I am writing this regarding an incident that occurred at the Sally’s Beauty Supply store on Ocean Beach Hwy, (store number 1622) in Longview WA on July 2nd at 10:28 am.
I am in active treatment for breast cancer and on July 2nd I took a shower and my hair started to fall out in clumps. This situation is very traumatic so I called my daughter to shave my head. My daughter seeing that I was very distressed said she will take me to Sally’s to get me something to cover my head. This was going to be a positive experience to attempt to help to bring some comfort in this very traumatic situation.
We arrived at the Sally’s store ten minutes later asked the person at the counter where we could find head covers and she pointed to them without saying anything. There was no greeting, not attempts to assist us and she just walked away. Me and my daughter looked at a few products and chose several. We decided to purchase one head cover and we went to the mirror to put it on. Immediately the sales woman came over and a stated “That’s stealing” and continued to repeat we were steeling. My grandson was with us who is five and African American became visually upset. The woman then looked me in the eye and stated “You are unhygienic” I stated that we were purchasing this product and several others. The women continued to state that we were stealing, even though I continued to explain we were making the purchase and she continued to tell me how unhygienic I was. She made the accusations of steeling and me being unhygienic over twelve times. I became despondent, and the trauma from this type of discrimination, was unbelievable. The sales women then said she was calling the police, she picked up the phone and started to dial. Me and my daughter went and sat in the car to wait for the arrival of the police for it is against the law to leave the scene of a crime. My daughter contacted corporate headquarters and they asked her to find out the name of the person. My daughter went back into the store asked the women’s name and the store clerk said her name was Tracy. My daughter then asked for a last name and Tracy laughed and told my daughter it was Store Manager.
This incident took place in front of other customer, and employees, and our situation was also discussed with those customers by Tracy Store Manager. I did have several customers come to the car while we were waiting for the police and give us their name’s and number to use as witnesses. I have never been so humiliated, harassed or discriminated against. I am suffering from severe anxiety and cannot seem to bring myself to go into another store without taking anxiety pills and vomiting. We were also told by Tracy Store Manager that she was calling the police and we waited for them to arrive however, that threat was not followed through and I do believe this could be a questionable legal issue on top of everything else. Waiting for the police caused me to be late for my doctor’s appointment. My five year old grandson is still concerned with why mommy and grandma were stealing.
According to Sally’s Care General Guidelines it states “Sally Beauty Supply understands the relationship between grooming and self-esteem and recognizes the potential for making a difference in less fortunate women’s lives”. According to Sally’s Mission Statement “It is also our goal to provide the best customer service towards our shopper, so that they feel comfortable in shopping with us”. Me and my daughter believed that Sally’s hair, self esteem, and connections with the breast cancer foundations would give my first experience in attempting to develop some feeling of confidence, less fear and trauma while going through this difficult and stressful period in my life but instead I was met with hostility, threats, and accusations against my character in front of other employees and customers. This event has caused me to cry every time I must leave my home and I have to take anxiety medication just to get into the vehicle.
If this incident caused such great distress to me what kind of distress would this cause someone else?