The shoppers drug mart in Lawrence Plaza recently put a lock on the only wheelchair-accessible glass door entrance, thereby making it very difficult to get into the store.Apparently, it's to prevent shopping carts from going missing. The store has removed the vertical poles that were afixed to the sides of the carts to prevent them from going through the exit.
"We find that it works," says a store manager who will only identify herself as Ireti. "We've had fewer complaints about the poles, which are very, very cumbersome." She says complaints about the poles ranged from getting knocked on the head to catching them on rolls of paper towels on higher shelves.
She points out that there's a buzzer that those needing assistance can ring to alert staff to come outside. But a note posted outside last month said it was out of order. In any event, the buzzer is impossible for me to reach in my wheelchair and would be very hard for anyone else in a wheelchair to access because of its awkward location.
It's all very curious, considering that the Shoppers Home Health Care Store owned by Shoppers, right around the corner in the same plaza, has buttons at its main entrance that actually open the doors when pressed.
Wish I could say the same for the Dominion in the same mall, which has a series of outside to prevent carts from leaving the premises.
It's such a hassle getting a passerby to inform an employee inside that the gated section of the barrier needs to be unlocked so I can enter.
Many people just walk by me when I try to ask for help, and one time a lady told me she had no spare change. She apologized later.
Dominion manager Marcello Paine says the gate must remain closed for insurance purposes. "The shopping carts have caused accidents, and we're not allowed to let them go outside the store."
He tells me there are usually clerks outside who can get someone to open the gate. But I must have bad timing, because I never seem to bump into any of them.