One week ago…
It was a week ago when I went to Staples to pick up supplies for my classroom.
I was looking for a crate as well, but on that particular night the Staples store didn’t have it on the shelves accessible for customers… 1) those crates were up on the upper, upper shelves, where you’d need an employee to grab a ladder and bring them down.
That proved to be the first misstep.
I asked one of the shop assistants to get me one of those crates, and she did.
Now, it should have been a warning sign for me in terms of foreshadowing, but as she came down the ladder, that ladder for some reason started to move – even though she’d locked it down before climbing up.
I reached over to hold on to the ladder as she came down, but I actually didn’t need to.
2) I went to pay for the crate, and I was first in line as the cashier was helping a customer. Inexplicably, an African American customer came around to the end of an unmanned cash till, and a male shop assistant came to that till to ring up his order – while I was clearly in line.
Whatever. It was my turn soon, and I paid.
3) I walked out of the store carrying the crate (with some other supplies that I’d gotten at Dollarama earlier that day in that crate), and went down the stairs, and tripped and fell on (I think) the second-last step. A teenager who was going up asked me if I was okay. I wasn’t, but I thought I was.
Soon, I realized I was bleeding and the crate was broken.
I took it back into the store and explained to the first employee I saw that I had tripped and was bleeding, and if they had a band-aid. Three employees came to me but it seemed nobody knew what to do.
Finally, one of them gave me some band-aids and offered to let me use the washroom. I took the key and went to use the washroom and fix myself up.
4) When I came out, a different employee saw me and sarcastically said that if I needed to use the restroom, I needed to put my backpack at the front. Since I was still in pain and in shock of tripping, I let that comment go.
Why did I choose to come on this night? It was my own mistake. I’d always thought that this store closes at 8pm daily, but earlier in the day I checked its store hours on my phone and found that it closes at 10pm on Thursdays (that particular day).
And I went to that store at around 9pm, when it was dark. And I fell down the stairs. My fault. What upsets me is that I watch where I’m going, and I did watch my step. And I still tripped.
It didn’t help, though, that there were three missteps by the store. 1) no crates accessible for customers, 2) the male employee inexplicably helping a guy who wasn’t lining up, and 3) it was dark and there wasn’t any lighting.
If those first two things didn’t happen, I might have gotten out of the store a few minutes earlier, and perhaps I wouldn’t have tripped? (ie. maybe I would have taken a different step or walked down in a different way…) It’s just one of those things where you second-guess things and wonder if things might have been different if…
PS – Oh yeah, that crate broke when I fell. When I was in the store after the mishap, I showed them the crate and I offered to buy a new one. Yup, they charged me. Meanwhile, even as I was bleeding and limping around, not one customer or anybody not in uniform (other than that teenager outside the store) asked me if I was okay. Nobody gives a damn.