Those who know me, or have spent anytime reading through my writing here, know I’m disabled. I make use of an electric wheelchair to get around. Not only that but voice communication can be difficult at times. For both myself and the person I’m talking to. Such is life. I’m OK with it. As are people who pay me the patience, respect and effort.
But every so often I run into a situation that causes me to sit back and shake my head feeling even more dumbfounded at the state of our society than usual. Me, a person who deals with these matters, every single day of my life.
Let me set the scene. I’m sitting (har!) in my office poking away and fully engaged with a new CSS framework I found today, when the doorbell rings…
Now I don’t usually answer my door when I’m not expecting visitors, for the simple fact by the time I finish what I’m doing, and get to the door whoever was there isn’t anymore. Now it’s not like I take an outlandish amount of time answering the door, usually, it’s just people knocking on doors haven’t the time to wait more than 30 seconds before proceeding to the next house to sell whatever they’re selling. I understand. That’s precisely why I rarely bother.
You’ll notice I said rarely. Today, or anytime in the next 12 days, is the exception to that rule. In my last post I wrote my fellow Canadians and I are in the midst of another federal election campaign. Honestly nothing is more gratifying than having a Liberal or Conservative “spokesperson” stand on your doorstep, deliver their speech, hand me some literature, and ask if “we can count on your vote”? Then after several attempts of me telling them “no,” I hand them back the literature they just gave me, and watch them walk away hurt like I’ve just insulted them personally.
Anyway this person today seemed particularly insistent I answer the door. Ringing the bell 3 times in less than a minute. And upon my opening the door launched straight into action. This person was from somewhere, I didn’t catch where, passing out “free” “energy-efficient” light bulbs. And a bunch of them. 6 in all — well 4 bulbs and something for each my kitchen and bathroom, I’m not too sure what they were. So as I thought he was finishing up, it was then he informed me, he needed my name and phone number. Which I thought, of course, I’m gonna make him earn this “sale.”
So he did pretty well understanding me say my first name, but he had trouble with my last. And asked me to write it down for him. I thought, I could do that, it would most likely be faster, good on him for thinking on his feet. So I did. But half way through my writing it, I assume I wasn’t writing fast enough for him to make his quota, he started to ask me how I spelled my last name.
Now granted I’m not the neatest writer. Especially when people come to the door and ask me to write my name, while holding the place where I need to write it in some awkward place, away from my “zone of comfort” — and by that I mean I had to reach for it, versus having it placed on my knee where writing is easier for me, say. And after a few sloppy guesses at what I wrote he said, and I’ll quote, “I’ll have to take all this back.” In shock, not even I expected that, I started handing it back, while not apologizing, he told me a number of times “I need proof!”
Not only that, but it would seem I wasn’t handing back fast enough, he then proceeded to grab the bulbs right off my lap! And left…