So the other day, after work, I thought I’d go interview some clothing stores to see if I can write a good review for this week’s show.. I went to this clothing store that I usually go to.. Plato’s Closet.. it’s a consignment shop, franchised and the company owns about 15 stores in Georgia and a few more in other states.
Anyways, I go in as a Secret Shopper and I was just looking at clothes when this employee approached me. I thought it was just one of those hey, how are you? do you need any help? just let me know if you need any help. kind of thing.
“Hi, How are you?”
“Good thank you.”
“Hey, where are you from?”
“..? You mean originally?”
“Oh I lived in Korea until I was 12..”
“OHHH so you’re KOREAN.”
“Yeah.. (Hmmm maybe he’s just really talkative..)”
“Are you married?”
“Are you gonna get married?”
“um~ No? Do I look that old??? seriously?”
“You look like you’re 19 or 20. How old are you?”
“Well, I’m 21.”
“Oh that’s cool. Hey, I was wondering, do you wanna go out for a movie with me sometime?”
“(Whoa.. what the hell..) No thank you. (I turn around).”
“Heyy I know what it is.. (pointing his arm) It’s because I’m an African-American isn’t it?”
“(Well I was offended but I didn’t want him think that I’m a racist or something) No, no. I have dated guys outside of my race before, I don’t care what my boyfriend’s race is. I’m just sort of seeing somebody right now so I can’t go out with you.”
“Seeing someone?? Girl, we’re “seeing” each other right NOW.”
“Haha (turn around).”
“What is it about Asian girls? I think Asian girls are SO sexy and but everytime I talk to them they don’t wanna talk to me. My older brother’s dating a girl from.. I think Laos or something.. for almost 9 years but she wasn’t very friendly at first you know??”
“(Half heartedly, looking at the clothes) Well I guess it’s because many Asian girls, especially if they’re immigrants, they’re shy.. and they’re short too so they might be intimidated by your height (he was easily over 6’2″) I’m from California, I don’t avoid people just because of their race”
“WHOAAA You’re from California??? Are you like gangbanger?”
“(*sigh* why wont this person leave me alone?) No. (GO AWAY)”
“You’re not a gangbanger? NO?”
“No. (I looked over at the cashier to see if there weren’t anyone I could talk to or ask for help, but I was the only customer and other employees were busy sorting out clothes)”
“(Seeing my reaction and seeing that I was looking over at the cashier) Well it was nice to meet you. What’s your name? (Extending his arm out for a handshake)”
“Jean ( I DONT KNOW WHY I TOLD HIM)”
“Oh okay, Jean i’m ______. It was really nice talking to you.”
And then omg..
“Oh Jean, and I’d really appreciate it if you don’t talk to my manager about what we talked about.. Let’s just keep this between me and you.”
Then, he went away. I tried to look calm and reserved and kept shopping. I couldn’t believe an employee, on the job, would ask out a customer and keeps harrassing even though the customer looks clearly uncomfortable by the convo. I waited around for 5 minutes to see if he leaves, but I felt like he was watching me and making sure that I didn’t talk to anybody. I was like the only customer so I didn’t wanna make a big scene. I left the store without buying anything.
I got in the car.. and then I drove away, thinking, he’s just crazy, I just won’t shop there anymore.. But then.. I knew that if I let it go, he’ll think that he can mess with me and get a way with it. My sister, my friends could be the next one and get harrassed. I didn’t want it to happen again to anybody else. And I knew that everytime I come near this store, I’ll remember the incident and get uncomfortable.
The next morning, I called them and luckily a woman answered. She was the assistant manager and when i told her I wanted to report an incident at the store. She asked me if he was tall and blah blah blah gave me his description. I said yes, and she told me I was the 3rd person filing a complaint about him.
She was extremely helpful. She said everything will remain confidential and took note of everything I told her. She promised to call the manager immediately after she gets off the line with me and to call me back about the result within next 2 days.
3 hours later, the owner of the store called me on the phone and apologized for 5 minutes. She also told me he has been terminated from his job..
Yeah I know.. I was really traumatized and nothing will ever compensate for the trauma I experienced but.. knowing that he got sacked.. He probably knows who reported him. Knowing that he knows who reported him somehow comforted me too.. He hopefully learned that he can get away with messing with Asian women like that. I am so relieved.. I was sincerely happy this morning when I woke up. Heh.
The owner also pointed out that many women experience these things and never report it because they feel uncomfortable.. and thanked me for taking the action.. I thought about it.. It is true that many women dont talk about these wrongdoings.. Then they complain about how some men are pervs and immature. Well.. if you dont report your experience, the guys who harrassed you will walk around thinking that there’s nothing wrong with what they’re doing.. OR. they’ll think that they’re so talented at womanizing and it’s cool to harrass women, and confuse heckling from confidence.