For a lot of people, the commute coffee is as much about the coffee as it is about the place where you get it from. A friendly good morning, light banter and nice coffee all go hand in hand. For me, I have a regular place, near my local train station. But occasionally you venture somewhere new, because you go a different way to work or you are somewhere different. So today I went in to a cafe opposite Camberwell station, it seemed like a nice place, friendly vibe, music, people milling around the barista. Upon entry, I was greeted with a friendly “good morning” from the woman making the coffees. But upon walking further down to the cash register, where a man awaited customers entering to take their orders. But he turns away from me. I was a bit confused. I look behind me, a woman entered the cafe. He asks her for her order. She tells him of her coffee and food requests and pays. I think this is rather odd. I’m clearly next. Well, actually I was first. So she walks away to wait, and he walks off. I wait. I wait some more. Then he points to another male staff member who then comes over and loudly asks what I want.
I have had many odd retail experiences. One time at a coffee shop near Glen Waverley station, a man serving me just grabbed my credit card out of my hand and proceeded to ‘tap’ it. He also yelled at me to ‘STAND BACK’! And when I asked him once if they had Apple Pay, he barked loudly “NO WE DO NOT!’. Like he was so frustrated by the question.
But the ‘being ignored’ thing is really odd, having to wait for others who are after you to be served first, having your hand grabbed physically and guided to payment devices, being told to hand over your phone to pay seem all too common experiences.
Once in a department store I awaited service and the ignoring thing became so demoralising that I did walk out. I had come in to buy a Dyson heater which was quite expensive. I think people assume if you have a cane you can’t see them ignoring you. I waited 20 minutes that day. I rang the store outside and spoke to the manager to complain. But I shouldn’t have to.
Attitude towards disability in retail is very poor in this country in my experience. I often prefer to buy things online to avoid these experiences.