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Safeway / conduct unbecoming of the store manager named michael

1 5146 STEVENS CREEK BLVD, SAN JOSE CA 95129Santa Clara, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 408-556-0614


This incident of harrassment by a Safeway Store Manager happened today, June 9, 2008 at around 5:15 in the afternoon.

I was buying a cake for a birthday party, I asked Maribel (in charge of bakery) to print the "Annie Happy Birthday". She said she will call someone bec. she does'nt know how to and she's just helping in that department. She called Michael R. the manager. I told him use color green frosting. I noticed that he is writing directly on top of the cake that has a lot of white chocolate shavings. I ask him if he can use a plastic on top of the cake and that is where he is going to write bec what he did doesn’t look good. He said they run out of that plastic. So I told him, it's okay don't print happy birthday anymore. He asked "are you sure"? and I said yes. He then ask Maribel to put it in the box, this Maribel is trying to fit the 8 inches cake to a small box because she said they run out of box for that size of cake. So Michael R., took the black round cake plate and tried to put the plastic cover which was too small for the cake too. apparently they run out of the taller cover too, but he keep on looking and looking and pulling containers from the cabinet where they put the supplies for boxes and he is starting to get upset. So I said "I'm not getting that cake anymore, I've been waiting for almost an hour already, I'll just get this one"; referring to another cake on display and already in a prepared container. He got very upset and told me “I will give you that cake for free but I want you to know that I do not like the way you talked to us and treat my employee” among other things and he was yelling at me. When I told him that I am a customer who is just telling him what I want, he angrily and arrogantly retorted "that is not acceptable, you have to go out of this store. Go out of this store, you are very rude to my staff, leave this store if not I will call security, I will call police, etc". So I told him, "Why are you doing this to us, we did not do anything wrong, why are you harassing us?” This time people are all looking at us. Some are laughing, some are just looking because he is yelling and pulling the cart from us. We were so scared, we were so embarrassed, and I feel that I am being harrassed by this person because I am an Asian, I was stammering because I was scared and embarrassed and can't speak clear English.
Because I really needed the cake and ice cream for the birthday party, I stayed by the counter and paid for those, but Michael R. continued to embarrass and humiliate us by telling us to leave the store and also said that he will get the tape receipt because he will use it to file a complaint against me”. All the while, Maribel was also repetitively telling us “leave the store, get out of here now, he doesn’t want you here, you have to leave now”. So after paying, we approached the exit door and I started to make a call on my cellphone. Then we noticed another employee named Greg was looking at us so I told him “you saw what happened, right? We were not doing anything, but he was shouting at us and telling us to leave”. He said he doesn’t really know what happened so I started to tell him what happened but Michael R. barged in and told us again to leave the store. Greg told us that we really have to leave because the law says that when the manager wants us to leave then it is against the law to stay and we are trespassing. So, feeling bad and humiliated as we were, we left the premises.

In my 14 years of residence in California, I never thought that I will be subjected to such an unfortunate and humiliating experience. And on top of it, Michael R. harassed me in front of other people and of my sister who is a tourist and this gave her a very ugly impression of the kind of treatment an Asian like me got in a country where human rights is supposed to be upheld and respected more than anywhere else in the world.
This incident should not happen again. Michael R. does not deserve to be a manager, he does not have the right to harass and treat customers that way. If he continues to work as a manager, I’m sure this will happen again, because he abuse his authority as a manager and feels that he can throw out anybody when he’s upset. I am hoping for your action on my complaint against Michael R.

Very truly yours,

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  • Cc
      11th of Jul, 2008
    +1 Votes

    I have read this and diaagree fully. I have been a customer where Mr. Michael Restivo first started, the one on Almaden and Curtner. Mr. Restivo has been the highlight of every store he has worked at. He knew all his usuals by first name basis and was kind to all regardless of race, gender, &/or age. I know Mr. Restivo has been with Safeway for many years and has put his all into his job.

    All in all, I am sure their maybe days where customers push retail people to the extent. Mr. Restivo knows how to keep his ground and never gets frustrated unless pushed to the limits. He is the most helpful and understanding employee by far. I hope this brings peace of mind and understanding to other customers. Let us recognize retail employee's by how they help every day customers with their needs, and not find the negative outcome.

    Kind regards,


  • Pa
      12th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    Please...You know this guy that well even though he moves from store to store? You sound like an inside writer. Are you Mr. Restivo by chance or maybe his wife?

    The customer is always right unless they are trying to defraud the store which in this case they obviously weren't. Be patient. Be polite and we will find the positive.

  • Sa
      30th of Apr, 2018
    0 Votes

    so why they stupid?

  • Fo
      20th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    1) Safeway moves their managers every 6 months unless they feel they need more time to learn in a particular store in a particular environment. The fact that Michael was moved from one store to the other means he had knowledge that the company wanted him to share with other teams in other stores.

    2) I worked with Michael Restivo for 5 years at Safeway, (before he went into the management program, when he was still considered a "PIC" -person in charge-, and he was THE BEST employee and manager in the store. He knew all the customers by name. He knew all the procedures, and we could always ask him for help, and he would help us willingly. He NEVER complained. He NEVER treated people (customers or employees) disrespectfully. When he was promoted (which by the way happens when someone is qualified to be promoted) left for another store after almost 10 years at the Curtner location, customers specifically said they missed him and wished he would come back. He is not racist. He is not prejudiced. He goes out of his way to help every customer- above and beyond what is required.

    3) The customer, most definitely IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT. The people that work in the retail and grocery industry are there to help you and service you, but they are not SERVANTS. They deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. If a customer is rude and disrespectful, they forfeit their right to being treated respectfully. Respect is earned. I don't care if you are the one paying for the groceries. You don't get to treat people badly just because you are the customer.

    I find this story very curious. I have every confidence that this incident was instigated by the customer. (Especially since entire chunks of conversation seem to be missing from the account.)

    You would be lucky to come in contact with this manager, and although I am not in the grocery industry any longer, if I ever got the oportunity to work with him again, I would take it in a heartbeat!

  • As
      12th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    After my own run-ins with Safeway managers, I have to agree with original poster. Manager could be the nicest guy-most of the time. But completely losing it with a customer is inexcusable. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  • Le
      29th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    The text written by A. Rothman should be posted at every retail store in America ... it is amazing how many people enjoy browbeating service people in the attitude that they are the MAJESTIC CUSTOMER and this parlays royalty upon their miserably useless existences. Cooperation and reasonable attitudes should BE THE LAW! Thanks, A.
    Walt Landers in San Jose

  • Le
      29th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I credited Rothman, when it should be writer Paul. Sorry. wl

  • An
      11th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    Walt Landers,

    I couldn't agree more! I mean, why the ### would you want your cake in a box?! Put that ### in your pockets like everyone else!

    I live near Mr. Michael Restivo and that guy is a douche nozzle without rival.

  • Sa
      7th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    I have no doubt that this experience was greatly exaggerated by the customer. Does anyone here really believe that the manager of Safeway would threaten to call the police on a woman because she refused to pay for a botched birthday cake? This is ridiculous. Reviews and complaints are only helpful to other consumers when they are truthful!

  • Cu
      21st of Mar, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Does anyone find it odd that the original writer would wait through all of the mishaps of the cake writing, box finding and everything ("almost an hour") to then push two people who are already at a disadvantage because they don't work in the bakery and it is dinner time (rush time I'm sure for the store.) to then go Oh well i'll just get something else. Seems pretty spiteful to me and one of the many reasons I don't work in customer service anymore. Also why would a Manager threaten to call the police then ring them up for the items. Main point here, looks like people were working really hard to please the customer and instead of hey thanks, they got accused of being prejudice and harassment. Sounds like the writer was the person harassing the Safeway people.

  • Zo
      21st of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    The language barrier crutch is weak.
    14 years and you can't order a birthday cake?
    I live in the Philipines for 3 yeqars - and within 6 months I could conduct basic transactions in Tagalog.
    I picked up enough spanglish in San Diego to get by there too.

    If I were that flustered, I would have simply walked.

    And I wouldn't have bought a different cake - I would have shopped elsewhere.

  • 14
      19th of May, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Dear Crazy Stuttering Asian Person,

    I told you before to shut the ### up but you wouldn't leave my store. You were blabbing about noodles or some ### and starting to disturb the other customers. "Wax on wax off" doesn't mean you can speak English, especially in my bakery where we blurp the mother out of people 5 times a minute. Please go to Trader Joe's in future, where the parking spaces are bigger for DWAs.

    And when you learn to speak English, try learning about paragraphs too.

    Michael Restivo
    Store Manager, Mother###er

  • Fl
      6th of Sep, 2009
    0 Votes


    This lady is obviously not telling the whole truth. I think that she must of used profanity or verbally abused the bakery employee or something that is offensive to other customers. This is 1 of reasons he would ask a customer to leave. Safeway is a family oriented company and we don't want the rest of our customers be subject to this behavior.

    I worked with Michael for many many years.

    I've watched Michael blossom from a boy to a man, from a courteious clerk to an Asst. Store Mgr.. He was always professional and respectful with everyone from the homeless to the CEO OF COMPANIES which Michael always treated the same, with dignity.

    He was a night time Mgr and did get some drunken disrespectful customers using

    profanity. He asked them to leave when they were abusing the employees or harassing other customers.

    I have seen Michael have bad days and he has always been respectful to everyone. Michael comes from a very respected family in our community. If you asked 1000 customers or employees that have worked for him or with him, 998 would say he is the most respectful and kind person they have met.

    When Michael left our store at 2306 Almaden Rd San Jose Ca 95125 we missed him greatly as did our customers, we were family. The customers would always ask for Michael when they needed something resolved because they knew he would do all within his power to satisfy our customers.

    I wish more Mgrs and people cold be like Michael. No I am not his mom. I am just a former coworker and a fan of MICHAELS. Hes the best.

    Lady I think you are trying to put your bad behavior on everyone else. Just own up to being a jerk and appologize to Michael and Safeway for your actions.

    Michael if you read this don't change a thing in your attitude because I RESPECT you as a Mgr. and a member of our community.

    Cio Bella

  • Ae
      3rd of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    I know from personal experience that even in this day & age, there is a lot of discriminatory behavior towards Asians. If even half of what she wrote happened this Michael not only has no business being a manager, he should be fired at the very least. Ive been a customer and an employee, and the customer should never be treated in a disrespectful manner. Customer service is becoming more of a foreign concept in this country, and too many employees lack common manners and professionalism.

  • Ge
      31st of Jul, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Could not agree more with people who disagree with the original post. grow the [censor] up, and bake your own [censor]in cake!

  • Ps
      8th of Feb, 2011
    -1 Votes

    Micheal, with that message, you showed that you are NOT fit for a management position, those comments were racist, and EXTREMELY inappropriate. I believe every word that lady is saying, thanks to your disgusting message above. Wax on wax off? what a [censor]ing douche! Obviously you had problems communicating, so instead of trying, you ridiculed her in front of the whole store, i believe it because of that message...i hope they fire your hillbilly [censor], and you get arrested for harassment! WHAT A [censor]IN DICK!- GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR [censor], [censor]!

  • Ps
      8th of Feb, 2011
    0 Votes

    ...I notice how all these people who back up Mike are all WHITE!, most likely!

  • No
      21st of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    Safeway has many issues! I believe the store in Castro Valley has poor management, or has poor management and is commiting fraud. I just moved to the area, and have been shopping at Safeway for years, without any problems. Now...I shop at the Castro Valley Safeway (well I used to until Saturday), and every week I get overcharged. Not by a little, last week it was $48.33 the week before that it was $12.00, a few weeks before that $32.00. I could go on and on...I tell the manager every week to fix the problem, because I hate standing at customer service for 40 minutes to get my refund. And, trust me, every week I grow increasingly frustrated at Tatiana (manager) because she will not fix the problem. How many people are being overcharged, is my question to her every week. When are you going to charge customers correctly? Every week I leave with the same closing, fix it, so I don't have to see you next week. Well, this week, she just didn't want to deal with me, because I had 25 items ring up at full price. The "buy 2 12-pack of sodas get 3 free", I guess is a big joke on me, I ACTUALLY thought if you bought 2 12-packs you would actually get 3 free. Silly, dumb customer I am. I should have read the sign for what it really means.."you are paying $6.29 per 12-pack-GOT IT?!" Well, Tatiana wanted nothing to do with me as I wanted nothing to do with her, but she is managing Safeway, and I am want my refund. So, just give me back my money... so I can leave. She said, no and asked me to leave the store. Well, I was not going to leave without my refund...just the sodas should have been around $20.00. So, I had to call the police, dispatch told me to wait at customer service so I did. Eventually, Tatiana decided to give all of my money back $327.xx. Then, she escorted me out of the store. NICE! They are robbing people and doing it right in everyone's face. Moral of the story: check your receipts, you may be shopping elsewhere in the future.

  • Jp
      14th of May, 2011
    0 Votes

    Very simple and widely known equation


  • Jp
      14th of May, 2011
    +1 Votes

    About the B.S. "RACECARD" it is not an excuse you can use anymore so get a life and accept responsibility for your own lie and get an education, minority's get preferential treatment on admissions criteria and can get financial aid way easier and can even have legal racist sponsored scholarships i.e. NAACP The fact is now that in over 60% of metropolitan areas the white population is now in the minority and the fact remains that if an organization offered scholarship money and it was only available to white students two things would happen 1) The DOJ would put a stop to it before it began 2) NAACP, Jesse Jackson, NOI, etc...would start a war over it. The double standards need to go. The field has gone from unequal to level to now favoritism to minorities from everything to black colleges to minority grants for everything from business loans to housing assistance loans and yet we still hear so much complaining about it "white people are holding back minorities" which has been the opposite of reality for a long time. When I got college an acceptance letter to a prestigious school, that shall remain un-named because it is irrelevant, I had a black friend with about a 150 point lower S.A.T. and .3-.4 lower GPA get in also yet we had several mutual white friends that had better scores than the minority guy and slightly lower than mine on S.A.T. that were denied acceptance. That is what is called reverse-discrimination, you can't get into a certain school because of your race. Michigan did away with race based admissions criteria and saw a marked drop in minority's getting accepted, I am not a racist at all but that is an indicator that white student's have a higher standard to meet to get acceptance to top level universities and we won't even touch the issue of financial aid. My black friends and I have talked about this for years and we all see the same thing and we even are in agreement that it is unfair but I can't blame someone for taking advantage of a broken system. I would do the same thing. At an Alumni Weekend two weeks ago a friend of mine from school all the way back to boarding school in 1988 is now an Assistant District Attorney in North Carolina and he told me that he and other minorities that he talks about these things with agree that it has become a situation that makes them feel like people will start to see black students that came from poverty stricken families, yet busted their ### and became exceptional leaders in their chosen field in the cities that they now live in, not be able to fully feel the pride in their accomplishments because their co-workers won't know that they didn't need the help. Sorry to rant but I can't believe people race baiting on damn board for complaints. That's ironic, I guess some people go through life and blame everything that they either fail to achieve or are unhappy about, just have the ingrained reflex response pf RACISM!

  • Jp
      14th of May, 2011
    0 Votes

    And while I'm at it, if you don't want to work as hard as others for something than don't take away the pride from the majority of black student's that do overcome social issues without the need of anyone's help by continuing the racecard game. You are just making it hard for other minority student's to be an exceptional example of the HUMAN race and move on. For God's sake we have a black president if you hadn't stopped complaining long enough to notice, 2011 the coffee smell is gone and most of us have gotten halfway through lunch so just stay asleep if you didn't wake up and smell it it nobody's fault but your own. I am talking about all-Americans. I am ashamed after reading some of these postings today and realizing that it really looks like some white people have actually started to go backwards and not even try anymore. I refuse to believe that this damn many people can't spell or even put together a sentence when the generation before them built this country into the greatest nation after they fought a world war at the ages of 18 and 19, got Europe and Japan on a path that would see the Japanese actually start to buy up American corporations in the '80s and did so by following a plan the America got started for them. Came home built a life for their kid's to build upon and industry that at one time was exceptional until people working union jobs that paid great but kept wanting more and more while building crappier products.The unions were great at one point but people started to get used to getting paid too much for too little and lower quality work. I refuse to rollover to China and Wal-Mart and get to be an obese, lazy welfare case. Maybe I am a ranting lunatic but this site has put me in shock at just how bad things really have become.

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