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Store Employee Telling Me I Don't Have Celiac?
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So I didn't realize that mega store employees had doctorate degrees. Today I went to do some shopping, and I now refuse to shop at a mega store whose name I will not mention (but I will say they have a building structure in their name) after getting told I don't have celiac cuz I just tested positive for it a month and a half ago by an employee when I asked about a new "gluten free" store brand product. I left my cart with about $300 worth of food and non-food items in the middle of the aisle and went to Kroger.

But on the bright side, on the way to Kroger, I passed a building that has been getting renovated for months now and saw a sign up that simply said "Aldi's"! A new contender should bring a nicer selection of items and maybe some better prices! Then at Kroger, I went to customer service to ask about Reiga which Adalaide had mentioned on here. (Speaking of which, what part of the store do you find it in, and what does the package look like?) Well, they have no way to look up if they carry it on the computer, but this employee that was getting ready to clock out did walk around the store with me to where it might be (like 4 different places) and then said she was going to forward a request to the manager to see about carrying it. That is what I call customer service!

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Wow, seriously??!! 

 

I would not only take my business elsewhere, but I would also file a written complaint with the store. Their employee stepped way out of line. 

 

Last I checked, there was no law saying that you had to have documented celiac to buy gluten free food anyway.  :rolleyes: It's not like the employees have to check your medical records before they show you where the gluten free food is. ROFL!!

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Trust me when I say the complaint will not stop at the store level. What really got me was I didn't say anything about celiac, the employee brought that up. Her exact words were "you don't look sick, so don't be acting like you have celiac or something".

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I wouldn't even have discussed it with a Walmart employee. They barely make minimum wage.

Edit: we posted at the same time.

That's just rude! I hope you have her name and report that.

Edited by kareng
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Trust me when I say the complaint will not stop at the store level. What really got me was I didn't say anything about celiac, the employee brought that up. Her exact words were "you don't look sick, so don't be acting like you have celiac or something".

Wow, that is just ridiculous! That is like saying that a person with a peanut allergy is healthy and doesn't look sick, so therefore they can go eat peanuts. It makes no sense!

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Karen, the only thing I asked was "I've heard y'all have a store brand section of gluten free products now, where is it at?" That was to be the extent of my discussion with the employee.

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I'm seriously tempted to look up the discrimination laws and see what they say about things like this. I'm not the type of person to sue over stupid stuff, but that was just plain rude and discriminatory to me. I was seriously livid when I left, you coulda cooked a steak extra well done on my head in a couple minutes.

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So, the employee didn't know your medical history, didn't know your testing history, didn't know your symptom history and they blurted out that line? WOW!

 

Sure, I look healthy. You can't tell by looking at me that I spent an evening in the ER with neurological problems due to gluten. 

 

I mean, the fact is, being sick or not is no proof of celiac. People who have been diagnosed with celiac as babies or toddlers and therefore have been on a gluten free diet nearly their whole life are usually quite healthy, since their parents caught it early and treated it.

 

I can't believe that a person would have the nerve to make a statement like that. :(

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Karen, the only thing I asked was "I've heard y'all have a store brand section of gluten free products now, where is it at?" That was to be the extent of my discussion with the employee.

I think we posted together. How would the employee know you weren't buying for someone else? My BIL is more than healthy looking but has a wheat allergy. I am more than healthy looking, too. I would complain.

I have people ask if a product is good. I have had some ask some questions because of their own or families health issues. But I haven't had any say stuff like that!

As for discrimination- They didn't refuse to sell to you or limit your access because of your " disability", race, religion, sex, etc. but a complaint to corporate is a good idea.

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Yeah. I asked what they meant by I look healthy so I don't have celiac, and was told they remember me a few months ago buying all kinds of bread and macaroni and stuff (which is true, and I'm sure they remembered it cuz I made a big deal about several things not ringing up the price on the shelf). In response I said "do since I didn't get diagnosed til recently I don't have celiac, huh?" And was informed that if I had celiac I would have had it since birth.

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^Yeah, exactly Kareng.

 

I remember one of my celiac support group leaders who didn't have celiac--but her husband did and therefore she was heavily involved in cooking for him, etc.

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Yeah. I asked what they meant by I look healthy so I don't have celiac, and was told they remember me a few months ago buying all kinds of bread and macaroni and stuff (which is true, and I'm sure they remembered it cuz I made a big deal about several things not ringing up the price on the shelf). In response I said "do since I didn't get diagnosed til recently I don't have celiac, huh?" And was informed that if I had celiac I would have had it since birth.

That's just plain ignorance speaking. If they knew anything about celiac, they would know that you can have the genes for it and have it activated later in life by a traumatic event (illness, surgery, pregnancy, etc.)

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As for discrimination- They didn't refuse to sell to you or limit your access because of your " disability", race, religion, sex, etc. but a complaint to corporate is a good idea.

That's what I thought, but I may still look up the code and reference it to make it a bigger deal and make them realize it's not a joke or a game. Maybe if they think a lawyer is involved I might actually get a reply "explaining" the behavior.

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Plus, technically speaking, their employees shouldn't be giving out medical advice, right?

 

Imagine if someone was newly diagnosed and was ignorant of some of the basic facts of celiac and thought, "Oh, I must not have it then," and went home and started eating gluten and got seriously ill or hospitalized.

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That's just plain ignorance speaking. If they knew anything about celiac, they would know that you can have the genes for it and have it activated later in life by a traumatic event (illness, surgery, pregnancy, etc.)

Maybe I should include a stack of information from the University of Chicago's website. Let them do some reading.

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Plus, technically speaking, their employees shouldn't be giving out medical advice, right?

Imagine if someone was newly diagnosed and was ignorant of some of the basic facts of celiac and thought, "Oh, I must not have it then," and went home and started eating gluten and got seriously ill or hospitalized.

Technically speaking, yes. However I would hope nobody would take the word of a store employee over their doctor and go pig out on gluten. However, it does make me wonder if that employee would tell someone "as long as you don't eat too much gluten you'll be fine" which I could see a newbie believing.

**note to any newbies reading this: you can NOT eat gluten. Treatment for celiac is a strict gluten FREE diet**

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Technically speaking, yes. However I would hope nobody would take the word of a store employee over their doctor and go pig out on gluten. However, it does make me wonder if that employee would tell someone "as long as you don't eat too much gluten you'll be fine" which I could see a newbie believing.

**note to any newbies reading this: you can NOT eat gluten. Treatment for celiac is a strict gluten FREE diet**

Note to Newbies - don't take medical/gluten advice from someone who didn't graduate from high school and makes minimum wage for 31 hours a week and thinks that is great.

My point being - they aren't a doctor, nurse, chef, or even a Whole Foods vitamin department employee. What she said was rude and stupid,.... That's it. Email the company but you really can't expect much from a Walmart employee.

I know many Walmart employees work hard, go to school, etc. But, with the exception of pharmacists, they aren't there to give medical advice. Heck, the TV/ electronics employees have no special knowledge unless they just happen to be into that stuff.

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Wow....just wow! I'm stunned that someone would say that to you!

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Karen, while that is true for most employees there, it is not true for all of them. I do know someone who works at a different location who only works there because it buys her baby's diapers/food/etc andshows she's not a bum, which helps her get scholarships and grants to finish her pre-med (which will be done in December). But yes, I know she is the exception to the rule.

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My husband works at Walmart and he even makes fun of a significant portion of the employees there. He says few are like him, people who show up, work hard and feel some sense of responsibility.

 

If it were me, I would certainly report the employee both to the store manager and to corporate. That is the sort of thing that shouldn't just be let go.

 

Also, this link shows a picture of the Riega cheese packets. I used to get them in the gluten-free section of the store, now they moved them to where the mac & cheese is. If you can't find them in a store, maybe you can find them online? Not sure. Hope you can find them! Or at least request them. http://www.testedglutenfree.com/find-the-date-lot-code/

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What a giant A-hole that lady was.  Definitely go up the corporate ladder with your complaint.  Ask them to do training on not giving medical advice and sensitivity towards people with disabilities and food allergies.  However, when you have a low wage employee who is treated like crud by their corporate employer, you are going to get people who act like that.  

 

Good thing an Aldi is opening up by you soon!  A lot of their stuff is labeled well, and their gluten-free line of products is going to be coming back soon as a permanent addition.  You just have to get used to bagging your own stuff, hehe.  But great for budget shopping.

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I have a nice little letter typed up, now I just have to go to the library and print it since my printer broke.

Adalaide, thank you for the picture of it! Now at least when I'm looking for it I know more than the name. I completely agree with you though that there are a few ppl who work there that actually have some integrity, they're just about as rare as a 4 leaf clover.

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Is it possible that he just meant that you look healthy?  Couldn't that be taken as a complement?  I don't think that Walmart pays their employees enough to monitor what they say.

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I am sure the employee could have meant it that way, Steph.  But as someone with a lot of "hidden" diseases I cannot tell you how old that gets.

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Trust me when I say the complaint will not stop at the store level. What really got me was I didn't say anything about celiac, the employee brought that up. Her exact words were "you don't look sick, so don't be acting like you have celiac or something".

 

Nothing about this employees statement could be taken as a compliment. It is insulting and rude. You can refer to my signature to see approximately how I would respond.

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