Time for me to boycott.

If I say I don’t want to be on the phone then please respect me.

I have been dealing with some of the worst customer service I think i’ve ever experienced in my life. I visited a popular shoe store that is geared towards youth with popular brands like Vans and Converse, to name a few.

It takes a lot out of me, energy-wise to even get out of bed, get ready, and leave the house. I decided to go to the mall – which I rarely do and it was a huge mistake.

I walked in to this store, the teenage sales associates were standing around, three of them, conversing. I actually had to interrupt their conversation to ask a question. No one wants to have to do that. It also was a Sunday and I was the only customer in the store. The last time I went to this mall and walked by this store, their sales associate was sitting on the cash table, legs dangling down towards the entrance. This should have been a red flag, but it wasn’t.

I wrote both their social media and their email and received form email responses. Nothing says “I don’t care about your patronage” by copying and pasting a pretty generic message – especially after spending the time to actually file a complaint and give them room to rectify the issue. From what i’ve read, it seems like their customer service, generally speaking, is pretty awful.

There was a few other issues, but i’ll spare you the details.

What really gets me from all these interactions is that someone from head office called me and our conversation went sour, fast:

  • Her: Hi this is __ at Journeys , who am I speaking to?
  • Me: It’s Margaux calling you back
  • Her: So I know you’ve spoken with Ryan, or social media team etc and i’m just not sure…(i can’t remember the rest)
  • Me: Yes. I don’t feel comfortable on the phone, can you email me?
  • Her: I’ll be short with it
  • Me: I’m on the Autism Spectrum, i’m really not comfortable on the phone, can you email me?
  • Her: I’m sorry, i’ll do that

Well, that email never came. I decided to contact the highest-up person I had been corresponding with through email and I was shocked at the response:

This was the response I received back

I was already visibly upset and after receiving this response I feel even worse now – but that’s not the first time they have refused to respect an Autistic Person:



I’ve also read cases of racial profiling, emails being ignored, product fulfillment gone wrong and a lot of customers vowing to never shop there again.

This makes me pose a pretty important question, If you are getting NEGATIVE feedback from Customers, wouldn’t you want to address them personally, rectify the issue, LEARN from it and improve? I don’t think it matters because their quarterly profits increased and in the end that’s all that is important to them.What you can do to help:

What you can do to help:

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Why “Sensory Friendly” Isn’t always what it seems.

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I posed this question on twitter:

The response was overwhelming. It seems a lot of people tend to agree with me.

A number of venues will offer, what they consider to be “sensory friendly” events which they believe caters to those who are Autistic and yes -it does cater to some, but certainly not all.

According to AMC (who works with Autism Speaks) this is how they define their sensory friendly film program:

AMC Theatres in 2007 started the AMC Sensory Friendly Films program in partnership with the Autism Society to bring a unique movie experience to our community! As part of the program the film showings have their lights turned up and the sound turned down.

 

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My thoughts on something where the lights are on and the sound is down: Terrible. Just awful. For me, not being able to hear dialogue and having bright lights in my face would not be sensory friendly. I function best when the lights are off or there is natural lighting.  Each and every person on the spectrum is different and their ways of mentally processing incoming sensations are all unique to each person. You can’t simply say something is Sensory Friendly and use it as a blanket statement. I believe a better term would be Sensory Aware and a disclaimer that would say something like “this isn’t sensory friendly for every autistic person or person with sensory processing difficulties” would be highly beneficial. It’s just another step towards inclusion or at least a better understanding of what Neurodiversity is.

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Passing Judgment

Throughout my life, people have passed judgment on me based on the way I look, act or quite frankly who I am.

I think the way I present myself has a lot to do with my sensory sensitivities. For instance: I don’t “dress my age” and I prefer wearing comfortable clothing such as shirts that are a men’s size small, jeans, and slip on shoes. I rarely wear makeup and I usually just brush my hair and head out the door. It’s already so mentally trying to go out in to the world that the energy I would use to make myself presentable gets used up so fast. By that time, i’m already beyond drained and I start feeling physically ill.

 

Sometimes I dress very casually and sometimes I look fancy.


My intellectual capacity is clearly questioned because some people, whether it’s conscious or not, believe that the way someone looks has to do with the way they think.

I was treated very poorly at a restaurant and I can’t say for certain that it had anything to do with the way I looked, but I wouldn’t be surprised. It seemed like I was stereotyped as dumb and trashy because of my use of coupons and was spoken down to – which i’m still feeling anxious and upset about.

The English idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover” is a metaphorical phrase which means “you shouldn’t prejudge the worth or value of something by its outward appearance alone”. For example “That man may look very small and insignificant, but don’t judge a book by its cover – he’s a very powerful man in his circle”. —Wikipedia

We all deserve a little kindness and compassion, no matter what we look like.

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Links of interest:

 

I’m Childfree.

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When I was younger, other kids would play with dolls. I didn’t care for them. I had no instinct to play with toys that were reminiscent of future motherhood. I preferred hot wheels, crazy bones, reading books and once in a while I pulled the heads off my sisters Barbie dolls. When I got older, Pokemon was all the rage and you’d often find me on my lime green game boy colour. The motherly instinct never arrived and I was completely fine by that.


I was with my family at an outdoor square yesterday and as everyone was conversing, there was this lady with her crying infant. The screams tore through me like the feeling of walking on shards of glass. It was immensely painful to listen to. I couldn’t take the shrill, repetitive noises. I felt just as though I was going to get the worst migraine ever. I started feeling anxious, panicked and ready to leave. At this point, I wished I had a pair of some really good sound cancelling headphones or a pair of earplugs that filter all the sound out. My sensitivity to loud noises was being tested and I was feeling very frantic. I just wanted it to stop, so badly.

hands black and white fingers palm

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I have never seen myself as a Mother. Hell, I don’t even consider myself very feminine.

Having a child and having those responsibilities is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. There’s a lot of financial resources needed and a lot of time, effort and stress – none of which I even would remotely ever want to take on. I am happy being an Aunt to two wonderful kids.

I also absolutely love, love, love my rescue cats. They fill any kind of need I may have to be nurturing, without making me compromise who I am. I love their pink jellybean toes, cute noses and small tiger-like qualities. They are my little house lions.

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It’s not like I don’t support other people’s children. (Doesn’t even matter if I want to or not) It’s mandatory as it is included in taxes which are then given back in the forms of tax rebates if you have children.  There are also a lot of politicians touting free childcare as part of their campaign promises to lure voters.

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This will NEVER be me – and I am beyond pleased to say it.


For more reading on this subject, please check out:

Public Transportation

woman standing in bus

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Taking transit requires me to mask, even if I don’t think about it.

I am forced to take on traits that are seemingly exclusive for those who are classified as neurotypical. I have to be confident, organized and seemingly comfortable with everything around me.

The crowds, the chatter, the uneven lighting, the sound of the skytrain screeching along the tracks, the announcements, rude bus drivers, the varying smells and sometimes putrid odors. It may very well seem like i am complaining but I am constantly reminded that the world  is not built for me. I am left handed and i’m autistic – which can feel like a double whammy.

Often times, when i am exposed to many different sensory inputs, I must decompress. I have to sleep a whole lot and often times I don’t feel like talking. My attention span suffers too, i can’t even sit through a 22 minute episode of a television show that I usually enjoy. I have to commend myself through the carsickness that seems to overcome me a whole lot recently.

I am constantly reminded of how hard merely existing is. It makes me incredibly fatigued.