Within two hours of sending in my letter of complaint I received a phone call from the National Ballet. The woman I spoke to (the call caught me by surprise so I didn't get her name) had to be the best possible person to respond to a letter like mine. She was calm, sincere and dedicated to making change. She apologized unreservedly for what happened to me.
As we talked I realized I had made an error in reading the floor plan. An non-attached seat, as pointed out by one of the commenters yesterday is not necessarily a disabled seat. When I looked at the floor plan, saw the non attached seats were all in places where disabled seating is likely to be (on the side or at the back) I made an assumption. The woman was kind enough to see that the problem was lack of clarity on the website and unlike my commenter, saw how I made the assumption that I did.
She understood that the issue was separation from my family and our lost opportunity with Ruby. She took that concern as seriously as I thought it needed to be taken. She promised several things. She said that they would make changes to the website to make things crystal clear from location of stairs to a definition of non attached seats. She said that she could do little now but the changes would be made in the New Year. She promised her IT team would go through my letter and make sure that the website could no longer be misunderstood.
She offered other compensation, tickets for the whole family to go to another ballet next year. She understood when I said that I wasn't ready for that conversation and that I wanted to hear from her more formally in writing. She said that she would do everything she could to make up for what had happened. In no way did she diminish my concern, in no way did she blame me for making an understandable mistake, in no way did she communicate that my concerns were outrageous or unreasonable.
I went back onto their website to check something and found that there was already a change. People wanting accessible seats were asked to phone and make the booking. Clearly she wanted to assure that this not happen again in the last few days of the run.
The most important apology is change.
I am impressed.
I thank the National Ballet for a quick response.
I had little hope that there would be someone there who cared. As it turned out, the person there did. I misjudged. For that I apologize.
Here's to people with disabilities being heard. Here's to change making things better. Here's to two voices talking, listening, understanding and coming to resolution.
Horrible situation led to my renewed conviction that change is possible.
To the woman who called - you deserve a raise.