I visited the local GC Mart Sunoco gas station in Grove City, Ohio on a Sunday morning around 9:00am to pick up a few items. As I approached the counter, the young man (cashier) at the register was complaining about something to a female standing outside of the counter area. He appeared to be agitated about something. I pulled out my card to pay and was going to hand it to him when he said in an agitated voice Debit or Credit and waved his arm toward a card reader far to my left. I said to him, You don't have to be rude about it. He immediately became hostile. He said that he didn't care and that it was my problem. He became increasingly belligerent, so I asked him for his manager's name. He said, I don't care, I will give you the owner's name. He started to write the information on a piece of paper. Then the female chimed in and said, It's rude for you to be on your phone, did you ever think of that? I told her I saw no signs restricting cell phones and what did that have to do with him being rude? The young man then tore the paper up and began to curse. He said, F**** it, I'm not giving you anything. I told him that he had to give me the information. He said, No, I don't have to give you anything, you are not an F**** ing cop.
Then what came out of his mouth completely floored me, he began making sexually harassing comments - so bad that I will not repeat them on a public Website. I told him he had no right to speak to me in that manner. The girl just stood there smiling. He continued to repeat himself then walked from behind the counter past where I was standing. I don't know if his intent was to intimidate me by walking out there but he was about 6ft tall and towered over me. I told him he had crossed the line; I was furious but knew I wasn't going to get anywhere so I went outside to my car and started writing down the sequence of events. The girl came outside from the side door so I asked her who she was, and she said, I'm the manager. I asked her what her name was and she said, I don't have to tell you that. She had never identified herself in the store as the manager nor did she attempt to diffuse the situation. I asked her, "If you are the manager why did you let him talk to me in that manner." She said, I can't control his actions but I talked to him about it. I said, You stood there and didn't say a word and both of you need to be fired." I told her she had no business being a manager if she couldn't manage people. She continued to bring up the fact that I was on the cell phone. I told her I had been talking to a co-worker who was now a witness to the entire incident.
I had never met either of these individuals before, in the many times I have been in this store. I was appalled at the way I was treated. He crossed the line in so many different ways it is hard to know where to begin, simply because I commented about him being rude to me. I was dressed in bummy clothes, no makeup, and don't necessarily look my age. I think the young man thought I was some kid, made some assumptions about me, and felt that he could talk to me however he wanted. I am a professional business woman with a Master's Degree but that does not matter, no customer regardless of sex, income, race, etc. should ever have to endure this kind of treatment.
I contacted the owner the next morning, who asked me to give him a couple days to review the video tape and talk to the employees. He also said the female in the store was a manager but not of Sunoco. I expressed my concerns about her misrepresenting herself as the manager of his Sunoco station.
Eight days later, I had not heard back from the owner so I recontacted him. He stated he talked to the two people working but needed to talk to some "other people". He said he "believed me over this employee" but he couldn't see anything more than some discipline coming out of this and he was not allowed to tell me what the discipline would be. He asked if I wanted him to call me back and I said, Of course I want you to call me back but I don't understand why if you can't tell me anything? I told him I would not come back in this store if that cashier was still working there and that this employee is putting himself, the store, and others at risk treating people that way. I asked for the Sunoco's corporate number and stated I would continue to pursue my complaint at a higher level.
I have contacted the Sunoco corporate office twice, but still have not heard from anyone in their office. This was a personal attack and sexually harassing attack, all because I suggested to him that he should not be rude to his customers. I want to ensure that no customer ever has to endure being treated in this manner. Since when is it acceptable in our society to treat customers this way, and for managers to look the other way.
Grove City, Ohio