A shock.

We went in to Taunton on Saturday, we had a few errands to run and also had to go to the shop about my Wife’s mobile as it has gone a bit tits up. Due the the extremely hard work it had been to use the manual chair in the snow on Friday I had decided to use my power chair, but when we got to Taunton there really had been no need for me to do so, it was like Taunton had escaped the snow all together. The roads and pavements were clear of snow, which was a good thing don’t get me wrong but did come as a bit of a shock. That aside though, we did the things we needed to do in town and then went to do some food shopping in Asda, it was busier than I had thought it would be because of the snow but obviously as the snow had been cleared quite well, people were going about their normal tasks which meant that the isles in the superstore were full.

We paid for the shopping and I decided to go to the customer service desk to obtain an e mail address for me to drop the manager a message about what had happened on the Friday with the van. The customer services lady got in touch with the assistant or shift manager, I can not remember which and he said he would come down. When he arrived I introduced myself and shook his hand, I explained what had happened and he apologise for what had happened, he informed me that it should not be too difficult to discover which van it had been and that it would be dealt with. I did say that I felt the driver just needed to be made aware of the fact that a complaint had been made, but more that it was the fact that the complaint had come because the van was sign written and to be conscious of that fact. I was satisfied that the gentleman whom I had been speaking with was genuinely sorry for the actions of the driver and that he had understood that I was informing rather than complaining. I shook his hand once more and thanked him for his time, we returned to the Chucklebus, loaded the shopping and us in to it and then drove back to the bungalow.

Last night I was playing a game on the games console when my mobile `pinged`, I looked to see what it was, it was a message that had been written via Facebook. It had come from a name of someone I did not recognise which intrigued me somewhat and so I opened the message and read it. I was taken aback by what I read but by no means in a bad way, more of a shocked way.

The message was not from the female who’s name was on the profile but her husband, he is the General Store Manager of Asda in Taunton. He began by saying that he was sorry to hear about the incident that had happened in Chard. He had started an investigation in to who the driver was as it had demonstrated a complete lack of care for other road users. He was personally embarrassed by what had happened and he apologised. This was a very nice thing to do and to actually take time to try to find me on Facebook really showed that the gentleman was shocked by what had happened and was sincerely sorry for the drivers actions. I thought to myself how efficient the communications between the gent I had spoke to at the store and the General Manager was, the fact that the General Manager had been unavailable in the late afternoon could only mean to me that he had called him, but then the real shock came.  “If you are wondering how I know about this, my Wife reads your Blog.”

HOLY SHIT, not for the fact that someone outside of my friends was taking the time to read my Blog, but more the fact that the lady had read it and showed her Husband who felt the need to go to the trouble to contact me. I responded to his message with the following;

 Mr J******, many thanks for the message. I want you to first understand that I have not set out to cause trouble for your store or your employees, my Blog is my way of letting people know what I get up to day to day. To enlighten people to the problems I encounter which are so very minor or unnoticeable to an able bodied person but can cause major problems in a wheelchair, such as parking over dropped curbs for instance. It is also where I may vent anger and frustration but also educate people in the hope that they may think a little before they do something which may cause huge problems for a wheelie such as myself. The snow we had on Friday made it impossible for me to use the pavement as my Castor’s would not cut through it, I therefore had to take to the roads, my Step Brother was assisting me and as I wrote, vehicles were sympathetic and giving us a wide berth. I know that this may have been seen as an inconvenience but believe me when I say that i did not choose to be in a wheelchair, which by the way is inconvenient. Despite all vehicles giving us room, your driver unfortunately chose not to and as a result splashed slush over us. My poncho protected me pretty well to be fair with only the backs of my legs catching some. My Step Brother however was covered on his lower half and had to change in to a pair of my bottoms when we got to my home.
We have all accidentally splashed someone when driving, sometimes with the best will in the world, it is impossible to avoid, I know this as I was an HGV driver but your driver made no attempt to avoid it by failing to follow the other vehicles in front of him, even the vehicles behind him went round us.
I am not looking for any one to be punished or disciplined. I would though think that they need to be made aware that not always are people able to use the pavements and therefore must share the road but more importantly that they are in the eye of the public, and to that end, being as your vans have ASDA written very clearly on them, they are advertising your company. If they do something dangerous or something that may be deemed as disrespectful, it has the possible consequence of someone complaining and thus biting them in the butt.
All I would ask, is that the driver be spoken to, to encourage them to think a little while out on the road as they are ultimately advertising and representing ASDA.
Thank you again for your message, and thanks also to your wife for taking the time to read my Blog.
I would like to ask your permission to mention in my next Blog that I was contacted by yourself, (not mentioning your name unless you were happy about it), to say that an apology had been received and that the matter was in hand. I will of course not do this unless you are happy for me to do so.
I make no apology for stating ASDA as being the name on the van as I hope it may make other drivers with company names on them think before doing silly things. It has in no way changed my opinion of ASDA and I continue to shop with you as indeed I did today.
Thank you again for your mail and I wish you all the very best for the coming year.
Kindest regards to you and your Wife.
George Pas
Thank you again
I received a favourable reply and he told me that had it not been for my Blog he would not have known about it, this he would have known when he returned to work from his leave. He commended my Blog and pointed out some good things about it such as how a massive change can impact on your life and how you can deal with it. “We will follow this incident up with the driver as I’m keen to make a difference, if your note makes him and others think again it’s worth it.”
I can only say how much I appreciate and respect the Manager for his getting in touch with me and for his comments. I hope that the driver takes the words of the manager on board and remembers that he is advertising the store name as I really would hate for them to be disciplined for the sake of not applying a little common sense.




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