This is a post about prejudice.
I'm not asking for pity or outrage, just a little understanding. Maybe someone to listen to my own anger, because I feel I am right to be angry in this instance. And because sometimes you have to vent that anger so your family doesn't want to kill you at the end of the day.
Sporting goods stores are slim pickings in this area. Oh, we have the Bass Pro, the REI, and the Field & Stream, but if you're looking for baseball bats and yoga mats, you have Play It Again, and you have Dick's Sporting Goods. With two kids who, between them, have played 20 years of ball and bat-type sports, 12 years of soccer, plus assorted years of volleyball and basketball, Dick's has gotten more than their fair share of my time and money.
Today, I visited Dick's fitness area in search of adjustable dumbbells for my brother, the truckdriver, who, understandably, does not want 12 sets of dumbbells rolling around his truck. I could have ordered them off Amazon, but I wanted to give them to him today, and I have a gift card, and I prefer the occasional physical store. I tried Play It Again yesterday, my preference, as it is smaller and far cheaper, but they didn't have any. I found what I was looking for, but I had a few questions. I waited out the couple who was there ahead of me with 200 Crossfit equipment questions. I waited out the gentleman who arrived after me, asking 200 weightlifting glove questions. Then the young, superfit male associate looked right at me, looked me up and down, turned his back and started to walk away. I called out, "excuse me" and he responds with, "Oh, Do you want something?"
No. I'm just standing there staring at you because you are so darn hot.
What I actually say is, "Yes, I was wondering if you have anything else like this. If not, do you have more of these in stock?"
He responds, "Oh, this isn't my department."
Really? Look, I realize that with my history and self esteem issues, I may be quick to assume that people are judging me on my size. But, this one felt like a pretty obvious "the fat girl couldn't possibly plan to purchase anything in the fitness department" moment.
Dick's Sporting Goods, here's the thing. You probably want to hire athletic people to work in your store. People who actually play sports or work out regularly. You probably want them to look that way, and you likely pay them crap. But - and this is more a good business suggestion than just a sensitivity issue - people who want to lose weight and get fit are going to want to buy fitness equipment. They very likely will shop in the fitness department of your store. Don't you think it would benefit everyone involved to teach your employees who work in that department to work with these people, and not to just write them off as a fat woman who will never use her weights?
Because this fat woman does use her weights, and will need newer, heavier weights sooner rather than later. And this fat woman really wants a standing bag of her own for kickboxing on days she can't get to a class.
And guess what, Mr. Superfit Dick's Associate. This freaking fat woman probably worked out harder than you did at 5:00 this morning.