I shit you not.
We were at the gate, Joe was finishing breakfast, I wandered over to the gift shop to do a bit of last minute shopping. Joe asked that I pick up the Toronto Star, his preferred paper, and I said that I'd do it. I got it first. Then I picked up a gift for our host and a magazine and I was done. I went over to the counter to pay. A woman waved me round to another register, I rolled over, then she decided that she didn't want to open it and asked me to roll back. It wasn't far but I was annoyed. Another said they could transfer the transaction from one debit machine to another, no problem, I didn't have to move.
The transaction was transferred. Because of the lighting, because I was sitting, it was difficult for me to see the numbers on the machine. I always insist on seeing what cost has been entered, there have been mistakes, so I was tipping the screen back and forth to see it. The woman approached, reached right into my space and pushed the green 'OK' button saying, "You push this button."
I was stunned. It is hard to shock me with anything regarding what people will do to people with disabilities. But I was shocked. I told her that I hadn't seen the number, she said that everything was right. I told her it so wasn't 'right'. I let her know that I was horrified by what she had done. I couldn't imagine her doing what she did to any other customer in the store - that what she did she felt she had permission to do because I had a disability and she saw me as a helpless child. She leapt on the word and said, "Yes, I was trying to help you."
"It isn't help it's humiliation and I'm disturbed you can't see the difference."
One of the other clerks came around and said, firmly as if to an errant child, "She was trying to help you." I looked at her and said, "You don't know what happened, I do. I don't need your help right now either." And then, AND THEN, she laughed at me. Right out loud laughed at me. She caught the eyes of others and they joined her rolling their eyes at the upset disabled guy.
I shit you not.
No one got it. Something so fucking simple, No one got it. I can't imagine another person in the same situation not being outraged. I thought I was doing well to keep this from being a shouting match. I didn't shout. I didn't swear. I just kept firmly saying that what happened was wrong. And it's so clearly wrong. Unambiguously wrong. That it stuns me. It stuns me what people feel my disability gives them permission to do. To push the OK button on a sale at a store without my permission, without my request, without my knowing the amount being charged ... is simply obviously wrong.
Where was someone to say, "Hey, he's got a point."
Why were people all automatically on the side of the clerks. Is it really that much 'them and us.' Is there really a perception that typical, not exceptional but typical, respect doesn't apply to people with disabilities. She pushed the fucking OK button.
So, I voided the sale.
I rode out with the phone number of the store and I will be making a formal complaint. But that won't give me my dignity back.
I shit you not.