Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday

A tough way to start the day.

Angry at the whole human race.

We were a bit late getting out the door this morning as we were headed to a Vita fundraiser where I was competing against Domenic (another Vita employee) for the title 'Vita Chef 2010'. We'd had to get some spices, some pots and pans, and get ourselves out the door. We got to the elevator to find that one of the elevators, the big one, is down. That meant that by the time it got to us it was always full. Completely full. Of people, all of whom can walk. All of whom can fit in spaces where standing people can fit but sitting people can't.

Every elevator had room for us if we were both 'standees' but there was no room for 'sittees'. Everyone saw us, everyone looked through us, all pretended that it was completely natural to let elevator after elevator after elevator go by leaving a guy in a wheelchair with no options sitting just waiting. Finally Joe had to ride down get the superintended to shut down and elevator to come and get me. It was unneccessary. In a world where people cared about people, someone would have stepped off and gone the last few flights down the stairs or waited for the next elevator. They came regularly, they just came too full for a wheelchair.

So by the time I got to the competition, I was in foul temper. You shouldn't cook in a foul temper. As people arrived, staff and members of Vita, good cheer filled the room. I began working to cook an appetizer, a main course and a dessert in a couple of hours. Carole was my sous chef and Joe was allowed to assist with mobility stuff, going and getting things. Soon we were all chatting and having fun. Soon the warmth of caring people doing fun stuff together began to fill the room and pry open the door in my heart that I'd nailed shut in the morning. Suddenly, I found myself laughing.

I felt so much better on my way home, even though I was tired, even though I lost, even though all I wanted to do was curl up on the couch and drink hot chocolate, I felt so much better. It was nice to be reminded that people are simply people. Some are thoughtless, some are thoughtful, some know what to do when they see someone with a disability in need, some want to do something but don't know what ... people. And in fact, I like people.

So today Vita raised a money for United Way, had fun and cheered up a grumpy gus who was determined to have black friday stay black all day.


rickismom said...

I hate to realize that if I had been on the elevator, I also wouldn't have gotten off for you, thinking that you wold catch the next one (maybe no one realized that elevator after elevator was full).

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't have to do this, but if it happens again, try pushing the "up" button to call the elevator. You might have to ride it up before you can go down, but maybe your odds of actually getting in it will be better.
Not fair. But quicker...?

Dave Hingsburger said...

hi, anon, our floor only has a down button for some reason, rickismom, I admit that I would say to Joe, 'how am I supposed to get to work when the elevator is always full ...' loudly when it opened each time, pathetic I know but I just couldn't bring myself to asking people to get off so I could get on, I just hoped. Wrongly.

Mark Lewis said...

I had the same thing happen to me the other day when I was at a mall and then again when I went to a concert. I'll let the first "full" elevator go by but after that I open my mouth and kindly ask for room. I start my way on and people either get really friendly or step out.

I'll also do what anonymous suggested when I'm in the mood for a "scenic ride."

Kristin said...

I'm glad there was a happy ending to a day that started in such darkness.

Anonymous said...

I would have loved to have been at the Cook Off. I was there last year and it was amazing!!! It looks like everyone had a wonderful time.. :)