Yesterday in Carlton (Melbourne) seemed to be one of those bazaar days when Chloe was invisible to everyone else except me!
We decided to visit one of our favourite and very well known food places in Carlton. Miss Chloe had completed her lovely lunch and decided she wanted an ice-cream. There were a couple of people at the counter waiting to be served, so she waited politely and patiently for her turn. These people were served and left while the girl behind the counter completely ignored Chloe. She started serving people who had arrived at the counter well after Chloe.
I watched for a while – very unimpressed. I asked one to the lads on the floor if I could speak to the person in charge. He informed me that no-one was in charge. He asked what the problem was and I explained that my daughter was being ignored. I looked towards the ice-cream counter and the girl behind the counter was starting at us, with a very nasty look on her face (she still hadn’t served or asked Chloe if she was being looked after).
More people came to be served and she asked what they would like, in the end Chloe spoke up and asked for a mint ice-cream in a cup. The girl proceeded in putting the ice-cream in the cup, meanwhile Chloe had moved along the counter and said she also wanted cookies and cream (two flavours). Well this young lass continued to just put mint into the cup until a man (a complete stranger) beside Chloe told the lady behind that counter that Chloe was actually asking for two flavours. The lass then gave Chloe what she wanted AND THEN ASKED THE STRANGER if there was anything else he wanted!
Come on, this is 2016 - people with disabilities are actually living and being a part of our community, surely it is time businesses ensured their staff treated EVERYONE with dignity and respect and not make blind assumptions about them.
As we were leaving, we decided to go the shopping centre toilets. There was a large queue for the disabled toilet, as the ladies toilets were being cleaned. As Chloe was the only DISABLED person there, I moved her to the front of the line, no-one had a problem with this expect for the lady at the very front of the queue. As soon as the toilet door opened, she stepped around Chloe and disappeared into the disabled toilet - at the same time the cleaner re-opened the ladies toilets.
Chloe was standing outside the disabled toilet and as the very abled youngish woman came out, another woman walked up to her and asked her what her disability was. To which she replied, "I was before her". I'm sorry, but if there is a disabled person waiting to go to the disabled toilet - they have precedence over everyone else!
Surely in this day and age our communities are able to accommodate easily and comfortably people who are different and less abled?
Please, when doing customer service, instead of 'assuming some-one is just looking or can't speak or waiting for they mum/dad...ASK if they are right - they may just be waiting to be served just like the person before them.....