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Sympathy Should Be More Accessible

, , , , , , , | Working | December 19, 2018

(This takes place a few months after a car accident leaves me permanently in a wheelchair, and I’m still getting used to the changes and taking full responsibility for my mistakes. I’ve traveled three hours to be a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding, traveling with a friend who is also a bridesmaid. I’d requested an accessible room but didn’t check before traveling that the room we needed was available. We arrive at the motel to find our room will be on the third floor without an elevator, or we can pay for an upgrade to an apartment that is suitable for an extra $200 a night. I know that we have no chance of finding something else we can afford and that neither of us can afford to pay for the upgrade. My friend — 55 kilos — would have no chance of getting me — 80 kilos — and my wheelchair up the stairs. We are sitting outside, while I try to work out public transport home so my friend doesn’t miss the wedding and our friend getting married isn’t down two bridesmaids while my friend is trying to find another motel with an accessible room we could afford. Ten minutes later the same receptionist we dealt with comes out.)

Receptionist: “I’m really sorry for the upset. I’ve spoken to the owner and he’s agreed to upgrade you for no extra charge, and we’d like to offer you both free breakfast for your stay. I just need to see your IDs.”

(I’m now in tears. This was my mistake as the website did say — I checked later — that I should contact them to ensure the room was what we needed before traveling as it couldn’t be guaranteed.)

Me: “Thank you so much. It’s my fault; I booked the room. This is the first time I’ve traveled since my accident and didn’t think to double check.”

Receptionist: “Anyone else would have yelled and sworn at me. You took full responsibility for your mistake. The least I could do was talk to my boss. Enjoy your stay, and if there’s anything you need don’t hesitate to ask.”

(Before leaving we gave her a thank-you card and a box of chocolates. It just goes to show that when you own up to your mistakes and don’t cause problems sometimes things work out.)

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