Friday, January 10, 2014

Customer service experience with a kid with a neurological disorder

I'm going to write about something that was inspired by a positive experience at my job during my shift tonight (Wednesday). I had something else planned but I would have needed to include research and I need to replace my laptop so it would have been hard to do. When I was growing up I knew very few people with neurological disorders, and even less people that were around my age with them. If I knew anyone with Hydrocephalus, I wasn't aware of it. I was a couple of high school and had just started to work at my second job when I met my first close "brain buddy". He has Cerebral palsy, and knowing him has helped me recognize it in other people. I've known others with cp since before I knew him, but they usually had a worse case or I didn't realize what was wrong with them until later. Other neurological disorders can show the same symptoms too though, including Hydrocephalus, strokes and seizure disorders.

About half way into my shift during the busiest part of the evening I walked out of the backroom onto the produce sales floor getting ready to write a list for what needed to be on my next cart or two. A kid that looked like he was 10 or 11 stopped me and asked me if I could check the price on a bottle of sparkling juice that we have during the holiday season. I told him that I had a scanning gun and I would be right back. I saw him walk forward and noticed his limp and that it affected his whole right side, especially his arm. I recognized it right away as having to do with Cerebral palsy or another neurological disorder. I felt bad for him, knowing the challenges that my friend has dealt with and the challenges that people with neurological disorders in general have to deal with from personal experiences. Rather it's being more likely to be bullied, the way people see him or different kind of therapies. I went to the department back room to discover that someone had taken my scanning gun so I told him that I needed to go to the front but I would be back in a minute. I went and got a gun from behind customer service and started to sign into it as I started to walk back in his direction, and I was surprised to see that he had walked across the store and was waiting for me in front of the registers. It ended up being too much and I put it back for him. At some point during this time I noticed what looked like a shunt scar on the top of his head, I noticed because of his short hair cut. I didn't ask because I didn't want to find out I was wrong or point out something he may not want to think about. If he does have it, it might have been encouraging to meeting someone else with it, but I'm sure it was obvious that I at least have a neurological disorder of some kind too. Something that I didn't think of until after he and his family left was that if he does have a shunt it would have probably be visible in his neck area and even if I was face to face with him multiple times I didn't think to look. I ended up running into him one last time, somewhat on purpose because I wanted to do something to make his day without him realizing it was because I felt bad him. I still had the scanning gun in my hand and helped him check a couple prices so he could find a different holiday drink.

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