Illness prejudice

I as others have read an ex fitness freak who now has back/ shoulders / severe joints problems among a large list of things wrong I have to walk with a stick ,sitting a problem and I'm not allowed to lift anything as I've recently has another op in one shoulder and the other needs a replacement. Now this has happened a few times but today took the biscuit, we went into a large supermarket and my wife wanted some compost which was in a silly place at the back of a large store.we asked customer services for help as I can't lift anything at all, now I'm very muscular apart from my fat a nice gift from lyrica!! When the outside porter came in he was much older than I ,asked where the soil was, he looked me over and then started to ask why could I not lift , I told him why and I had an op recently on my arm and back so he then started to moan at me about his problems with his shoulders and he was 63 etc and how old was I !! He then said can you give me a lift I refused and said if you can't do it get someone else, he just put the bags in the cart then moaned about his problems ,I just said look outside I look terrible but there's other stuff going on with me that I can't tell you , at that he said oh another one of them under his breath!! So at the till he disappears and when we get outside we shout him over very politely we said customer services said you could put them in our car, he then started the whole moaning bit again and my wife rolled her eyes at me because he went on and on- then he said are you not able to work then I said no I've lost my which he said oh very nice the government given you a car then, I wish I could get one free!!! And on he went so I told him flatly the car is MINE ! And off I went ..... so do I report him and he possibly might lose his job or do I ignore it? I got the impression he was predjucice about illness and the entitlements we struggle to get and those you can't get like my car! It was very offensive and my wife said if he was so ill with pain he shouldn't turn in, she said she could feel the atmosphere between him and us. It was a horrible experience and as I'm a laid back person it must have been bad to upset me ....

34 Replies

  • Who do you want to report him to? And why?

    I don't know how long you have been like you are now but cast your mind back pre conditions.

    Ask yourself what would you assume a blind person to look like?


  • I put this out as a what would other people think of being treated wrongly because he assumed that because I look fit I'm not surely an ill man stooped with a shaking arm and a stick but was a waster that is why he peeved me off and I've been ill for seven years! But there is no need to be rude to someone because they need help! I put the what should I do report him to see how others react to being treated wrongly. I'm so easy going but he even wound me up !

  • i probably would have reported this person as im very quick to act. now that you mention him loosing his job it may make me think twice. people report many things that cause them offence, even on here posts get reported as someone has taken offence and rightly so. yes now that i'v thought about I would report this person as thats just a bit to nasty saying that about the car and getting it free, he is just lucky that it wasnt some mad idiot he spoke like that too.

  • I've given myself 30 minutes to think about this question. And I now feel I would have made some sort of complaint about him if only to say he needs to have further customer service training. Wouldn't want him to loose his job though.

  • Thank you for the posts I haven't done anything but just wanted to see others reactions. People can say what they want to me but my wife gets a little defensive on matters like this as she said to me did you say something to wind this guy up? But we get this all the time I'm lucky I foresaw what was happening to me and saved and invested so that when I couldn't work I had money, but even my wife's boss even said to another colleague that's a disability car and they are conning someone! Cheek ! I wish ! Lol

  • Hi I think what he said to you was awful and you should report him. I wonder how many other customers he has upset with his attitude? How will you be able to go back to the store if he is on and you need help again?

    Unfortunately sick people now are seen as 'scammers' and benefit scroungers the same as those claiming Job seekers allowance. It is nasty traits in our society which are coming to the fore.

  • Yes and thank you that is what I was trying to say but without saying it! At the time of us having the compost chucked literally in the car another lady customer asked for help and even though he said yes the look on his face was like thunder! Hence the he could lose his job quote not through me but because this seems a normal trait for this gentleman! I was more hurt about the car as that's the second person to come out and say it's a disability car- when I worked I used to put in an 84 hour a week of hard graft regularly to afford items like that in the future and we had an old car for years but had to change it because I need an automatic now and thought with the mileage we do it should like ... last forever! Lol

  • Thank you for your story, I understand what you are saying . Many people with health issues still work. Sadly we can't stop peoples comments, heres another one, I had a carer sent once to help me dress, clean and lift. She was late stage pregnant so could not do heavy work I was informed when she arrived. This kind of bias is difficult to erradicate, all I say is not all disabled persons are in wheelchairs and as such many struggle to be recognised as disabled it is what we call unseen illness, please continue to stand up for your rights but also remember the person who is helping you may be technically disabled too, many with mental health issues continue to work thewre is no golden rule.

  • Thank you for your response, many people are unseen and ill, like myself I hid it from my employers for years until at just 48 my body said no more full stop! This gentleman may have been the same but to verbally attack me by saying I was not as ill as him or as old as him was not the right thing to as all or moan at other customers! He should be off or ask his employer if he can be put on a job elsewhere,in my ex job there was nowhere else so I had to go. What I was trying to get at was if he keeps doing this his employers will not listen about his ailments but sack him for misconduct I know as I was a union rep for years. It is sad and I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt but when he saw the car....... he went off on one again in front of myself my wife and the other customer and that's not good! And I know some people can't give up work but tbh I think he was also wound up about working on a Saturday on a nice day as he said I should be at Blackpool now instead of helping you lot! Crikey lol !

  • Sounds like in this case he was upset with his employers , not necessarily you personally, but I agree if he is disabled and working he should ask for disability adjustments. Maybe he is one of those having to work longer before retirement due to age changes, we don't know, but as a customer you should be treated with respect and that is part of his employment contract and disabled are entitled to help on request like yourself. Can't say what I really think or I might be banned from the site. This man sounds like he has a chip on his shoulder. I'm disabled but don't get a free car, infact I have to pay more for things so they clean up afterwards and give top range service. Just cost me £406 for a security lock replacement on my front door in an emergency. We all have problems to deal with predjudices being one of them.

  • Katieoxo60 crikey I would love a free car! The car cost me a small fortune or it is to me !

    Don't people realise how hard it is to even get a car, my wife's cousin has half a foot and a child's foot can't walk properly and had a car. They have now taken the car away saying she doesn't get one no more. She is now totally housebound and I'm so upset for her!

  • I have been reading about people having their mobility cars taken away under the new regulations, don't personally agree with it you don't suddenly become unentitled because the rules change its because the assessors move the goal posts. It was hard enough under the old rules but the new ones are just being used as an excuse to penalise the existing claimants sadly. Does your family not have some other mobility service in the area to get them out. Social services have some help for disabled. In the West Midlands we have Ring & Ride.It is a sad world we live in especially if you have disabilities, it is definately more geared to the fit and abled in my opinion. Enjoy your day

  • Thank you for your reply, in answer to your question no there is nothing for her we try to help but she is a funny woman at times she has rats in her council bungalow again, her boiler is always breaking down, one time her only heat source was her dog!, the council won't listen to me as I don't have her written permission, and she appears stuck! In fact we only found out about her car when we went around and felt guilty hoping she didn't think our new car was mobility! We try to help but sadly she always has an answer. It's very sad!

  • Hi there sorry for delayed reply always busy on a Wednesday, yes know the feeling it can be difficult to help someone who thinks they are doing it right anyway. As a feircely independent person myself, I like to do it myself if possible or do without rather than the cost or asking for help. Sadly there comes a time when we have too concede, maybe one day she will let help in ??? Have a good day

  • Thank you for the reply katieoxo60

  • I would write a letter or email and send to the store manager, obviously this man is not a good choice for someone in customer service.....he sounds like he more suited to doing hours of work.....when the store closed to the public

    You could write the letter from the point of view of educating them on invisible illnesses and preventing this from this happening to someone else who doesn't look ill enough to receive polite, respectful assistance.

    The free car comment is very out of order....I'd try and write the letter or email after you have calmed down from this.....if you can, or maybe your wife could write the letter so emotions don't take over the points of the letter you want to get across .......I always have to get my sister to look over a letter I've written if it's quite emotional as she is more factual driven than emotional n edits out my rant so just the main parts come across..... I think she allows me a paragraph at the end to say how things effected me emotionally

    Oh n lyrica made me put on weight too....grrrr


  • Thanks Joanne1972 my point of the thread was just to see others reactions and just to show how rude others could be to people with chronic illness, as I stated earlier I'm not doing anything as I don't believe in doing it being an ex shop steward, but I was just highlighting the fact that people still think of chronic illness sufferers as scroungers and putting it on. I wasjust curious how others think. I am lucky to have a new car it took a lot of my savings and I was just offended by that comment really! I will avoid that guy in future and ask for someone else ......

  • Hi frankdobermann

    I think your story highlights a problem that seems to be ingrained into society, as people continue to judge others when they do not know anything about the shoes they as walking in!

    If I may I have few points here:

    a) If the Customer Service gentleman felt he was unable to lift the compost bags, he could consult his Manager for assistance on the grounds of Health & Safety especially if it is due to health ailments and the positioning of the item for sale (you mentioned in a odd place). However, he made the decision not to do this! If you find yourself in this situation again - you may like to ask to see the Manager. Plus as you are the customer, you have the right to leave the shop and take your business elsewhere due to the lack of customer service.

    b) He certainly should not have complained about his health in a manner to make the customer upset or made a judgement about your disability benefits/mobility car. My personal opinion is that in any situation like this a quiet word in the Manger's ear wouldn't hurt, then the company may choose to indirectly discuss these kinds of issues in the next staff training/meeting. Therefore, this would not directly affect the person and hopefully promote all staff to think about disability discrimination/Equality Act.

    c) Having also experienced stigma I understand - Do try not to carry this with you, as the stress may impact on your condition/s. Try to let it go as best you can otherwise this incident will affect you beyond where it needs to due to the ignorance of one individual.

    Hope this helps

    Best Wishes

    Emma :)

  • Thank you Emma, for your wonderful advice. I know myself being an ex trainer that sometimes it's not the training- it's the trainer! Maybe the trainer has not addressed training in respect of people's disabilities, who knows but it was very rude! Take care Frank D

  • Hi Frank I read your post and recognize much of the traits that this guy verbally mouthed off about to you, because I as someone who makes a point of not letting my disability (Chronic Pain) get the better of me and the side-affect of this is that when I ask someone to help me in the supermarket they invariably give me "The Look" that says so much and depending on my mood as to the level of importance I give it. I would love to say just put it down to the times we live in and the politics of our time being what it is, but I know just how it can get to you on a different day and a different mood and as a proud man myself I know just how it can destroy your day.

    But I would just accept that there are people, for whatever reason are struggling with their own prejudices around their own life that looking for easy targets to vent their spleen at and is valve they use too much and our Media production companies exploit this human condition for their own selfish reasons around their right-wing agenda.

    I for one know that as a recipient of the benefits system and use it to lease my mobility car know that perceptions around mobility issues is very much in the eye of the beholder and see it every day in the many eyes of the people around me as I persistently keep my independence for neighbours (no matter what they say to your face) can give many a withering look that says so much especially around this time as the gov't re-draws the lines around who is and who isn't in need of this benefit and the Media companies love it as they milk this issue and stoke the bile that lurks within us all around entitlement .

    I could harp on a bit more about who is really to blame for this mans attitude, but hey life being what it is, So I say turn the other cheek and don't allow those who stoke the bile to change what we are really and that the decency within so many people, who without a moments hesitation spring to my aid , so I say in the end Frank it is those people that we must remember the most and not this sad reflection of our society that this man has become, all the best Alex

  • Thanks Alex, that was a great response and great to hear another mans response. Your response is so true and also relates to me, I recently bought the car but my dryer broke and was replaced under guarantee and the same for my tv- god knows what the neighbours think lol, probably a scrounger or a drug dealer lol 😂 .

    I also try to hide my disability but it's hard hiding the stick, I think they should remember it's actually embarrassing for a man to ask for help we are usually proud of our manliness and it just doesn't feel right to ask for help even though you know you need it. I felt terrible that I had to ask a much older man for help it didn't feel right, but needs must at times. I still like to think I still have my ex physique I have to a point but I do have muscle waste in my arms and legs. Anyway thanks and take care.

  • Hello Frank

    I'm newish to chronic neck pain and know exactly how you are feeling, I would be upset too! It's all very well saying move on, concentrate on your own health, forget about it etc. but most people would be offended at least by what he said, it wasn't acceptable . I would have a word with the manager too.

    Thanks for posting because I will have occasions like this where I will have to buy things that are too heavy for me too, I will be more aware; but I am probably older, female and small, so maybe I wouldn't get the same are lucky that you obviously look young and fit :)

  • Well I didn't say I looked young lol! Put it this way my wife is nine years older than me .......yep I'm a toyboy lol except as my wife says she was unlucky she got a broken one lol 😂 people say we look the same age, I'm still trying to figure out does that mean I look nine years older or does she look nine years younger ? 😂 I dare not ask her opinion on that ! .......... I do t want any more injurys or worse😱 Though tbh the job I had was extremely demanding and it was like being at a gym for 12 hours so most men had muscular physiques, but unfortunately my body couldn't take it .........and they got rid of me .....hence I am like I am now. I would give the gentleman advice if I could and that is if your really damaged don't carry on in that job having a life full of pain is not worth any amount of money!

  • Hi Frank,

    You could ring and ask to speak to his manager, report what happened, be rational and stay on point, do not start subjective rumination as to why he said those things or your opinion etc, just tell it as it happened, as some staff training/education is necessary. Stay factual and do not get your knickers (or jocks) in a knot, as your experience can be of benefit to others.

  • Pacemaker , I've got to say your last line says it all "your experience can benefit others". How true!

  • I heard a lovely story on another site recently where a guy with severe copd and on oxygen got out of his mobility car in a disabled spot to be verbally abused by several people who accused him of being fine.

    He said hang on a minute, reached back into his car and clipped his oxygen on. He said they all looked very embarrassed before scurrying away. Hopefully they will think twice before judging in future.

  • Wow!

  • Interesting post and interesting response. I work albeit part time. When I visit people they know I have a problem because I use a walking stick. BUT they don't know what is wrong with me. I am there to work with them and not only is it none of their business but also it is not my place to tell them my issues.

    For this reason I do think you could complain. You did nothing wrong in seeking assistance from the shop and his problems are nothing to do with you. IF he has genuine issues with the work he needs to take that up with his bosses and not you!

  • Thanks for the response Bevvy, I am not the type of person to report him, if it happened again sure I would as that would be a training issue, I found his attitude wrong but it was the car I found insulting he knows nothing about me I could be a pauper or a millionaire for all he knew but the real thing is I walk with a limp a stick my left arm shakes why on earth would you put that on lol just to get compost ! Lol, but it's interesting to see what other people would or not do it goes to show we all have different morals etc.

  • Aye up trouble what you been doing now, upsetting the natives?

    Just shop elsewhere mate if you can, or at a different time if the store opens late ? Or at another branch or have you stuff delivered prehaps by going on line?

    Best to ignore ignorance. You know I told you I have Lupus now? Yesterday my next door neighbour who moved in last November was in wierdo mode?

    I had been getting on alright or so I thought with her? Because I now have to "cover up and wear sunglasses" at all times (due to being photo sensitive) I went out to my gates by my car and was just getting in my recycling boxes and bin due to late holiday collection. I was wearing a large floaty scarf wrapped around my factored 50 face in the style of Indian hijab and I heard this weird remarking/hissing as my jaxi was up in the air about " Didn't know we had Muslims living next door" and as I looked up she couldn't get into her house any faster if she tried!

    Ok I thought I will REALLY get tongues wagging and have ordered myself a Burka for when we really get hot!

    Ignorant rude vile pigs.

    Who's business would it have been if I was MUSLIM? Not hers. Move if you don't like it LOL

    Seriously, I DO understand why various religious beliefs get paranoid when people are being "openly attacked" for how they choose to dress?

    What she failed to understand is that HER RACISM could have been reported to the authorities and investigated? Not great for a "class room assignment and mother of 3"?



  • Love it ha ha you have my sense of humour!!!! Well I'm glad I'm not the only one who has an exciting lifestyle lol. But yep predjiuice is everywhere and a very hard.

    But thanks for the laugh !

  • Class room assistent

  • Just you wait Frank, until I put on the Burka yashmak LOL net curtain twitching or what ?

  • I get it all the time, I get "You do not look ill?" They have no idea?

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