ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A sign posted on the inside of a westside Albuquerque Shell gas station is getting a lot of attention.
“To put it up there, just blatantly, it’s a hurtful feeling,” said a woman after seeing a picture of the sign.
People can’t believe the sign was hung on a window for everyone to see.
“I wanted to know why it was in the window, so I went into the gas station,” said Maria Meeks.
Meeks spotted the sign on Saturday. It included a racially derogatory term that starts with the letter “N.” She snapped a picture and asked the employees inside why it was put in the window.
“So she looked at it, and she said ‘oh’ and started laughing, and said there was a guy that was hanging out around here and we wanted him to leave so we posted the sign in the window,” said Meeks.
Meeks said then, she was even more amazed by the reasoning the employees gave her for the racial slur on the sign. Meeks posted it to Facebook, expressing her frustration.
“In the state that I love so much, in the town that I love so much, that people are acting like this and feel it’s okay to post something like this,” she said.
People that KRQE News 13 showed the picture to were just as baffled by the sign.
“To say it out your mouth is bad enough, think it in your heart, in your mind, we don’t know, but to be that careless and heartless is just sad,” said another woman.
Meeks said she called Shell’s corporate number and was told that they are looking into what happened.
“They did say that they were going to file a formal complaint, which is great,” said Meeks.
However, she said it doesn’t fix the damage done.
“It’s just not right,” Meeks said.
KRQE News 13 reached out to Shell’s corporate office and they released the following statement:
Shell Oil Products US takes allegations of discrimination seriously. Shell does not condone the type of behavior alleged to have occurred and we expect that third parties selling Shell-branded motor fuels treat every customer in a fair and inclusive manner.
Similar to other major fuel brands, the Shell retail fuels business in the U.S. primarily supplies quality motor fuels to wholesalers who operate under the Shell brand and sell Shell-branded fuels. So while the name on the sign reflects the brand of the motor fuel being sold on the premises, the convenience store and the day-to-day site operations are the legal responsibility of the wholesaler, site owner and/or operator.
The Retail Territory Manager is currently investigating this issue with the independent site owner.