Is it a case of racism, ageism, or poor customer service on the part of employees at the Shell/Circle K gas station on Clanton Road in southwest Charlotte, North Carolina?
We may never know for sure, as the station owner has refused to comment.
But the 89-year-old grandmother at the center of this controversy, Ms. Evelyn Redic lived through the Jim Crow era of the South and according to the HuffPost, told her granddaughter that the humiliation she experienced on Sunday, June 24th at the hands of gas station employees reminded her of the "of the days of Jim Crow."
Redic's granddaughter Katossa Glover spoke with WBTV in North Carolina telling them that her grandmother went to church on Sunday via the church van service. On the way home, the van got a flat tire near the station. While waiting for the flat to be fixed, Redic went to relieve herself at the Shell/Circle K station and was told "no" when she asked to use the bathroom there, adding that an employee told her the bathrooms were "for employees only."
Glover says Redic "...was outraged" and at that point, felt she had no other choice but to relieve herself on the grass near the gas station.
Glover says Redic told her she'd:
"...never been so embarrassed."
Twitter was angry about the disrespect, siding with Redic and her granddaughter:
🤯🤬 wowww!! looks like such a sweet lady, saddens me she had to be faced with such rudeness!! respect your elders people!!!!!!!!!— em. l3w☆ (@EmMarieLewis) June 30, 2018
Even those who cited policy and being turned away themselves agreed an exception should have been out of common decency:
Let me also say they should have made exception,but they get to call the shots— Rick Bias (@bias_rick) June 30, 2018
The good news is, after Jan. 1, 2019, all new gas stations in North Carolina will be required to have a restroom available for customer use during the open business hours.