My wife and I were in the Issaquah store 2 months ago and as usual I was not wearing a mask . My wife was. I am not required to wear a mask per Governor Jay Inslees health directive. I was in charge of a troop transport back in 2005 during "operation enduring freedom" and we had a IED detonate under our vehicle., I had a piece of our humv floor come up and go thru my right hand and then pierced my right lung and exited my back. To this day I have little pieces of metal come out of my body when Nature deems it time to do so and this will be happening for the rest of my natural life. I only have one lung now and am very careful about what I do and what and who I am around but ironically I am not allowed to EVER under any circumstances EVER cover my mouth or nose. In another ironic twist of fate I am legally deaf in my right ear from the blast and have only 70% hearing in my left. They think it was from the pressure of the bomb or the explosion itself and over the last 15 years I have learned to read lips (something that is impossible when the entire state of Washington is wearing a mask.) My wife and I were in your store looking at zipper pulls and when I walked in I passed an elderly man sitting on a stool who said nothing to me about wearing a mask . Then as I went indoors I was literally bombarded with 5 or 6 kids DEMANDING That I put a mask on . I told them all no I would not be risking my health by wearing anything over my face . Next thing I know a big heavy set man about in his 20s or 30's told me to mask up or get out . I told him the same thing I told you and he flippingly lied to my face as he said there was another employee working there right now who too was also blown up in Afghanistan and that HE WAS WEARING A MASK!! There were 83 people to date who have been critically injured by IED blast and one of them happens to be working in the Issaquah REI ?? I doubt it very much and in fact I can tell you from my patient/victim meetings at the VA hospital in Seattle and Spokane over the last 13 years that there is no employee that has ever been blown up by an IED during operation enduring freedom that works at your store 2 months ago. This was just the employees smart a** remark to a purple heart recipient veteran. The employee had the look of "I have no answer for this man so I will make up a big fat lie" . I told him that he was a "real patriot " and that he should be proud of himself" to this he faked punching me in the face by fake throwing a punch at me and having instead his fist punched his left palm of his hand then telling the teller that she was NOT to let me pay for my zipper pulls. I walked out and as I did I repeated over and over "what a patriot you should be real proud of yourself for treating an injured veteran this way. As I walked out he swore at me and just kept telling me to "get your **bleep** out of my store before you kill someone with your diseased breath . If this was not bad enough the older gentleman who was sitting on the stool outside the doors who was checking people coming in yelled at me and my wife of 32 years "get out of here you f**king piece of s**t" and the man who insulted me and then threatened to hit me yelled "we are calling the police" and a little girl ran outside and videoed my wife and I pulling away. I called and spoke to someone in customer service and she gave me an REI website that was a bunch of REI personnel who had different responsibilities so I left a message for the one I thought was responsible for such employee behavior but after 2 months I have never been reached yet this has bothered my wife and I ever since . I would appreciate it if you would watch the camera footage of that day and contact the Issaquah store and you will see the entire thing from start to finish and you will also see the employee fake a punch at me about 8 feet from the middle cash register. The man was a big guy about 300 pounds about 25 to 35 years old . I promise you he is not hard to spot as he would easily be the biggest man employed by your store. I thought maybe you could respond to this as not hearing anything from REI has me wondering if a law suit is the only path to a response. I called and spoke to the state of Washington's covid response medical protocol team and also to the Washington state labor and industries mask compliance team and they sent me the word for word verbiage as to mask wearing protocol.
this is from the actual state of Washington dept of health order of the secritary of health amending order 20-03 march /03/2020 face coverings statewide whereas Governor Jay Inslee has issued proclomation 20-05 subsequently amended and extended a state of emergency.
individuals may remove there face coverings when they are outside of there house , mobile home,apartment, condominium,Hotel or motel room,or other dwelling unit under the following circumstances .
When any party to a communication is deaf or hard of hearing and not wearing a face covering is essential to communications.
Some people should not wear cloth face coverings:
• Children under two years of age.
• People who have disabilities that:
o Prevent them from comfortably wearing or taking off face coverings.
o Prevent them from communicating while wearing face coverings.
• People who have respiratory conditions or breathing trouble.
• People who have been told by a medical, legal, or behavioral health professional not to
wear face coverings.
I was told to not wear a face covering as it prevents me from communicating .
I was also told to not wear a face covering because as it is most obvious that I have respiratory conditions as well as breathing trouble since I have only my left lung left in my body.
I would greatly appreciate a response to this as ignoring it is NOT going to make it go away . Thank you .
Thank you for bringing your concern to our attention. We have forwarded your post along to several members of the REI team who are reviewing your visit to our Issaquah store.
In regards to our mask policy, we have taken a number of precautions to ensure the health and safety of our employees, customers and communities in response to COVID-19. This includes, among other things, requiring our employees, as well as all customers older than age 2, to wear face coverings while at REI stores. If a customer is unable or unwilling to wear a face covering for health or other personal reasons, we have alternate methods of providing services, including curbside service, shopping on REI.com and choosing home delivery, virtual outfitting, and/or calling our Sales and Customer Support team. These options provide reasonable accommodations for customers with disabilities and meet the requirements of the ADA. While you may not agree with our approach, it is one that we believe meets the needs of our customers and employees while also complying with our legal obligations. Our store teams have been instructed to not permit entry to any customer who is unwilling or unable to wear a face covering or face shield.
@RK1 as it sounds like you were able to connect with one of our retail leaders about your concerns, we have turned off the ability for additional comments to be added to this thread.