It sprang to my mouth without thinking.
We had checked into a hotel, which we had checked into before checking in. One of the many questions we have is about the Internet. Though we've tried to have this fixed several times, my laptop will stubbornly not connect to the net through a wire, it has to be wireless. So we ask. If they don't have wireless, we don't stay. We had checked, on booking, they said they had wireless. We had checked at check in, we were told they had wireless.
Once in the room, remember this takes work with all the luggage, and me in the wheelchair, I tried to get on line and there was no wireless. I called the front desk. I spoke to a different person than I had to originally and was told that the wireless was supposed to be put in last week but something happened and it wasn't in yet. I was immediately steamed. I had several work emails that needed done. I had other commitments to fulfill. More than that, Joe and I had planned to watch a new episode of this season's QI on YouTube as part of his birthday celebrations. None of that would be possible.
They guy on the desk said, hopefully and helpfully, that there was wireless in the lobby if I cared to come and use it.
Then it leapt out of my mouth, "I'm in a wheelchair and that's just not possible for me."
I said it because I wanted him to feel especially bad.
Goodness gracious me. What an awful thing to say. Firstly, while it's true that it would be more of a bother for me to get to the lobby than a typical walking person, that wasn't the point. Secondly, the point was that I DIDN'T WANT TO GO TO THE LOBBY I WANTED INTERNET IN MY ROOM AS PROMISED. But what came out of my mouth was this 'wheelchair stuff'. Oh. My. Goodness.
When he was apologizing again, I sat there thinking, 'Great, now you've gone and made it look like people who use wheelchairs are somehow more deserving of apology than others who would have been inconvenienced by the error. That being in a wheelchair exempted me from doing what I could have done if I had wanted to do it. That I was way more disabled by being a wheelchair user than I actually was. That, somehow the crime was more egregious because it was done to ME.'
How is that for playing into the stereotype?
How is that for setting said guy up to think that those of us who use wheelchairs are helpless cripples?
Nice one Dave.
Here I've been thinking about my use of language, maybe I should be thinking more about my use of disability in situations like that.
I'll do it so you don't have to ... Shame! Shame! Shame! on me.