I am upset after my shop this morning, at my local supermarket. It all boiled down to me not hearing well as I thought I had and so due to that, I now feel the bad person.
After getting what I needed and knowing as I am paying by cash currently until next pay day and then I will use my card with knowing money comes out ok shopping here, I went my way to a self checkout till. But those were closed. Now as I don’t normally use these, I am not aware until after the event, that there were some more further up. I went to these self checkouts, because they were the ones I used first time last week. I asked a member of staff that I was paying by cash and pointed to the ones closed, what do I do. I thought from her response I got to use an end till to pay by cash. I didn’t hear her say there was another lot of self check out tills further down. I just heard till.
I struggle to hear in a supermarket before all this on a normal day because of my deafness and in addition my sensitivity to sound I still have, because of whatever is in the background noise overhead, the tills the people going about their shopping. It’s just noise to me.
I wish all supermarkets in general just stop the background noise full stop and not just make it quiet for a short time (I think an hour) once a week for autism. We don’t need music, or whatever it is in the shops overhead. It’s not like I am going to a disco, or whatever. I am trying to understand store workers who I don’t know, so not going to be able to lipread all the time and it’s tiring too. This all is increasing my anxiety.
But in addition, we are now all facing difficult times as we all have to make changes and I find hearing someone 2ft away, in noise, absolutely impossible to hear and I can’t lipread them due to different factors like for example to give a few:
- Do they speak clearly
- Are the lip patterns clear to me
- Do I know them? Because it helps, if I do.
So I am looking at the rows as I walk down and all I can see are checkout tills. I am looking at the till in the distance with the basket sign, thinking as this is last till maybe she wants me here. But no one was on I could see, so I didn’t walk that far down. I went now to what I think was next last manned till, my anxiety already at its peak before I reach here and I load my items. Out comes my note. The cashier saying I can’t except cash. I could not pay by card because I have no cash in my account to account for this shop. Not until next pay day, with me still in my month where I am paying by cash still. I pointed out I was told to come further down, when I queried further up near closed self check outs and so I thought I had to come here. I said to him I was aware of using self check outs to pay by cash, which was why I queried further up at the closed ones I was paying by cash and so I would use them. But I wasn’t aware of there being some more further down and I did not hear that being mentioned. I did not see those self checkouts, otherwise I would have used them. He accepted my cash this time, but pointed out I can and will be refused next time.
Again I told him I was aware I had to pay cash at a self checkout and I was prepared to use them. But I did not see them and I was not aware of further self checkouts further down.
I did not hear about the part that there were futher self check out tills further down. I just heard tills.
I did not see those tills and I wasn’t aware of them until aftrr this event at the till.
I would have happily put my groceries back into the basket and gone to those tills than have that embarrassing conversation at the till, that made me look and feel I wasn’t complying, when all I wanted to do was a self checkout originally and get out of the shop as quick as possible, with my anxiety and not wanting to be around that many people right now in the world we are living in.
I totally respect the store colleagues that have no choice to be in this situation. But please. I am not the bad person I was made to feel.
I did not hear as I thought.
I did not see the other self check outs. Which if I had, I would have used, because I do comply with what you would like as a supermarket. This was loss of communication due to my deafness and the noise in store and having to now stand 2 meters apart from a person, that I did not hear that vital piece of information.
© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.
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