new seasons market is not friendly
i called mary alison ("customer advocate" for new seasons market today) to confirm that my reply to her less than satisfactory response to our meeting on june 23, 2011 (which included claudia knotek ("upper management") - and was told - yes she got it and her response was to tell me she was too busy to bother to care any further and that i was being "troublesome".
dear mary alison,
i just spoke to you on the phone. i think it's good that i called you because it appears that i am correct in thinking that there is still a great misunderstanding here which has yet to be resolved.
in hindsight - i should have begun with the incident on may 19 and then provided the back story - i can appreciate that you couldn't know how to advise me as to where to begin when you had no prior knowledge to my reason for asking to meet with you.
i apologize for the length at which i spoke regarding the back story, since we ended up with a rushed moment to speak about the actual incident.
let me summarize may 19 as best as i can.
it was tim's girlfriend who made me feel uncomfortable. i was minding my own business at the time she began glaring at me on the floor, i was sitting in the dining room writing in my notebook when she deliberately came in there to confront me and proceeded to harass and threaten me publicly. i was still sitting and writing when she went from me to tim, and loudly began to make false accusations about me. when - as calmly as possible - i peacefully, and quietly, tried to defend myself - she began taunting me and disparaging me to tim and his co-workers and anyone who was close enough to hear her.
when miguel spoke to me - very briefly i might add - as to what the problem was - i do not feel he understood (and i can see that it was hard for him given the misinformation he had) - but i was honest about tim's girlfriend's harassment and threats and the scene she caused. miguel seemed more focused on whatever he believed was the greater problem.
i gathered my belongings and respectfully left, without even so much as a rude remark, let alone any kind of an outburst.
i was waiting for my bus, when miguel came outside to tell me he had unfortunate news: that tim had decided the best solution to this situation was to trespass me from the store. i tried to say that this decision was unfair, and miguel said they didn't actually need a reason. the bus came - and i stated that i needed to get on it and so i did. i was honest with you, about my returning to the corner of 20th and clinton, in hopes that i would see tim to talk this out privately - which tim agreed to do, and he came to where i stood near that corner. we had just begun talking when miguel came by, saw us, and got involved for a moment, and then waited a few feet away - which did not give us the privacy i knew we needed for tim to speak honestly to me - as it was apparent to me by then - that tim was telling his girlfriend, and the store, a different account than what was true about our friendship.
whether i have been misled by tim, or have wrongly perceived our friendship, is not the real issue at hand. i can only guess from what tim has admitted to me - that whatever occurred in a conversation he reports to have had with his bosses upon his return from africa - did not play out the way he told me it did - and that whatever tim has told his girlfriend is apparently not what he has led me to believe either...
...from what i can gather with what i do know - tim has been telling others that he has not encouraged a friendship with me, and that it is my (possibly) having asperger's syndrome, that has me seeing things as i do - rather than that we have had a 13 month e-mail correspondence or enjoyable and stimulating conversations etc...
again - let's put all this speculation aside, and look only at what occured on may 19 - and the all-important fact that nobody - NOBODY - has ever brought it to my attention that there was any kind of a problem - with me as a customer, the content or length of my conversations with tim, or anything about me making anyone feel uncomfortable. in addition to there never having been any dialogue informing me of these concerns, i have never been warned in any way!**
furthermore, in all of my life, nothing like this has ever happened to me: i dine and shop at, and regularly frequent - many establishments; i have never been told or warned in any manner - that i was making anyone uncomfortable let alone asked to never return.
again (to be very clear!) - nobody at new seasons has ever said anything to me in the 7 years i have shopped there, including since spring 2010 when tim and i began our in-store friendship, that i was making anyone uncomfortable or posing any kind of a problem...
so i do feel - with all my heart and soul and good common sense - that tim and/or miguel's decision to trespass me is unfair and unreasonable.
i greatly appreciate the encouraging words, which you have so thoughtfully written to me - but what you don't seem to fully understand - is that i cannot move on without voicing my rights and standing up for them.
what has happened to me is not right, the way this is being handled - is not right - and i will not back down from feeling this way because there is no other way for me to feel - to pretend it is otherwise would be denial and an injustice to myself.
there is also the matter of my self-respect - and i am being lied about all over the place here - additionally, i am being falsely accused of behaviors that belong to tim's girlfriend and not myself.
there is much more i can say as you probably know - and perhaps i will need to write more letters to you - but for now - i am trying to stick to the matter at hand, which is that i feel that i am being made a scapegoat for irresponsible behaviors and wrong actions taken by others.
what i want is: a reversal of this unjust decision.
and what i also hope for, is not so much a chance to prove that i am innocent - that was not my point and i apologize if i failed to be clear about this - but a chance to demonstrate that i am perfectly capable of and willing to adjust my own behavior accordingly. and what is also true - is that, had i ever been told of a need to do so in the first place - we would not be where we are today. i can assure you, that even after this great big mess - i still can be trusted to do so - i would really appreciate a chance to prove this to you, but first i must be given this opportunity.
i may feel that the responsibility for other people's comfort (given that we are now in this mess) should not be placed on me since i do not feel responsible for the mess we are now in - but i honestly care enough about such things to honor such requests - whether or not i share any responsibility - i too want to do what i can to make things right.
however, i also do not feel it is fair to ask this of me (to never return) - if the reason everyone is feeling so uncomfortable - is because tim has been dishonest with his girlfriend and his co-workers (and it appears he has also misinformed me) in addition to tim's girlfriend being dishonest about her confronting and harassing me on may 19...
...furthermore, miguel possibly has trusted these conflicting versions and therefore he has chosen to act as he has...i can empathize with miguel for this, but i can't just let it go on like this - the truth needs to come out in order for this situation to be fairly and justly resolved.
i have been very much hoping for tim to step forward, and clear up this confusion - it's now been over a mont, and so far tim is choosing not to do so - so the burden has now become mine.
please try to see the bigger picture here - which for me - is that i am feeling like collateral damage to a situation which i did nothing to create.
i may have been foolish and/or too trusting - to believe what tim told me about what happened at his work in late february - but i am not at fault for miguel (or whomever it was) allowing tim to handle, whatever it was, on his own*** - neither am i at fault for miguel, trisha, or any other manager or employee there - for never having spoken to me personally and thereby never previously bringing these concerns to my attention.
whether or not i feel comfortable or distracted as a future shopper is for me to deal with and i believe that i am brave and strong enough to do so - yet i know myself very well, and i feel quite certain that something i can never make peace with - is for these mistruths and misunderstandings to cause me the tremendous anguish which i am feeling from having been punished for other people's mistakes. i have done nothing wrong - i truly believe this - if i am wrong to feel this way - then i guess am wrong - but it is how i feel and profoundly so, because nobody has ever once told me that i was doing anything wrong... without knowing that such concerns existed - how could i be expected to know this, or to change my behavior?
please try to understand that i was blindsided by all this on may 19 - and that all the rest (the complex backstory) is not what i actually came to see you about - rather i felt that i should be honest and try to explain how this mess most likely came to be - yet that until may 19 - i never knew that there was any problem.
i am very willing to meet with miguel and discuss this with him personally if you or he feel that this can possibly be of any help. i don't see how it could hurt...
unless there is a further misunderstanding here - if the decision to trespass me from the seven corners store includes all other new seasons market - this comes as quite a shock and this then becomes a much more serious situation than i had anticipated - and i most definitely will not be able to lay this to rest - not only because such a far-reaching decision is unthinkable to me and goes against all that i believe is good and just - but i think it creates a legal matter and that is something i do not wish to get dragged into - if nobody else is willing to stand up for my rights in this matter i will do my best on my own - but for this to come to that - then this story just became way more tragic.
[* @ tim's comfort level: because i believe that it was tim who first initiated our friendship - by suggesting that we could correspond by e-mail (circa may 2010), and because of many things taking place since then between us - particularly when he gave me a heartfelt hug, which he announced in a way that made it feel even more special to me - on february 3, 2011 - and even following whatever actual conversation took place with the management regarding our interaction (versus what he told me had been said, instead) that we could still keep writing - and as far as the store was concerned - it would all blow over he felt - i never had any reason to believe that i had ever caused him any discomfort; i did however think that whatever it was that other people were speculating (he has told me he had been teased by co-workers) was bothering him - yet again, his telling me "we were ok" and "we could keep writing" - convinced me that our friendship must be important to him - important enough not to want to end it, not to request to end it. he never once asked me to stop speaking to him, writing him or anything which suggested to me that he wanted me out of his life in any way, he was in fact encouraging me to believe that he did want to continue a friendship with me...]
[** well - i think i just covered this - but to be clear: what tim told me, led me to believe - was that it had been brought to his attention that his co-workers/management were concerned that i might be distracting him from his work but that he had explained to them that i tried to be respectful of this and not to do that (in fact i was the first one of all of us to voice that concern!) but nonetheless - as long as he felt he was under scrutiny - we would need to shorten our conersations (and we did!) and they should only take place during an actual customer service transaction (and they did - except i guess - to say goodbye - but i never was told not to do that...) but it would probably all blow over and in the meantime we could keep corresponding by e-mail...]
[***tim apparently was not forthcoming about things and maybe he asked to handle it so my version of things did not conflict with the one he was telling his work; definitely what tim told me did not help me to make proper decisions and because i trusted him - i had no way of knowing that i was being misjudged for so long by anyone else who continued looking on...]
i do thank you mary alison (and claudia also) - for the time you took to meet with me and for hearing me out so thoroughly.
i take responsibility for not being more assertive about what i hoped you could do - i tried to say i knew that what happened between tim and i, and tim and his girlfriend - was not something anyone else could fix. i really hoped that you understood that i had never been told - except for what tim told me in the way that he did (and that we could handle it ourselves and i thought that we were) - by miguel or anyone else - what the actual concerns were or that there actually were any concerns! that never having this brought to my attention, prevented me from making appropriate decisions - and that by never having been warned in any way - that i naturally feel that this decision has been rendered due to a scene caused by tim's girlfriend and not myself...that i was the injured party on may 19.
please let me know what else i can do or say to help this be resolved fairly and justly.
p.s. i am at the library and my time is almost up - i apologize for not proofreading as well i would like to. also, this could probably be better organized - and made to be much more concise - so i apologize to you in advance, if you find this difficult to read. thanks for your time and consideration!
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