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My husband who is older than me at 70 has 2 broken vertabra and numerous other health conditions but looks relatively healthy, I on the other hand am in my 40’s, with a neurological illness causing mobility and many other chronic illnesses which came on suddenly about 8 years ago, we have 2 children at home, so together we have a number of disabilities and I use a walking frame to avoid injuries as I have falls and break bones easily, Yesterday we went to our local Coles supermarket and my husband was standing in the fruit and veg area near the self service nuts area so out of the way, it was early so not many customers and another customer reversing and not watching rammed her trolley into his back, obviously an accident, however the fruit and veg manager was about 2 metres away, shrugged his shoulders said oh well accident, and went back to his markdowns, he did not even ask if my husband was ok. I asked his what his duty of care was, he said he had done it, not his problem!!, I advised him of my husbands broken back, and multiple other illnesses, obviously my illness is more noticeable and he proceeded to advise us that we should not be shopping in the centre as it was to dangerous, he told us people with disabilities should not be in the shop, I saw red and the manager arrived, he did ask how my husband was which was nice, however by this stage our confidence was undermined and to be told not to shop due to disabilities when we struggle to manage a normal life with our own cooking, shopping, cleaning and not being a burden on the taxpayer, we self fund through long term savings and super, but we came out of Coles feeling that we were second class citizens and having a manager telling us that he did not want disabled people in the store which I believe would be in breach of Australia law. I have dwelled on this all night and it is really upsetting as my illness is chronic and will kill me, I want to enjoy my time on this planet by being as independent for as long as possible. how can I move past these ignorant people.


Posted by mom109463, 11th February 2015


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  • I hope this situation was resolved and an apology received.

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  • Both treatments are not needed. First, did the person who hit you with the trolley acknowledged it and apologised ? As with public areas , some people are careless or just rushing and not made aware those around us . In fact , I have been hit a few times or rolled at the back of the heels and they don’t care . The staff at the store did not need to say those words either which made you double inferior . Hope you have better experiences , and frankly public areas is not my ideal place to be and only if I have to be there .

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  • oh,i don’t know how to say i am so sorry that you and your husband were treatedlike that,i am used to it now,but i stillremember how painful my first inyroduction to this kind of attitude,and it was long before i was finally diagonosed.my moter and i got off the bus and she’s very spritely,and she’s racing almost compared to me,and she turned around and said”oh,thats right you cant walk fast”the early stages oy fibramyalgia hold many painful memories not dealing with illness.lovexxx

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  • I am disgusted by this treatment of you and your husband. Please don’t let this vile treatment put you or your husband off getting out and about. Life is short,me joy it while you can

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  • there just that ignorant put in a complaint to head office. I hope you and your husband are ok

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  • Oh I have only just clicked onto this story. I am so sad that you were treated like this. I do hope by now you have had an apology from Coles and all has been sorted well and that dear hubby is OK and his back is doing better. I agree with all the other MOMS and feel you should have taken this further, my Coles are wonderful and the staff are very caring and would be doing all they could to help.
    Wishing you, hubby and family heaps of love and sending thoughts of support and also sending love and healing thoughts for the future. xxx

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  • ……and these are the sort of things that should be taught at school! manner, courtesy, tact, caring and compassion! that is so rude! if someone had treated anyone like that in front of me…..wow i would’ve been so mad! maybe when people go for customer service jobs, they should undertake training through an outside company where they role play situations such as yours and are taught how to deal with people appropriately. I did a conflict management course just so that i would know how to deal with any situation.


    • Thankyou for your comment, I came from a customer service background working in a very aggressive area, conflict resolution was a top priority and we worked with security guards with us, however no matter how bad the customers treated us at no time would we have treated them like I was in Coles, it was appalling, I understand dealing with customers can be difficult however it is optional and if people do not want to do that sort of work then they need to seek other work not treat customers like I was treated. I still get angry whenever I think of how I was treated and it makes me wonder how bad some people who cannot speak up for themselves get treated. It does not take much to treat someone with respect and courtesy at anytime, especially so when you are being paid to do it!!



      • I don’t want to stress you out about this and i don’t know if you have a facebook or twitter account but if you posted a message to coles facebook, they will reply asking you store details and they might get this fixed up for you. What happened to you and your husband was not right, it is discrimination and it makes coles look bad. I do think that you deserve an apology. so i will say that i am very sorry that this happened to you and your husband. I hope that this has not put you off going out into the community. Citizens like you and your husband deserve the utmost respect for the contributions that you have made to our country. You paid the taxes that the next generation benefit from. I think that these supermarket chains need to cater for people like you. Instead of making you feel like you shouldn’t be in public, they should be carrying your groceries to your car!. At least your generation knew what it meant to respect your elders. They also knew what good customer service actually meant- service! I hope that you are all doing well.

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  • Very disturbing to hear – hope you have had a chance to write into Coles via their head office website or go onto their Facebook page – definately not on.

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  • Its so difficult. My son (2.5) has a disability, but to look at him, you would never know. Sometimes its ignorance, sometimes they really just dont care. Either way, its not acceptable.

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  • That is terrible and I understand your anger. I would take it higher within Coles. They are a large organization (who I have worked for in the past) who may not know exactly how things are being dealt with in individual shops, however I think they need to know.

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  • I would be taking it further if you felt you where able to. Even if only for the fact to teach people that is not how you treat people. i am so sorry that you where treated like that it is always sad when people show a lack of any sort of understanding or kindness

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  • Please check Discrimination Acts and Human Rights Acts as it sounds like it may be a breach of the Acts? Regardless of the Acts; this seems morally and ethically unacceptable behaviour. Every worker regardless of where and at what level has a duty of care. I would also suggest you discuss your concerns with management; people only learn and change from being made aware of these situations. I hope you manage to sleep well tonight and wishing you and your husband the very best with your struggles. x :)

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  • I would complain in writing to Coles, to your local paper, and to the human rights commissioner. What you have described is not acceptable.


    • Thankyou for your kind words, I have calmed down a bit now, it just is so annoying, my husband and myself have always worked hard and unfortunately in my 30’s I was diagnosed with an illness similar to MS, it is very debilitating and I rely on my husband to help me, we live very independently, and financially look after ourselves due to being frugal now and previously being financially savvy, for this we are grateful, I feel for people who have other illnesses who encounter this discrimination daily, and are to scared to stand up to ‘normal’ people, unfortunately most people do not realize how close we come to being completely disabled everytime we wake up, it can and does happen to anyone.



      • Glad you are feeling better about this situation. :) You are quite right; it can happen to anyone at anytime and it does. Wishing you the best!

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