Thursday, January 08, 2015

Praising the Run

It's a simple concept.

In a store where one till is designated as accessible, that till should always be open. As simple as that is, it rarely happens. 9 times out of 10 in going into a store, the accessible aisle will be closed and several other ones open. I don't get it.

The math is simple.

If X represents all your customers and Y represents all your customers excepting people with disabilities then if you open a Y till you aren't serving X.

I have this discussion with managers of stores all the time. All. The. Time. And their eyes light up as they realize how simple it is. They make promises that they will institute a policy - because apparently common sense and common courtesy only matters if it's in the policy binder.

And then, even with policies in place, they still don't do it and I have the discussion again. "We'll have a staff meeting about the issue," I'm told and as someone who's napped through the occasional staff meeting I hold no hope.

But MY grocery store, where I shop all the time, I've been determined to establish it as common practise to always have an accessible till open. It took a lot of talking, a lot of waiting for the manager to be called, a lot of listening to excuses, but now it's most of the time, nearly all the time, that they get it right.

We went to the grocery store the other day I rolled in paying no attention to anything but steering around people and produce. Joe said, "Did you see what happened?" I said that I had not. He then proceeded to tell me that as soon as we came through the door the manager saw me from the corner of the produce department and he broke into a run to get to the front of the store and open an accessible till - which was not at the point of our entry, open.

I developed a plan. After getting our groceries I went and found him and told him that I was so appreciative of his efforts to make his store welcoming to people with disabilities. It was so nice to come in and be able to trust that I will be able to shop and then pay through the barrier free till. I told him he has done a great job.

I didn't mention that Joe had seen his mad dash to open a till.

Sometimes praise is needed even when someone is panting from the run to do what should have been done all along.


Colleen said...

What's that old saying? - you catch more flies with honey. Hope it works.

clairesmum said...

Catching a successful behavior change and positively reinforcing it with enthusiasm - you and Joe make a great team!!

Princeton Posse said...

LOL, it's a good image of the manager scrambling towards the check-out, with the fear of "Dave" in him. Good work.

Robin said...

Really well-written piece, and of course I agree with everything you've said! I think this belongs in the op-ed section of one of your local newspapers. Might you consider sending it somewhere? Also, thank you for turning CAPTCHAs off in your comment section. Miserable things those CAPTCHAs!

B. said...

Like Princeton Posse said. Thanks for the mental picture, and then some, Dave.

Anonymous said...

I hope they scramble to make sure the accessible till is open for others who need it, not just the ones that complain.


Moose said...

I really like the grocery store I usually go to. The folks who work there are always so friendly and helpful and asking if they can help me reach things.

One of these days, however, I'm going to grab the store manager when he's not crazy busy and suggest that after hours he get on one of the motorized carts and tool around the store for a while. My biggest gripe with this store is that they're constantly setting up displays in places that cut off access to various places, usually so you can get in but have to back out. It's nice that the employees are willing to move things when I need it, but a little fore-thought would keep them from having to move things in the first place.