Tuesday, July 1, 2014

GUNS ARE NOT A JOKE; I AM NOT A JOKE

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Vebbie, a.k.a. Nicki Elson, I apologize to you for publishing another post so quickly after presenting your BULLY FOR YOU post HERE. After I publish a BULLY FOR YOU post on Monday, then I don't write another post until Thursday. I want the guest posts to receive as much attention as possible, so please don't stop reading Nicki's post. However, Vebbie, I think you'll understand why I feel I must write a post today.

Willy Dunne Wooters told me about recent news stories concerning gun owners who go to stores and restaurants that have a policy against the open carrying of guns. They stand outside to display their weapons. I've also been receiving emails about Target's refusal to have a policy against open carry. Why do Target shoppers need to display their guns?

Displaying guns, for absolutely no reason other than to say "Look at me; I can have a gun anywhere I want" is an extreme form of bullying. Many people, including me, are frightened by guns.

This morning I received an email asking me to call Target headquarters and do the following:

Call Target and Ask for Gun Sense Policies

Can you take a minute to call Target's corporate headquarters and ask them to adopt in-store gun sense policies?
Enter your information on the right to be connected to Target's corporate headquarters. When you're connected, tell the representative the following things:
  1. Tell them to urge Target's leadership to adopt common-sense policies that will keep people from openly carrying guns in Target stores.
  2. Let them know that keeping guns out of their stores will make all shoppers safer, and that you're committed to seeing change on this issue.
Together, we're fighting for common-sense gun safety policies. Thanks for taking action.

I used the following link to place a call to Target headquarters:

http://act.everytown.org/call/TargetCall/

Entering my name and phone number and using this link caused my phone to ring, and I was connected with Target's headquarters. I waited about two minutes before I was connected to a "customer service" representative. I told him my name and where I live. I said that I'm opposed to people openly carrying guns in Target and that if the corporation doesn't develop a policy against open carry, then I will stop shopping at Target (one of my favorite places to shop in spite of their problems with allowing credit card information to be stolen). Then I said that I would tell all my followers on my blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter that I am unhappy with Target's lack of a policy against open carry.

The representative laughed at me.

Yes. He laughed at me.

I am accustomed to people laughing when I make a joke. I am not accustomed to people laughing at me when I am serious––laughing at me in derision. 

After laughing, he said he would pass on my opinion to the corporate policy makers.

I told him that I would also inform all my friends that he had laughed at me. Then I hung up.

I am the most upset that I have been in a long, long time. People do not laugh at a serious Jane Goltz. Even if I had accidentally said something amusing, it would have been inappropriate to laugh at me.

I'm not asking anyone else to call Target or stop shopping at Target. I'm merely making the information available. 

The next time I need to shop for groceries, I shall go to Publix. But when I go in the store, my first visit will be to the customer service desk to ask if they have a policy on open carry. If they allow open carry, then I'll keep looking for another grocery store until I find one that has a policy against open carry.

In happier news, the BULLY FOR YOU guest post by Tom Anderson (a.k.a. Shady Del Knight of Shady Dell Music & Memories) has moved into the #10 spot on my all-time list of Top Ten posts. I'm grateful to all of you who are joining in this discourse about bullies and how to handle them. You can read Tom's post HERE.

I feel bullied by Target's representative, so I'm handling it by biting back (telling him what I thought and that I won't shop at Target anymore) and by telling someone (all of you). Unfortunately, this is a situation that I cannot ignore, hoping it will go away.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


34 comments:

  1. I wonder how effective we are voicing our opinion to an underpaid customer service rep in a holding pen somewhere, fielding calls. Perhaps the irony of the futility made him laugh, for your plight and his.
    Do you remember the great salad bowl strike that forced California to recognize Cesar Chavez' union and give rights to agricultural workers. The wealthy who run this country only respond to the almighty dollar, or its lack thereof. We all know how to boycott; we stop shopping there and tell our friends to tell their friends.

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    1. It's true that I don't really know why he laughed, Joanne, but I am done with Target unless they mend their ways. I don't think that rep will be laughing when he loses his job because sales are down. I do remember Cesar Chavez. I'M BOYCOTTING TARGET!

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  2. I am done with Target as well. Like I said, when that person loses his job after Target closes down from lack of sales, he isn't going to be laughing then. I am proud of you for sharing your story and being brave! #notonemore x

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    1. Thank you, Amber. No more Target for me!

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  3. Shame on that Target Rep for laughing at you. This would be just another reason I don't patronize Target.

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    1. I told Willy Dunne Wooters what happened. He said he decided he would never go there again after his credit card information was stolen.

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  4. The fact that he laughed at you, for whatever reason, is very upsetting! Not to mention unpardonable...

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    1. And unbecoming of a store representative.

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  5. I am shocked and revolted, Janie, and I understand why you were compelled to bring us this breaking news. I totally agree that people who exercise their right to bear arms by displaying their guns in front of retail stores and restaurants are engaging in a form of bullying. They are perpetuating a Wild West mentality that stubbornly resists common sense gun safety initiatives.

    The 4th of July will soon be upon us. It used to be a family friendly holiday but lately it brings with it the risk of injury or death from celebratory gunfire. A couple of years ago a little boy here in the Tampa Bay area was seriously wounded when a stray bullet dropped from the sky and pierced his head while he was watching a fireworks display. People who endanger others by indiscriminately firing guns into the nighttime sky are not handling guns responsibly.

    I have never been an advocate of boycotting because, over the years, I have seen the tactic used by the religious right to influence the content of books, magazines, television shows and other forms of expression and to close down businesses. However, after reading this post, I am tempted to boycott Target stores. At the very least they should train their customer service phone reps to be courteous and polite when dealing with people who have legitimate complaints. They certainly should not have laughed at you. I share your outrage, dear friend.

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    1. Thank you, Tom. I wasn't sure I was going to boycott until Joanne Noragon recalled Cesar Chavez and the salad bowl strike. Si! Se puede!

      Re: the "celebratory" firing of guns -- a few years ago on New Year's Eve my friend Carol's two sons were relaxing and watching TV together. Suddenly a bullet fired from outside flew between the two of them and ended up entering a cabinet and landing in a bag of rice. I thank God they were not injured. Why is shooting a gun a way of celebrating? People show off their guns and endanger others in the process.

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  6. It blows my mind that he laughed at you. I'm not often speechless, but I'm not sure what I would've said.

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    1. I told him I would let everyone know that he laughed at me, and that's exactly what I'm doing. Target: I'm dumping you.

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  7. Janie, I can't believe that this happened to you. This whole open carry thing is getting out of control. It reminds me of the 'wild west' when everything and anything can happen to anybody, anywhere!! Unbelievable.
    This could not happen in Canada at any of the new Target stores.....because it is against the laws here. Now if one democratic country that is on your border can have this law, then I don't understand why the USA can't have a similar one. And I don't care about the gun lobbyists and your history and whatever amendment some people claim is being broken. It is barbaric, uncivilized and simply ignorant of the facts that guns kill people.

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    1. Jim, when President Obama was elected, I got so tired of gun owners complaining that the president was going to take their guns away from them. It didn't happen, it won't happen, it wasn't ever going to happen, yet they bitch that people are trying to stop them from owning guns. The amendment to the Constitution was created to assure that militias could be armed. Now, individual citizens think they must come together to be a militia. It's ridiculous. The darling of the right, former President Reagan, said there was no reason for people to own assault rifles. I suspect he would have been opposed to open carry, too. Canada is so much more civilized than the U.S. I meant it when I said on your blog that I am tempted to move to Canada. I wish I could afford to do so. I refuse to be Target's victim.

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    1. Thank you very much, Beth. Why should we be forced to shop where people carry guns openly?

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  9. I need to get caught up on all these bully posts!

    But seriously?! I can't believe he laughed. How completely and utterly unprofessional. In what world is it funny to talk about guns?

    I remember when I used to take my dog to a dog park, there was this guy who openly carried a gun on his hip. I was dumbfounded that that was allowed. I ended up not wanting to go back, that as a major reason, because all I could imagine was a scenario where a dog would act up and he would shoot it. Because he could. Horrible.

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    1. That's it exactly: people shoot their guns because they can. If they are determined to own guns, then they need to lock them up at home. I'm tired of seeing news stories about small children who gain access to a gun and shoot another child.

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  10. Booooo, Target! What a doofus, that store rep...

    In happier news, my post for you is nearly ready. I'm having a friend/colleague look it over, then I'll send it your way.

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  11. I hate feeling like I don't matter and that phonecall would;ve pretty much done that!

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    1. I refuse to give in to being their victim. They can try to bully me, but they won't win. They'll never have another dollar of my money.

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  12. Laughter? No matter the source, never an excuse to derisively laugh at anyone. I normally like laughter, but not that kind. Sadly, I'm no longer amazed that I'm no longer amazed. I weep for us.

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    1. We have met the enemy, and it is us.

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  13. I still can't wrap my head around Target shoppers with guns hanging on their belts or whatever. That's ridiculous! I am sure Dagan and Leah have never seen such a thing up here. Crazy! And the fact he laughed at you--terrible! :(

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    1. Read my new post. Target is backing down!

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    2. North Dakota probably doesn't allow open carry, so that's why Dagan and Leah don't see people with guns.

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  14. That is absolutely ridiculous that he would laugh at you! I would write a presidential complain about this employee. Even if it was not a valid concern, which yours is, that is horrible treatment to a customer.

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    1. I should have gotten his name. Normally, I ask for the name of an employee if I feel the need to complain, but I was so shocked that I didn't ask.

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  15. I've answered a lot of customer service calls, many of which beyond ridiculous, but managed to keep it together and not openly deride the person on the phone with dismissive guffawing. That's unprofessional and rude (though I don't think it qualifies as bullying, per se).
    These open-carry nuts are making a more aggressive society. It's a gross misunderstanding of fighting for your rights. It's like free speech advocates going into kindergartens screaming obscenities to prove they have the right to free speech.

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    1. I can't remember exactly what a Supreme Court justice or some other interesting person said about freedom of speech, but it was something to the effect that one's right to free speech ends when one yells FIRE in a crowded theater (that's not really on fire, of course). So let's not have people figuratively yelling, LOOK AT ME! I CARRY A GUN SO I CAN UPSET AND INTIMIDATE YOU AND PERHAPS YOU'LL GET SO ANGRY THAT I'LL HAVE TO POINT MY GUN AT YOU SO YOU'LL SHUT THE HELL UP! I have worked part-time at two Macy's stores, one when I was young and one when it was supposed to be my retirement job. Customers came in with some pretty strange complaints. I never laughed at them, and never refused to help them. I always called a manager and let the manager solve the problem, such as the lady who wanted to return a pair of jeans she had purchased more than a year before. She said she had them in the trunk of her car and kept forgetting to bring them in. Although she'd had them so long that their value had dropped to one cent, the manager gave her a full refund on the $100+ jeans. The customer is always right, Mr. Selfridge.

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  16. How dare they laugh at you that is just wrong and disgusting, living in Australia I don't have to worry about stores allowing people to carry guns around them and to be honest I don't get why people need to carry guns around with them all the bloody time and yes I have had a fascination with guns during my life more so when I was younger as I have aged that has changed I can see how dangerous guns are and I am glad I have never seen anyone other than a cop wearing a gun

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    1. I'm very grateful that you don't have people running around with guns all the time. Fortunately, Target has backed down and is now asking their customers to leave their guns at home.

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  17. Wow...I'm either out of the loop, or the laws are different here? Illinois finally passed a concealed carry law (I think the last state to pass it), but I thought the point was that...it had to be concealed? I don't have a permit, but if I did, I would think the gun would have to be, well, concealed. As far as I'm concerned, only cops should be able to carry openly. I'll have to investigate further. Thanks for the info.

    -andi

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