Should Have Stayed Still Like A Statue

, , , , | Friendly | December 18, 2019

(My husband and I have been planning a long road trip for over a year. Unfortunately, just days before we leave, I injure my leg badly enough that I need crutches. We decide to go on the trip anyway, even though we’ll have to skip some activities we were really looking forward to. We’re a few days into the trip at the end of a long day. Since the attraction we just visited is very popular, it has an enormous parking lot. I would have trouble making it to the car on my crutches. My husband goes to get the car while I wait near the drop-off/pick-up area. There’s a ring of benches around a statue, and I sit on one. Several minutes later, a man with a camera approaches me.)

Man: “Hey, could you move? I want to take a picture of the statue.”

(This is a bit unexpected, as the statue is nothing special; I’ve seen similar ones at gas stations in the area. However, not wanting to be rude, I slide to the other end of the bench.)

Man: *huffing in annoyance* “I said move!”

(I’m starting to get annoyed at his rudeness, but I hobble over to the next bench.)

Man: “Are you deaf? I said move!

(At this point, there’s nowhere else for me to move and still sit, and I’m not blocking a picture of the statue at all. I’d be in a picture of the whole area, but so would a lot of other people who the man isn’t asking to move. I realize that the only difference between me and the other people is that they don’t have any visible injuries or disabilities. Seeing now that the man is just being rude and discriminatory, I elect to ignore him. He yells at me until I see a familiar car and get up to leave.)

Man: “FINALLY!” *huffing in annoyance again* “Oh, for f***’s sake!”

(I turn back around before getting in the car and see that a family is now sitting on the bench I originally occupied. They have a little girl in a wheelchair. Knowing that he can’t get away with harassing a disabled child in public, the man gives up and walks away, muttering about rude people.)

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The Bane Of The Cane

, , , , , , | Friendly | December 1, 2019

(I was recently diagnosed with MS. I’m not so bad off as others are — yet — but I do need a cane for walking most days. The first cane I own is a dark red wooden one that twists at the bottom. I’m going to lunch on a workday and I park in a handicap space in front of a restaurant in a strip mall and put up my bright blue placard on the rear-view. I’m perfectly capable of getting out of the car and standing up without my cane, so I do so, and I reach in to get my cane after.)

Stranger: “Hey, [homophobic slur!]!”

(I straighten back up, with my cane, and turn to face a man roughly half-again my size with an unkempt gray beard lurching toward me from the sidewalk. The sane reaction would be to get back in my car through the open door, shut it, and lock it behind me, but I freeze in place, my entire body tensed up. This man jabs a finger into my collarbone hard enough to hurt, and I remember what’s on the shirt I’m wearing; a rainbow-colored alteration of a well-known logo.)

Stranger: “Is being a [slur] a disability now?! Who the h*** do you think you are?!”

(I slowly raise my shaking hand and point at my cane.)

Stranger: “I just saw you get out of your car by yourself! You don’t need that!”

(He tries to grab it, but I pull my hand back. He settles for smacking me upside the forehead. It takes me a second to even realize what just happened. I’ve never been outright assaulted by a stranger before, but somehow this is where I finally find my voice, even if it quivers and breaks as I speak.)

Me: “If you touch me again, I will act in self-defense.”

(He gave an “Oh, really?” smirk and smacked me in the ear before I could react. I panicked and wildly slammed my cane against the side of his face with every bit of strength I could muster, and then threw the cane into the car and dove in after it, finally shutting the door and locking it. The man started pounding on my window while holding a hand against the bloody side of his face and shouting nothing I could understand. I got my keys from my pocket, started the car, and got out of there as fast as I could. Thankfully, the man didn’t try to leap on my windshield or anything. As I drove, I looked over at my cane and saw that it was nearly broken through near the handle, and the splinters were smeared with blood. Several blocks away, I stopped to dial 911. To summarize the rest, someone in the restaurant had already called 911 when the guy first accosted me, I now have a restraining order, and he’s awaiting trial, even though according to him, he didn’t do anything to me that he wouldn’t do to his own kid if they were being stupid. And I still haven’t replaced my cane. Even knowing it could have been much worse, I have nightmares, and I’m too afraid to use my handicap placard any more. Thanks, random stranger.)

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Parking Lot Meets The Parking Snot

, , , | Right | November 18, 2019

(I work at a valet parking garage downtown of a major city. We run multiple separate lots within a one-block radius and have monthly customers who park every day. They pay a decreased rate and we have to save spots for them but we also accept non-monthly customers, as well, who just pay an hourly rate. On this extremely rainy day, I am exceptionally busy with only a couple of spots left and several monthly customers still unaccounted for. I have a sign blocking the entrance of my lot saying I’m full when two cars pull in past it. I recognize them both as regular customers but neither are monthly; however, the first one who pulls in was involved in a tragic accident a few months back and it’s her first day back to work. I begrudgingly accept the first car, as she is on crutches without many options, and I approach the second car.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we’re all filled up for the day, unfortunately. If you want to try one of our other levels, I’m sure they’d have no problem getting you in.”

Customer: *screaming* “No way! You let her in and I know she’s not a monthly, so if you let her in, you have to let me in!”

Me: “I’m really sorry. I’m only letting her in because she was recently involved in an accident and is on crutches; otherwise, I wouldn’t have room for her, either. She’s also only working half the day. But like I said, one of our other lots will be happy to take you in.”

Customer: “No, that’s not how this works. You have to let me in! I have [disease that has nothing to do with her mobility]. Your dad owns this place, right?”

(I should mention that my family owns the business with my uncle as the president, but I have no idea how she would know that as I have never told her.)

Me: *still standing in the pouring rain* “My uncle is the president, but I’m not sure what that has to do with anything. I have a line of monthly customers forming behind you now, though, that I need to get taken care of. I’m sorry for the inconvenience!”

(Next thing I knew, I saw her on the phone and realized why she’d asked that question; she was calling my boss to complain. He put her on hold, asked me what the situation was, and immediately got back on the line with her and told her to try another lot. I was just blown away that she would cause such a huge deal about it, especially if she intended to stay and park here again! Not that I would ever even dream of doing anything to her car, but I wouldn’t even consider leaving my car all day with someone I had just ticked off and then tried to get in trouble.)

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Passing On The Need To Vent To Someone Else

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 5, 2019

I came out of work a week or so ago to find that someone had keyed my car. There were scratches all up and down one side of the car, and one of the mirrors had actually been broken off and was laying on the ground. I initially thought someone might have scraped against the car, but the scratches were in big circles that really couldn’t have occurred just from someone scraping across the side.

As I was examing the damages and trying to figure who would do this, I found a scrap of paper wedged underneath my windshield wiper. I pulled it out and found that it was a short note.

It read, “Sorry, needed to vent.”

That was it. Thanks to the fact that my work’s parking lot doesn’t have cameras, they got away clean, so I hope they enjoyed venting $800 worth of damages onto my car.

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The Beautiful Age Of The Camera Phone

, , , , , | Legal | October 22, 2019

(My family uses a video app that allows the users to send short videos to each other. My grandma, especially, loves using it, because it allows her to send videos whenever she thinks of us, and she can rewatch videos we’ve sent when she feels lonely. I am in my car in the parking lot of my local store, having just finished watching my grandma’s latest video. I am preparing to record my own response when my car jolts with a loud crunch. I glance out the back and see that another car came into the neighboring stall at too wide of an angle and hit my side. I get out and walk around, phone in hand, just in time to see them pull away and start speeding off down the row. I quickly hit the record button and turn my phone around to capture the video of their car and license plate, stepping out to keep it in view, so I can have a record when I contact the police. Evidently, the driver sees me, because they slam to a stop and then quickly reverse back down the row, swerving close enough to risk clipping the parked cars as they do so. They roll down the passenger window as they get to me.)

Driver: *shrieking at the top of her lungs* “I DO NOT CONSENT! I DO NOT CONSENT!”

Me: “I didn’t consent to you hitting my car, and you still did!”

Driver: “TURN THAT OFF! I DO NOT CONSENT!”

(She got out of her car just as my video hit the time limit, so I started another and kept recording as she tried to run around the car to grab my phone. I dodged around my car, and we circled a bit before I managed to jump into my driver’s seat and closed the door. I’d managed to get a shot of the damage to the side of my car as we were circling, and so I finished that video and started calling the police. The lady was banging on my door and pulling at the handle while I did so, and my grandma and my mom were both sending me texts asking what the heck the videos I’d just shared were about. Long story short, the lady sped off before the police got there, I was able to give my account, and we were able to figure out how I could share the video evidence with them. I managed to calm down both my mom and my grandma, but for weeks afterward, my grandma would end all of her videos reminding us to “watch out for loonies in cars.”)

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