Trader Joe’s gets an A+ for Disability Accommodation!

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

August 13th, 2010 • Living with Chronic PainPrint Print

Shopping is a nightmare for those with firbo, CRPS, RSD, CFS, degenerative disc disease or a host of other conditions related to chronic pain and hypersensitivity. People go reeling past us and don’t necessarily need to physically touch us so as to set our bodies off in a pain spasm that lasts for hours, days, or in worst case scenarios, even longer.

After my last shopping ordeal, where a supermarket employee zipped past me in the tiniest space possible, causing a pain spasm that lasted well into the next day, I was fed up.

So yesterday, with slim pickings in the fridge and cabinets, I called the supervisor at my local Trader Joe’s. I told him that I have chronic pain and hypersensitivity and explained how that makes shopping a nightmare. He was totally empathetic.

I then asked if he would be open to helping me out by taking my order over the phone or by fax, having someone collect all the goods and have them ready in bags up front, so that I could avoid the chaos in the aisles and instead just pay for my goods and bolt. Not only did he agree, but he was just as sweet and kind about as he possibly could have been.

He handed me off to an employee who took my order and also was a total sweetheart. Then when I showed up at the store, the supervisor personally rang me up and, when finished, asked me if I would like help out to the car – to which I said yes. Being that I was still recovering from a flare-up of pain in my foot, it was a smart move to have someone else maneuvering the cart. And of course, the less I can lift bags of groceries, the better for my pain-free existence.

Thank you, Trader Joe’s, for being so understanding and supporting a customer with chronic pain. You rock.

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