Posted 5/8/2008 9:25 PM (GMT -7)
I'll try to keep this short. This morning I had my 4th MRI (w/ contrast too). Not sure whether you might dsy this is strange, but, as in the past, I found it very pleasant. Lying on my back in a semi-meditative state while listening to NPF through the headphones is a nice experience for me (thank god I'm not claustrophobic though). My MRI tech was amazing. Very kind guy, friendly, knowledgeable (I asked him about the contrast and initially got a pretty watered down explanation, but when I told him that I had studied Molecular Bio for many years, he gave me some very interesting information). Also, he's probably the first tech/nurse/doc/flabotamist/whomever who was able to successfully find a vein on the first try (well, I guess the nurses can *usually* get the injections done okay, but having an IV set up can be a multi-hour situation for me....luckily I don't mind needles at all--they use me to teach the med school students :p). So I asked for a patient feedback form and gave him glowing accolade, which he deserved and made us both happy.
On to the very very very weird part. I grabbed lunch on the way home and decided to stop at Circuit City to browse the cheap stuff because I'm a poor techie. By this time, it had been about 9 hours since I had taken my pain meds, and 7 is usually a stretch for me. Also, I slept little last night and Woke up a lot earlier than I am accustomed to. So, minus the many many details, as a result of walking down the same isles multiple times and looking at the same software several times (I was really out of it--big time cognitive/vestibular aura), one of the floor managers began to suspect that I was shoplifting (actually, the first time the idea seemed to cross his head was when I was making small talk and, after he asked if I was all right [I think he initially thought I was stoned], I told him briefly that I have migraines constantly and, because of the pain, drugs, and lack of academic stimulation, I have developed quite a bit of cognitive deficiency and I easily forget where I've been or get disoriented, especially when I''m overdue on taking my meds. Though the topic of conversation changed for a while (in which he actually offered me a job), he very suddenly asked me, very seriously, why my hand was shaking. I explained that it was a side effect of the medications. However, at that point, I could see his facial expression change dramatically and several seconds later asked me if I was trying to steal from the store. When I responded with quite a bit of honest confusion, he told me "nevermind".
But, as I looked around some more, I soon realized that he was, without a doubt, following me. So I sat down on a comfy chair in front of the TV section and relaxed a bit. He essentially stood about 20 feet behind me for nearly half-an-hour. Soon afterwards, he and the store's general manager came and stood next to me and told me that they knew I was stealing from them. I was exasperated and upset by this accusation--I mean, over the years I have won awards and scholarships for displaying integrity. I responded by saying that, if I was stealing from them, where were the products that I was taking? I took off my jacket and handed it to the GM, emptied my pockets, handing my keys, cell phone and wallet to the managers, turned my pockets inside out and tugged along my pants and shirt. There was nothing there and it was obvious. However, they claimed that a software title that I had been taped looking at had been discovered to have a package of computer RAM instead of the software. Even though he had no proof that I had anything to do with any of this, he told me that if I did not give him the software that I had "stolen" (which I had already proved that I did not have), he was going to call the cops and have me arrested. I tried to explain to him that the behavior that he described as "highly suspicious" was really just the effects of my disability. I took out my neurologist's business card and offered call her to confirm this. I even showed him my laminated guide what foods and drugs I cannot ingest safely. His response was "so, do you have a disability that causes you to steal all the time". Of course, I told him that I found that very rude and offensive and said that, if he continued with such verbal abuse (including when he called my disability a joke) that I would consider contacting an attorney and possibly the ACLU. I also asked him several times to tell me his name, requests that he refused every time. Gee, I remember the good old days when retail worked would wear ID badges (though later, after calling an unknowing clerk, I DID finally get the guy's *first name*....so helpful!
Regardless, he got angrier and told me that, now, if I did not pay for the approximately 5 items that I had been accused of taking (four higher than the one that he had claimed half an hour beforehand) and walk out with nothing in my pocket except a MUCH lighter wallet, that, again, I would be arrested by the police. I finally said, fine, let the police come and search me and review security footage and you can look stupid for having falsely accused a man of shoplifting, be charged the fine that businesses are charged by the police when they send an officer over and no crime has been committed, and I would have an official police report to use in any potential court case. However, by now all of this stress had my head throbbing and I really just need to leave. Another manager told me that, if I left the store immediately, I would not have to deal with the police, but I would be forever forbidden from entering that store.
In the end, I abhor and am very upset and insulted by the way I was treated by Mr. "Jan". Unless I am very very depressed I usually do not cry, but I was balling once I got to my car and at the police station (where I first went to see if the had violated any laws--as it turns out, it's entirely a civil case. So, while I will be talking to high-up Circuit City corporate management and maybe legal representation, I just wanted to share this story with you guys because I have often heard of people with "invisible disabilities" being discriminated against, but this is the first time that I have very strongly experienced it.
Also, and I know this is somewhat off topic but PLEASE allow it, I recommend that all of you avoid Circuit City at all cost. First, the off-topic reasons: they are known to have some of the worst customer service anywhere; their prices are total ripoffs with the rare exception of a heavily discounted clearance item; they've had an increasingly horrible reputation since last year when they laid off n% of their most experienced workers (saving the company an estimated $250mil), let them bide in unemployment for several months and then encouraged them to reapply for their old jobs for a staggering $8/hr (considered less than a 'living wage' in most places were Circuit City stores are located [living wage is generally the minimum hourly wage for an independent person earn enough to buy the basic necessities for unimpoverished living])--if the CEO had taken about a 50% paycut (probably less than many of these workers lost), down to making about $5 mil a year, nearly 100 of those jobs/employees with customer service skills could have been saved.
While the above in general shows the crappiness of the company, the min point that I'm trying to make is that, not only are they a company with very low standards, but they appear to also have no qualms about practicing gross discrimination. Please do not shop there....my experience was truly horrible.
Thanks guys...I really appreciate your constant support sooo much.
P.S. I hope that this message can remain uncensored, but if you mods need to change anything, I understand :)