Well, I don't know what to think. Part of me wonders if this was something totally innocuous for which there is a simple explanation. Part of me wonders if it was something more.
On Friday April 28th, I was on my last day of a 7 day trip to Oregon. That afternoon, I stopped into a Dairy Queen in a small town on the coast. Between myself, parents, and people travelling with us, there was always someone who'd wanted some ice cream by the end of the day, and this was my 6th daily stop into DQ's in the area. Each time, I was the one to go in and order while everyone else waited in the car. Each time, I used the same CC to pay.
So I walked in and ordered a blizzard. Grand total: $1.99. The place was completely empy of patrons, except for two older men who came in behind me. When I pulled out my CC, the woman looked it over, then asked to see my ID.
For a split second, I was a little surprised, since I'd never been ID'd at any other DQ's in the area. However, I always appreciate it when someone does ask to see ID and gladly obliged.
A few minutes went by while they made my order, and during that time, the two older men placed their order. They were probably in their late 60's early 70's. Their total came to $18.54, at which time one of the men pulled out a CC. It was a grey card that said "US Bank Platinum".
The cashier took the card and ran it -- without asking to see ID. And that is what's bothered me ever since.
Ever since then, I kept telling myself that she probably knew them. This was a small town afterall. However, every time I think back to their conversation, I don't remember any sort of familiarity between the patrons and cashier.
On the other side of the coin, I'm wondering if a black man with a credit card could have sent off a red flag to the cashier in question.
So now I'm torn. Was going to chalk the whole thing up to perhaps a simple misunderstanding on my part. But now I think I might write a polite letter to the store manager. Explain to them what happened and tell them if it was a simple misunderstanding, they have my apologies. However, if it was perhaps something more, it would be a good idea for the store to enforce whatever CC ID policies they may have, to all patrons.
Anyway thanks for letting me vent.
Why didn't you say something THEN?
Sorry, but I don't have any respect for people who go against their instincts, and THEN complain about it. That certainly is not the way I operate.
I would have complained then and there, and demanded to speak to a manager.
The answer is simple: it really didn't begin to bother me until after we left the store. I have been in situations where I do not have to show ID, even though others may have to (my bank, where the tellers know me by name is a perfect example). Initially, I thought the same dynamic could have been present in this situation.
After I gave it more thought, and really jogged my memory as to the level of intimacy during the conversation between the patron/cashier, then I really began to question things.
FYI: your post was for the most part, helpful. However, whether or not you have respect for me is something I hardly care about, nor is that little tidbit relevant.
Constructive criticism is always welcome.
Snide remarks are not.
Quite frankly, your whining about this situation AFTER the fact did not invite constructive criticism. Rather, as your post indicated, you simply wanted to vent, and as such, you must expect to have your actions called into question, as well.
A truly proactive individual would have handled the situation on the spot, or, in the alternative, would have ALREADY complained to Dairy Queen corporate, and/or to Visa International, rather than simply "venting" on an Internet message board.
If I feel that my rights have been violated, or that I am being treated in a disparate manner, I handle it. Certainly, this board encourages the sharing of information and experiences, but it appears you have done nothing constructive to address the situation.
The victim mentality just does not play well with me.
"Victim mentality". Whining?
Let me give you a little insight. Getting a possible incident of racial discrimination off one's chest is NOT "whining" as you call it, nor is it playing the "victim mentality".
Sorry to break the news to ya, but racism is alive and well in this country. Complaining it about it, even on a public message board is certainly nothing to be ashamed of.
Everyone "handles it" on their own schedule. Just because you may have assumed the cashier in question treated you in a disparate manner (and would have said something right there), doesn't mean that someone who chose not to is not "handling" the situation.
I have chosen to re-live the events over and over in my mind, to better gain clarity into what really happened. WHY? The answer is simple:
Even implying that someone may have slighted you on racial grounds can have enormous consequences for the person accused of the indiscretion.
Depending on the mood of the store manager, the cashier in question could be fired.
I have worked for years in customer service, and have witnessed first hand employees fired for a letter of complaint -- even if there was no real grounds for the complaint.
Racial discrimination comes in all different levels of subtletly nowadays. Rarely do people come outright and put a "No Colored People Allowed" sign on the front door of their establishments (yes, this used to be quite prevelent in case you didn't know).
Nowadays, it's much more subtle. That subtlety could cause me to "see" an act of racism, when the reality of the situation could be a perfectly legitimate explaination.
To give you an example: it's late at night and I'm walking to the corner store for a pack of smokes. A white woman walking toward me on my side of the street, chooses to cross the street. Immediately, my instincts would tell me it's because I'm black. Upon further review of the situation, however, I think to myself...it may
be because I'm a man, regardless of the color of my skin. And as we all know, women have to be very vigilant in today's world.
Is that a case of racism? Or a woman who crosses the street for every guy she sees coming in her direction after a certain time of night? In many situations, one will never know the real answer.
Was this just a friendly cashier who recognized a patron? Or a woman who felt that a black man with a credit card must have stolen it?
If someone outright says "I'm sorry, we don't serve black people", your darn right the appropriate action will immediately be taken. A much more subtle incident of possible discrimination..I'm going to think long and hard and really be sure before I make that claim.
And THAT is why I have chosen to really think things over. Sorry I didn't reach my conclusion on your time schedule, but I'm sure you'll get over it.