April 12, 2010 by 8junebugs
I’ll be honest with you. This wasn’t a bad weekend. I mean, DC is gorgeous right now — all dolled up for spring. And I did my usual weekend things: I ran one day and cross-trained the other. I went to yoga. I chopped fruit for smoothies. I went for a bike ride (and heard someone say, as I paused for traffic, that, if she had a bike, that is the kind of bike she would have. Amen, sister.).
But after yoga, I went to the grocery store to pick up fruit to chop. Full basket in hand, I slipped on a patch of wet linoleum that wasn’t marked as Wet Floor, and came down on the outside of my left foot. I think my basket came down on the inside of that leg…the bananas jumped ship, though. One of the staff came over when I was trying to stand up and asked if I tripped.
“No,” I said. “Your floor is wet.”
“Well, look at that. It sure is, isn’t it?”
“Yes. That’s why I slipped.”
“Is there an incident report or some form I can fill out?”
That staff person went to find the manager, who eventually came over. Another staff member came and swiped at the floors with a couple of paper towels but didn’t speak to me.
The manager brought a sheet of blank paper — is it really possible that a large grocery chain doesn’t have a form for this kind of thing? She asked where I fell, and I, at this point somewhat annoyed and/or going into shock, pointed out that I didn’t just fall, I slipped on their wet floor. She took down my information and said I’d get a call from their risk management person. She asked if I wanted an ambulance, but I said no — it was just a scrape and probably a bruise, and I was able to walk.
Then I asked her to put up a Wet Floor sign, because it looked like there was still some water in the shadow of the produce bins. The manager asked the same woman who’d wiped up the floor to get the sign and got attitude back: “I wiped it up.”
I think this was the part that really upset me. I’d been calming down from the shock of falling (the uncertainty of falling is way scarier to me than a scraped foot) and I couldn’t understand why this woman wouldn’t want to do whatever she could to prevent someone else slipping and falling in their store. I felt like they were mad at me for making a big stink about slipping, even though they were the ones with the wet floor. I’ve worked in a grocery store — you don’t mess around with a wet floor. You clean it up and put up a sign and basically cover your butt in case someone slips on your watch. I wasn’t making a stink to get someone fired or get a free pineapple. I just didn’t want anyone else to get hurt.
Either the uncertainty of falling, the injury, or the unexpected difficulty of dealing with the store personnel (or a combination of all three) hit me when I was checking out. I was shaking from there to my car; when I got to my car, I sat and sobbed for at least five minutes. It can only have been shock, but I was stunned at how much shock there was for a tiny little scrape. I mean, I’ve fallen on an ankle before — on the stairs one February, when I stopped just short of a sprain. The shock from that totally disoriented me and I couldn’t move or think straight for a few minutes.
It’s probably a good thing I haven’t broken any bones or had any major injuries since I was a toddler, huh?
Once I calmed down, I backed out of the parking space and started to work my way out of the lot. All of a sudden, a truck started backing out toward me. I was already pretty close behind him (having the right of way and all), and I beeped my little Honda horn to tell him I was passing behind him.
He didn’t stop. He still didn’t stop when I kept honking. I couldn’t seem to coordinate my feet and hands to honk, shift gears, and back out of his way all at the same time, and I was starting to panic because I couldn’t move and he wouldn’t stop. I guess he’d just decided it was an acceptable risk — he backed out far enough to pull across the space next to him to get ahead of me. He didn’t hit me, but suddenly I was shaking and sobbing again.
After the way people acted in the store and the way this driver didn’t care that I was behind him, I just felt…invisible. Which is in stark contrast to post-yoga awareness.
I was more than a little off for the rest of the day. I’m pretty committed to letting my body sort itself out from physical or emotional trauma, but it stuns me sometimes how much recovery time it needs.
Yesterday, my bike ride was to Matt and Alicia’s to visit little Amelia and say hello to Alicia’s mom. I had thus far been unaffected by the spring pollen, but yesterday it kicked in, making me cough uncontrollably while holding a newborn. I handed her back and cut my visit short in case it was something other than the pollen (it appears not to have been). Then Matt added insult to injury by laughing at my bike helmet AS IF I DON’T KNOW IT LOOKS DUMB and as if I hadn’t already told him he couldn’t laugh at my bike helmet. Jerk.
A very surreal weekend, all things considered.