thing. I was 333 lbs and now 150 thanks to life-restoring bariatric surgery. I would have also mailed the corporate office. Their customers are also obese...these jerks just weren't. I also bet they weren't 10's either.
Thanks so much,
Linda Prock

Natalia said...

You go, Shelly. There is no excuse for that kind of insult. I'm glad the man in question didn't hear.

Anonymous said...

Good for you!
I just want to say again how appreciative I am that you did your 5 free giveaways last month. Me being the one who won the year subscription to OAC just makes me feel so much more in the loop.
Thanks,
Brooke

Melissa said...

You rock! The fact that you took the time to voice your displeasure means a lot, and I know your nameless friend would appreciate your advocacy. Thank you for speaking up!

Sending a big *hug* your way!

911spatcher said...

Fantastic! Glad you said something, what jerks

Samantha said...

As someone who has been on the receiving end of comments like this one (in public no less), I can't thank you enough for sticking up for all of us! Nothing can describe the shame that someone feels when one of these horrible things make it to the ears of an overweight person. Double thanks because I've always wanted to speak up but never had the voice!


Also, I'd like to know how send this to Costco to make sure they are reading and understanding this.

THANK YOU!

Cleo said...

Thank you Shelly - you really are great!

Amy said...

I'm so glad that you said something! Weightism is the one of the last where people make rude comments and get away with it.

People need to be educated.

Debyo84 said...

Thank you for sticking up for us!!

Debyo84 said...

Thanks for watching our backs!!

Jenn said...

I dont really have any words because it is upsetting that people are so ignorant still and think its fine to make fun of peoples' size and appearance, but it brought a smile to my face to hear what you did. We all need to follow your example.

Cheryl said...

Thank you so much for speaking up. I've done this in the past and will continue to do it. Weight issues are more than just putting down the fork and moving more for so many people and it saddens me that people can be so unfeeling and cruel. Kudos!

LisaB said...

Thank you for saying something. Why is it that alot of people think it is "okay" to make inappropriate comments to a larger person but would never make a racial slur!! My young daughter before her RNY was approached a the beach by an older woman who told her she was disgusting to let herself get like that. She was crushed. She had her surgery and lost 160 lb but that day still haunts her!!!

Chris said...

WTG SHELL!!!

You better believe I would have been there right beside you, only I would have walked up to the offenders and let them have it to their faces as well!!!

Jerks.

Andrea said...

Good for you!

Anonymous said...

Yeah Shelly!! You GO girl! I'm so proud of you for taking your time and energy to stop and talk with Paul about this discrimination!! And every person reading this SHOULD be OAC members!! I did it as a birthday present to myself ( along with the WLSFA). Please people, they need our help and we need theirs!!

Nanette said...

Kudos to you Shelly, you are right the manager will probably not do anything, but go on Costco's website and write to corporate office.

If 2/3 of American's were not overweight then we would not be buying in bulk at Costco, their profits would go down. I know not everyone over eats the bulk items that are bought there, but so many do, I mean Jees who needs a 8 pound box of tortilla chips and gallon of Nacho cheese.

Since I have had surgery I feel sad for those that are still struggling, as I know where they are, I want to tell them there is an answer if they want it. But I am afraid to say anything for they be offended as I used to be when people would push the latest diet craze on me.

Shelly for President!!

Caron said...

Awesome job!!! So glad you spoke up. Way to go!

T2Nashville said...

Go Shelly! Go Shelly! Go Shelly!

Lisa_Gibson said...

Amen sista'! It's wonderful that you took the time to tell a manager and try to change things. You rock!

Anonymous said...

Did I ever say how awesome I think you and your blog are! Thanks for all your support in so many ways!

Nana said...

Some of us have bodies that ain't so good, we all have our defects... I would say those employees have souls that have huge defects. What idiots.
I am glad you told that manager, he needs to know what kind of people are representing him out on that sales floor.

Lynette said...

you go girl!! Thanks for watching out for us!!!
Lynette

good goods & co said...

Good for you, Shelley. Just mean, ignorant, insecure and unempathic morons showing off.

Very well done.

CAROL BOWEN BALL said...

Shelley, you are one amazing lady and I salute you! I've never really been on the receiving end of abuse (heard or unheard) but know the damage it does. I wouldn't say in the UK we're more reserved but maybe selective of hearing!

I hope your blog encourages others to challenge those that bully and abuse those who don't conform to the 'average' sterotype (although what is the average these days?).

CAROL www.bariatricookery.com

Anonymous said...

Costco should understand that people can retaliate in a variety of ways...you choose to speak up but many others would choose to wield their economic power by switching to BJs or Sam's Club when their renewal is up. I do hope the message reaches their corporate offices and is taken seriously. Good for you for speaking up - regardless of the reason, saying nasty things about other people is wrong and if those guys needed to make him feel like a loser so they could feel good about themselves then we all know they're the losers.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all of your hard work, posts, and spirit.

Adrein said...

Way to go Shelly. That would have made me angry also.Glad you said something people need to be accountable for what they say.
Adrein

Ashley said...

Such sadness to hear such a thing. It honestly breaks my heart that people can be so cruel and insensitive. Way to go on talking to the manager and taking action! You are an inspiration Shelly.

sipsandsteps said...

Good for you for saying something to management.. Here is hoping he does something about it!

Anonymous said...

Good for you! I'm glad you said something. More people should speak up about what is/isn't acceptable.

Thank you.
Lora

Amy said...

Thanks for sticking up for us and telling us about it. I think once people start speaking up and letting others know that it is not okay, then more and more people will not tolerate this behavior. I just spoke up to a person who made a comment on FB re: a overweight person't clothes. If a thin person wore something ugly, no one would say boo about it.

Amy said...

This made me tear up! I'm so glad you said something. Too many times this type of thing is allowed to go on because there is no one to stand up for someone. And, as you know, many times the person on the receiving end is too humilitaed and hurt to say anything for themself (if they even hear what is said at all). People get away with being jerks and all this passes as acceptable behavior because no one is there to say "STOP! This is BS!!" Good for you for saying something to the manager. Little do those 20s guys know, some day they will be old and possibly overweight, or with a disability (car accidents happen every day, right?!?), or something else that "people" like to make fun of. I hope they will think about their actions next time--if they are even working there at all by this time, lol.

Crasylady52 said...

You go girl!! Kick some butt!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for speaking up Shelly. I was once called a "huge horse" at a blackjack table, in front of members of my family and a lot of other patrons. It hurt like hell. I am glad that the gentleman did not hear what was being said and so sorry that you did.

Nancy Martel (Scrappyknees) said...

Well said. I will always be an advocate for the overweight, whether I am obese or at a healthy weight. Making fun of obese people seems to be the last acceptable prejudice in our country. It is such a shame that people don't have more compassion. I'm so glad that you spoke up!