In 2014 I went through a break up that was very difficult for me. Instead of sitting with my emotions and processing them, I did the next best thing and ran away from them. The pain was so intense I literally felt as if I couldn’t breathe. So, in addition to my full-time job in which I worked an average of 50 to 60 hours a week (this company will remain unnamed), I got another job as a part-time sales associate at Macy’s. I figured if I was too exhausted to even think straight then I would be too exhausted to feel the pain of my broken heart. Rational thinking at its’ best.
Working at Macy’s had it good times and stupid times. I met one of my best friends while I was working there, who ended up being one of my bridesmaids at my wedding. She was also working part-time at Macy’s while working a full-time job with the county . But the purpose of the Macy’s job for her was much more honorable than mine – she was sending money to help support her parents.
One night in the Summer of 2015 we were both working in the women’s section. She was in the petites area and I was in an adjacent area but we were both working as a cashiers. I had sauntered over to her register to shoot the shit when it seemed to slow down for a few minutes. Then a female customer came up to her register to check out. I told Bri I would talk to her later and skedaddled back to my area. Next thing I know, as in 30 seconds later, the female customer who had been at Bri’s register to check out was now in front of my counter looking at me eagerly. I had asked her if I could help her with something as I was extremely confused as to what she was doing in front of me. She wanted to check out! Now I was even more confused . I had an appalling suspicion that this customer was racist because Bri is African-American.
Regardless, I started to ring up her purchases to check her out. As I was doing this, she began asking me a multitude of questions one right after the other . Where was I from? I told her I was born in the Philippines – where was she from? Was I married? I informed her no but I did have a boyfriend, was she married? Did I have any kids? No, but I would like some someday – did she have any kids? What the hell was this – 20 questions with a random sales associate? Then as I was in the process of removing the security tags ( you know, the ones that make the security alarms go off when you try to walk out of the store with that security tag still attached to your clothing) she kept shoving her hands into the mix. So here I am trying to remove the security tags with the removal tool, which was a bit hard for me due to my fine motor movement difficulties, and apparently she has the need to try to help me remove the security tags. But since she has no idea how to do it, I ended up getting stuck by the pins three or four times in my thumb. After telling her “no no, please do not touch,” (as if I were talking to a four-year-old child) for the third time, she finally stopped “helping me”. In case you’re wondering how getting poked with pins felt, it was awesome. Particularly because I feel pain at a more intense level than most people because my CP makes my nerves hypersensitive to pain. After all this was said and done and I wished her a good night and encouraged her to come back again (hopefully not to my register), I went to go share this odd experience with Bri.
I asked Bri what happened with the customer and why she came over to my register. Bri informed me that she was equally confused because after I walked away from the two of them the customer grabbed all of her clothing items and “ran after you as if you were her best friend.” I told Bri I had no idea who the hell that chick was.
Turns out I was wrong about that customer. She wasn’t a racist bitch, just an ignorant one. She made me feel as if I was some kind of special side show at the circus. I am a human being people. In fact, I am a pretty well-educated human being who happens to have a physical disability. I am not here for your entertainment (at least not as a sales associate at Macy’s. I do hope my blog is somewhat entertaining) or to be poked and prodded by invasive questions. Also, it was just fucking rude. People are different – get the fuck over it and quit being assholes to people with disabilities.
Lastly, just because people do things differently or a little slower does not mean they don’t have the ability to do the action. Give them a moment and let them do things for themselves unless they asked for help. Nothing is worse than someone assuming I don’t have the ability to do some thing and takes away my independence by assuming I need or want their help. It has taken me a long time to get to this point, but if I do want to help I will ask for it .
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