I must admit it did not sound too bad at the time – but after 4 long weeks I certainly have found it to be very inconvenient.
I am lucky as this is only a temporary thing – but it has made me think of people who have permanent disabilities. How do they cope?
When I first had the op life was very difficult. I have a contraption on my shoulder and arm that I cannot possibly get on and off on my own. I have to have help getting it on and off before dressing each morning and before getting ready for bed each evening – I have to have help with it after showering – it has been a right nightmare.
I have not able to drive for 6 weeks either – and that in its self has taken away any independence that I have. Basically I have had to depend on family and friends to help with everyday tasks.
Having one arm disabled has been at times difficult and has caused a few tears of frustration – but as I have said I am luck as it is only a temporary thing.
But what has surprised me the most is the lack of help from the staff in certain shops.
Yesterday I have my first real shopping trip out with my daughter. And I was just stunned at the lack of help in not one by most of all the shops that I went into. I am completely shocked by it to be truthful.
In fact in one shop the assistant was quite rude when I asked if she could keep two items separate – one was mine and the other my daughters but I paid for both together.
I handed her the money and held out my “good” hand for the change – she ignored my hand and slammed it down on the counter which I had to pick up. I then held out my hand for the bag and again she banged it down on the counter. She then made some snide comment and got impatient when I struggled to get the things together and trying to put the change back into my purse and back into my bag again all with one hand.
Then in the supermarket I was trying to pack shopping (with the help of my daughter) and try to get money out my purse was difficult – and you could see the assistant was getting fed up and just wanted to serve the next customer.
The same thing happened in the next shop – a book shop – the assistant stood there and watched me struggle with the books whilst trying to get my card out to pay – in fact she carried on a conversation with the other assistant as if I was not there.
Not once did anyone ask if I needed any help. Not once was I told to take my time, and it was pretty obvious that I was struggling with one hand every time. Not one shop I went
into did anyone of the assistants give me any allowances for my “disability”.
And as for people bumping into me – well I lost count by the end of the shopping trip – although most of them did apologise. But people just don’t look at where they are going.
All I could think of was how on earth does people who have disabilities cope with shopping – do they find it difficult? Do then find the staff as rude and unhelpful as I did today.
When I was a manager I was always aware of people who were at a disadvantage maybe they might be disabled, elderly or a parent with a pushchair – I always encourage my receptionists to offer help and make life easier for that person.
It is about time that some of these shops have Customer Care training – it is certainly badly needed.
So, if you are in any way involved in working with the general public – please spare a thought for those less fortunate that yourself. Just being polite and telling someone to take their time, or even asking them if they need any help would make such a big difference.
Helping someone only takes a bit of time – and does not cost anything but could make someones day so much easier.