So I’m in the grocery store (medium-sized, not overly corporate, chain store with a reputation for friendly and helpful staff), and one of the things in my cart is a flat of large water bottles, twelve bottles, each probably holding something like 24 ounces. I’m guessing the flat weighs somewhere around 20-25 pounds.
The friendly young clerk says, “Do you want help to your car with the water?”
So far, so good.
And then she says, “Are you sure?”
I just said, “Yes,” and finished dealing with my change and left the store. I didn’t realize until later that I was angry.
The same thing happened to me last Thanksgiving when I bought a large turkey at the local independent butcher. The guy who helped me there also didn’t seem to believe me when I told him I could carry it to the car.
It’s simply not respectful to check again with someone who says they don’t need help. This is common currency in the disabled community; it should also be common currency in the able-bodied community. (Though I do think that a piece of this is that my gray hairs somehow have started taking me out of the able-bodied community, at least as I’m perceived by strangers. This is, among other things, funny, because I am one of the more able-bodied people in my social circle.)
Next time this happens, I am going to say something; ideally something polite and respectful encouraging them to trust my own judgment (and by extension all of their customers’ own judgment) of abilities and limitations.