To The Editor,
I am writing to express my concern about the treatment of personal information in the Coop database. Specifically, at the check-in desk. This has bothered me for a while, but the low point was an occasion a few years ago where my wife was ridiculed about her disability work exemption. I am sharing this with her permission.
Though she has battled chronic illness for years, she’s relatively young and appears to be able-bodied to those who don’t know her. On this visit to the Coop, the person working check-in saw her, looked at her membership status (disability), scoffed in disgust and questioned why she would need the exemption at all.
Of course, addressing this in the moment would be one way to try to solve the problem. But my wife’s response was shock and embarrassment, so she moved along, speechless. There are other examples of her being questioned about her disability status. Her visits to the Coop have slowly become more rare in recent years for this very reason.
The current Coop policy allows anyone to sign up for shifts in the office and at check-in, with no training or guidelines about how to treat people’s personal information. This should change. In my experience, the Coop is full of kind, socially intelligent coordinators who discreetly address personal issues on a regular basis. Members working their regular shift on the other hand, can sometimes be careless and even rude.
Although these incidents seem to be rare, it should be the Coop’s goal for this to never happen at all. We love the Coop and simply want it to be an inviting place for all.