Syeeda Hussaini has suffered from neck pain the past few years, to the extent that it’s difficult for her to drive and get a good night’s rest.
So on a recent weekend, she, her husband, and their three kids loaded up the car and drove less than a mile to Mattress Firm. Her husband, Mohammad, encouraged her to lie on different beds to see which one felt best.
She said the store manager approached, but oddly didn’t want to help. He told the family that he wouldn’t sell them a mattress for security reasons, she said.
Hussaini, 27, who is Muslim, covers all but her hands, feet and eyes in public to show respect for femininity and her religion. She said the manager told her she needed to show her face for service. Mohammad, a pathology resident at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, tried to explain that his wife dressed this way to be modest, much like Catholic nuns. But the manager stomped off, they say.
Hussaini wrote a letter to a regional representative of the company after the March 12 visit to the store. An official at Mattress Firm headquarters in Houston said the company “has a zero tolerance policy on racial and religious profiling.” Spokeswoman Sunni Goodman would not comment specifically about the manager, but she confirmed the encounter happened.
“As soon as we were informed of the incident, we took appropriate action to address the situation,” she said.
The manager no longer works for Mattress Firm.
I want to know why the manager thought he could get away with something like that. Did he think the corporate office would be okay with that display of bigotry? Would they have been if the media didn’t get involved?