Discrimination comes in many guises.

I have a friend who’s missing his front teeth, dresses in overalls and drives an old pick up truck. There’s one more detail that might surprise you.He’s a self made millionaire! It’s interesting to watch how folks react when they find out how much he’s worth. Their attitude toward him immediately changes.

An African American middle-aged woman shared a story of walking into a classy well known jewelry store with two thousand dollars cash in her purse. She had been saving up for a gorgeous ring…A gift that she was going to purchase as a present to herself! She stood there for 10 minutes waiting for a salesperson to come over and help her.There were three standing around and not one of them came over. She walked out and took her business elsewhere.

Remember the scene in the movie Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts walks into a classy boutique and is asked to leave? She stops back in after shopping at another boutique, with a stunning outfit on and fancy shopping bags on each arm. Of course they greet her but she turns and walks out letting them know that they had their chance and blew it! It was a classic moment!

When I wrote my weekly column, You’ve Been Caught Being Nice, I experienced discrimination first hand. I’m not into fancy labels and designer clothes but I’m always dressed neatly. I remember mystery shopping in an upscale bookstore and watching the owner look me up and down and walk right by me, most likely deciding that I was not worth the hello.

Her loss! She had no idea that I wrote a customer service column in the local newspaper. My concept was to acknowledge NICE people in the sales and service industry and give them the exposure they deserved. A friendly smile and good service could have resulted in thousands of potential new customers!

Moral to these stories…Don’t judge a book by its cover!

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