redngold
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Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:22 am

Aaaah a topic for Greg to weigh in on.

I experienced my first episode of public discrimination today... I was ejected from a store because of my rather loud tics.

Recently, due to my medication adjustment and high anxiety level, I have developed some tics, mostly vocal but also including an increase in arm shaking (which I've always done) and general shivering. I try to keep them down but after work today (during which I suppressed them pretty well) I went to a bookstore that usually closes around 6-7 PM (when the guy opens it according to regular schedule.)

Well, today was a difficult day so when I went in there I was ticcing all over the place. The guy rents the space, and he's pretty eccentric, and the books are supposed to be arranged by subject but I've found them scattered all over. This was my third visit in three weeks, and I was just about done walking through the whole store. When I walked in he says, "It's good to see you again" and he had to repeat it twice because his door was wide open on a main street and the noise from a passing bus made me basically deaf. Then I said, "oh, thank you, it's nice to see you, too."

So I went in the back of the store where I hadn't looked through yet, and I knew I was making some noise but I figured it wasn't too bad, since I was in an area that should have been muffled. These noises are like grunts and hiccups. I browsed for about forty-five minutes and found two books that I wanted.

Well, I guess the guy heard me. He never came up to me to ask if I was OK or to tell me I was creating a disturbance. So I took the books up to his desk and he says "what are you drunk or something?" I said, "no" and then he says "are you high or psychotic or what? You were making all those noises" so I start to tell him I have OCD and tics and I hand him the books, pulling up at my purse.

He told me to get out.

I said, "what?" and he said, "get out" and I started to say, "I'm sorry I made the noises, I didn't know it was bothersome" but he cut me off and told me I wasn't allowed in his store anymore.

So I left, without the books, and I went out to my car. I started driving away, but then I thought, maybe if I go back and ask to talk with him, he'll listen and understand and I can get those two books.

So I turned around, drove back and parked, then walked to the door of his store (which was still wide open) and called to him, "Sir, could I speak with you for a moment?"

He comes flying up at the door saying something like, "I knew I should have locked the door just because of this" and slams the door in my face and locks it. I never touched the door or set foot inside, kept my distance on the sidewalk. I said, "I think this is discrimination" and he mumbled something about "I can deny service any time." So I stood there, like an idiot, talking through the one-inch crack in the door, at this point I was upset enough that I wanted to say my piece even if he wasn't right there, because I knew he was within earshot.

Without any foul language, tears, or shouting or anything, I said something like:

Sir I didn't know I was causing a problem, I just wanted to find a book. I like to read and you have a great store and I read to find out about my condition and to learn about other people. You said it was great to see me when I came in, and now you don't want me in your store. If you had told me there was a problem I would have tried to control my tics. But you don't even give me a chance and it's wrong. I told you I'm not drunk or high, and I have a disability, and you're discriminating. Don't bother calling the police, because I'm leaving now, but what you've done is wrong.

Then I left.

So now I've printed out the appropriate law and information about OCD and Tourette's syndrome (the closest I can get to explaining my own tics) and I guess I'll send it to him in the mail. Maybe if he won't listen, he'll read, like he does when people come into his store. Today he was reading a large book, I think it was a Bible.
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Nancy
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:54 am

Yeah, sounds like discrimination to me. Businesses must make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. I think that informing you that you might be disturbing people before rudely throwing you out is reasonable. He also indicated that he thought it might be due to a disability when he asked if you were psychotic. You may want to contact the Center for Independent Living in your area. If they can't help directly, they may be able to direct you to someone who can. You should, at the very least, be able to give people your money.
 
Greg
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:58 am

I responded privately.
Brgds.




 
redngold
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Sun Jun 13, 2004 3:43 am

Yesterday I went back to the store to see if the guy would let me buy one of the two books. After what he did, I think he's the one who might have a serious mental problem.

I walked in and he wasn't at his desk; he was in the back room. I stopped three feet from the door and waited for him to come out. When he come out, he said "You have to leave" and just walked right past me. I followed him back out the door and told him that all I wanted to do was buy one of the books that I had been interested in and then I would leave. He went out of his store (I followed him out, several feet behind him) and went to the corner, about twenty yards away. I stood near the door of his store and asked him for his name, and he wouldn't tell me, so I told him I was filing a complaint with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. This is how the conversation went:

Him: Please don't file a complaint.
Me: I won't file a complaint if you don't discriminate. All I want to do is buy a book and then I'll leave.
Him: Please don't hurt me (pacing at the corner, avoiding eye contact)
Me: I'm not going to hurt you. I just want to get the book.
Him: No. Please don't hurt me. (looking distressed)
Me: I'm not going to hurt you. I don't want to hurt you; I want to be friendly and now I'm starting to worry about you. Why do you think I'm going to hurt you?
Him: Please don't hurt me.
Me: I'm not even close to you, Sir. All I want is the book, or your name.
Him: I'll tell you my name. (smiling and shaking his head)
Me: Fine. What is it?
Him: I'll tell you my name.
Me: Okay, then. I'll write it down and then I'll leave.
Him: You're trespassing. (pointing his finger at me and grinning)
Me: I'm standing on the sidewalk, I'm not inside your store. I just want to buy the book and get out of here, but if you won't sell it to me, then I need your name.
Him: In a minute it's going to be aggravated trespassing.
Me: I'm standing on a public sidewalk, Sir. Now what is your name?
Him: You should be institutionalized.
Me: I've been in treatment for years and I have most of my symptoms under control. I'm actually worried about you now. What is your name?
Him: I'll tell you my name (grimacing)
Me: Then what is it, Sir?
Him: My name's not Sir. (pacing and grimacing)
Me: I'm calling you "Sir" because I don't know your name. I'll call you by your name if you tell me what it is.
Him: My name's not Sir.
Me: I'm concerned about you now. You're not making sense. All I want is either the book or your name. One or the other.
Him: I'll tell you my name (starts walking towards me, passes me to the door of his store, behind me)
Me: Okay, what is it? (I turned to the wall, to write his name on a piece of paper)
Him: (Grabs the door, slams it and locks it.)
Me: (through the door again) I'm filing a complaint!

I'm no more qualified to judge his mental status than anyone else on the street, but I'm not sure he's all there. The combination of him and his premises looking terribly shabby during my last few visits (previously he had been clean-cut and the place had been well organized) and his inability to respond in a proper manner, makes me suspect that he has his own issues that are out of control. I called the Ohio Civil Rights Commission when I got home, but I'm not sure this guy can even understand the nature of my complaint. Meanwhile, there are other places to get the books I wanted. I'll just have to do it on-line, I guess.


redngold
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prosa
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Sun Jun 13, 2004 11:35 am

That's shameful. That man must be a real ignoramus.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
emiratesa345
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Sun Jun 13, 2004 12:26 pm

Redngold,

Although he had absolutely no reason to do what he did the first time, I think you going back there was where you crossed the line.

Whether or not he was "discriminating" (which I agree, he was), I thought he made it very clear that he did not want you there (if the conversation went as you say).

What you should have done was left immediately, went home, and then called your Human Rights Commisions or whoever the appropriate authorities would be.

It seems as if you were trying to provoke by going back there a second time. I can understand the first time, because I too would be thinking,
"Wait a minute, that did not just happen."

After he locked the door in your face, it should have been clear that you were not welcome. Although it's unfortunate, that's how it is. He lost a potential customer, and possibly many more when others hear about this.

I would also call your BBB (Better Business Bureau) and let them know what happened too. I'm sorry if my thoughts are not what you wanted to hear, but that's what they are.

EmiratesA345 Smile/happy/getting dizzy




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VonRichtofen
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Sun Jun 13, 2004 12:59 pm

Go to the local media. That'll bring an apology from him quickly.
 
flyingbronco05
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Sun Jun 13, 2004 3:15 pm

Redngold

You are from the USA?

Why don't you file a complaint? If nothing is done after that, then sue him!

FB05
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L-188
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Sun Jun 13, 2004 3:26 pm

So Greg, any hints on what you are billing him  Laugh out loud

If this is a national chain or a local store?

If it was the latter Redngold, they probably have a VP that is in charge of Customer Service, and possibly one dealing with ADA issues(probably employee not customer issues). Find out who they are and then drop them the letter.

Nobody sends VP's mail when they have complaints, usually go to the presidents who get tons of it. So you might actually get a response since the VP's mail load is that much less.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
jwenting
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Sun Jun 13, 2004 4:49 pm

do the US thing: sue him for a few million... Isn't that what you people always do?
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redngold
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:49 am

Emirates --
I went back thinking maybe after a day he would have thought it through and realized that I was no danger. I had every right to go back since the grounds on which he ejected me the day before were illegal.

Everyone who mentioned "BBB" --
The Better Business Bureau does not handle discrimination complaints.

Everyone who suggested "sue" or "go to a higher authority" --
I will not sue this guy, for several reasons. First of all, he rents and operates the store as owner/operator, so there's no "higher authority" except for making a discrimination complaint via the OCRC. Second of all, I know some of the man's history and as he is a Christian, I will not sue him; rather I will look to the OCRC as a mediating party. That is the Biblical thing to do.


As I mentioned before, I'm somewhat concerned that he's got a problem far worse and/or out of control than my own. He's made his position clear, no matter how illegal or irrational, and I will not go back there until my complaint is addressed. There are larger, more organized and friendlier places I can patronise for my reading material.


redngold
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emiratesa345
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Tue Jun 15, 2004 2:44 am

"Emirates --
I went back thinking maybe after a day he would have thought it through and realized that I was no danger. I had every right to go back since the grounds on which he ejected me the day before were illegal."


You don't seem to understand. Although you had every right to go there, you had no reason to. You knew what his thoughts on you being there were (whether they were right or wrong). You were not welcome. The "right" thing to do was go to another book store and let the appropriate authorities deal with the issue.

EmiratesA345
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mlsrar
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Tue Jun 15, 2004 3:09 am

The "right" thing to do was go to another book store and let the appropriate authorities deal with the issue.

Why should that become a necessity? She had every right to go in and purchase the book there. Her handicap was, from what I have read, by no means intrusive or disruptive to the flow of business, nor to the customers.

I would involve the American Disability Association, and notify them. They would likely be able to forward you in the right direction regarding your legal rights, and how(if) you would like to pursue litigant action against the storeowner/manager.

Lawsuits do not accomplish much, unless you feel you're entitled to monetary compensation for your stress. I would rather pursue a more creative avenue, and see if you can get the court system to force this guy to attend sensitivty classes, draft up an apology on a large placard to be displayed in front of the store, or do community-service building handicapped accessible buildings or cleaning bathrooms. (All sentences I have seen handed out that seemed quite effective)
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kevi747
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Tue Jun 15, 2004 3:50 am

Him: Please don't hurt me (pacing at the corner, avoiding eye contact)
Me: I'm not going to hurt you. I just want to get the book.
Him: No. Please don't hurt me. (looking distressed)
Me: I'm not going to hurt you. I don't want to hurt you; I want to be friendly and now I'm starting to worry about you. Why do you think I'm going to hurt you?
Him: Please don't hurt me.
Me: I'm not even close to you, Sir. All I want is the book, or your name.
Him: I'll tell you my name. (smiling and shaking his head)




He sounds like a psycho to me. Stay away from that. You just need to find a new bookstore to do your shopping at.

Trust me, I learned the hard way. Last month I had a psycho on one of my flights who was pacing up and down the aisles and threatening the other PAX and flight attendants. So I thought I'd be the one to try and talk some sense into him. I walked up to him and said, "Sir, I'm going to have to ask you....." and before I could finish my sentence he punched me so many times in my face. I didn't know what had happened. Well, it took myself (6'2"), the purser working the flight (Also male and 6'1"), and four male PAX to restrain and flexcuff him. And he was little, too. And then he proceeded to curse me out at the top of his lungs for the rest of the flight. (Thank God we were only 20 minutes out from JFK.)

Anyway, the point is, if you can avoid a confrontaion, its best to do so.




"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." --Stephen Colbert
 
redngold
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Tue Jun 15, 2004 4:20 am

Yeah, I've had it with him, I'm not going back.

Emirates: what *you* do not seem to understand is that I *did* have a valid reason to go back there -- to purchase the books I hadn't been allowed to buy the first night. I had hoped the guy would have the sense to realize his errant judgement. I went to buy the books or get his name, one or the other, just as I said. No ulterior motives at all.

One of the things that bothers me is that a lot of people read more into my actions and statements than there is. I worked through a lot of anger before I decided to go back there on Friday night. I wanted to make sure that I had the right motives and the right attitude about it if I was going to go back. I even said a prayer before I walked in again. Hey, at least "nobody got hurt" in a physical sense. It could be worse.

I guess I've said enough on this. BTW, I'm really not as upset about this as I was when I first posted. It's water under the bridge now. I just hope the guy doesn't alienate anyone else like he did me. He doesn't have enough customers to do that.


redngold
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emiratesa345
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Tue Jun 15, 2004 4:33 am

You were unwelcome there. He made that very clear. By going there after he told you not to, you were asking for trouble, indirectly. Although you will not agree, it's true. Of course, you feel as if you were the victim, and you were, you seem to think that you were completely in the right and he was in the wrong. This is not the case. However by going there the second time after he told you not to, you were not doing anyone any good. Why was it sooooo important for you to get that book from that bookstore? Why not just go to Chapters or Cole's or somewhere else?

I'm not looking further into your actions, I'm just providing you with my opinion on the matter, seeing as how you posted it here, open for discussion.

EmiratesA345
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redngold
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Wed Jun 16, 2004 12:14 am

Why was it sooooo important for you to get that book from that bookstore? Why not just go to Chapters or Cole's or somewhere else?

Unlike you, I am a librarian skilled at determining the availability of a title. Title searching is a very important part of my job, and I do it several times a month. I know how to search may different databases and make comparisons for price, condition and prompt delivery.

The book I wanted is out-of-print, very rare, and not available through a regular bookstore or any of the local libraries. I checked all of those sources before I went back. This man was selling it for $2 flat, and I didn't want to order it online at a premium from a rare book dealer, plus s&h, if I could get it immediately from a local source.


redngold
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Aloha717200
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Wed Jun 16, 2004 1:06 am

RednGold, your last post makes perfect sense. I'm a bit of a collector (of music) myself and I know that when you see something rare and affordable, purchasing it becomes important.

EmiratesA345 seems to have no sensitivty on this subject. You were well within your rights to attempt once more to reason with the guy. Especially if you intend to file a complaint. Let's say that he was just having a bad day the first day, but the next apologized and let you in.

But twice in a row is certainly grounds for filing a complaint.

Now I don't know what these "tics" are, don't sound too pleasant. But the man himself, just by how he reacted on the second day does sound in need of help himself...he seems to have an aversion to any person who's a bit "different", probably scared of people of different races too I'd imagine.


File a complaint. It's important because while it may not anger you as much now, this guy could go on and do the same thing to other people. If you file a complaint, this nonsense can be stopped, at least at his store. There's lots of hurdles but it can be done.

So if not for yourself, then for others, file a complaint.
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Wed Jun 16, 2004 1:17 am

The book I wanted is out-of-print, very rare, and not available through a regular bookstore or any of the local libraries. I checked all of those sources before I went back. This man was selling it for $2 flat, and I didn't want to order it online at a premium from a rare book dealer, plus s&h, if I could get it immediately from a local source.

I'd recommend sending a friend in to purchase that book on your behalf as soon as possible.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
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Aloha717200
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Wed Jun 16, 2004 1:41 am

Excellent idea, EA CO AS.
 
prosa
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Wed Jun 16, 2004 2:09 am

The book I wanted is out-of-print, very rare, and not available through a regular bookstore or any of the local libraries. I checked all of those sources before I went back. This man was selling it for $2 flat, and I didn't want to order it online at a premium from a rare book dealer, plus s&h, if I could get it immediately from a local source.

Even if you had wanted a copy of The DaVinci Code, you still had a legal right to enter that store - or, put differently, the proprietor had no right to exclude you. There are certain grounds on which a business otherwise open to the public can exclude certain peoiple, for existence people who've been caught shoplifting, but disability is not one of them.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
redngold
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Wed Jun 16, 2004 3:51 am

I've now found the book through a possible source of interlibrary loan from somewhere outside my local area. Hopefully they'll be able to supply a copy.

I appreciate everyone's input, whether or not it's sympathetic.

Emirates - I do understand your point, which would apply if I had been causing a disturbance on purpose or otherwise acting in a dangerous manner (no matter whether a person is mentally ill or not, being a danger to one's self or others is grounds for ejection.) But I was not posing a danger to anyone, and making people uncomfortable is not grounds for ejection.

That's all, folks!
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azo
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Wed Jun 16, 2004 7:05 am

You only sue people who are not Christians?
Kalamazoozoozoozoozoozoozoo
 
toddy333
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Wed Jun 16, 2004 7:21 am

i'm sure many people here have worked in a service industry? (im thinking airports/planes being the main thing!) well, as its the summer holidays from uni at the moment, i am working in starbucks full time, and i really had no clue just what high percentage of the population are absolutely crazy!!! was anyone else completely shocked when they realised this when first starting work in the service industry?! (i am commenting on the book store owner here, not the poor customer on the recieving end!!)
 
redngold
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Wed Jun 16, 2004 8:05 am

AZO -
I didn't say that. I said it is unbiblical for one Christian to sue another. Let's not diverge on that point - if you want the info, e-mail me and I'll send you the passage.

Toddy333 -
I am in education, but in a customer service role. If I'm crazy, I don't know who else isn't!  Nuts
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aa757first
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RE: Discriminated Against! "Denial Of Service"

Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:00 am

I will not sue this guy

That, IMO, is an excellent choice. Good for you!

AAndrew

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