Unfiltered Story #28494

Hawai'i, USA | Unfiltered | August 3, 2017

I’m at a center that celebrates Polynesian culture. Everything is awesome, until I have to use the restroom. It’s a busy day and all 8 stalls are full with a line out the door. It should be noted that I’m in a wheelchair and there is only 1 disabled stall.

Things are going pretty quickly and I’m almost at the front; only one person is ahead of me. The disabled stall opens up. The person in front takes it.

I sit there for five minutes, saying (while getting progressively louder) “you can go ahead of me. I can only use the disabled stall.” At least a dozen people skip me until finally, finally! That lady emerges. She won’t look at me and just walks out of the bathroom without washing her hands.

It isn’t that I wanted to jump to the front of the line, but when you have 7 other stalls and I only have 1, can’t you please just take the next one?

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  • Kelli Rose

    I usually need the handicap stall for the railings cause of arthritis, but I would definitely let a chair user ahead of me. I can suffer through a regular stall if it’s my only option, a chair user can’t. That woman is an a**.

    • Sam Loiseau

      Let’s just ignore the fact that the woman in front of you may have an invisible illness.
      Maybe she needed to empty her colostomy bag? Something that is not easily accomplished in a regular stall? Maybe she need’s assistance sitting down due to a deteriorated disk or other spinal issues – the large stall has a handle.

      Maybe she didn’t look the wheelchaired woman in the eye when getting out because Wheelie here decided to belittle her behind her back.

      Just because you can’t see the disability – doesn’t mean it’s not there. I just can’t bring myself to agree with this woman.

  • katherinemch

    Disgusting! It’s bad enough if they go in there assuming nobody will need that stall & then someone does, but waiting in line all that time surely she saw that there was someone with a wheelchair next to her. And so what if she was seconds away from soiling herself, for all she knew OP was too. And anyway if it is an emergency you ASK, “Hey do you mind… I have an emergency situation” you don’t just take someone else”s spot without their permission. If she had some actual valid excuse (I know there are many cases where those with invisible disabilities are misjudged, and the fact she was in there five minutes seems like she was dealing with something sort of unusual, though I can’t imagine what) she should have explained to OP.

    • Maria Hammarström

      No. She has no obligation to explain her medical history to strangers. Like you suggested, she could have had some kind of situation caused by a disability that wasn´t mentioned in this story, and she should not have to explain herself to anyone, just like the OP doesn´t need to explain to everyone in the queue why she´s in a wheelchair and has to use the big stall. Don´t be so quick to judge.

      • katherinemch

        I’m not saying she should tell any details, but if she’d said a quick “Unfortunate we both need the big stall” or “I really do need that stall, just so you know I’m not being a jerk”, to let it be known she wasn’t doing anything inappropriate, it would have prevented any ruffled feathers.
        Of course someone who has social anxiety or autism or something might be unable to speak to a stranger like that.

        • Yeah, I have a host of invisible illnesses but none of them make it impossible for me to use a non-disabled stall. Have I used the disabled stall before? Yes, but only if my options were less than desirable (I.e. the someone left the non-disabled stall a complete mess) and I knew my taking it wasn’t going to inconvenience someone who needed it more

        • Kitty

          Having autism does not mean you can’t talk to strangers. (It may make it more difficult, but not impossible) Also, I stand on Maria’s side: not your business why I need the big stall; I need it, end of story. Or are you gonna spend several minutes explaining to me how you got into a wheelchair? Especially if both of us are likely trying to not pee or s*** ourselves?

          Disabled stall or not, if someone uses the one you want/need to use, it’s a minor inconvenience. Just like a lot of other things in life. And you deal with them. Just cause someone has a disability does not mean they get to complain about those minor inconveniences.

          • Celoptra

            um they can if they’re close to soiling themselves and have to wait 20mins before being able to use the ONE stall they CAN use.

          • Dontbeadork

            But OP didn’t have to wait 20 minutes after the first lady went into the stall. She also didn’t have to keep making snarky comments. If the woman in front of her took the disabled stall and took the five minutes (when the line had been moving fairly quickly up to that point) it strongly suggests that she was also needing to use the disabled stall. Which may well have been the one stall she could use, as well.

    • Rattus

      In general I would advocate for allowing the person in the wheelchair to go first, but if I was seconds from soiling myself, all bets are off. I don’t care if the person in the wheelchair was actually turtling by this point, my personal need to evacuate would eclipse absolutely everyone else’s needs.

    • Asiyd

      No. Just no. No one should be forced to disclose anything about their lives in order for nosy busy bodies to stop policing how they pee. You are not entitled to any explanation what-so-ever as to why an individual person would use the big stall.

  • Tossaway

    There’s nothing wrong with a non-disabled person using the big stall *as long as there’s nobody in line who MUST use it*. Personally, I don’t like having to rub myself against the bowl in order to open or close the door.

    • Kitty

      Your regular stalls have bowls in them? Ours are just the toilet and the bowls are in the ‘common’ area of the bathroom.

      • Tossaway

        Toilet *bowls*, the thing you sit on. Having to rub your legs on one and lean over it in order to open and close the door is annoying.

    • Leiko Burningbear

      Ugh. As an obese individual I Hate using public litterboxes and one reason is how little space there is. In a regular stall, I have to straddle the toilet to get the door open or closed. Depending on how much space there is between toilet and walls, I end up doing some rather strange gymnastics sometimes to get the door closed.

      Handicap stalls are so much easier for me. I always give physically disabled peeps right-of-way, of course, but if no one else is around I’ll go straight for the big stall.

  • Maria Hammarström

    It was completely wrong of her to cut in front of you when you could only go into one stall. You certainly had “the right of way”. 🙂
    But when there isn´t anyone in a wheelchair needing that particular stall, I think it´s ridiculous to expect people to leave one stall empty “just in case someone in awheelchair comes along” and queue up for the remaining ones.
    There has to be a balance of common courtesy and being practical.

    • Ryan Grasso

      From what I read, OP was second in line behind the other woman. Handicap stall opened and the one at the front took it because she was technically next. However, the nice thing would have been to offer it to the person directly behind her who was in a wheelchair since it’s the only one she could use. When no one “needs” it, it’s fair game, but if the one behind you or two spots back needs it, you should really give it to them.

    • Paul Nieuwkamp

      Not sure how this works elsewhere, but in the Netherlands it’s usually restrooms for men, restrooms for women, and a disabled stall (often doubling as a family room).

      Over here it’s frowned upon to use the disabled stall if you don’t need it; there’s a wide range of reasons to use it and a surprising number of them include incontinence and/or bad bladder control. And those pads will only help you so much…

      When you or I have to go, we usually (not always) get a signal well in advance and can hold it up for half an hour if needs be; quite a few people in a wheelchair don’t get that signal soon enough; when they have to go, they have to go.

      Places that are likely to have a queue often also have several stalls. Using that one disabled stall in addition to the 10+ normal ones won’t speed up the queue by that much but it’s a huge inconvenience for those the stall is actually intended.

      • Jackie

        Yeah that’s generally how it works in the UK. I’m a wheelchair user who hates queuing for the toilets because I’m diabetic with nerve problems so sometimes I need to go fast. Plus waiting outside a toilet can be cold and uncomfortable if you don’t move your muscles well. I wait 10x more outside disabled toilets then I used to wait for female toilets before I got sick, and a lot of people misuse them for silly reasons.

        But that said you don’t have to be in a wheelchair to have problems with nerves, or diabetes, or bowel and bladder conditions. They may have joint problems that mean they walk okay but struggle to stand without a rail. They may have a stoma hidden under their shirt. They may have to do a medical test that requires a sink or may have a mental or learning disability. She could have been in excruciating pain. She could even have come down with a sickness bug or been absolutely unable to wait.

        Disabled cubicles aren’t just for us wheelchairs, and you can’t assume someone doesn’t have the right just because they look okay. It works on a system of trust, if she was able bodied it would have been polite to offer, but I’d rather have a few people be rude and wait a bit more than have disabled people refused access or forced to disclose medical details.

        I feel like this could have been solved by having a separate queue for the disabled toilet or having enough toilets in general!

  • TheBigBadWolf

    I actually don’t know how to feel about this story. I’ve had to use the disabled before and even the times I did quickly explain (I can’t get up without the bar), I wasn’t believed since I was “walking fine”. Occasionally I will be believed but most of the time, they thought I was lying. The only times people did believe me were when I had my cane, I yelped in pain or there was another visible physical cue.

    It usually does take at least 5 minutes for me when I do need to use the disabled toilet and you know you don’t look like you need it. So I can easily think of why the person in front of you would actually need the disabled toilet. But I can use a regular stall if it’s the only option, it would just mean I am stuck there longer and might break the toilet roll holder thingy. So I don’t know.

  • Souless night

    Reminds me of that old story where op had a chronic seizure issue and had to use the handicapped stalls but a douche janitor wouldn’t let them.

    • Celoptra

      I remember that story-did the OP have a service dog and as a janitor put it “Stupid mowhawk” as a result of stitches from banging her head aganist a toilet bowl in a normal stall?

      • Souless night

        Yeah.

  • LittleMissCloud

    I see op as being the ass here because she assumed the lady ahead of her has no legitimate reason for using the disabled stall and loudly made sure the other lady knew how upset she was. Of course the lady ran out instead of explaining hersel. She knew OP’s wasn’t going to listen and she probably felt everyone else besides just OP was judging her.

    • Celoptra

      well someone who appears to look normal using a disablitiy stall when the next person in line is a person in a WHEELCHAIR..

      • LittleMissCloud

        Oh yes because we should judge everyone on how they look and only let those who look disabled be called disabled or have any disability assistance

      • Zebra Unicorn

        To be fair there are many invisible illnesses that leave people needing the disabled stall. I have EDS, standing causes a lot of pain and I often dislocate my knees getting off normal toilets and end up getting stuck. If the person behind me in a queue is in a wheelchair should I just put my health at risk by using a normal stall? Just because someones disability is more visible does not make it more valid

      • Asiyd

        That’s ok, good to know. I’ll tell my friend with MS that she isn’t in a wheelchair so she isn’t disabled. Would have never known that looking normal means you don’t have a disability! Thank you so much, she’s going to be so happy she’s cured!

      • Jill Joiner

        I dare you to come to my face and say that I’m not disabled. I have fibromyalgia, two bulging disks and a couple other things I think I’ll use your comment as an example of ableism and how those of us who don’t look sick are taken seriously in my chronic illness group

  • Kitty

    Okay, devil’s advocate here. Maybe this woman had an ‘invisible disability’, meaning she did need the extra room or handlebar that the handicapped stall offered.
    But it’s just as likely that they didn’t care. Or were seconds away from messing their pants and wanted to avoid that scenario.
    I mean, it DID take her five minutes to use the toilet.

  • Kitty

    Oh. Right. Durr… I was thinking sinks.

    • TheBigBadWolf

      @Hirukaki:disqus Why is your comment in moderation?

      Sorry, Kitty. I can’t reply to Allayna due to their comment being moderated.

      • Asiyd

        Holy crap I was just given the option to view the comment anyways… what is going on!? MAGIC! Who sprinkled disque with tinkerbell’s fairy dust!?

  • I am Jenn

    I’m picturing the line moving forward around OP, and ANOTHER Wheelchair user coming in just as the disabled stall opens. OP moves forward, other wheelchair user says “But you let everyone else go ahead of you!”

    Madness ensues.

  • minipopcorn

    Handicap/disabled stall does not mean wheelchairs only. You do not know this woman, you do not know her medical history or what you may not be able to see. Does it suck that you have to wait for the stall to be available? Yes, it does. However. that woman also had to wait her turn, if that stall hadn’t come available she may have been doing the same thing you ended up doing.

    My mother has a bunch of invisible illnesses and always has to use the handicap stall because of the railing. She also can’t lock the stall in case she needs someone to come assist her. You can be sure if someone in a wheelchair embarrassed my mother the same way you embarrassed that woman, I’d be sure to embarrass you back.

  • Sam Loiseau

    Let’s just ignore the fact that the woman in front of you may have an invisible illness.
    Maybe she needed to empty her colostomy bag? Something that is not easily accomplished in a regular stall? Maybe she need’s assistance sitting down due to a deteriorated disk or other spinal issues – the large stall has a handle.

    Maybe she didn’t look the wheelchaired woman in the eye when getting out because Wheelie here decided to belittle her behind her back.

    Just because you can’t see the disability – doesn’t mean it’s not there. I just can’t bring myself to agree with this woman.

  • Sofiya

    1. It is entirely possible that the lady didn’t think about it and made an honest to god mistake.
    2. She could have had a less visible illness and didn’t want to explain herself to a bathroom full of strangers.
    I know it’s annoying, OP, but give people a break once in a while.

  • Eme Guta

    80% of the population is NOT disabled and ableds brag about stealing the disabled stall every day. Ableds also use the elevators when they don’t need to, and won’t yield to disabled people then.
    But sure. Let’s harass the only confirmed disabled person in this story.

    EDIT:
    Anyway, the entirety of the US population is not in Hawai’i at a given time. No “26 million” for you. In Hawai’i, the entire population is not in this attraction, at this bathroom. Cut it in half for which bathroom. At most, there were maybe 100 people in line- and I’m being really generous here. That means that 8 or 9 were the type you desperately need them to be.

    That’s why statistics matter.

    EDIT2:
    How original, calling a disabled person stupid and pretending that discrimination doesn’t exist! Blocked.

    • Asiyd

      Let’s also ignore any invisible illness someone might have, too, if we’re going to play that game. Let’s take it a step further and demand everyone disclose all their medical records before being allowed to pee.

      • Eme Guta

        So of the 20% of the population that has ANY disability, make it smaller to “Percent of adults with ANY physical functioning difficulty: 16.3%,” minus “Percent of adults unable (or very difficult) to walk a quarter mile: 7.5%” who probably would have a mobility aid or at least be noticeable when forced to wait in a long line, she was definitely part of the 8.8% of the population that might need that room AND happened to be standing right in front of the OP? (And are we also ignoring the other people in line who could have offered?)

        Source: Disability and Functioning (Noninstitutionalized Adults 18 Years and Over), CDC

        • Asiyd

          I don’t really care what the percentage of people with disabilities is, it gives you no right to assume that someone is not disabled simply because it is not a visible illness.

          My Grandmother is 80 and has COPD and Emphyzema. (forgive spelling). The bars help her pull herself up when she’s out of air. She does not have to wear oxygen yet so it doesn’t LOOK like she’s sick.

          My mother is 60 and due to Madelung’s her knees had to be rebuilt and thus she has horrible horrible arthritis… she does not look 60 nor does she look like she would need the bigger stall.

          My father is a disabled veteran with disability on his back and knees due to combat. He is also 60 and does not look like he would need the bigger stall, but sometimes he needs the bars to get up.

          One of my best friends has Multiple Sclerosis and sometimes needs a chair, sometimes she doesn’t… However, again… she needs the bars to pull herself up.

          My aunt uses a wheelchair because she is going through chemotherapy and thus loses her ability to stand sometimes… however she can still walk and sometimes doesn’t need her wheelchair. She DOES however need the bigger stall so she can, again, pull herself up OR escape injury should she pass out in the stall.

          We’re also not talking about the other people that could have offered: the other stalls were not the big stalls, nor did they have the railings, so you cannot assume that the woman could use them. Stay focused.

          You can spout off your statistics all you want, but at the end of the day you still do not know the reason why that woman used the stall, and you should mind your own business about someone else’s need to take a pee and poo.

          Edit: By the way, 8% of the US population is 26,130,063 people. That’s 26 MILLION. Yes there is a very big chance that the person in front of OP had an invisible illness. Percentages like that are useless if you’re gonna ignore the actual numbers you’re dealing with.

          • Eme Guta

            While you ignore reality, crusading for a cause you have no stake in. “But my relative-” can speak for themselves. You are speaking to a physically disabled person who was “invisibly” disabled for two decades. To a person who has had to watch entire families or groups of friends take the elevators while they took the stairs *even though that effing hurt* because they didn’t want to act like the rude people everyone else seemed to be. To a person who really appreciates that bar for arthritis and dizziness and weakness- but would still yield to another in a heartbeat.

            By the way, statistics determine the chance of someone appearing. You cannot simply ignore them by saying “that’s a lot of people!” Or by ignoring, once again, that this person was okay when standing in a long line. Or by the fact that most disabled people don’t get out very much because days like that are Tiring and Expensive.

          • Asiyd

            Again, I don’t care. Being disabled yourself and the choices you make about it does not give you the entitlement to decide how other people with invisible disabilities engage in PEEING. Get a life. Also, nice job assuming that every invisible illness presents the same as yours, and that everyone with an invisible illness is able to perform the exact same as you.

            “A cause you have no stake in” Kindly go f |_| c k yourself. You’re some kind of heartless.

          • Eme Guta

            I will tell you one more thing, and then block you, because you’re more willing to believe that a person was magically disabled when statistics prove just how unlikely it is, than to believe that people are jerks to disabled people. Discrimination doesn’t exist and you, an abled jerkwad, clearly know more than someone who actually has to live with this everyday. I’ll bet you don’t even realize that 80% of disabled people are abused (by their families and doctors, mostly).

            Anyway, the entirety of the US population is not in Hawai’i at a given time. No “26 million” for you. In Hawai’i, the entire population is not in this attraction, at this bathroom. Cut it in half for which bathroom. At most, there were maybe 100 people in line- and I’m being really generous here. That means that 8 or 9 were the type you desperately need them to be.

            That’s why statistics matter.

          • Asiyd

            ^Don’t care if he can’t see me.
            This guy is a grade A a55hole.

          • Saitaina Moricia-Malfoy

            I’m disabled and you’re a b*tch. Also, elevators again, aren’t for disabled use only.

    • TheBigBadWolf

      Pointing out that someone could appear able and still require the disabled stall doesn’t equal harassment.

    • Saitaina Moricia-Malfoy

      Elevators are not for disabled use only, no one ‘brags’ about ‘stealing’ the disabled stall. And we’re not harassing, we’re calling out for sheer effing stupidity and giving her the same sh*t she gave that woman.

  • savage

    If I were the one being shamed, I would have been tempted to stand in the stall doorway and give you the long and painful details of my disability, with visual aids if necessary. Then you could give me your email address, so I could send you my medical records, and we could have long chats about why being in a wheelchair does not entitle you to be a big, barking beast. (Ever mindful of the censors here, I am.)

    • Medusa Jordan

      The implication that she was not disabled comes with the lack of eye contact and haste in leaving. Also, if you have an impairment that does not require using a wheelchair or any other equipment surely an ordinary stall is perfectly accessible?

      • Saitaina Moricia-Malfoy

        Um, no, this ‘beast’ decided to publicly ‘shame’ her, in what world is being embarrassed okay? She more than likely had no eye contact and was hurrying to get the eff out of there because wheelchair woman thought she could decide who was disabled or not.

        There are hundreds of THOUSANDS of impairments a human can have, many of them invisible. Requiring a wheel chair is only one tiny spectrum of them and many can lead one to need the disabled stall, you judgmental prig.

  • Vulpis

    While I do somewhat agree that that person was a bit rude in not offering to let the OP go first…it *was* the only stall open, as well. I can’t help but think of the situation being ‘Oh, no go ahead, I’ll just drop everything on the floor here…’

  • savage

    No, Medusa, that is surely not always true.

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