Sunday, November 09, 2008

'Sorry' 'Thank You'

The word I have used the most over the last three weeks is 'Sorry'...

'Sorry' because it takes a while to negotiate the unfriendly steps on the bus...
'Sorry' in shops as I try to stow stuff in my rucksack and pay and stop my crutches falling to the floor....
'Sorry' everywhere as I attempt to negotiate swing doors...
'Sorry' as I struggle to get in the car as whoever is volunteering to drive me waits patiently....
'Sorry' as I try to shop solo and fail miserably....
'Sorry' as other staff at work help me to move things, set up stuff or pack it away....
'Sorry' as I had to deliver a presentation sitting down...

The second most used words in the last three weeks have been 'Thank you'...

In Marks and Spencers today I found out how difficult it really is to buy one pair of jeans and one pair of slippers - normally a task that takes about five minutes.
Slippers - easy; little hook thing to carry them with in one hand with crutches.
Jeans - not easy; I struggled to check sizes with crutches as I would have to take them off to look towards the the back. I found a couple of possibles and then realised I couldn't carry them, the slippers and use the crutches all at the same time. As I detached the hangers caught in the adjusters on my crutches for the second time a woman staff member passed by and I grabbed her 'I don't suppose you could help me, could you?'
She carried my stuff to the fitting rooms, got my room (the disabled one with the grab bars), took my stuff in and left me to it.
When I came out I grabbed another passing female who then carried my stuff to the desk and sorted it all out for me.
When I arrived at the till with my chosen jeans thrown over one shoulder, slippers and an impulse purchase top, the original lady helper was on the till and she came out to help with 'all' the stuff, and even packed them into the smallest possible bag for me. Total time - 1 hour.

What I have found as a person with a temporary disability is that the current disability law seems to have confused people.
On the one hand they don't help - because, after all, I should be treated equally like anyone else, even though I am armed with two extra metal legs and no spare hands, and I find that means ignoring me.
On the other hand - they offer help with some measure of guilt, thinking perhaps they are patronising me....
PLEASE help....or at least offer....

cq

3 comments:

Mar said...

I am sorry you are still on crutches, cq...and thank you for reminding me to be more alert and less involved with my own little thoughts out in the street.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

CQ, ass you are struggling, people probably think you have turned other offers of help away.

Enterprise Christmas Party Invite now running!

Juggling Mother said...

Shouldn't your mythical man be doing the shopping for you? :)