I was terribly appalled by the treatment I received in a Lowe’s Home Improvement Store yesterday, a store that I have shopped in for years and where I have spent thousands of dollars.
My son is putting down wood flooring in my dining room and family room (flooring that I purchased at Lowe’s). Yesterday, he called and said he had not bought enough quarter round and asked me to go to Lowe’s and get two more 8′ pieces.
I jumped in my car and headed to Lowe’s in blue jeans, t-shirt, and flip flops. While in the store, I hit my foot on something. What it was, I could not tell you. It hurt a little bit, but I didn’t even look down. My own clumsiness, I was sure, I was not looking for anything that might have been left in an aisle that could endanger a customer.
I’m not the kind of person looking for someone to blame for a little mishap or the type of person looking for an easy lawsuit. Like, I said, I am sure that it was my own clumsiness and my fault for wearing flip flops. And it was no big deal anyway.
I checked out with my two pieces of molding, and started out the door. At that point I realized that I was walking in something sticky. I looked down to see my foot covered in blood and blood pooling in the bottom of my flip flops. I stopped dead, looking down, and as other customers walked around me, I said, “Evidently, I’ve been injured.”
One nice lady (a customer) told me there was a bench close by and motioned for me to sit down. Instead, I laid the molding on that bench and went back inside the store to the nearest check-out clerk and asked for help.
She looked at my foot and told me that I needed to go to the returns desk (which wasn’t too far away) and they had a first aid kit there. I went to the clerk at the returns counter and asked for help. She looked at my foot and gave me three or four one-inch alcohol pads and one paper towel and told me that was all she had.
As I stood there on one foot, trying to clean the other foot up, (I wasn’t even offered a chair) a male customer said, “That is still bleeding, you need to tape it up.”
I responded that I couldn’t tell where the blood was coming from. Even if I had known, I did not have any tape. I asked the clerk for more help. I said, “Can you get me some wet paper towels or some water. She looked at my foot again, and said, “All I know is you can go to the ladies’ room.” (the ladies’ room being all the way in the back of the store).
Then she started mumbling about how that was the problem with this store, the way the restrooms were all the way in the back, as she started to wait on another customer.
I said, “Never mind!” as I hobbled back to the exit. Hobbling, not because I was hurting, but because blood was gushing up between my toes, and I was trying not to leave a bloody trail. Now that I think about it, I don’t know why I cared whether or not I bled on their floor.
I passed a friendly young male clerk who smiled and said, “Hi, how are ya doing today?”
I said, “Not good at all!” He didn’t stop his pace, just kept on walking as he yelled, “Well, that’s not good.”
As I passed the service desk, I asked for a waste can. The clerk there handed me a waste can where I left the bloody paper towel and the one-inch alcohol wipes.
I said, “You people sure aren’t very helpful when a person gets hurt in your store.” She looked at my foot and said, “Did you report that to anybody?”
I said, “Yes, I’ve been trying to get help at the return counter.” The clerk said, “they have alcohol pads over there.” and I said, “yes, but they aren’t big enough to take care of something like this.”
I walked on out of the store, picked up the molding, and went on to my car where I thought I might have some tissues. No luck on tissues. So I started on home, but as I passed the nearby Wal-Mart store, I thought of their restrooms being close to the entrance so I stopped there.
It took five wet paper towels to get cleaned up enough to see where the blood was coming from…a deep gash on the top of my little toe. Even then, I could not get it to stop bleeding. I help pressure on it, but each time I released it, the blood would start spurting again.
I wrapped a wet paper towel around my foot, went out into the store and got a box of band-aids, sat down at their pharmacy bench and tightly wrapped two band-aids around my little toe. No employee there offered any assitance either, and customers made a wide berth around me.
I know there is a big issue about blood and people not wanting to take a chance on touching contaminated blood, but really what is this world coming to that no one even wants to help their fellow man?
I did call the Lowe’s manager today and reported the incident. He told me there was protocol to follow when anyone was injured in their store, and didn’t understand why this happened. He asked me what time of day it happened and assured me he would be reviewing the store’s video tapes to see who was working at that time.
He was polite, apologetic, and said that he would probably need to do some more training with his people for incidents like this.
All I could think of was “if a person needs training to help out another human being in distress, well,….Lord help us all.”