Storytime: Abducted by Customer Service……..

*Blogger’s note: I have masked the location of this incident and am not using real names because I truly believe this person meant no harm whatsoever and I want to use this story as more of an educational tool to teach others what not to do. 

Also, while this post contains heavy doses of sarcasm, that has more to do with how I cope with these situations and less to do with the actual person.

As of this upload, the museum in question has reached out and offered a formal apology. 


This weekend Chad and I went on a mini get-a-way. As part of our weekend, we toured a vintage 1950’s style home that has been turned into a museum. Although I was using my wheelchair, I was able to tour it because they had put on a ramp at the back of the house to accommodate wheelchairs.

After we toured the home, we began to make our way across the street and up the block to go to the next gathering of this event. All of a sudden this woman, wearing a museum badge, approached us. She was very excited to greet us and told us that they had just put the ramp in last year and she was SO glad we were there to tour the museum.

And I’m pretty sure I was the first person in a wheelchair to come through the museum. 

Why? Keep reading…….

She introduced herself as one of the curators of the museum and then the conversation took a turn-Her: “I used to work in healthcare. What is your diagnosis?” Me: (Slightly flustered as people ask me all the time what is my disability, but her way of asking was a bit more unique.) “Spina Bifida,” I said.

“Oh wow!” she said. And then it happened.

My husband had been pushing my wheelchair this whole time as we were walking to the next event of the weekend. And suddenly, without asking, the curator GRABBED MY WHEELCHAIR from my husband and started PUSHING ME!!

Now, Chad and I were so shocked we didn’t say anything, and I know that probably wasn’t the best course of action, but here’s the thing: when you’ve been disabled all your life, stuff like this (normally not exactly like this) happens frequently and honestly you just have to pick your battles or you’d end up in an early grave, a victim of repeated 2nd hand social awkwardness.

So we let it go, for about half a block until Chad casually told the lady that he could take over pushing me. Her reply?

“Oh don’t worry, I used to work in healthcare, I know what I’m doing!” 

Um……

Listen, Linda!Can I call you Linda? Cool. Here are a few tips to keep in mind the next time someone in a wheelchair comes through the museum: 

1. When you see a person in a wheelchair, you may approach but DO. NOT. TOUCH. The wheelchair is an extension of the person’s body and is therefore off-limits unless the person specifically asks for help. 

2. Throughout our entire interaction, you mentioned several times that you used to work in health care. I’m just not sure how relevant that information was to the situation. Especially since when we came to a curb cut and you took me down backwards, I almost fell out of my chair. 

Yeah. That was a fun experience.

When you have a situation like this, ask the person in the chair which direction they prefer to come down. 

Also, after this incident we could only assume that when you said you worked in healthcare, you meant to say front desk or billing department of the hospital. 

3. Honestly I would have still told you what my disability was even if you didn’t tell me you used to work in health care. I know others in the disabled community have a different opinion to sharing their diagnosis, but for me, I’ve always had the opinion that others will never learn if they don’t ask. I know this can be confusing, so a good way to ask is this, “Would you mind if I asked you your diagnosis?” 

4. Your museum is awesome and we thoroughly enjoyed our tour. I promise you if you implement the suggestions above, it will be an enjoyable experience for all attendees. 

Cheers! 

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To the Two Gentlemen in the Taxi Wearing a Collective Four Bottles of Cologne…….

Ok, I think I understand your logic. You are thinking you want to smell nice for the ladies. After all, scent is part of making a good first impression. But if my eyes, as a fellow passenger, start burning from the scent within a few blocks of you getting into the cab, I venture to guess that you may return home D & D; dateless and disappointed. Not only that but you’ll return home confused as to why. The ladies at the bar may not tell you, so I’m here to clue you in–you’re wearing too much cologne. But there is hope. After taking an informal social media poll, I have some tips to help you pass the “sniff test.”

Friends post 4

I know what you’re thinking…”But the bottles are so small I need several. At once.” Unless you are trying to cover up 2 weeks of not showering after long hours spent at your job in the fish market, less is more. Oh, and the previous scenario is no excuse. Take the time to shower, thoroughly, with as mildly scented a soap as possible, and then apply only a few spritzes to your neck and wrists. After applying have a friend, preferably one who does not wear cologne and has been sequestered in another room with a plug over their nose, enter the room and tell you if you are wearing too much. And yes, this only works if your friend doesn’t suffer from anosmia. So choose wisely. Some cologne pack more of a punch than others, so even more than one spritz can be too much for some brands. Make sure to also apply deodorant. Again, men’s deodorant can itself be heavily scented, so keep that in mind when choosing a cologne. 

Also, keep in mind that you’ll be interacting with many different types of people, in a small, sweaty place. Some of these people have sensitivities to too much cologne. This is why it is extremely important that if you normally wear a heavily scented deodorant, it might be in your best interest to skip the cologne all together or apply with a very light hand. 

Going clubbing with your friends in hopes of finding a nice girl to go out with can be tricky. With the right level of scent and a great personality, you’ll be one step closer to finding her. Just put down that second bottle and walk away. 

Cheers!

*Phoebe Buffay and Rachel Greene appear courtesy of: http://www.behindgreeneyes.com/2014/09/20-years-of-friends-its-friend-versary.html