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Keep Her As Far From Your Happy Day As Possible

, , , , , | Working | September 19, 2023

I’m engaged to my long-time partner, and we are currently looking at wedding venues. I’m a man in a wheelchair, and he’s also a man. We’ve already encountered one homophobic venue, but as they made it clear from the beginning that they would not rent to us, we brushed it off as a nutcase and looked at other places.

We’re at a new location that we both love. The woman giving us a tour is happily answering all of our questions, including accessibility concerns. We’re pretty much sold, and we tell them woman this.

Woman: “Lovely! Now, I’m assuming you’ll want to bring the bride-to-be with you to get the final okay. Or groom!”

Fiancé: “Oh, he’s right here.”

The woman frowns and looks at me.

Woman: “Are… you sure? You could lose your disability. And do you have the money for a place like this?”

Me: “I’m not on disability, and we have a savings account made just for the wedding.”

Woman: “Well, it’s just… most people who marry someone that’s… you know… are straight. Maybe you should think about this. I’d hate to see you two divorce so soon after a wedding.”

Fiancé: “What the h*** are you talking about? What do you mean, ‘Someone that’s… you know…’?”

Woman: “Well… someone in a wheelchair. Or special needs. You know, not normal.”

Me: “Considering it’s my income — from my ‘normal people’ job — that’s paying for most of the wedding, I think we’re done here.”

Fiancé: “Thank you, ma’am, but we’ll find someplace else.”

We left.

We ended up going for another venue that was just as nice but without the judgment.

A Hilarious Heap Of Hue-Related Hypocrisy

, , , , , , , | Learning | September 19, 2023

Schools are constantly trying to accommodate the needs of students, but they often forget that staff have diverse needs, too. This happened to my dad when he was attending professional development on accommodating disabilities.

Presenter: “It’s important to remember that your students may not know that they have additional needs, or they may not be able to express what they need. It is your job as teachers to anticipate their needs and accommodate for learning styles, abilities, interests, and needs.”

Later on, the presenter put four large coloured squares on the floor next to each other: yellow, blue, green, and red. They were reading out a scenario, and the teachers had to stand on the square with the accommodation they thought would best suit the child. As they read out the scenario, most teachers moved to a square, except three male teachers, including my dad.

Presenter: “Do you need me to reread the question? Or are you still thinking?”

Dad: “No, we know our answers. But we’re colourblind, and you’ve put the green and the red squares next to each other. None of us know which one is which.”

The presenter was very embarrassed and quickly shuffled the squares around, quickly scrawling labels on sheets of paper to help the colourblind staff. However, my dad appreciated the irony of someone lecturing about anticipating disabilities while failing to do the same in the presentation.

This Customer Keeps On Ramping Up

, , , , , , , | Right | September 18, 2023

I have a disability that requires a wheelchair, but when required, I can stand for a minute or two. My friend and I are entering the store where we both work, and the wheelchair ramp is blocked by someone using an electric wheelchair that seems to have run out of juice. I can see him arguing with an older woman, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be resolved any time soon.

Not wanting to be late for work, my friend asks me:

Friend: “Think you can make it up those five stairs or shall we wait?”

Me: “I can do those five.”

Very clumsily, I get up from my wheelchair, and holding the rails, I make the slow climb of five steps while my friend carries the wheelchair. I’m not even halfway up when I hear the other customer in the electric wheelchair shouting at me.

Customer: “Are you mocking me?!”

Me: *Getting back into my wheelchair* “What? No.”

Customer: “Yes! You are! You’re calling me fat and mocking my disability!”

Me: “I’m lucky enough that I can move short distances, so we thought we would use the stairs since we could.”

Customer: “Because the fat blob is blocking the ramp, is that it?!”

Me: “Sir, you obviously have a chip on your shoulder about some things, but please know that I just want to get into the store as quickly as possible. I didn’t say or do anything to you.”

Customer: “Lazy fake-a** liar! Pretending to need a wheelchair when people like me really need it!”

My friend glares at him, but he’s learned that I prefer to fight my own battles, and I have deemed this one not worthy of my time. I clock in and wheel myself over to my checkout and start my workday.

An hour or so later, the same customer comes through my lane. (I work at one of the extra-wide disabled access lanes.) He is still with the older woman, and neither of them seems to recognize me as I start scanning his items.

Customer: “All the other register operators are standing, but you’re sitting down. Are you mocking me?”

Me: “Seriously, sir? Again with this?”

The customer then looks at me properly and notices that I am sitting in my wheelchair and not a regular chair.

Customer: “You again! Are you following me?! Spend all day making fun of the disabled fat guy, is it?”

Me: “Sir, I am literally just trying to scan your items and get you sent on your way.”

Customer: “Where’s your manager? They need to know that they have hateful staff who like to discriminate against disabled people!”

I sigh, call my manager over, and continue to ignore the customer as I finish scanning his items. My manager comes over expecting a simple question about pricing and suddenly is hit with a wave of shouting from my custome.

Customer: “This hateful person has been mocking my disability all morning! He laughed at me when I got stuck coming into the store, and now he’s pretending to need a wheelchair to make me feel like a [slur for disabled people].”

Manager: “Uh… sir, [My Name] here genuinely needs his wheelchair. He is not mocking you or anyone else by using it.”

Customer: “Bulls***! He climbed the stairs like it was nothing!”

Me: “It took me a full minute to make the climb, and I was holding on to the rail the entire time! It was not nothing!

Customer: “You were mock—”

Manager: *Cutting him off* Sir! I am not going to entertain any such accusations against my staff. Now please pay for your items and leave.”

Customer: “But he’s mocking the disabled—”

Finally, the older woman speaks up as she has seemingly had enough.

Older Woman: “Jesus Christ, [Customer]! You’re not disabled; you’re just fat! This poor man doesn’t have a choice but to use his wheelchair, but you do! So shut up, buy your f****** mac and cheese, and let’s get out of here! You’ve embarrassed me enough already!”

The man sheepishly pays for his items and starts to leave, with the woman still muttering:

Older Woman: “I thought I stopped raising a baby thirty years ago!”

If Only They Could Hear Themselves, Part 3

, , , , , , , , | Right | September 10, 2023

I am cashing out customers, and it is obvious that I am wearing hearing aids. I realize that my line of customers has paused, and I look up to see my next customer talking to my manager.

Customer: “I don’t want to be served by him.”

Manager: “Why, ma’am?”

Customer: “Are you really going to make me say it?”

Manager: “I’m sorry, but I really am.”

Customer: *Sighs* “He’s… special!”

Manager: “Yes, [My Name] is very special! He’s always at the top of our performance charts!”

Customer: “No! You’re being wilfully obtuse! He’s…”

Me: “Deaf, ma’am. The word you’re looking for is ‘deaf’.”

Customer: “You heard me?!”

Me: “I did.”

Customer: “But… how?!

Me: “Let’s just say you’re the first person I’ve met that made me wish I didn’t have hearing aids.”

Customer: *Storming away* “You shouldn’t be pretending to be deaf!”

Me: *Calling out to her* “And you shouldn’t be pretending to be a human being!”

After the shrill woman has left, my manager throws me a thumbs-up. 

Manager: “So… if you turn that thing off, you can’t hear anyone at all?”

Me: “It’s like a… slight muffle.”

The manager nodded and walked away, and for the first time in my life, a hearing person was jealous of me. 

If Only They Could Hear Themselves, Part 2
If Only They Could Hear Themselves

You Wanna See “Talking Too Much”? Well, Get Comfy!

, , , , , , , , , , , | Learning | CREDIT: Theverylastbraincell | August 30, 2023

I’m in a college communications class of fifty people, not including our teacher. For our midterm, we are to “become the US Senate”. The class will vote on several classroom measures, the goal being to “communicate professionally whilst demonstrating competent debate strategies.”

My teacher often sticks to his word, and we really do make a cool little senate, complete with dress codes, a candy desk, a gavel, and a flag. This is important to note because the teacher wants our senate to be as accurate as possible.

We debate three measures, all created by us, the students, in advance.

  • Hats should only be allowed in the classroom if they are cowboy hats. (Passed, 39 to 11.)
  • We should be able to wear pajamas to class. (Passed, 48 to 2.)

And finally:

  • Fidget/stim toys should not be allowed in the classroom. (You’ll find out how that went.)

I use fidget toys because I have ADHD. They’re all pretty silent, and the person who wrote this “bill” has it out for me because I get accommodations — like extra time and earphones — that no one else does. Since we are allowed to talk as long as we desire about any measure, I get comfortable in my seat (since we are all remote) and begin to talk about what my ADHD accommodations are, why I need them, the fidgets I use, my favorite books, and what majors I’m thinking about.

Five minutes pass. Then ten. Then twenty. And then my professor interrupts.

Professor: “[My Name], you’ve talked too long. Give someone else a turn.”

I look him dead in the eye.

Me: “No.”

The LOOK on his FACE!

Me: *Politely* “Since this is a senate, I am allowed to filibuster.”

That is, to delay a vote simply by talking us out of time.

The other classmates looked at [Professor]. He turned red and spluttered but allowed me to proceed.

Grades are based on individual performance, so I knew I wasn’t harming anyone but myself; everyone else had already spoken enough. So, my ADHD a**, the one always scolded for talking too much, successfully filibustered the remaining hour and thirty-six minutes of our four-hour midterm. As for the fallout, my classmate’s bill died on delivery and I got a B+.