May 23, 2010 8:59 pm at 8:59 pm #591690mms601Participant
…and so do I.
Here’s my dilemma, my wife has complained to me on numerous occasions, that the frum (looking – yamulke, beard, some peyos) manager in the supermarket she shops at, acts much too comfortable with her. He’s always asking her how she’s doing, asks about the kids, stands very close to her, etc. I went to observe and I see for myself. I saw this person shmoozing with obviously married women, just walking around and out of the blue talking with customers who are not dressed tzinus, and so on. While I’m not this person’s mashgiach, his behavior in general disgusted me, and his behavior towards my wife in particular was very troubling to me, and as she’s my wife, I feel obligated to help her situation.
Here are my options.
1) Contact the owner of supermarket, but that will likely get him fired.
2) Ask him to say away from my wife, but that will likely cause backlash at my wife.
3) Tell him to stay away from my wife and not identify my wife with the hope he’ll stay away from everyone. I doubt this will work, and he might become very confrontational with me.
4) Tell my wife to start shopping elsewhere despite the store’s many conveniences, but I don’t think that’s fair to her.
5) Ask my wife to say something to him. (I don’t think this is right at all.)
( 6. Find out the guys name, and call his wife? just kidding.)
CR readers, what would you do?May 23, 2010 9:08 pm at 9:08 pm #685441fabieMember
I’d go for 4, and ask a respectable Rav what else to do.May 23, 2010 9:18 pm at 9:18 pm #685442Dr. PepperParticipant
Send a threatening letter warning him to keep his distance from your wife- and don’t sign it.May 23, 2010 9:32 pm at 9:32 pm #685443hello99Participant
I would do #1 in a delicate way.May 23, 2010 9:33 pm at 9:33 pm #685444mischiefmakerMember
Can your wife just sort of “run away” and get busy when he starts? Otherwise #4 sounds like the best idea.May 23, 2010 9:36 pm at 9:36 pm #685445goody613Member
I’ll go with 6. but really, ask a ravMay 23, 2010 9:39 pm at 9:39 pm #685446pookieMember
i can’t say i forsure know the supermarket your talking about, but i think i know which one your talking about, and i agree one million percent with you. i was actually once in that store and an old lady in a wheelchair asked me for help with her shopping stuff (where stuff were and what companys were the best)i was completly stumped but i want to one of the managers and told him she needs help, he looked at her and turned back to me and said ”why dont you help her?” i said back to him ”ahh, i see, shes not good looking enough for you, so you cant help her” and walked away. SAD!May 23, 2010 9:42 pm at 9:42 pm #685447seeallsidesParticipant
How about writing a note telling him what your problem is and telling him to please stop his inappropriate actions. You don’t want to spread any bad rumors, you don’t want to cause speculation, and you want him to stop. This way, you are being direct with him, you are not embarrassing or casting aspersions on him with anybody else. Just go to the store, ask some kid to give him the sealed envelope that says IMPORTANT on it.May 23, 2010 9:49 pm at 9:49 pm #685448mw13Participant
I would either write or call anonymously and threaten to contact the store owner if the problem is not fixed, fast. Then I would contact my LOR as to whether or not I can carry out this threat.May 23, 2010 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm #685449☕️coffee addictParticipant
I like Dr. Pepper’s idea LOLMay 23, 2010 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm #685450goody613Member
b4 u do anything contact your LOR. don’t write and then find out it was wrongMay 23, 2010 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm #685451Dr. PepperParticipant
Glad to provide my service.
I had a similar incident when I was single. A lady who was clearly not 100% worked at a local supermarket and seemed to have an interest in me. My mother advised me to just ignore her and she would leave me alone. The problem was it’s not in my personality to disregard someone who is talking to me.
My father came along once and stared her down as she made her comments. She immediately backed off.
On Succos I washed in a restaurant and was on my way out to the Succah to eat when we crossed paths. She greeted me and tried to make conversation but I couldn’t answer. She got annoyed and said, “OK, be like that”.
She severed the relationship after that.May 23, 2010 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm #685452kapustaParticipant
Call your LOR asap. Right now # 4 is the safest. No issue of the situation doesnt exist.
Hatzlacha.May 23, 2010 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm #685453
I would a) be dan lchaf zechus
b) go with #3 in a very nice way, based on the tone of the letter, i hope you can be “nice” to him.May 23, 2010 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm #685454ny100kParticipant
Maybe you and your wife are over sensitive and the manager is just doing what he’s been told to do – make customers comfortable.
Many people are actually excited that someone cares about their family and asks about their day. If your wife is uncomfortable its easy to just walk away and ignore him. If you really feel its a tznius issue, feel free to mention it kindly to management. The management can determine if they are comfortable with his actions or it needs to be modified.May 24, 2010 12:15 am at 12:15 am #685455
Have your wife shop elsewhere, better safe than sorry.
Going to a rav is likely pointless and so is talking with the manager. This is sadly often the case that the rav of a chessed organization feels bad for the shlepper who already messed up other companies and asked the owner to hire the bulvan to be a m-e-n-eger, sohis esteem will rise in his wife’s eyes. Stay away and have your friends watch out too.May 24, 2010 12:30 am at 12:30 am #685456tzniuspoliceMember
I know a store manager who claimed he had a “nisayon” every day because it was his “job” to be friendly (and he interpreted that as flirtatious) so that the women come back to shop there. And naturally, there were some who flirted back and then his imagination went wandering…
If this is a real situation, my advice is to write a strong letter and let the guy know his behavior toward women is inappropriate. I can assure you the behavior isn’t isolated to just your wife and there are other wives too. Like this, he will take good stock of his own behavior, afraid it may be anyone of those many womens’ husbands, fathers or brothers. And through such yira will eventually come yiras shamayim.
But if you sign the letter, he knows how to isolate and readjust, and the behavior will continue with others until he finds himself in hot water…May 24, 2010 12:35 am at 12:35 am #685457hereorthereMember
I think Dr Peppers idea is the best.
Put in your letter, that if he does not stop, then you WILL go to his manager or the store owner.
Or perhaps don’t say that in the letter but keep it as an option in case the letter does not help.
You also might consider contacting HIS Rav, if you can find out who that is.May 24, 2010 12:37 am at 12:37 am #685458yentishParticipant
Oy vey! For you and especially your wife! As a frum woman, I can definitely and unfortunately relate to the uncomfortable situation your wife is in. With all the ‘benefits’ of working and living in a ‘frum’ environment, breaches of tznius are unfortunately all too common. Here’s my advice:
1) ASK A RAV!! Even if you/your family is not the ‘sheila asking’ type, this is something that could use the objective chochma of a Rav. Without saying names, or even the name of the supermarket, outline the details of the situation. I find that talmidei chachomim have certain insights and suggestions that are so helpful when implemented. If you don’t want to say its your wife, say its your sister, daughter or mother, or some other female family member.
2) In general, I don’t think a ‘note’, anonymous or otherwise, would be so effective because unfortunately this shopkeeper probably doesn’t think he’s doing anything wrong. Honestly, he might just think he’s being friendly and doesn’t realize the damage he is causing. If that is the case, I would say that your wife might actually be the best person to have this ‘discussion’ with him. Subtle body language and verbal cues are effective in this way, your wife can distance herself physically if a conversation turns inappropriate, not make eye contact etc. Sometimes it helps to make it seem like your own problem, or to lighten the mood- she can say, “my husband sends regards” or “should we really be discussing this”? If he’s not getting the ‘hint’ after that, a casual mention to a supervisor may do the trick. I don’t think it would get him automatically fired (which may not be a bad thing), but rather a reprimand could come from a source of authority (his supervisor), without directly involving your wife.
and a bracha to anyone struggling with this yetzer that they should be able to overcome it!May 24, 2010 1:08 am at 1:08 am #685459bombmaniacParticipant
im not married, so im not really qualified to give definitive advice, but you people DO realize that all these anonymous methods can get you in trouble right? you cant go around threatening people, you just cant. even if its completely warranted. id suggest going over there, and in no uncertain terms, tell that manager to quit talking to your wife.May 24, 2010 1:52 am at 1:52 am #685461
Someone (married) close to our family had almost the exact same issue described in the OP, with the additional point that the worker “mistakenly” brushed against her. She asked a shaila from her Rov (who is one of the gedolei poskim in ny) and he told her:
a) Call the store’s mashgiach AND the store’s owner and tell them what happened.
b) Do NOT shop there anymore until that person is fired.
(A Rov MUST be consulted prior to whatever you do.)May 24, 2010 2:04 am at 2:04 am #685462MLAMember
CUSTOMER SERVICE! That is what some stores are all about. A familiar face, that turns a routine errand into a friendly experience. Someone who says “good morning, how are you today” should be commended, not punished. If this environment makes you or your wife uncomfortable, you are free to shop in the hundreds of other local groceries. There are plenty of (unhappy) places that will gladly take your money. However, there are those of us that choose these locations for the smiling, friendly and completely appropriate faces. Personally, I’d rather spend my time and money in a FRUM and FRIENDLY environment.May 24, 2010 2:07 am at 2:07 am #685463HealthParticipant
Maybe you should dan l’caf zecus- Maybe he thinks he is just being friendly. Maybe someone should tell him that not everybody likes shmoozing with their store manager.May 24, 2010 3:44 am at 3:44 am #685464YatzmichMember
As a male manager of a store that about 80% of our customer base are women, let me say that it is a bit of a balancing act sometimes to provide nice pleasant customer service and on the other hand not to appear too friendly.
That having been said, I don’t understand the question. If your wife feels uncomfortable shopping there, who is forcing her? Convenience? Please, if the cashiers were terribly slow, it would stop being convenient and she would shop somewhere else. Same here, if the manager disturbs you, just shop somewhere else.May 24, 2010 4:03 am at 4:03 am #685466
Trying my best
“b) Do NOT shop there anymore until that person is fired.”
if a rav did say that, he meant don’t go back, unless the person happens to leave or get fired, i’m sure he didn’t advocate having him fired.May 24, 2010 4:08 am at 4:08 am #685467PurpleMember
I had the same problem in a minimarket. When I first started patronizing the store, I was uncomfortable and didn’t want to return to the store.
However, the next time I went in, I simply nodded my head to this individual and didn’t return his friendly greeting. It was not easy, but he got the message.
Women think that they have to please other people. We don’t!May 24, 2010 4:17 am at 4:17 am #685468simcha manMember
I’m no posek, but I can tell you two things:
1) As many other posters mentioned – as a Rav!
2) From my own experience, I did not think, but acted on the spot and told the boss what happened. Boy did I get a cold shoulder from the worker ever since. The worker was not fired – probably just warned, because boy did I get the cold shoulder ever since that day.May 24, 2010 5:00 am at 5:00 am #685469oomisParticipant
I would not want it on my conscience that I got someone fired in today’s economy. The wife is an adult. If she feels uncomfortable, she should simply tell him so. HE may be completely unaware of how he is coming off to others (flirtatious people often have that problem). But unless he actually said something TRULY offensive, or touches her, you have no right to cost someone his parnassah. She should tell him straight out (not you – she is not a baby and she should speak up for herself, because that EMPOWERS her), and say, “Listen Chaim Yankel, I realize it is your job to be friendly to your customers, but I personally feel very uncomfortable with men who are overly friendly. So let’s just stick to the price of eggs (literally) and cut the chit chat, my husband is waiting for me to get home. Thanks for your cooperation. ” Stop worrying about his conversations, because you (the wife) have the control to NOT speak with him. If he continues to make a pest of himself, then just tell him very quietly (don’t embarrass him in public) that you feel bad about having to do this, but if he persists, you will have to speak to his boss. Keep in mind he might be a relative of the boss, by the way. Don’t engage him in conversation after that. period.May 24, 2010 5:26 am at 5:26 am #685470ramateshkolianMember
I had the same issue in a neighborhood store and because it was a store I didn’t need to go to often, I said something to the manager and asked him not to say my name to the employee. Next time I went in, the employee brought it up and kept asking (in broken english) What, you want me to be like ice and not talk to people? I realized that he had no clue what the proper boundaries were so I never went into that store again. I hope though, that it changed his behavior towards my many other friends who experienced the same thing.May 24, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am #685472bored123Participant
There’s a very clear difference between being flirtatious and making customers feel comfortable. A nice hello and have a nice day does the job very well and doesn’t need any more than that if the worker is a man and the person doing the shopping is the woman. I’d find it really annoying if i had to go to another shop further away just because there was a man who didn’t know how to keep his distance.
Personally what i would do is either write a letter myself or tell my husband to write a letter to this man and tell him if he’s not careful how he acts towards women who come to the shop we will ensure that the manager/a rav finds out – if the manager finds out he could get fired, and if a rav gets involved it could cause them problems and hopefully that might deter him. If that doesn’t then i would go to a rav and ask him what to do.May 24, 2010 1:47 pm at 1:47 pm #685473
Customers come first over anything else going on in the shop. If a customer needs a price, youfind it out for them. If the shelf is not stocked or the product is too high up, you get it for them.
This is standard customer service at WalMart, Jewel, Shoprite, etc.
Asking about a customer’s family, asking if their husband is in town, giving a rolling commentary about how female shoppers dress, and hovering over female shoppers is NOT called customer service. If this happened in a NON-HEIMISHE STORE, the MANAGER WOULD BE FIRED. Only because it’s a frum store people don’t feel like making waves.
EDITEDMay 24, 2010 2:22 pm at 2:22 pm #685475AinOhdMilvadoParticipant
Is there a reason that if he asks “How are you?” that she can’t just say “Baruch Hash-m” and turn and walk away?May 24, 2010 4:36 pm at 4:36 pm #685476shindyMember
I like what oomis1105 writes. I’m also wondering if this worker does this only to this woman or does he do this to others as well?May 24, 2010 5:13 pm at 5:13 pm #685477pomeranzMember
“I saw this person shmoozing with obviously married women, just walking around and out of the blue talking with customers who are not dressed tzinus,”
im sorry to apply this, but is this why he wants to talk to your wife ? or he talks to any woman who walks in?May 24, 2010 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #685478dvorakMember
I don’t really know what to advise in this situation, but I am surprised at how many people think that the wife might be reading too much into the requisite friendliness that comes with the job of being a manager. I don’t know about other women, but I can tell the difference between polite friendliness and inappropriate friendliness. I had a situation where I felt a male coworker was a little creepy. Other male coworkers would say hi, how are you, how’s the baby and I’ve had no problem with that. This guy was trying to get too personal. I spoke with my feet. Every time he came over, I walked away. That sent a loud and clear message, and he backed off. What this guy had been doing was not enough to warrant filing a complaint, but I felt uncomfortable so i did what I had to do (it’s possible that by secular standards I overreacted, but those are not the standards I’m concerned with…) What I mean by all this is that while I may not be able to stand up in a court of law and swear that this guy did something wrong, my intuition told me that he was being wayyyy too friendly; there really is a difference and you can definitely tell. I would not discount the OP’s wife’s feeling’s. If she is feeling uncomfortable, there is likely a good reason for it and she needs to do something about it. I agree that she probably should not get this guy fired, but she does need to get him to back off.May 24, 2010 6:32 pm at 6:32 pm #685479
MMS601 and all others affected by this issue:
1] Mail a printout of this entire thread to the store owner.
2] Mail a printout of this entire thread to the store MANAGER.
A WISE store owner will understand that his staff needs RE-Training in Customer Service. He would have the ability to correct the issue WITHOUT names being named. As they say chacham einav beroishoi.
As for the store manager, unless someone puts the clamps on his behaviors it is unlikely he will see a need to change. It’s time to protest Avizreiah Degilui Arayos.May 24, 2010 6:53 pm at 6:53 pm #685480aaymParticipant
1) # 4 is the way to go for starters. Wouldn’t you use a different block to walk down if you felt threatened by the people living there, even if it wasn’t the most convinient way?
2)Ask your LOR
3) A possible solution with pwermission from the LOR. Why can’t yur wife very directly tell him, that as the manager of the store he has the right to say hello, can I help you, respond tp your questions or concerns, however, all other questions and conversations are off limits due to Tznius reasons. I am sure that he will stop with your wife immediately, and possibly get him thinking about others.May 24, 2010 7:08 pm at 7:08 pm #685482WolfishMusingsParticipant
all other questions and conversations are off limits due to Tznius reasons.
It shouldn’t even have to come to that. No one has to justify why they don’t want to answer personal questions. If your wife doesn’t want to deal with him anymore, she should just very sternly tell him that she does not socialize with men. That should be the end of it.
If it still goes on, then she has a valid complaint to take to the employee’s supervisor.
The WolfMay 25, 2010 2:24 pm at 2:24 pm #685483aries2756Participant
My question is “is he only friendly to the women or is he friendly to everyone?”. If the answer is he is friendly to everyone, then maybe a male should explain that it is appropriate when speaking to women that it is fine to be helpful but not when a male makes a personal inquiry.
If he is only friendly to women, then there is a problem that should be brought up with the higher management or find another store.May 25, 2010 4:30 pm at 4:30 pm #685484
This reminds me of a story that once happened to me (and I am sure some of you can relate to).
One Shabbos in a borough of New York, I was walking down the street when I passed a woman on the street.
Without breaking stride I proceeded to greet her with a generic “Good Shabbos”. I noticed that her facial expression had changed to an equal mix of foreign and perplexity. Another 30 feet or so, I came across a male where I once greeted the individual with my generic “Good Shabbos”.
As I passed the second person, the first person had stopped for the male to catch up, in order for the woman to ask, “de veist dus mench?” (You know that man?)May 25, 2010 6:45 pm at 6:45 pm #685485
what’s your point?
that you’re saying gut shabbos to strange woman in bp?
do you work in a grocery store?May 25, 2010 8:06 pm at 8:06 pm #685486
My point is that perhaps the OP’s wife mistook a simple greeting as inappropriate. My story with me greeting a “strange woman” can be misconstrued by a strange woman.
Chesedname, I should hope you don’t run to file complaints each time someone from the opposite gender greets you while walking by you.
All I am suggesting is that they should approach their LOR before taking further action. As there are people who perceive any questions as inappropriate.
Another note, I find it amusing that she would potentially have the guy fired, but it isn’t severe enough to at least avoid the store due to convenience.May 25, 2010 8:19 pm at 8:19 pm #685487
It isn’t just the OP’s wife. The OP observed it himself – the manager physically getting too close to the women, initiating conversation about family(!) without them asking for assistance, etc.
Like artchill said, if the manager in Shop Rite tried to pull that off, he’d be fired in flash.May 25, 2010 8:41 pm at 8:41 pm #685488
Why go to a store which is less convenient, might not have the greatest selection or prices, simply because the frum, heimish store has a manager acting in a way that is not frum or heimish??
B’Avonoseinu Harabbim, there is what to be concerned about when a male asks PERSONAL questions to a female shopper ands stands in close proximity to the said female shopper.
In the situation being discussed:
1] The Original Poster’s wife felt uncomfortable with the interaction.
2] The Original Poster did his due diligence to observe what his wife described and he, “saw this person shmoozing with obviously married women, just walking around and out of the blue talking with customers who are not dressed tzinus, and so on”
This manager is NOT living up to the behavioral standards of a heimish store and SHOULD BE FIRED.May 25, 2010 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm #685489
Is convenience a adequate excuse for continuing to place yourself in harms way?
If she would like to continue patronizing the store, she should hold off until this stumbling block is addressed or removed.
The OP never specified about the “personal questions”. There is a clear difference between asking, “How are your kids?” and specifics about her kids.
There are people that would feel uncomfortable with any interaction. That is why I think it would be wise to have woman working as representatives for the store.
“The Original Poster did his due diligence to observe what his wife described and he, “saw this person shmoozing with obviously married women, just walking around and out of the blue talking with customers who are not dressed tzinus, and so on”
Is the OP implying that his wife is one of the untznius woman? That can be addressed in the other thread.
The manager behavior may have very well been inappropriate, but your LOR should be contacted not some blog.May 25, 2010 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm #685490
Snowback – For getting physically too close to the women alone this guy crossed all red lines. Getting close and starting personal conversations with customers is not the behavior of an ehrliche yid.May 25, 2010 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm #685491WolfishMusingsParticipant
Just how close is “close?”
The WolfMay 25, 2010 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm #685492oomisParticipant
Ann Landers used to say that the proper response to someone who asks an inappropriate question is, “WHY would you ask me that???” That usually lets the asker know he or she is out of line.
EDITEDMay 26, 2010 2:50 pm at 2:50 pm #685494HealthParticipant
Trying my best- Try your best to not judge up another Jew unless you’re in his shoes. Maybe he feels he is doing his job -being overly friendly. If someone has a problem with his behavior, she should tell him. If she feels uncomfortable, she can bring her husband and he can tell him, but she has to be there. There is no excuse to bring this right now to a Rav or to the owner. At this stage without confronting him, it’s not even L”H, it’s pure Motzay Shem Rah!May 26, 2010 6:16 pm at 6:16 pm #685495mybatMember
I don’t understand why you don’t just go to a different store since its so inappropriate and uncomfortable?
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.