Home Depot has a nationwide policy against dogs in stores, and for good reason. There are at least a hundred reasons why dogs are inappropriate and disturbing. Here is an instance of a customer being attacked in Colorado and here is a very recent example of an employee being bitten in Ottawa. Supposedly, after the recent attack in Canada the company has strengthened their resolve to eliminate dogs from stores in the United States.
So this woman, Destiny King, manager of a small, by big-box retailer standards, store in Evergreen, Colorado decides she is going to have a “dog friendly” store (nomenclature is per John Cahill, assistant manager). Speaking with Ms. King was like speaking to a caveman (in her case, cavewoman). Her rationale included the following.
- In her twenty-some years with Home Depot she has never seen the “certified service dogs only” policy enforced. (Insight: I don’t think she is exactly worldly.)
- She said Home Depot has a lot to do with contractors and many of these individuals have dogs. (Question: Does she really understand the market?)
- Some customers dislike or cannot tolerate dogs so, for them, employees will provide escorts. In my case, when I called this evening, it was suggested that the item I wished to purchase–as if I know specifically–could be waiting for me at the front of the store. (What? So I am not supposed to walk through the store and buy more?)
- “It is a temperature or weather thing,” she said, referring to pets being left in hot vehicles. Brief research suggests this is probably not a major issue–some pet owners seem to view the experience as being part of the family, exercise, or socialization. Besides, maybe pet owners shouldn’t bring pets along if they cannot provide a safe, humane, considerate of others environment for them.
- Ms. King said the store’s employees “try to enforce” that dogs be on leashes. At another time she said “they should be on leashes.” (In other words: it does happen that dogs are not on leashes.)
My entire conversation with her lasted about 45 minutes and it was one of the darnedest things I have ever experienced. She has no conception of why the rule is there and, moreover, she believes she can simply override it. As if I really had to, I mentioned things including narrow isles, biting, intimidation, allergies, urination and defecation, community leash laws, potential lawsuits, consideration for all customers, and the list goes on… I believe she should know about cases involving injury and the diligence other stores employ to enforce the policy. She just does not get it.
This may be redundant but I need to repeat it: most disappointingly, she does not understand, nor does she respect, why the well thought-out rule is there in the first place.
Normally I dislike attacking someone personally, but in this case I cannot hold back. Ms. King is treating me with disrespect by expecting me to shop in her kennel of a store. Further, she has, and promises to again, put me in danger (yesterday, in her store, and within about twenty minutes, I was confronted by two, separate, scary-looking dogs about three-plus feet tall).
Organizations and companies don’t make poor decisions, people do. Destiny King is a fool, and a danger, and she should be fired.
Originally posted 5/5/11