[Updated] Because the owner apologized and asked nicely, I am removing the name of the business from the story.
Many of you know that I was unable to purchase a bottle of water from a small business in Ft Worth, Texas today - [redacted]. An angry reader and fellow activist, Amy Diede, called the business and spoke with the owner after she read my story. That is when he said that those in the movement were just a bunch of bums. Diede was so upset by the call that she hung up on him and told him, "you're gonna go out of business. I am in California, and I already know what happened there in Texas!"
Well, the business owner took it upon himself to go out and meet the occupiers in Ft. Worth. After he did this, he called up Diede and apologized to her. He said he was wrong and that it was clear that there are a lot of people out there doing good things.
Apologizing in that way takes a lot of guts, so I want to publicly thank him for doing that. It was huge that he ventured out to meet the Occupiers and then say he was sorry.
Hats off to the owner of [redacted]. The next time I go down to Ft. Worth, I'm going to go into his store, buy something, and thank him for doing that.
Please share this story. This is how we come together as the 99%. To be clear, I didn't think he deserved to be punished, but I was not happy when I was turned away and my money for a bottle of water was refused.
He took it upon himself to learn more about the folks who are out on the streets protesting.
Here's the owner's note to me:
I met you today. I'd like to apologize for how you were treated. You left before I could offer an explanation. I won't pretend I agree with the view of the occupy movement. However, that hasn't been why we've had an issue with the protesters. The reality is they have been a disruption around my home and business: horn honking, chanting, police light at all hours of the night; they have all taken their toll and caused us to be frustrated.
We spent several hours in the cold tonight listening to the protesters. While we still don't agree philosophically with many ideas, we do have a better respect for the people there.
We really don't want any trouble, which has been the basis for our policies. We don't have the time or resources for a fight, legal, philosophical or otherwise. We're a small business trying to make it. So again, I would like to publicly apologize, and if you would like to do a do over, we will make sure you are served courteously.
I hope you'll accept my apology, and offer of a truce.
NOTE: They are a small business, so please don't flood their phone. They've made their peace. Time to move on. We don't want these folks to think we're vengeful.