Good morning, this is my first sitting at the PUAC Saturday post, and thanks for the opportunity. It’s a place to chat with other pups here and always provides commentary that’s interesting, and even helpful. Since I had an experience this week that I wanted to reflect more on, this is a chance for me to ask if you have encounters like mine.

I live in a rural area in North Texas, and often see church affiliations touted in the course of simply shopping or getting service. I’m interested to know how the atmosphere at your local businesses is – and how it affects where you choose to shop. In my area, there has been quite a growth in the charismatic church community. When I shop, get service for something, bank or have my head (oh, I mean my eyes!) examined, I notice when the personnel helping me are wearing obtrusive religious symbols, tell me to have a ‘blessed’ day, or have up literature that invites me to church. It makes me a bit squeamish.

Surveyed recently at a business that I’ve patronized for several decades, I was asked my opinion about the person who helped me. Although I gave great remarks for competence and good service, I did comment that I was uncomfortable because I was served by someone dressed in all black and wearing a large cross.

Is this something that I should have remarked on, or should I have ignored it as I probably would have if it were dreadlocks or an excess of makeup? I wonder if my adverse reactions to right wing symbolism would inhibit someone from personal expression that I would more be tolerant about if it were, say, a collection of unicorn earrings or a native tribe’s headband.

What are you encountering that expresses personal beliefs from people you do business with, and how does it strike you?