A year ago I went in to Zumiez street wear on the corner of 13th and broadway and the store was set up in such a manner that there was not enough space for humans to walk without turning sideways, let alone for a wheelchair to traverse the store safely.
When the stores short comings were made known to the store manager he said he had more important things to do than set the store up on the chance a wheelchair might roll in, I should shop somewhere else! I rang the Zumiez Corporate headquarters and they were over the top apologetic and pleaded with me to give them a second chance, I held out for many months but I collect Van’s shoes and they have the best variety so I started window shopping from time to time.
On the 4 or 5 times I have gone back in the staff for the most time have been good, That all stopped today.
At about 3pm today I left the bean coffee shop and rolled up the block to Zumiez as I rolled in with Zeus, and suddenly an aggressive sounding voice from behind a display vomited out “DOES THE DOG BITE IS HE VICOUS?” I looked around, the voice belonged to an African American man in his early twenties dress in street wear. He repeated “DOES IT BITE?” I calmly said “No he is a service dog see his vest,
he replied I don’t care what kind of dog he does he damn well bite?
I repeated “SIR HE IS A SERVICE DOG, AND I TRIED TO EXPLAIN BUT YOU DON’T WANT TO LISTEN SO THE ONLY QUESTIONS YOU ARE ALLOWED TO ASK UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT IS
1/ IS HE A SERVICE DOG?
2/ WHAT SERVICE DOES IT PROVIDE?
He ignored me and said “this is my store and I’ll ask what I damn well want!”
I said “you’re the manager? I have been here before the manager is white please get him NOW”, suddenly a pasty little fat guy in skinny jeans with his gut hanging over his belt wearing his hat on backwards came over and I started to tell him what had happened.
He stopped me and called me a liar, he lied and said he was over there and heard it all. When in a 1,000 sq ft store he was the other end all the time, and out of ear shot with the rap music playing.
I told him that under the Americans with disabilities act the entire line of questioning was illegal and his manner was rude and insulting, he replied “THIS IS FUCKING NEW YORK ASSHIOLE YOU SHOULD GET A LIFE AND CHILL THE FUCK OUT, AND WHILE YOU’RE THERE DO IT SOMEWHERE ELSE AND GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY STORE! “
When I entered there was a clear passage allowing me to roll in about twenty feet, although it was so close I knocked every display. When I turned around the African American so called manager had placed a collapsible catering style chair in my way, I asked to him to move it he sneered and said “MOVE IT YOUR FUCKING SELF” when I tried it folded and dropped they ran at me and told me to get the fuck out and never fucking come back!
I rolled shaking across the street rolled against a wall and called their corporate office again, this time I have informed them If there is not a satisfactory outcome involving a face to face apology and proof of ADA COMPLIANCE TRAINING and a sign saying service animals welcome by 3pm Friday I will be starting a civil rights suit under the AMERICACANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT.
Zumiez nationally has a less than stellar reputation in their treatment of the disabled and it’s time it stopped.