Courtesy at the H-E-B

kindness-is-contagiousI went to the H-E-B grocery store yesterday.  As sometimes happens, I was really tired and drove the little electric cart around to pick up the items I needed.   This happens a few times a year–when I hurt or exhausted–and every time I think I need to write about how rude people are to the handicapped.   So, here I go.

Many able-bodied people (a pejorative in some circles) see a person in a wheelchair or the electric mobility aid and think, “Slow.  Must get ahead of.  Must get around.”   I have seen shoppers actually hurdle the feet of people in wheelchairs or dash in front of me so I have to hit reverse suddenly so I don’t run over them.   It’s as if there were a race with money riding on who got the loaf of bread and carried it to check-out first.  Why?

Even worse than the shoppers who do this are the workers there who have nearly pushed me out of the way in their haste.   I’m a woman of little patience but I’ve learned it in the grocery store because otherwise I’d probably start yelling profanities.   Yes, I write the sweet books in which the characters don’t use those words, but I have heard them and I could use them.

So I beg of you, concede the right-of-way or wait and please don’t run in front of handicapped people.  It shows more about you than you might think and teaches your children a negative lesson.

What can shoppers do to help?  At first, when people in front of me in the check out lane asked if they could unload my cart for me, I was insulted.  I can take care of myself, thank you.   Now I appreciate the offer and accept it.

Also, if there’s something on a high shelf or in a freezer case, offer assistance.  I can stand on my own but getting up and down often is painful and many in wheelchairs cannot.    We can always turn you down but I’m always grateful for the possibility.

Treat handicapped people as you treat anyone else.  I have a brain.  Talk to me.  Don’t ask my friend if I want something.   Ask me.

Wander around the store to see if it seems accessible and tell the manager if it’s not.  Today I’m calling my local H-E-B because in the bakery department, many small tables had been set up to display items, so many that I had great trouble getting around.  I had to back down aisles, move back and forth to make a turn.  If I’d been going straight, the aisles were wide enough but having to turn, no.

What else can you thing of?   I’d like to add to the list.


7 thoughts on “Courtesy at the H-E-B

    1. I have the same problems. I quit going to Krogers because their employees are so rude. Krogers is across the street about a block away, but I drive to a smaller store, Brookshires Brother, a couple of miles away. The store is never crowded and everyone is courteous. The man in the meat department even came out to help be get something. He popped up a little later and offered. It was if he was looking out for me the whole time.

      1. How nice, Carol! The drive is worth it. Unfortunately, I only have big stores around here although the Target is usually fine.

  1. In the large box stores I have to use the electric carts, and I have discovered that I love, love, love the people who reach items on the high shelves or those in the parking lots that help me lower the back door of my van. I am ashamed to say that every once in a while I run into one of the stacked items that narrow the aisles too much and a couple of items fall to the floor. Oh well, public confession is part of my faith walk. I also love the people who do not park in handicapped spots and am very very irritated with those who do take up the few spaces without their handicapped stickers.

    1. Diane, no need for confession! The stores shouldn’t have put that stuff there. Knock them all over. And you’re absolved–in case you need that. George used to have stickers that I placed on the back bumpers of cars that took handicapped spaces “This idiot parks in handicapped spaces.” Don’t know if that shamed them or not.

  2. We no longer teach common courtesy!

    I wear oxygen, and have problems in some stores, but never in Publix. If I require help they will even have an employee shop with me. The other stores are a toss up as to what kind of customers or employees are around!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *