Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Getting fired

Isn't this a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't kind of situation?
Natalie Johnson is a 27-year-old student and, until last week, worked at the River Center Macy's.

On Nov. 30, a teenager shopping caught her attention.

"I made sure to keep an eye on him because he was shopping for women's clothing," remembered Johnson.

She said she was convinced the shopper was a man. So when she saw him in the women's dressing room, she told him he couldn't change there.


But the group of people he was with supported the shopper, arguing Macy's policy allows transgender people to change in the fitting room of the gender they associate with.


Johnson said she was let go.


A response from the retail giant said, "Macy's does not comment on personnel matters. At Macy's, we recognize and appreciate the diversity of our customers and associates."
(from KSAT-12)

All my life I grew up with the notion that if a man tried to enter a restroom, locker room, or any other space set aside exclusively for women, that man would be soundly mocked, ridiculed, and possibly arrested. But now, apparently, all a man needs do is identify himself as transgender and he can go anywhere. At least in Macy's.

I feel a bit sorry for the employee. If she had adhered to company policy (which she was well aware of) and allowed a man into a women-only area and something bad had happened, then she would have been vilified for that. And the company as well. Instead, she ignored the policy and acted according to her beliefs and convictions.

And she got fired for it.

But at the same time I'm not sure how sorry I feel for Ms. Johnson. Her actions were carried out with full knowledge of the possible consequences, and that's a choice she made. But one thing this incident does show is that Macy's doesn't seem to want her kind of diversity.


Sabra said...

Trannies aren't the sort of man women need to worry about. It is simple courtesy to treat people as though they are the gender which they present themselves to be. She let her own prejudices get in the way of her job, & in the process violated company policy. I cannot feel sorry for her.

Albatross said...

Trannies aren't the sort of man women need to worry about.

Transgenders, maybe not. But what about transvestites? They present themselves as men, but in women's clothing. Should they be allowed in areas set aside for women?

Dave said...

When a co-worker first told me about this with no other information than the lady was fired for not letting a cross-dresser use the ladies fitting room, my first reaction was, "perhaps they could have counseled her and just move on".

Of course, once I saw her all over the news spouting religious views etc etc, I looked at it a little further.

I think we can all agree that the 10 commandments says something about not stealing. So if the employee witnesses a customer shoplifting, does she contact store security because it is against her religious beliefs, or does she call security because shoplifting will not be tolerated by the store? I think either way, the employee is in good with management as long as she calls security.

How about if the employee has a customer who comes into the store and wants to purchase an expensive gift. The employee sees a wedding ring and asks, "Oh, is this for your wife?" and the customer says, "No, actually, this is for my girlfriend."

If the employee consults the Ten Commandments and applies that one about not committing adultery, and asks the customer to take a hike, I suspect that management is not going to be happy.

The point here is obvious. I don't know who to attribute the quote to, but religion is like a really large penis. It's great to have, but don't whip it out in public.

I have not been into the fitting rooms at Macy's but if they are anything like any of the other stores around town, each of the individual rooms are private. That is to say, even if you were clearly a man and you went into the fitting room next to a woman, neither of you would be exposed to one another. If Macy's just has some big huge open free-for-all area where women just strip down like a European beach, then I surely see room for caution - you know, with all the lesbians and such.

This was somebody exerting their own personal views (religious or not) onto her employer's turf and potentially taking sells from the company.

Fire her.

Albatross said...

I guess I'm looking past the religion part of this (even though that is the whole reason this is a story!) and concentrating on the security aspects.

I've worked in secure areas before, and we were trained to keep an eye out for anyone who looked like they did not belong, to challenge them and question them at the least, and to call security if they didn't immediately leave or produce identification.

And, even though I've never worked in the kind of retail establishment that includes Macy's, I can see where an area set aside for women only can be considered a secure area. And if something looks fishy, I would think the employees would be trained to keep an eye out for such things and to respond if necessary. For the safety of the customers.

So, religion being a factor or not, any obvious male (in drag or not) entering a woman-only area should at least raise an eyebrow or two among the employees. If it doesn't, I don't want my daughter or wife shopping there.

Dave said...

any obvious male (in drag or not) entering a woman-only area should at least raise an eyebrow or two among the employees.

I totally agree. In this case, it certainly did. But I suspect security was the least of the now fired employee's concerns.