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Country Discussion Topics
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Shopping experience
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oslo in nc    Posted 11-26-2004 at 21:46:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Went to Target to pick up a gift for my wife. I've got a broken leg and must use a walker. Not easy at my age. I got one of their elec carts. It was plugged in when I got it so I figured, no problem. Well after getting my wife's Ruby red bath robe, a packet of legal pads and a belt drink holder, I decided to look for a pancake air tank for a friend. The automotive section is almost in the fartherest corner of the store. Now, I'm guessing that you know what happened. Out of juice. Started walking on one leg and using the walker. Got about 20 feet and a man asked me if he could get me another cart. I thanked him and said I could manage. Target has 23 cash registers. I draped the red robe around my neck, tucked the legal pads into my pants, and put the holder into my pocket. After much effort I made it to the closest register. Young man checked me out. I had no problem at that point, but had some concern. I started down register row. Passed two women talking about the fact that they were only getting one 15 minute break today. I passed very close to one and said heads up, comming by. I didn't want to have an accident. When I passed them and there was no concern for me I began to think about other people with similiar problems. I rested several times, sitting at the end of the check out registers. I made it to the last register and sat down to rest. Earlier I had to remove my leather jacket because I was getting overheated. I draped that over the front of my walker and held onto the handle clutching my bag. By the time I made it to my final rest stop. I was really dragging and going very slow. While sitting there a number of associates walked right past me. I then looked down the line were I had just traveled. I realized that, except for check out boy, Not one person saw me. No direct eye contact or anything. So, I stopped a girl working there and explained my plight. You know, the cart let me down and it's way back there, etc. She apologized and I said you don't understand " not one single employee saw me. Not one and there were over 20 employees on duty. My point to her was that I make it but what about people who aren't as strong or as young as I am. I told her that you have code words to alert other employees checking someone out. It's called "BOB" Have you seen BoB? It means check the Bottom Of the Basket. But what about the People who really need help? No one saw me. Anyway, I still wasn't offered any help to my car. I made up my mind that I would get to my car without any of their assistance. And, that's the way it worked out. When I got home I called The manager just to see if the girl had told the manager. She had. I told the manager and he was very nice and understood my plight, but I told him the reason I called was not for me. I'll be finished with the walker in three weeks. What bothered me about this whole experience was that how often does this happen to people who really need help. Yes, I know, I didn't ask for help. I did that intensionally. I want to do as much for myself as I can, but it really steamed me that people who really need help could just as easily be ignored. I told the manager that If a police man had asked all of the employees if they had seen a mass murderer with a walker only two out of 20 or more employees would be able to say that they saw me. I told the mgr to get a half dozen walkers and get some of the young workers and let them make the trip that I had. In short I told him that he should pay more attention to people with special needs. I hope that my telling him this story helps other people be actually seen and helped. I think they will. I'm going to check on it in a couple of days.

I want you all to know that this story is not about me it is about others who really need assistance. Like I said, in three weeks I'll be ok, but some people spend years or their lives using walkers and many are much more frail and older than me. Hope this helps.

Paul D.


Sid    Posted 11-27-2004 at 08:38:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hate to sound like a hard case but like mojo said you were offered help and refused. I can not help but think if you had asked for help you would have recieved. I am not a professionel shopper but every time I go to a store I see somebody helping somebody or somebody asking for help and getting it. Sometimes it is me helping and sometimes it is me getting help. I'll bet if people wanted to they could fill this page with good stories about people helping people. Why just the other day I saw a bag boy at the check out stand offer to carry out for an older lady who was walking with a cane and the guy behind her who looked to be in junior high said "that's all right your are busy I will carry them for her if she doesn't mind." she didn't mind and he refused to take a tip.


mojo    Posted 11-27-2004 at 05:32:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
Having been in a wheelchair/walker/crutches/and now cane, I feel qualified to respond. Like you I'll be better one day and do as much as possible without help.
How many other disabled did you see there? My guess is not many because shopping the day after thankgiving is NOT a day for the timid, let alone someone with a serious disadvantage. I presume you do not have a full time job and could go shopping monday just as easily as a friday when everyone is out. I feel for the employees on that day, it's murderous on them with so many wanting something from them. If they could manage that they'd be kindergarrten teachers.8^) You should have stayed home.
Secondly, you were offered help. Remember the gal on her flooded house that wouldn't take help from the boat/helicopter? When she got to heaven she asked God why He didn't save her. "What more did you want? I sent a boat and a helicopter". Same thing-take it when you can. Pocket your pride and be thankful for it. You can work out when you get home. I've never felt lower than when a little old lady held a door for me when I was in crutches, but that was the way it had to be. Thank God I'll be better and be able to pass on the kindness shown me.
I hope I don't sound too harsh, I know how easy it is to get in trouble in a hurry without meaning too (I REALLY know!), but odds are the rest of the year the store employees are as attentive as possible to the customers and shouldn't be judged by the one day.
You dug your own hole and had to dig yourself out of it, it goes that way sometimes.
Wish you a speedy recovery!

mojo
mdw


oslo again    Posted 11-27-2004 at 07:47:57       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Mojo;

I was the only one with a walker in the store. It was 6 pm and they, thankfully, weren't busy, but I'm sure it had beena hectic day for all of the employees. I hadn't thought of how tired they may have been. Yes, I was offered help. I was not angry, nor do I feel any resentment towards the store. My mind hasn't caught up to my bodies age yet. I'm 67 but feel, in my mind, much younger. It was a challange and I was determined to do it. My wife thought it was foolish for me not to have accepted help. Maybe that's why I did it. My wife scolded me and all the while I was smilling at her. It's a guy thing I guess. Or as she says "a child thing" he he.

I know about the little old lady holding the door and I thank them and I am very apprciative of their kindness. I in no way was telling this story to get sympathy. I was merely trying to tell a story that others could be experiexing. Remember I'm going to be rid of this walker in 3 weeks. Disregarding the broken leg, It was a tremendous learning experience. I learned a lot about myself and about others.

My wife and I have been staying with an 83 year old Doctor. He is a diabetic, has had back surgery and has three broken bones in his foot, no cast, not needed, but all these ailments cause him tremendous pain. While there I used his elec cart. He has two. My wife isn't well, either. We all were pretty much a sight, but you know we all had a great time and no one talked about their pain because we talked a lot and their was no time to focus on our pain. It was great. We are going back today.

Again, this wasn't a story about me. Thanks.


mojo    Posted 11-27-2004 at 13:38:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
Personal challenges are something else, aren't they. While hunting this fall I was determined to walk the property line, done it every year except last year. The grass was 5' high with cockleburrs scattered throughout making a cane useless. I knew before I started that I might not make it, but whats a challenge if its easy?! I made it, the thought of shame if calling for help was a great motivator. But I did crawl on my belly some at the ditches, lots of rain this spring made my old crossing points useless. I'm 42 but before I finished the thought of heart attack did cross my mind, and I'm in excellent condition if you discount one leg! Laid me up the rest of the day-but by golly I did it.
Like you said, it's a guy thing.8^)

Good luck with your progress and to the rest of your bunch.

mojo
mdw


oslo again    Posted 11-27-2004 at 17:16:27       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Mojo; Hurt good didn't it??? Best to you.

Paul


Alias    Posted 11-27-2004 at 04:25:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
Also, I'm sorry to learn about your unforunate ordeal. But, you know there is a flip side to the coin. A lot of older people, whether handicapped or not, display a certain hostility toward offers of friendly help. And, so, many people take the position that states, "If I'm not asked, I'll not volunteer".

I reminded of the story about the Boy Scout that help the protesting old lady across the street only to learn she didn't want to cross the street.

Now, I'm a lot like you. I like to do for myself as much as possible. But, sadly, many people see old guys on walkers in an entirely different light than that of young, quick stepping youthful people. Or, is that just my paranoid imagination?


DD    Posted 11-26-2004 at 22:05:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Glad to hear you made it ok Paul and how sweet of you to go and pick out the gift for your Wife by yourself too. (My Dad cheats and just gives my baby sister his credit card and tells her to get Momma whatever she thinks she needs or wants) That's cheating...LOL I understand what you're saying though about not being seen. Most folks treat someone with Special Needs or the homeless people that way around here too but what they don't know is that you can sometimes make their day just by speaking to them or giving them a smile : ) Take Care and hope your leg heals soon.


Burrhead    Posted 11-26-2004 at 23:20:10       [Reply]  [No Email]
DD I'm on yer Dad's side on the buying things. If you have a dotter you can send to buy Mama a present by all means the dotter should go.

It would'nt work for me I have to send cash. I would need a security guard to go along and keep tabs on that pretty lil plastic card


DD    Posted 11-27-2004 at 07:26:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
That's ok Burrhead, I agree with you about that but it's still fun to pick at Dad because of it. He DOES go and buy his own cards for her. Some folks flip a card over to look for the lil Hallmark symbol, us girls flip it over to see where he's written S.W.A.K. on the back of the envelope : )


oslo again    Posted 11-26-2004 at 22:26:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
DD; Having the bum leg has given me time to think. I keep going back to the post several weeks ago about the woman with a baby and the gruffy looking old gent. The baby held out his arms and the old fella hugged the baby, with clinched eyes and tears squeezing out. I don't know how all this relates but simply said, I guess it's just all about people.


deadcarp    Posted 11-27-2004 at 04:41:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
yup you're right. i'm slowly pounding my way back from my second stroke so i use a wheelchair & can tell you - with a walker it sure doesn't take long to get way outa range of a place to sit. suzn got me one of those fancy walkers with the hand brakes, basket & seat - right now i use it in the entryway, which is a step down from the porch. when we shop, they fetch me an electric cart (just don't call them electric chairs :) or we go on to another store. one gal in rehab was getting a prosthetic leg fitted - she was exuberant at the thought of standing at her sink. she hadn't walked since may. try doing that awhile. yeah the small things count.

btw, you want a clerk's undivided attention? tap her on the shoulder and point a cane at her. better yet, a wheelchair. no threat but they sure listen.:)


DD    Posted 11-26-2004 at 22:31:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yes Sir, you're absolutely right : )


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