Common courtesy

My word, even on the most pleasant of days I can wake up seething about incidents from the past.

Last year I went to my brother’s wedding. It involved a long, difficult and strained journey. I arrived with minutes to spare. Why did the two church administrators shake their heads infer that I was a damned inconvenience. Yes, they had to get a little ramp to get me into the open pews but why did that perishing woman try to push my power chair? When it didn’t move she shook it all ways. Why did she ignore my request to desist? And why did they assume I was deaf?

I hate pushers. Network Rail’s assisted travel scheme is teeming with jolly, smiling and respectful staff who always ask if there’s anything I need. In my weekly physio club the staff always ask before push. So why do two so-called pillars of the community leave a bad taste just because the fabric of their precious church is ill designed for accessibility?

Then there are other people who should know better. Some people bypass me when asking for something. They fudge about like clueless ferrets. My suggestions have often been ignored; in my own home as well.



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Give you a laugh, one thing that still works is my hearing and for a 57 woman it is pretty good. Anyway was travelling via heathrow, at the time i had to use a wheelchair, now security woman said can you stand , said no she said again can you stand i said i have already told you no. She then said we need to search you in the chair said fine go ahead. As i was getting wheeled away she said i asked her if she could stand and the ignorant bitch would not answer me properly now knew i was in a hurry to get the next flight so didnt ask to return and get her details , however when i was dropped off at the gates to go to Glasgow a pilot was sitting next to me he showed me the news about billy connolly getting his knighthood , and i said long overdue. He then asked about my journey now i started to laugh said about the rude female saying she obviously doesn’t realise i have good hearing. He then called over one of the airline staff and ordered her to log a complain. The following monday got an apology from BA and saying she would be reprimanded. Folk think because you need assistance you are thick.



Oh Steve

There must be something in the air at the moment, these people are all over the place. I hate being ignored and spoken over as though I am invisible, but just as bad is asking for assistance, only to be taken no notice of…gggrrrhhh

Something that appears to be missing now…common sense and courtesy.

Pam x

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My wife and I were in the bank the other day she is very hard of hearing she asked why the loop system wasn’t working

The reply o we don’t use it she asked for the manager had a word loop switched on then she could comunicate so much


Steve, I can assure you my ferret is far better behaved than those individuals!!! To be honest, I think when they try & push a power chair, they must be in great discomfort, you should have put the brake on, that would have served justice!!! I do comment I am actually there, that seems to cause embarrassment if you say it loud enough. We can be too polite sometimes!

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I was thinking yesterday, while I listened to the piece on disability on Today yesterday, that part of the problem is that there aren’t degrees of disability - and not just that, but how you feel about it.

The woman who was on (sorry, don’t know who it was, as I came in part way through), became disabled later in life and really wanted a lot of help from others. Pete White was the other interviewee, he’s been blind since birth, doesn’t know any different (his words not mine), and doesn’t feel the need for so much help, as he’s not coping with something new to him (not that I think the newness of your disability makes any difference to the price of fish).

And it took me to the restaurant we went out to on Sunday. It has a very slippery floor, so my walking stick doesn’t grip too well, and I’m not sure my shoes do either, so I walk around in there very gingerly. The waitress was new - but we’ve been to this restaurant many times. I don’t know whether she thought it was my annual trip out from my care home, but she offered us a table near the toilet (which had nowhere to lean my stick, so I wasn’t for sitting there), and I didn’t think I’d need the loo anyway (even I can usually last an hour!). Then she “took” me to the toilet, and fussed greatly, as she’d worked in care, so was “used” to it.

But I’m not in care, I work part time, and getting to our toilets at work is far more difficult than getting to their toilet - but at work, my colleagues know me - and that I am quite capable of getting around, albeit slowly. Help is often offered, but no-one takes it the wrong way if it’s declined, as they know me.

But to the casual observer, you can’t tell.

It’s a bit like saying someone is a child, without the visual clue of being able to see them - you wouldn’t offer to take a 15-year-old to the toilet, but you would a 3-year-old. And I do mean offer, if your 3-year-old said no, you’d listen, wouldn’t you? You might think they’re overly ambitious, but you’d let them try.

And it struck me that it’s a bit like Paralympians. They’re graded, so they compete against someone with a similar level of limitation. But we aren’t. So how do we let people know what help is gratefully received, and what, to be honest, we’re finding patronising?

Does anyone have any ideas on this one?

Sorry, Steve, I’ve hijacked your thread - my bad.

Jo x

Grrr-ing on your behalf chuck!

Something that really and I mean REALLY gets me annoyed is when folk ask if you can get out of your chair once you`ve aready told them you cant, wthout a hoist.

Then they ask again, if a step is un-negotiable in my chair, even with a Kathy Kirby on it!

So what Id love to do, but havent thus far, is reply with Oh, of course I can get out. I forgot!`


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Hello Jo.

It’s not a hijack. It’s more of an expansion of the points I was making. I think that incident with the waitress was a case of crossed wires. I would have thanked her for her dedication but quietly explained that the next time you’re quite happy to be independent and the floor is a familiar challenge you have mastered by stealth. Then if you had the chance to refer to the frequency of you visits and how much you enjoy the ethos, the message might get home.

It’s all very well discussing these things out of situ but I suppose it helps by thinking about it.

Best wishes, Steve

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Oh dear. it makes my head hurt just thinking about it!

I’ve just had the kind of opposite experience calling Motorbility - they’re obviously very well trained… to the point I was stunned at how helpful and friendly they are and even gave me options I was aware were even available.

Hope you’r otherwise good

Sonia x

Oh polls you made me laugh , I was once sarcastic in Edinburgh, I needed to use the lift and people who were able bodied kept using it I was stuck in a shopping centre with only an escalator, stairs or the lift and the lift was going up and down constantly full when it opened and two people looked out at me I just said it’s okay don’t worry about me I can use the escalator! Unfortunately it fell on deaf ears they believed me …i has to laugh thinking of me in my wheelchair and Frazer attempting the escalator, my son was more annoyed with me …he said just because you are disabled doesn’t mean that you can be rude …i was being rude I just felt exhausted and wanted to go home. Michelle and Frazer xx

Valid points one and all, but it occurred to me that you are letting something that happened last year to preoccupy you Steve. Not being judgemental, just wishing you peaceful nights sleep and fewer waking up annoyances


Sorry Slug but it happens to me on a regular basis , most days I just try to laugh it off, I’ve had to crawl on buses when there hasn’t been a ramp and even through a narrow space once because I was between a busy road and a narrow gap (selfish parking) I managed to get help , and they moved the car. The worst thing is when someone is rude over my autistic daughter , I feel so sad. I tend to think I’m thick skinned but I have feelings and can feel shame and hurt. I try to think that for all the rude people there are plenty of kind people and they lift my spirits and make up for unpleasant ones. Michelle

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hiya slug

i agree with you-let it go steve (holding onto anger/frustration is like holding on to hot coal, you are the one that gets burnt (hurt)

michelle-aye that doesnt sound good but you are lucky to crawl anywhere! in my experience the drivers do their utmost-they are only driving the bus that their boss told them they had to use. i have had to reverse off the bus (more than once!) cos the ramp was broken but my chair is fitted with a kerb climber-thats what they are designed for)


i am well aware for equal rights etc but in amongst all this common sense is rapidly being lost!

if 2 wheelchair passengers turn up to board how does priority get decided? communication!

as more folk use scooters and powerchairs do we need to invest in huger buses to let everybody board?!

i have thought of this bigger picture-wonder who else has?! (i dont mean on here-i mean those in power of transport issues)


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Yes Michelle, wasn’t suggesting for a minute that these things aren’t real and extra barriers in life, was just wishing Steve a peaceful nights sleep x

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Yeah you are right Slug and Chocorange, being bitter gets you nowhere, you just end up with a knot in your stomach and loads of anxiety, I think that’s probably my problem I’m not always good at letting go . Steve I think you are fantastic I can’t imagine you holding a grudge as for me I’m thinking I’ve got a handle on this disability lark but in all honesty I’m still struggling. I’ve felt a lot of anxiety recently, our holiday was brilliant but I’m exhausted Molly (autistic daughter) was quite hard, she’s a sweetheart but keeps me very busy. Michelle and Frazer xx

I never have issues i dont go out on my own, my care worker is always with me, and we are always dealt with courteously. I let her do the talking lol. I never seem to get these bad things or upsets maybe its because i always have a buffer with me. I could never go out on my own no chance so I suppose in a way i have less stress. Life is way to short to worry about how others pereive my disability. Its mine and I deal with it the best i can. If they were to make a comment, well at least they have noticed me lol.


hiya cc

that made me smile cos once when carer was with me shop assistant was talking to her and not me and soon my carer said something like-i dunno-shes the one with the money! not everybodys way of dealing with it but no shouting or big fuss but assistant learned a lesson-i have seen her often since and all good.

changing perceptions one at a time eh?!


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A mate of mine (now departed) would walk round in front of me, Look at me, say no Don your still there turn to the ignorant person and say well if I can see him why cant you are you blind as well as rude ask him for yourself. And not as politely as I have exlained it

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I never go out on my own either but goodness do I hate it when people speak to my husband as though I’m not there!

my answer …deep breaths and mindfulness and if it’s really bad I close my eyes and go diving on a coral reef, the reality was a million years ago but the pictures are still so vivid in my mind.

Nina x

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I love your friends comment Don…brilliant!

hope you’re as ok as can be?

Love Nina x