Don’t Call It A Favor When You Let Me Cut The Line

Posted on July 9, 2014

I had the most wonderful trip to the Passport Office said nobody ever.

But this guy. THIS guy took it to a whole new level.

Here’s the short of it. I told him I couldn’t wait in line in the direct sun. I asked if I could mark my spot in line and then sit on the shady steps. He said I couldn’t wait on the steps. So I marked my spot in line and I sat in a shaded spot on the sidewalk.

5 minutes later he calls me over and tells me I can go in. And I know I know, I tend to get myself in trouble. But he needed to hear it. I said “You need to be nicer to people with disabilities”. What I meant to say was that he needed to be able to provide an alternative for those who can’t wait in a standing line or in a standing line in the sun. But I’m clumsy with words and that’s what came out. Plus, he basically needs to learn to be nicer to everyone.

So he followed me into the building and yelled, I mean YELLED at me about how he did me a favor. I tried to get a few words in, but that wasn’t happening. So I just waited for him to finish ranting and leave.

That being said, this is what I had hoped to say to him.

1. If you are ‘hosting’ a line. You need to provide options for those who can’t wait in that line. Because wherever there’s a line, there are going to be people who physically aren’t up for the challenge.

2. Never (I mean NEVER) tell someone with a disability that you are doing them a favor. Even if you are letting them cut.

3. Cutting in line has its perks. But it is more empowering to the disabled person when you don’t ‘let’ them cut but when you provide a route for them to proceed as everyone else. i.e. a shady seat until it’s their turn.

4. Please don’t loudly announce “everyone has some reason they don’t want to stand in line” when I tell you I can’t stand in line. It’s hard enough asking for assistance without being shamed.

5. Don’t make me cry. Really. Don’t. It doesn’t feel good.

6. You could use a couple deep breaths… and a desk job.

What Others Are Saying

  1. Joanna July 15, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Its dumb people like you walking around trying to circumvent the system. That place was in news not too long ago with a thousand people outside. They have rules and they are there to enforce if. If you really have a disability then you should have said exactly that and have the required card as most people with disabilities that are not obvious do. You said it yourself your out to look for trouble and giving truly disabled people a bad name. Your a disgrace and should get a life. I hope the guy finds this and sues you for posting his picture without permission.

    • The Girl with the Purple Cane July 15, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      I gave your comment some thought and considered marking it as SPAM, but decided against it.

      I believe you had a valid opinion to share about my experience at the passport agency. It’s a conversation I would have liked to have with you, because I’m still new at this disability thing. I’m still learning.

      Perhaps we could have learned something new. But instead you called me names. It’s easy behind an anonymous computer, isn’t it? I’m not sure when civility was thrown out the window. When did one have to stop stating their opinion in a constructive manner? When did we become so hard in our beliefs that we cannot learn from one another? There are only two ways I know to learn; through my experiences and through the experiences of others.

      Unfortunately the only thing I, or my readers can take from your comment is your anger. And it’s a shame.

  2. Ellen July 22, 2014 at 6:33 am

    Thank you for posting such a succinct list. I’ve had a really fun form of autoimmune arthritis for about 18 years now, and what you describe here reminds me of a few incidents of my own.

    • The Girl with the Purple Cane July 22, 2014 at 9:48 am

      Hi Ellen, Thank you for your comment. While it’s unfortunate that we have these experiences, it’s nice to know that we are not alone. Here’s to hoping things will change in the future.

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