Reach further

I went to the store today and asked an employee to reach an item off a high shelf for me. She grabbed it and held it out to me. But she only held her arm out at about 45°, so it was still far out of my reach.

Bear in mind that she was standing directly in front of me. I had my arms outstretched as far as I could but my hands were still a couple inches short of my knees because I was seated. In addition, my toes are at least another six inches farther forward than my knees.

So I asked her to “reach further.” She raised her arm another few degrees which brought the item a couple inches closer to me but still beyond my reach. It was as if she were taunting me, dangling it in front of me but keeping the item just beyond my reach. So I rolled my wheelchair a few inches towards her so I could grab the item but, as I moved towards her, she backed away.

Since I was getting nowhere (figuratively), I stopped and held my arms out again and asked her yet again to “reach further.” She continued holding it out towards me but no closer with this look on her face as if to say, “I’m doing it.” I must have repeated “reach further” at least three times before she finally held it out close enough for me to grab it.

Then I went to the other side of the store to get another item. I asked a different employee to grab it for me. He did it and held it out towards me but still out of my reach. He and I proceeded to go through the same dance I had just danced with his coworker all over again!

Mind you, this trip to the store wasn’t unusual. This happens to me all the time. Do people not know what the words “reach further” mean? Do any of my wheelchair-riding friends encounter the same issue?

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