Friday, 21 March 2014

Furore Fönsterputsare Outside Swedish Store

Vanessa Ileva, not a fan of amateur window cleaners
Swedish store 'sorry' for dousing beggar - A Swedish supermarket has issued an apology to a woman who was asking for money outside one of its stores, after a passerby reported that the woman was doused with water by the window-cleaning store manager. A Swedish passer-by witnessed the event and quickly wrote about his shock and outrage on social media. The post soon made the rounds online. The supermarket chain Hemköp on Friday said it had apologized in person to the woman in question. "Hemköp in all ways wants to express regret that Vanessa Ileva was doused with water in connection to the store manager at Stigbergstorget washing the windows without paying due attention," a statement read. 

Head of communications for the entire chain, which has 180 stores across Sweden, told The Local she made sure to have a translator with her so that she and Ileva would be able to communicate as well as possible. "She was very grateful that I was there and that we apologized, but I also wanted to hear how she had experienced the event," Maria Nobel told The Local on Friday. Ileva, 28, who worked in Spain before travelling to Sweden, yelped and started crying after the dousing, drawing attention from nearby florist Lillian Pekkari who walked over to comfort her. But the store manager showed up again, Pekkari told the Metro newspaper. "He came out again with a new bucket of water that he threw at the next window pane just as aggressively," she said.

People demonstrated outside the store.
When news broke of the dousing last week, several hundred people assembled outside the Hemköp store demanding an answer. The store manager was threatened and has since gone on sick leave, Sveriges Radio reported. Spokeswoman Maria Nobel declined to comment on how the furore had affected the store staff. "It's of course been stressful, but out of respect for them I don't want to comment further," she said.
The story hit a raw nerve with Swedes, many of whom have mixed feelings about the surge of people asking for money on street corners. Nobel added no further explanation to the conclusion of the internal review that the store manager had not shown "due consideration", but she said that Hemköp understood why the incident had sparked such attention. "Maybe because it's a hot topic. We understand fully why it caused such commotion," she said. "It was serious what happened and we take it seriously."
Also on Friday, the Metro newspaper reported that an Instagram account had been set up to photograph and register beggars in Stockholm, with the aim to highlight what "politicians don't give a f*** about".  And on Thursday, the Expressen newspaper also reported that a small Ica store in Fornåsa had put up a sign discouraging its shoppers to give money. "Please! Don't give the beggars anything," the post read. Local resident Sanna Käck at first didn't believe the news and headed off to the store to check that the reporter hadn't been fooled by a photo montage. Surely a company wouldn't tell its customers what to do, she thought. "I couldn't believe it when I saw the sign with my own eyes," Käck reported back to Expressen.

Previously, the store manager said he concentrated on the window he was cleaning and that he splashed water on Vanessa on purpose.!YrvhPumJINWw/
Hemköp apologizes to Vanessa: Vanessa Ileva was doused with water when she was sitting & begging outside Hemköp on Stigbergstorget, in Gothenburg has now received a personal apology from the chain store.  Hemköp investigation into the incident is complete and shows that the store manager was negligent when he washed the windows.
According to several eyewitnesses, the store manager poured water on Vanessa and the story of what happened spread quickly in social media. I have personally met her.  I listened to her experience of the event, and we take her experience of discomfort seriously.  Then I asked for apology on behalf of the company, says Maria Nobel, Communications at Hemköp, saying that Vanessa was grateful for the excuse.
The incident occurred last week. How is it that you're sorry now? Because we have made an independent investigation of the incident which is now complete.  The investigation shows that the store manager has been negligent when he washed the windows, and that Vanessa has been soaked by water when he washed the windows, says Maria Nobel.
The store manager was taken out of service since his family was threatened after the event.  Maria Nobel says that now he is on sick leave. It is unclear whether he will work as a store manager at Stigbergstorget in the future. What happens after sick leave is at this stage unclear, says Maria Nobel.
Previously, the store manager said he concentrated on the window he was cleaning and that he splashed water on Vanessa on purpose. If I splash water on another person, I am so terribly sorry, it was definitely not my purpose, he told Metro last week.

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