The Wheelchair Affair

, , , , , , | Healthy | January 22, 2018

(Our office occupies the bottom two floors of the building. There is a medical office on the fourth floor which is accessed by an elevator in the main lobby. Recently, there has been construction in front of the building’s main door, but pedestrians can still access the door. I am in a meeting when I am called to one of our side entrances to deal with an irate couple, a man and a woman.)

Me: “Can I help you?”

(I see that the woman is walking with a cane.)

Woman: “I want you to let me in so I can get to the elevator. I have an appointment!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but this is not [Medical Facility]. We can’t let you in because this area is restricted. If you want, I can walk you over to the main entrance and you can use the elevators there.”

Woman: “I can’t walk that far!”

(A coworker arrives at this time.)

Coworker: “It’s the same distance, either way. We can’t let you in.”

Man: “Well, we can’t go that way because of the construction! Unless you want to carry her, or you have a wheelchair, we need to get in this way!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we can’t do that. You can get around the construction; I promise.”

(This goes on for several minutes. After a while, the woman goes to use a phone that’s near the door.)

Woman: “Give me the number for [Doctor]!”

Coworker: “Ma’am, that phone connects to the office I just came from. We aren’t [Medical Facility]. We don’t have the number.”

Man: “Do you have any wheelchairs?”

Me: “No, we don’t.”

(The two finally leave, but not before…)

Woman: “You need to figure out how to handle cases like this better!”

Me: “You have my deepest apologies, ma’am.”

Woman: “What good’s that going to do me?!”

(They walk outside, leaving my coworker and me behind.)

Me: “They seriously want us to stock wheelchairs for people who can’t be bothered to use the main entrance?”

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