I didn’t expect to be writing this today, mind you I don’t think anyone could have expected what happened yesterday afternoon. The whole of the day had actually gone really well and I was all ready and waiting for the doorbell to ring and my shopping to arrive as it does every two weeks, with little issue when it does, other than the odd strange thing being substituted, but that’s what happens you do your food shopping online. I had booked a slot for between 4pm and 5pm and when the doorbell rang at 4:30 I opened our storm doors so the driver could bring in the crates and then empty them onto the floor in the hall. It always takes them a few minutes to sort out the shopping downstairs and then to bring the first crates up so I shut the inner door and waited sitting on the arm of the settee so I could hear them at the door. Eventually, I heard him and I opened it to find the first two boxes sitting up against the door, rather than in the outer hallway where they usually put them, the delivery driver was stood there and I just said hi and asked him to bring up the rest, then to just empty the crates onto the floor as I always do. He abruptly answered and more telling than asking me to start emptying the crates that he had just put down, while he got the rest. I explained that I was I couldn’t as I was disabled and the bending caused me problems, then he rolled his eyes and said that I didn’t seem to have a problem the last time he was here. I hadn’t recognised him, mind you I never recognise anyone, he had been here a couple of weeks ago and had been rude and aggressive when he had been here then. On that occasion, Adam was at home and the pair of us emptied the crates in the hallway, I did two just to help speed things up and to try and find some things on the subs list which had to go back and Adam did the rest. Every time that the driver brought the next ones in, I had to ask him to shut the door to keep the heat in, which he didn’t until I asked a second time when he reluctantly shoved it. His arrogance and blanking me whenever I spoke was winding me up more and more as we went through the shopping he kept cutting in with comments about how he didn’t have the time for me to check things and I made it clear I wasn’t signing off the delivery until I had, here we were face to face again, I had hoped that either I just wouldn’t see him again, as so often happens or that he had just been in a bad mood that day, as that is just life, I wasn’t that lucky on either point.
As I explained that I was disabled and unpacking all the shopping wasn’t something I could do, he rolled his eyes and said “Oh here we go”, so I added in that I had been housebound for 8 years and I quite honestly couldn’t manage, his answer was “Don’t play that one your perfectly able to get these emptied”, I then got abrupt with him and said that it was his job to deliver the shopping and until it was in my house it wasn’t delivered and I just wanted the shopping put on the floor. It was then that the classic story came from him, that it wasn’t in his contract and he wasn’t allowed to enter my house at all, in fact, he had done me a favour by carrying it up the stairs as he didn’t have to do that either, then turned to go and fetch the rest. While he was gone, I phoned the Asda helpline and quickly laid out what was happening and handed the phone to the driver when he returned, he was as equally abusive and abrupt on the phone, telling them that he wasn’t doing it. I had no other choice other than to do what I could. One or two items at a time I carried the two steps across the hall and at first laid them on the floor, but that didn’t last, soon due to the pain I was having to drop them and not long after that all I could do was stand at the door and throw them on top of the growing pile and slowly the tears started to flow uncontrollably, all the time he just went on and on. The whole process took twenty minutes, it would have been seconds if he had just come in and tipped the shopping on the floor, which I would have been fine with, it would have landed up less damaged than it did.
I have never in my life come across someone so rude and who had directly attacked me and called me a liar about my health. Anyone with a pair of eyes can see that I am not well, just the way I walk alone tells you that, the fact that I couldn’t even hold the weight of some items and nearly everything was dropped often just as I took hold of it, would also know that there was something wrong. I found myself arguing and arguing with him as everything he said was just either a lie or painful, according to him the stairclimber that is issued to them to carry the shopping upstairs isn’t for that, despite the fact other drivers use them and it is the same mechanism used to get me in and out of the house to go to hospital, that one through him a little, but was brushed aside and on to some other attack. At one point, I just looked him in the face and asked what he knew about Multiple Sclerosis, again he was thrown for a second but only a second. When he accused me of throwing the things I didn’t want, at him the last time he was here, I was the one who stopped dead, I had thrown them, but into an empty crate, nowhere near him, he then changed it back to telling me there was nothing wrong me. I have never been so happy to get the last item out of the crates and onto the floor even though it landed up dented like several of the tins. I shut the front door and headed to the kitchen to take my morphine booster, there was hardly a muscle in my legs that wasn’t in spasm or wasn’t hurting like hell. I sat for a few seconds while I got myself together, before picking up the phone and calling the help desk to put in an official complaint, the person I had spoken to earlier was actually trying to get through to the Glasgow store to make their own complaint as they couldn’t believe how rude he had been, that was at 5pm yesterday and I haven’t heard a word from them since. I knew Adam was on his way home and as I expected the store to call back any minute, I called him to see if he could remember when the delivery man had been here before, he remembered him with ease and instantly asked if I was OK as he thought that without him there that he would have been ten times worse, he was wrong, he was a hundred times worse, I hate to say it, but I was really glad to have a couple of empty crates on top of each other between us. It was four weeks since we saw him for the first time and as everyone who reads my blog knows, four weeks ago my pain wasn’t half as bad as it is now, so yes I did manage a couple of crates, but none of that is the real point.
The real point is this is, that this sort of abuse will never end until people are taught about invisible conditions like MS, COPD and Fibro the main three that I have. I can no more know if I could empty one crate, four crates or no crates when I put an order in for delivery the day before. I like almost every disabled person always try, unless as I knew yesterday when the door bell rang that I wasn’t up to it and that if I tried that I was just lining up more and more pain, exactly what happened. The whole evening was spent trying to keep the pain as low as possible with more Morphine and throughout the night I woke over and over due to the pain, even having to get up to take yet another booster half way through the night. All of this has been caused by the ignorance and arrogance of one person who hasn’t been educated about the reality of living with a range of debilitating progressive conditions, this has to change for the good of all of us.
I have in the past been treated badly by people, but never in my own home and never from someone who was supposed to be delivering a service, whatever happened to that word, as one thing this wasn’t was service. Having worked in the service industry, I know the first golden rule is to smile, be polite and pleasant, no matter what you think or feel inside, that is a matter for you and the brick wall you silently kick once they are gone.
Read my blog from 2 years ago today – 14/04/13 – More or less it’s still the same > http://bit.ly/YUtW1j
Another day without another single dollar, or UK pound, but that doesn’t run so easily off the tongue. I had a search online yesterday afternoon once again to see if I could find the cushion I need which although the NHS gave me the original, now appears to be impossible to acquire from them at all………