Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Shopping In A Wheelchair

The day after my surgery I decided to go with my dear wife to get some groceries. I completely underestimated the effects of surgery/anesthesia. But what troubled me even more was the experience of shopping while in a wheelchair.It was a humbling hour.I asked the store to provide me with a chair/cart as I was on crutches. A staff promptly got one for me. It was a manual wheelchair with a basket built on the front. After a few minutes of use I discovered that this chair was not made by anyone who uses one. As I tried to push the wheels my arms would bump the side of the backrest resulting in a painful spot on each arm the next day. I was cut off 3 times once by a young staff member. Many of the items I tried to reach in the store I could not due to them being placed high on shelves or freezers. It was the same when I tried to get fresh meat. After all that came the check out. This store gets the client to do their own bagging. More difficulties. Now I am sure with practice I could become better at this but some things I simply could not do without help. And folks where quick to help when I asked them to. So after an hour or so I took myself to the customer service counter to return the awful chair/cart. And I decided to take a minute to relay my experience to the clerk from my new perspective. (I was humbled and have a new respect for our disabled citizens). She promptly defended the cart I was given. She even suggested that I should have been given one of there new electric ones. I was told that's why disabled people bring someone with them. To help them reach stuff. I offered that would be a good thing if the person had such a friend. Sadly as our conversation ended I realized that the store nor some of the staff had clue what some of their customers face when trying to do business there. There was simply no acknowledgment that there where areas that could use improvement. Needless to say I have acquired a new respect for what our disabled face during an average day

No comments: