The question this morning: when is a corporate apology not enough?
It's posed by a reader in Wheaton who asks to remain anonymous. You'll understand why she makes that request when you hear what she went through in a large chain grocery in the Maryland suburbs.
"As I was walking by the meat case, a couple of the meat cutters, who were behind the glass partition, began to make embarrassing insinuations about my weight, which were followed by loud laughter," my reader writes.
"Now, you know that they had to be talking and laughing loudly for me to hear them through the glass . . . . Needless to say, I could have died from embarrassment right then and there."
The woman headed straight for the checkout line in a fit of rage, even though she hadn't finished her shopping. As soon as she got home, in tears, she called the grocery chain's customer service representative.
The service rep apologized profusely, and told the woman that she would call the manager of the store in question and have him apologize, too. He did so, by telephone, three days later, and offered to repeat the apology in person the next time the woman came to the store.
But there isn't going to be a next time, the woman vows, because she's going to take her business elsewhere. And as much as she appreciated the kind treatment by the service rep and the manager, she wonders why "the men involved weren't made to apologize? . . . It's like a child beating the brains out of another child and then the parents apologizing for it."
I'm with you all the way, ma'am. As sincere as the service rep and the manager may have been, no customer will be satisfied unless an apology comes from the offenders. To have forced two butchers to face the music might have brought the woman back as a customer. It would certainly have made her feel better. And I'll bet it would have kept the two men from giggling about a customer's proportions again.