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To Wonder if I Should Maybe Complain...

48 replies

RockinHippy · 11/09/2015 16:04

about how DD was spoken to by a young staff member in our hospital pharmacy - particularly the obvious assumption that as she is currently in a wheelchair, she must therefore be mentally lacking in some way & therefore speaking to her like a 2 year old is acceptable Hmm - it's still bothering me a week later - would I be justified in complaining or am I being over sensitive Confused

DD is soon to be 13, but looks much older - I was getting her prescription having just seen her specialist. DD had money to spend & wanted to look at lip balms that she was interested in buying.

No testers on the display, but she buys for the smell/taste, so she took the lid of one to smell it to make sure it was the one she wanted, she didn't touch the product at all - it wasn't sealed, I probably would have said don't - but she didn't really do any harm & didn't deserve the reaction she got.

Young girl who was behind the counter I was at, not much older than DD by the look of her, loudly proclaimed "she shouldn't be using the lip balms" I tried to say that she wouldn't be, she knows better, but the girl glared at me, rolled her eyes & had stormed out from behind the counter, rushed over & grabbed the tin off DD, with DD politely trying to protest that she was only checking the scent of it, she wanted to buy it & hadn't touched it. Girl then held tin up to the light to check for finger marks - in front of a shop full of people, which embarrassed DD & she didn't buy it because of the way she was treat.

In DDs words "she presumed because I'm sat here, I'm an idiot & don't know how to behave" I think it was even more embarrassing for DD because it was a young girl who did this.

I didn't say any more as DD is struggling with anything that draws attention to her at the moment & we just left, but it's still bothering me


OP posts:

elbowsdontsing2 · 11/09/2015 16:10

i dont think the wheel chair had anything to do with it, she would of probably spoke to anyone like that due to hygiene. maybe you and your dd are a little bit sensitive at the moment


Purplepoodle · 11/09/2015 16:17

She shouldn't be opening products - it's a hygiene issue and makes product unsellable.


OneDay103 · 11/09/2015 16:19

I too think your dds circumstances are irrelevant here. Whether she wasn't going to touch it, and just wanted to smell it is the point. Imagine if anyone could open up Makeup and have a look, would you want to buy it after that? You can't really complain about something your dd should not have been doing in the first place.


MsMarthaMay · 11/09/2015 16:24

You and dd are both unreasonable


cailindana · 11/09/2015 16:25

Regardless of why she did it (and she's right that hygiene is an issue, but in that case it should be sealed) how she did it was definitely wrong. She should have quietly come over and asked your DD not to open it. I'd let it go - poor customer service, definitely, but not worth chasing after IMO.


VodkaValiumLattePlease · 11/09/2015 16:29

I've been spoken too in a similar manner for using a superdrug mirror!


Spartans · 11/09/2015 16:31

I genuinely don't think it was because of her wheelchair.

You would be surprised how many people don't know 'how to behave' and do touch things. Opening itself isn't great and not something I would allow my dd (11) to do. I would tell her she withers buys it or waits until she sees it somewhere that there is a tester.

The girls doesn't sound like she handled it well. But it doesn't sound like it had anything to do with her assuming your ds is mentally impaired because she is in a wheel chair.


partialderivative · 11/09/2015 16:31



MythicalKings · 11/09/2015 16:32

YABU. Wheelchair irrelevant.


EElisavetaOfBelsornia · 11/09/2015 16:35

I'm really surprised at these responses. Calling her "she" in front of her? Do people really think she would have done this if she wasn't in a wheelchair? I don't think you're being unreasonable at all OP.


SeamstressfromTreacleMineRoad · 11/09/2015 16:38

They should have a tester pot available - few people will buy sight (and smell) unseen. Maybe you could suggest this next time you're in the shop?

Your DD needs to cultivate my friend's usual response to people like the assistant, 'It's the legs that don't work - not the brain...!' It's surprisingly effective... Smile


OneDay103 · 11/09/2015 16:41

This girl was probably sick of hearing people 'only wantinf to have a look'. Once it's opened you can't sell it. You both were UR.


VodkaValiumLattePlease · 11/09/2015 16:43

Testers of lip balms? Really?


Spartans · 11/09/2015 16:46

Yes ee I don't think the wheel chair is relevant. They person behind the counter probably spoke to the OP first as she was the adult with the child.

Seems fairly standard to ask the adult of you want a child to stop doin something.

Nothing the girl did or said indicates that's she would not have done the same to a child not in a wheel chair


Whensmyturn · 11/09/2015 16:47

I think the shop assistant may have felt braver as your daughter was in a wheelchair. YANBU. Discriminate is usually subtle like this and pernicious.


PurpleHairAndPearls · 11/09/2015 16:49

Ops DD isn't an adult, she was with her mother who was at the counter with the staff member, I think "she shouldn't be using" is acceptable as she was referring to her in the third person, in conversation with her mother.

The staff member does sound rude and abrupt but the DD shouldn't be opening cosmetics. It might be worth contacting them to suggest tester pots and saying you feel staff member's manner was abrupt, but I don't think it's fair to suggest she was treated this was as she was in a wheelchair.

I say this as a wheelchair user - I'm very aware of the "does she take sugar" crap and it is very upsetting when people assume your brain doesn't work just because your legs don't. From your description op, I don't think this was the case here, I think your DD was being unreasonable opening the lip balm. Sorry. I understand how when you're treated a certain way, you come to expect it, but it doesn't sound like the case here.


OneDay103 · 11/09/2015 16:50

EE it makes sense to speak to the op as she was with the her dd, and obviously the 'dd' would be the she. I think it's easy to make a case out of this and take things out of context but i think if the lady used the same approach on any other person it would still be fine.


NeedAScarfForMyGiraffe · 11/09/2015 16:53

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NKFell · 11/09/2015 16:55

I genuinely hope this makes you feel better- I was treated the same way when I opened a 'leave in' conditioner tub. She said I had to buy it! (I didn't)

My cousin has a scooter, she's just turned 18 and is feeling very self conscious etc. She was spoken to like she was 2 last weekend and my cousin really surprised me with her response, she said "Are you alright? You're speaking funny". I found it hilarious even though I think it often comes from a place of ignorance rather than malice.


Wearyheadedlady · 11/09/2015 16:56

The girl behind the counter could have done a better job of it and been a little less ardent in her approach. Its not like your DD took a bite out of something and put it back on the shelf. Even then, she'd just have to pay for it, no need for a big fuss.


mileend2bermondsey · 11/09/2015 16:57

YABU nothing to do with a wheelchair. Why do you and your DD think it's ok to go around sniffing cosmetics and then get offended when a staff members pulls you up on it being unhygenic?


mileend2bermondsey · 11/09/2015 17:00

I was treated the same way when I opened a 'leave in' conditioner tub. She said I had to buy it! (I didn't)
You should have had to. You could have put anything into the tub for all the staff member knows. They can't exactly sell it in good conscience knowing its been tampered with.


Jinglebells99 · 11/09/2015 17:01

No, I don't think you should complain. Your dd shouldn't have been opening the products. How was the shop assistant to know she wasn't going to try it out. Pretty sure in most chemists they are sold already sealed. I remember seeing some in a shop with fingerprints all over them so people do test them - yuck.


MrsGentlyBenevolent · 11/09/2015 17:01

As someone whose worked in this type of place, I would have asked her not to as well. Do you have any idea how irritating it is having to explain to people 'if its not a tester, do not open it'? Don't care why, don't care if there's no tester available, don't open it until you've bought it. You don't open any other types of shopping items 'to make sure' do you?.

I don't disagree about the tone, I personally would have been politer. Doesn't change the fact that your daughter was also in the wrong. Overall, I'd drop it. Oh, and stop opening things in cosmetic aisles, even if you're intending to buy.


PurpleDaisies · 11/09/2015 17:03

I wonder if you've got so used to standing up for your daughter that you've missed the fact that she was in the wrong here.

Maybe the shop assistant would have been better telling your daughter off directly instead of telling you, but she wasn't wrong to say that the lip balms should not be opened.

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