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These Incidents Are Escalating

, , , , , , | Right | April 30, 2019

I work in a department store. The section I work in is at the base of the escalators in our store, so my coworkers and I have front-row seats to the customers — from small kids to full-grown adults–  running up the down escalator and vice-versa, putting their feet on the sides and sliding down, sitting on the steps, taking baby carriages on the escalator, etc. I’ve gotten into the habit of using my best Mom-voice to tell people, politely but firmly, to not play around on the escalator when I catch them at it. I look very young for my age, and I occasionally get sass and attitude when this happens, especially from the middle-schoolers. I’m determined to continue being a “b****,” however, because of never-ending events like these.

We had a customer with an infant in the child-seat and a toddler in the main basket of the shopping cart he had brought in from another store in the mall. He tried to push the shopping cart onto the up escalator, without lifting the back end to keep it level like people will do with their baby carriages and strollers. The front of the cart lifted up at a sharp angle and then proceeded to bounce off the rising steps repeatedly. It took him several tries to pull it completely off the escalator, while his screaming children were badly shaken and rattled around, after which he and his wife kept shopping rather than escape the judgmental eyes of everyone around him.

We had another woman with a stroller forget the balancing trick, as well. Her kid fell out of the stroller while on the escalator. She luckily managed to reach him and pick him up before they hit the bottom.

An elderly woman with one of those rolling shopping crates with a long handle tripped and fell with her crate at the bottom of the down escalator. The person immediately behind her tripped over her and got her hair caught in the moving handrail. The next two people joined the pile, as well, one of them hitting his head and cutting it open, before someone managed to hit the emergency off switch. The first woman pulled herself and her crate upright, told us she was fine, and then walked off while her casualties were still lying in a pile on the ground. We were cleaning up the blood for an hour.

The coup de grace happened just yesterday. Our escalators are set up in an X shape. For some reason, a girl of about nine or so riding the down escalator reached out to grab the handrail of the up escalator while she passed it. Maybe she was thinking she would let it lift her for a second before letting go… except she didn’t let go. My manager looked up to see this terrified girl above her, hanging over the side of the up escalator, clinging onto the moving handrail. My manager called up to her to keep hanging on, don’t let go, as she was carried up to the second floor. To this kid’s extreme luck, we have thick, two-foot-wide molding that runs the length of the opening between the two floors, and she was able to drop onto it as she reached the top and wait for someone to get a ladder and lift her over the glass balcony wall.

Please spare a sales associate from cleaning up your blood. Don’t fool around on escalators.