Over the past few days one hot topic that has got netizens discussing about is the brouhaha between visually impaired Singaporean lady, Cassandra Chiu and a security officer at an apparel shop at Ngee Ann City.
Without going into much detail, the security officer attempted to stop Chiu who brought her guide dog in to the shop, citing rules that do not allow animals into the shop.
After telling her a few times of the store’s policy, a quarrel ensued which included some pushing and shoving.
The security officer was apparently removed from duty and the store apologised to the lady.
This apparently is not the first time Chiu and her dog, Esme, got into some trouble.
On a handful of occasions she was also refused entry into another retailer, food outlet and a taxi.
Yes, Singapore needs to be a more inclusive society in accepting people with disabilities and guide-dogs, but at the very least, she should not have tried to force her way through just to get what she wants.
The security officer himself, could have been more restrained in dealing with Chiu. He should have also clarified with the store manager if guide-dogs were allowed in.
But by doing what she did, she inevitably caused the security officer from the shop to lose his job.
And in previous occasions, while it’s not clear what happened to the staff who were involved, I think she could have had a better and more sensible approach.
Here’s what she could have done better:
1.) Ask to speak with the manager of the outlet
She could have clarified the outlet’s policy of not having animals/pets in the store with the manager of the shop, instead of making a fuss.
2.) Keep the dog at home
If she had really wanted to shop, then maybe she could have left the dog at home, and ask a friend to accompany her to the shops.
3.) Lookout for a Guide-dogs friendly outlet decal
Dining and retails shops which welcome guide-dogs often place a decal or sign on the shop front. She could have gotten someone to see if the shop had a decal.
If she had kept quiet and leave, it would not have blown up. So what she could have done was to just leave quietly.
While its important to be inclusive, I feel its more important to be more tolerant of mistakes.
I only hope that the security guard had a proper hearing by his employers before he was dismissed. Hopefully he can get a job again quickly.