Thursday, October 14, 2010

Yes it happened to me at a Pacific Shopping Centre

Some time back, I had an accident, an accident that wasn’t my fault, an accident that humiliated me, an accident that that made me realize, shopping centre management really don’t care.

The event:-

I went shopping, shopping at a shopping centre that has P2 parking (disability parking) near the front door, a P2 sticker means that I can walk – just not brilliantly, I prefer this shopping centre, simply because of the parking. Means I don’t have to come out of the shopping centre and wonder how the hell am I going to get back to my car?

From memory I had to get something for my daughter and consequently she was with me, I wasn’t having a good day, which means that walking was not a pleasant experience, but sometimes a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, which meant going shopping, even though I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy excursion.

Now, those of you that require a walking aid, probably know that shopping centre floors are the worst to walk on for any length of time, you are forced to change your gait to stay upright because the floors are so slippery.

Now what gets me is that if you want a gopher or a wheelchair, you have to get into the shopping centre, but not just near a doorway – Centre Management Help Desks always seem to be placed in the middle of the shopping centre, great for shoppers, but not so good for those that aren’t too good on their feet. The last time I took a gopher out, I had to call centre management to come and get it because the bloody thing had run out of charge.

There were no gophers available for use, there were wheelchairs, but surely I’m not that crippled, well I like to think so – hell I can walk most days, sometimes with no stick, sometimes with a stick and rarely do I need to pull out the crutches. So I figure I can walk.

Shopping Centres are designed to make you walk from one end to the other and view all the garbage in between, the two shops we were interested in were at opposite ends of the shopping centre (of course) so a quicker way (and also better walking surface) is go out one door, and in through another, via the carpark, and you can cut a good 500m off the distance needing to be travelled.

So my daughter and I exit one door, walk maybe 20metres or so, and I go head over tit. Don’t look at me like that, there was a bloody trench, that had been back-filled with tar and had left a depression, no warnings, nothing and I’ve fallen over it.

Handbag is broken, my newish pants have a hole in them, both my palms are skun, but you know the worst thing? I couldn’t bloody walk. I’d jarred the non-union facture in my leg. My daughter gets me back to the entrance and sits me down. Rushes off to the ‘help’ desk to get someone to help me/her.

Time passes, I don’t know how long, my daughter appears with a security guard, who’s pushing a wheel chair. I just wanted to get back to the car. I was in pain, I was embarrassed, I was upset. They took my details, or perhaps my daughter gave them, I don’t honestly recall.

2 days later I receive a phone call, the caller identified themselves and asks how I was I said okay, stiff and sore, I have to buy another handbag, I’ve ruined my pants.

I suppose I was still upset……. Anyway the thing that hurt the most besides the physical pain and the embarrassment, were the words that came next……. What do YOU want? (I still remember the words and the tone of the caller.) I realized then, they expected me to sue. Perhaps I should have, but I’m too nice, too busy whatever excuse you want to use. That’s me.

“What do YOU want?” It made me feel 2inches tall, it made me feel like I was trying to hold them to ransom, it made me feel dirty. They could have offered me something, but I should not have had to set my demands in front of them (not that I had any) I felt like they viewed me as bottom feeding scum. Sure I walk with a stick, sure I was in the carpark (that other people walked through) But ……… to make me feel like I was holding them to ransom? I felt so dirty.

My money is the same colour as everyone elses, and without me there would be no you.


  1. It sounds like they are very used to people 'wanting' something. Regardless, it doesn't exactly sound tactful.

  2. Completly agree Andrew, Completely agree, while writing this post, the feelings came back to the surface again - maybe I'm a sook, maybe too sensitive (I don't think so) but I felt so dirty it's hard to describe.
    You're undoubtly right - people threatening to sue would be common place, people after all only see money and that is all they are worried about.

  3. This is a poor indictment on shopping centre management. They should learn about Equal Access.
    And some people skills.

  4. Heather I am so sorry that the shopping centre management (I assume that's who phoned) weren't very tactful & treated you poorly. I'm thinking that they need to go get some training so that they can improve there interpersonal skills. perhaps you should've held them to ransom.

  5. Debra, equal access? - When the general public don't care, why should the shopping centres? More times that I can count I can't even park, simply because able-bodied people have parked in the 'reserved' parks, when you bring it to the centres attention, again their attitude is one of "not our problem"

    Jo-anne - maybe I should have, but when you deal with the sort of pain I do on a daily basis, sometimes just functioning is hard. Extra stress like that is not needed and I don't ask for things, it's not in my nature and I certainly don't demand things.

    I'm too polite for my own good :(