If you’re a regular reader of my ramblings (thank you, if you are,) you might recall my post on 22nd September this year, regarding an incident with a supermarket guard. For those that don’t, or who would like a recap, here is the link:
More Reasons to Despair (Bob W Christian)
Last week, unbeknownst to me, Mrs Bob had a meeting with two very senior managers for the south-west region of a certain supermarket chain. I knew it was going to happen, but had no idea when. She knew it would be much less stressful for me if I didn’t know. Considering she suffers from anxiety from dealing with complaints, which is related to her career, it was really wonderful of her to do this for me.
This meeting was as a result of our complaint about an incident in our local branch with an over-zealous, and under-educated member of their security staff. Up to this point, our complaint had been handled poorly. I’m no expert on the subject (unlike Mrs Bob) but I felt my granddaughter could have done a better job. The social media team were saying one thing, and the customer services team were saying something very different about the same incident. It was trying Mrs Bob’s usually endless patience to the very edge, so it was about time this complaint was sorted, once and for all.
Mrs Bob spoke at length with the very senior representatives of the supermarket chain. She explained to them that after my complaint about the particular guard’s attitude towards me & Autism, people had started contacting me with similar stories all connected to the same guard. (By the way, thank you to all the peeps that made me feel less alone after such a horrible, distressing experience).
The long and short of it is that there’s going to be some new procedures put into place nationally, alongside more Autism training for their staff. The south west branch managers will be having 1:1 meetings with their guards, regarding Autism and the subject of training will be included in their contract review with the company that provides the guards. So hopefully this means that it won’t happen to another person on the spectrum within their stores.
Overall, I was very impressed with the action plan from their meeting with Mrs Bob. However, I do think that these things should already be in place in their stores already, Autism isn’t a new thing and they have a quiet hour for people with autism or who like the quiet. The length of time, effort and stress it took to get a supposedly autism-friendly chain to even acknowledge there was an issue is ridiculous. Just sweeping a complaint under the rug might get some people to leave things, but not Mrs Bob – she’s tenacious in sticking up for me and gets things done. Also, I won’t be able to return to our local store since the guard threatened me with the Police if I ever did. Though I’ve been told that is not the case, I still can’t go back. I’d be far too anxious and not being able to use the only supermarket in town and it’s petrol station is a real inconvenience. I’d just rather not risk having a another confrontation like this. I’ve decided to “Try Something New Today” and see what other superstores have to offer. If they’re cheaper, I can live well for less lol.
I would, however, like to say a massive thank-you to Mrs Bob for all her hard work on this, and to all of my friends and people on Insta Google Tweetface who have supported and encouraged me.
Stay Safe X