A friend of mine began a conversation with: "Do I have to preface everything with the question, 'Will you be writing about this?'" It was only then that I realized the absolute fear some people might have about being in any kind of conversation or relationship with me. I explained to my friend that I don't blog about friends without permission from the friend involved. Before he began he told me that he didn't mind me writing about some things but didn't want to be named or identified. He didn't want a life on my blog, didn't want to read about himself. It was a good conversation.
But then, he told me something that I really, really wanted to blog about.
But I'd made a promise.
An hour or so later he said, 'You want to write about our conversation don't you.'
'Oh, I do, I do, I do,' I said, 'But I won't, I won't, I won't.'
He laughed and said, go ahead, just don't mention me and give it a day or two so people don't try to figure it out. I told him that I thought he might be being a tad paranoid because ... first, I kind of have normal readers who have real lives who don't obsess about every little detail of my life ... second, I'd not mentioned him by name before on the blog so there was no precedent for people figuring it out. He joked, 'So, now should I be offended that you'd not written about me before?' Anyways, the end result was that I could write about it.
Now you are all going to be disappointed because what I was going to write about isn't really worthy of such a big build up ... even though I thought you might be interested in knowing what the blog has done to my circle of friends.
My friend is starting a new job working at one of Canada's really big chain stores. He's just finished training and he told me, excitedly, that there was a full half day about providing service to people with disabilities - all different kinds of disabilities, intellectual disabilities, mobility disabilities, sensory disabilities ... the list was long. It was all about the stores deep and abiding commitment to providing a welcoming atmosphere.to all who came in the door. Further there were cautions about not blocking aisles with displays and maintaining clear accessible passageways throughout the entire store.
He told me that he paid very close attention, having been my friend for a few years, he was waiting to them to err on the side of patronization. But, he gave me a list of the kind of things they were saying and they got them pretty much all right. He said that he looked forward to his job knowing that he was working in a place that make a point of making sure that all were treated with respect. More, a store that I will be able to shop in whenever I wanted.
Me, I was just glad to hear that a large corporation was spending time and money to educate their staff in how to provide respectful service to all. A store is only partially accessible because it has a flat entrance and wide aisles, it becomes fully accessible when the staff have open minds and ramped attitudes.