Cave Wall Media – Articles » The Sad » Go wait in the loading bay, you old people.

Go wait in the loading bay, you old people.

two elderly ladies on a wooden palletOn two occasions I have witnessed an established good practice that is considerate to the more elderly shoppers in the city, turn to a sad affair.
Once when a traffic warden decided it was a good idea for the lady to shuffle back into the shop, through the shop, and wait in the loading bay, where I could then go collect her…. we were already at the car.
The second was arriving on another day and first seeing an elderly lady stood in the drizzle, alone in the isolated yard.

Both little sagas here, but to get the gist of how the good arrangement of picking these people up works well…. see ‘Shuffle Buddy Shoppers’, in category ‘The Good’.


The original arrangement works great, but there is an aspect of legality that is overlooked for this to work as well as it does. The areas outside the shops are technically ‘no loading/parking at anytime’ zones…. It was on this broad point that a clampdown was suddenly imposed… no notice.
When allowed it carried a modicum of unspoken consideration and civility for people, especially the elderly and those with mobility limitations, who do their best to come to the city to shop, or just perhaps a yearning for company of sorts. It reassures an achievable exit strategy from their adventures in town. People don’t go anywhere unless they have a comfortable and safe exit (return home) strategy.


Exiting the shop, fully laden with bags and my ’shuffle buddy shopper’ on arm, we negotiated the doors without incident and had already set a bearing on the car, parked right outside, just a few meters across the pedestrian walkway.
Immediate concentration was demanded to establish our pace to be in sync and we began to shuffle down the distance, one meter every ten seconds… smooth going… Even the traffic warden waiting by the car would start to applaud our slowy but flowy style…. Surely?…. But seems not.

He waited until we shuffled up to the car and then announced that pick ups should be made from around the back, in the loading bays.
I responded calmly, enquiring as to confirm an assumption, that picking up here was thought an acceptable practice.
His chest puffed outwards and the corners of his mouth lifted in self delight. He was now primed in BTT (Better Than Thou) mode, factor 10.

“No parking. No loading… Anytime… It says so.”
He is pointing to the sign on a lamppost as his words, tarnished with delight, waft over my working arena. The previously clear fresh sociable atmosphere, clumps to more resemble a smog.
“Rrriiight” I squeezed out in a quiet civil tone, still concentrating on maintaining good shuffle-sync and preparing final-approach procedures now the car was near touchable.
But then the sadness was created…

“If you pickup here, I’ll give you a ticket.”
An instant charge of fury surged my body. Not about a ticket. About the absurdity of his idea of communication. If things have changed, do this: Council-go-tell-private-hire-company-controllers. Then this situational conflict will not even occur.

Meanwhile, considering this actual moment in time. Who could possibly justify turning my customer around and have her shuffle all the way back. Then, tell her she needs to go a ridiculous distance further to the rear loading bay area.
So, buffering the anger, I gently carried out my standard final-approach manoeuvres and with a rather classy ‘landing’, my customer was seated safely in the car. Trailing petticoats were checked for and with an ‘all clear’, the door was closed.

Here, the sad gets sadder… “You’ll loose your licence.” He exclaimed.
This comment was beyond belief of any professional conduct. All my tempered, but calm demeanour, suddenly turned to a picture of Popeye troughed on a family sized tin of spinach.
I let loose with much the content of fair reason as mentioned above and my vocabulary still remained acceptable for a public arena. It came out crisp, it came out decisive and it was all delivered at a volume, worthy of the number 11.
Whilst the entire city seemed to fall silent, I calmly got into the car, quietly reassured the lady it was not her fault, composed myself, then set off.

I was waiting for the ticket to arrive in the post, before reporting my already penned thoughts to whom it may concern…. but the ticket never arrived.


The second sad experience was later, when the advisory clampdown was more established.
With base comforts, being dry and warm, I drove slowly through the archway and into the dank, isolated, loading bays area.
Into view came an image, powering an affect that drilled through to the core of the human soul…
The experience was quiet and took just a few seconds to hit home….

Further ahead, standing against the yard wall was an elderly lady in a heavy overcoat. She and it, were blazoned in entirety with minute water droplets, gained from the relentless morning drizzle.

Her words were polite, her tone was courteous, but her whole verbal mechanism faltered from stress. It soon, also became clear, that she had lost the battle to sustain warm hands.
As we interacted with shopping bags and seat belt, I could feel the chill of her fingers, even from a distance. She was the inverse to the old Ready brek adverts and such was the difference in temperature, that there was almost a wind created in the car, as her blood heaved the heat out of the cosy warm interior.
….. She could have been safe and sheltered.

More stories later…

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5 Responses to "Go wait in the loading bay, you old people."

  1. admin says:

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  2. shona says:

    Some powers people who dont have powers people above them, make weak plans because not powerful really. They should move job.

    Good strong power people make strong plans and care for people more good way. x

  3. Dave Trent says:

    The general public understands if a taxi needs to stop pickup from a no waiting place. As long as the taxi was slow and careful.

    General public care for elderly and vulnerable I think. So the local powers (good ones), should encourage such waiting in sheltered safe areas – not stop them.


    1. Left Ear Driver says:

      Yeh. care should be allowed for these people. The point of taxis being slow and careful may be a point to come down on….. to enforce…. instead of picking on the vulnerable party.

  4. Charlie Dean says:

    Some great phrases chosen:
    “… the difference in temperature, that there was almost a wind created in the car, as her blood heaved the heat out of the cosy warm interior.”
    is my favorite.

    Good account of a interesting social angle for a public service (although I realise private hire taxis are not public as are the hackney cabs.
    In the days before numerous private hires, the old people would have to walk (or shuffle) to the taxi rank for a hackney cab. Private hire (being private) have only the same rights as JoPublic and thier cars so your note of the arrangment (change of) should be settled at the higher level is a good point made. Then you would not have been asked to pick up at the front (so would protect you from having to adapt the law).
    Point raised on safe warm place to wait is a great point to bring. I would agree this is an important social consideration and should be honoured (and catered for) by all civil authorites.
    Well written account, with humour and what comes across as considerate and courteous attention to the experiences. Thanks..

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