This story is blatently stolen from True Porn Clerk Stories
I like to think of us a very diversity-friendly store. While many of our titles are certainly indelicate because of porn's cut-to-the-chase nature, we do feature porn starring as many different ethnicities in as many different combinations as we can find. I didn't think of this as a public service until one of our customers brought it up. He had come to our neighborhood from way, way downtown, which a lot of people do. People sometimes come in from a state away, especially gay porn renters, so crossing town didn't seem that odd to me until he commented on it: "You know how hard it is to find porn on DVD with people who look like me in it?"
So I at least had an odd pride about us providing equal access to porn... until the guy in the wheelchair came in. Our store is deliberately designed to make the porn section hard to get to. We want people to have to pass the register so the clerk can see them and we make them snake through the shelves a bit so it's hard for kids to get down there. Turns out it was a nearly impossible gauntlet for a wheelchair.
The guy was surprisingly nice about it. He'd already had a shitter of an evening. All he wanted was to rent some videos, which many of our customers do on autopilot. He had to wait more than an hour for a cab to pick him up - he was on some kind of subsidy for taxi transportation, but that meant he had to wait for a specific company to bother to send a driver around. Then he had to get over our doorstep, which is wheelchair accessible in a theoretical sense at best, and weave his way through too-tight aisles only to hit a freaking staircase.
Luckily he could walk a bit. He took the railing with one hand and my arm in the other and we went down, then I went back and brought the chair down for him. With the taxi, getting him in the door, and getting him downstairs, I was now the third person who he'd had to ask for help just to rent some frigging porn. I was torn between sticking around to help - from the chair he could only reach about three shelves - and giving the poor guy some privacy. I went with moderate privacy, leaving him alone and checking out the security camera every now and then until it looked like he was done, then going down to help him back up.
...And then he had to wait over an hour yet again for another taxi, which never showed. We finally hailed him one, and a friend of mine who happened to be passing helped me help him into the not-at-all wheelchair modified cab, bringing the total number of people who'd helpfully intruded on his porn rental to about 7. I think the whole trip took about 4 hours. Except to return the videos, he hasn't been back and I can't blame him. A year ago, I didn't think of porn as a basic human right, but now I sort of do.
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