Definitely Not My Most Charming Moment

8/20/2008

It wasn’t my most brilliant moment!  I am positive I looked like a crazy woman!  I  had arranged three rides on Lift this past Monday.  I normally stay away from a three designation trip, but sometimes I have to do what I need to do, and a few errands of mine needed to be handled. 

 

First, I went to the bank.  Then I went to the mall, because I needed to put more minutes on the cell phone.  When I was all finished, I planned to wheel to a grocery store, which was approximately two long blocks away.  It took longer then I expected to get my phone problems settled.  Then I let my personal assistant go and pick out a card, because I’m so nice! 

 

By this  time it was just after two.  The fact was a bit alarming to me, because I wanted to be at the grocery store shopping at three.  I was ravenously hungry.  If you have ever been ravenous when shopping; you know that the combo is lethal on the food bill!  I had to eat something before getting to the store!  Now I am not  the fastest eater, but I managed to gobble down a crispy bean burrito, and mexican fries, and a drink in record time.  When I was done eating it was about 3:20.

 

Now I start panicking, because my ride home was scheduled between 4:30 and 5:00.  Making matters worse,   I had never tried walking to this particular store before, but I figured it could be done.  It was an easy walk, but it took longer then I thought it should.  When we reached the grocery store it was 4:15. 

 

I considered just waiting outside the grocery store for the bus to arrive a split second, then rushed inside.  The bus could either be right on time, or 45 minutes away.   I wasn’t about going to wait around for 45 minutes, and wished I had taken the time to at least grabbed something for dinner.  My personal assistant and I went into high gear and started a fifteen minute supermarket sweep dash.  I am quite impressed with our accomplishment.  We grabbed only things on my list, and I didn’t run anyone over while doing it!  

 

I had just finished paying for the groceries, and the personal assistant was bagging the things up, when a  bus driver approached us.  He asked Margo if I was Jan Staehely.  Instantly my body went rigid, and was giving off some body language all it’s own.  My communication device was low on it’s battery, so with my own voice, I tried telling him that he could talk to me directly, but he just looked back at Margo and asked her what was wrong with me.  She told him that I wanted him to talk right to me, and not assume she and I were together.  He just said, “Oh!”  Then to me he said, “Shall we go get on the bus.  I said, “Sure!” 

 

I took off like a bolt of lightning.  I was irritated with the bus driver.  When I reached the bus about 10.06 seconds before he did, (Excuse me, I have been watching the Olympics!  Isn’t Phelps amazing!)  There was a bicyclist parking his bike at a bike pole.  The bike pole just happened to be right in front of of where the wheelchair lift would have come down.  The bicyclist ran inside the store before the driver realized what had happened.  I just had to snicker a little bit to myself, because the driver had to move   the bus enough to let the lift down. 

 

As soon as I entered the vehicle, I understood the driver’s motivation.  There were two other passengers already on the bus.  He thought he would shave off a few seconds by asking my personal assistant my name, help motivate me to get out to the bus, so that he could get back to his other passengers.   I guess his plan backfired on him!   I totally understood his need to get back to the bus, however I wish he would have addressed me straight from the beginning. 

 

It is my humble belief that most everyone knows their name, and can simply nod or  shake  their head to indicate yes or no  The  real issue is patience on the listener’s end!  If there is the slight pause, say five to ten seconds, the listener tends to sweat and wonder what they should do.  In reality, it may take me about fifteen to twenty-five seconds to think how to say something, and then another fifteen to thirty seconds to reply.   I just wish that everyone would treat people with disabilities the very same way they would like to be talked to! 

Posted at 9:37 AM by useuraac@yahoo.com

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2 Responses

  1. Oh, when will WE, the others, ever learn?? I know it’s bad enough for the general public but when we who are supposidly educated and trained to interact with one’s with disabilities get it soooo wrong…much needs to be done and, you, are certainly doing your part!!! Keep up the great work!! -K

  2. Amen, My Sister!! -K-

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