Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Watch your step

So something extremely mortifying happened to me today. Something so mortifying that I am not even sure why I am about to share it here, but hey, I guess it makes good blog fodder.  So here goes.....I somehow managed to fall into a hole in the middle of a supermarket. A hole that looked a lot like this one: 

Yeah.

Now I should preface this by saying that normally I am very aware of my surroundings and I am also quite coordinated, but I was so distracted by the events of today (that started with a broken-down metro at 6:30am and went downhill from there) that *plop*, down I went into the hole of death, along with my shopping basket and all its contents.

After sitting there stunned for a second, I stood up and took inventory.  Minus a scraped hand/wrist and a majorly bruised ego, I was all in one piece, so I gathered my goods and hopped on out, no thanks to anyone else. I was feeling a bit miffed that not a single employee or patron had said anything or offered to help, so I was sort of grumbling to myself as I finished my shopping.  By the time I was ready to check-out, my wrist was bleeding quite a bit, so I went up to the front desk and asked for a band-aid. The manager looked me up and down and said "Um, how about you walk on over to aisle 5 and buy some?" and I was like "Um, how about you cover up the GIGANTIC HOLE IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR SUPERMARKET?"

Suddenly her tune changed and I was invited behind the counter to sit down while she called the safety lady, who came a runnin' with her first-aid kid. She put on some plastic gloves and I was like "Whoa, I just wanted a band-aid''. But she insisted on disinfecting it and then massaging my hand with some arnica gel. What really touched me though was what a calming energy this lady gave off. It's something so rare you come across here when interacting with a stranger, so the care she used when handling my wounds almost brought tears to my eyes. After such a rough day (and a fall in a frickin' hole), I needed a little TLC. She then said "Oh, you look like you're going to cry! Let me go get you some water!" I made a joke about maybe needing a drink of that alcohol she was using to disinfect instead, but took my water like a good patient while she wrapped up my arm:





She then went to get me a few supplies to bring home and also offered to take down my phone number and call me later that night to see if I was alright. It obviously was not necessary for a banged-up wrist, but I appreciated the thought. It feels like so often in France, interactions end up being impersonal and sometimes downright inhuman, so it was nice to receive a little unexpected kindness from a stranger. I thanked her profusely for her time and asked instead that she make sure the hole got covered up. 

However, this is what it looked like as I exited the store, so I'm not sure it counts as a total win:



Moral of the story: I'm used to walking eyes-down outside to avoid doggy poo, but maybe I need to start doing it inside too....

Labels:

13 Comments:

Blogger Linds said...

Yikes! Glad they treated you well in the end. You should have tried to get some free blueberries out of it too ;-)

April 19, 2012 at 11:02 PM  
Blogger Gwan said...

Oh my goodness, I had to go back and read it again as I assumed it was outside on a building site or something, but can't believe that was just in the middle of a supermarket!! Glad you got looked after.

I'm with you on dog-poo patrol, on the rare occasions I do lift my eyes off the street (or doing the long-distance 100m poo scan) I'm always noticing things I've missed for the past 2 years!

April 19, 2012 at 11:56 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

oh man, that is bad. I can't believe they had that in the middle of the store. I can't believe nobody helped you get out of the hole. In my experience, when falling down, people are usually quick to ask if you are okay or help you up. I remember one summer, I was working in a GNC store in the us. An elderly lady tore open the skin on her hand from the corner of counter (fragile skin I guess). She was mad I didn't do anything about it, but what could I do? I didn't have a medical kit and I couldn't leave as I was all by myself. She went and complained to the manager of the supermarket, who fixed her up and then came to reprimand me for not showing more compassion. Geez.

April 20, 2012 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Michelle Couny said...

I'm not at all surprised to see a hole like that in the middle of the supermarket with no warnings or safety precautions. What is surprising is the nice compassionate lady you were treated by, a nice end to the story!! Hope you're ok x

April 20, 2012 at 8:35 AM  
Blogger Jean said...

I have noticed the lack of "health and safety" in France but this is almost unforgiveable. A sore wrist for you but it could have been a broken hip for an old person.

We go to the other extreme in the UK, way over the top in health and safety to the extent that it prevents things getting done and costs a fortune but there is room for common sense somewhere !!

Hope your wrist is soon better.

April 20, 2012 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger MademoisElla Coquine said...

Wow! I'm so sorry that this happened. I too would be beyond miffed if no one offered to help me out of a hole! Did anyone see you go down?

I'm glad that it worked out in the end and you were well taken care of. But still...wow.

April 20, 2012 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger Sara Louise said...

What is a big hole doing in the middle of a supermarket?! How horrible and mortifying and totally something that would happen to me :)

April 21, 2012 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Barbara Snow said...

You realize, of course, that if this happened to you in America, you would have lawyers calling you for days, offering their services. Personally, I prefer the experience you had with the woman in the store. Take care.
Fondly,

April 21, 2012 at 11:59 PM  
Blogger purejuice said...

glad to hear of a nice service person in france.
i hope you will write a little bit about the election, and what the success of le pen -- according to the bbc, she got the most votes ever -- means.
what an interesting place you live in.
stay safe!

April 22, 2012 at 11:29 PM  
Blogger Bostanna said...

Ha! They probably heard your American accent and thought you were going to sue them! Maybe you should have scared them a little with that idea? Hope your wrist is not too sore!

April 23, 2012 at 12:25 AM  
Blogger The Paris Chronicles said...

My first reaction is "sue them!" But I'm sure the French courts would find a way to portray you as a clumsy airhead wearing inappropriate shoes, and not even think about the hazard this supermarket left out in the open.

Where's OSHA when you need 'em?

(I'm actually looking for a personal injury lawyer, myself. If anyone knows one here....)

April 23, 2012 at 3:12 PM  
Blogger The Paris Chronicles said...

My first reaction is "sue them!" But I'm sure the French courts would find a way to portray you as a clumsy airhead wearing inappropriate shoes, and not even think about the hazard this supermarket left out in the open.

Where's OSHA when you need 'em?

(I'm actually looking for a personal injury lawyer, myself. If anyone knows one here....)

April 23, 2012 at 3:12 PM  
Blogger DjuL le Zouèk said...

I just found your blog and it's pretty interesting. I'm French and have been living in the US for the past 4 years. I was wondering how Americans would experience French culture.
Even though things look similar between France and the US, culturally it's very different. And relationships too.
Glad to see that you didn't try/think to sue the supermarket ;)

May 18, 2012 at 10:55 PM  

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