Friday, November 30, 2012


It wasn't there.

Just wasn't there.

I was desperate.

I don't have a cup of tea in the morning because I never know if the bus ride is going to be longer than my bladder's resolve. I kind of see the ride as a race between wet and dry. So. No tea. These are the things that people of my age think about.

Anyways, the very first thing I do when I get to work. After peeing of course, is making a cup of tea. I take out my thermos and then grab my cup, one that is a souvenir from Tescos, and plop in a green tea bag and brew myself a tea. But, on my desk ... no cup.


I even looked under paper where no cup in this dimension could ever fit. But ... no cup. Then I remembered that the day before I had had a meeting in the board room. I'd had tea there. When Joe came to pick me up I'd left my cup there.

I panicked.

I love that cup.

I called Aneta at reception and she quickly checked to see and came back to told me that the cup was gone and was probably in the kitchen.

Oh. No.

My chair is a little wide for the kitchen. It's one of the few places in the building that I can't get into. I don't go in there anyways as I bring my lunch and I always have my Thermos. What was I to do? I don't like asking for help.

Donna (hi, Donna - I know you are reading this) was in her office so I called and asked her if I could ask for a big favour. I told her about my missing cup and she immediately agreed to go get it for me. I described it in loving detail and she headed off.

I don't like asking for help.

A few minutes later Donna was back and my cup was in my hands. It was a relief as it meant that a cup of tea was only a few minutes away.

Donna was back in her office.

I was really, really pleased that there are people I work with who I can call upon when I need help. But even better, I have people who I work with who, when they do help me don't leave me feeling diminished because of my need.

I enjoyed that cup of tea.

Partly because I really wanted the tea.

Mostly because I asked for help and got it - and while it mattered, it didn't. How cool is that?


Well, there is only two more days to vote for Rolling Around in My Head at the Canadian Blog Awards in the categories of Best Personal and Best Health blogs. Belinda is also nominated for Best Religion or Philosophy Blog. You don't have to be Canadian to vote. You may only vote once. All you do is click on the link.

So if you are of a mind to and have the time I would appreciate it. After tomorrow, there won't be any more reminders. I apologise for my regular appeals for your time and your vote.


Anonymous said...

I never ask anyone at work because they never let me forget that they helped me once. It seems like I owe them gratitude for the rest of my life. I want a Donna in my office.

Anonymous said...

Oh Dave,

we all sould be able to ask for help, recive help and if possible help others if asked.


Penelope said...

I recently ended up spending 2 weeks in a rehab hospital. Like you, I absolutely hate asking for help. In a rehab hospital, however, you start out having to ask for help with *everything*. As your function gets better they may or may not clear you to start doing some things independently. For 2 weeks, though, I had to ask for someone to at least be there watching every time I got in/out of bed, went to the toilet (they did at least leave once they knew I was safely seated), showered (on my assigned days), etc. Asking for help there wasn't a sign of weakness. As a result, one of the things I learned out of being in the rehab hospital was that I could ask for help without it being a sign of being less. It's a matter of fact thing in my house now that I'm home. It was a good lesson for me to learn. I've been a wheelchair user for about 8 years and I could just never get past the asking for help thing. It turns out it makes my life much easier/better to ask when I need it rather than toughing things out ;) (The whole inpatient rehab experience for me was good and I'm very glad I had it.)

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

There is nothing like a cup of tea! I would be in a panic if I did not get my morning tea. I also bring it in a flask (thermos) and have a mug waiting on my desk. So I know excatly how important this cup of tea is!

Inclusion means belonging and belonging means mutuality. Your workplace is inclusive by the sounds of things - a rare thing! I have a suspicion that you have been a major player in getting your workplace to this level of inclusion - now you all reap the rewards. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

I certainly can relate to having favorites - and somehow feeling the poorer for not being able to find or use it, whether mugs or even pens. Further I really relate to the adversion to ask for help. You work so hard to not need help - and although you know it shouldn't be a source of pride, it is. "I can do it" is not only a mantra for willful 2 year olds - but my inner voice.

The only thing that jumped out at me as odd was the fact that you, working in a place that works so much with those with disabilites - that such a place denies you having access to a room, the "kitchen". What is with that??? Certainly that is a situation that should be remedied. You are compromising every day to accomodate that situation. Shouldn't you have equal access, whether you choose to use it or not? Then if such a episode happens again (oh no :-)) you can say "I can do it" and roll in and rescue your precious cup.

Webster said...

In this case, where you didn't have access to look in the kitchen for yourself, I think that asking for assistance was a necessity, and NOTHING to be ashamed of. It's nice that Donna was able to find your cup for you. And, BTW, it really was NO BIG DEAL.

I have a friend who will never ask for help, even when something is quite difficult for her to do. Sometimes the discomfort of the people observing her is palpable. I think, often, people want to help - so let them. They feel better, it makes life easier for us, that makes it a win-win.

But EXPECTING help with every little thing is a whole 'nother story.

Glad that your favorite cup was found.

Penelope said...

Webster said:
"I have a friend who will never ask for help, even when something is quite difficult for her to do. Sometimes the discomfort of the people observing her is palpable. I think, often, people want to help - so let them. They feel better, it makes life easier for us, that makes it a win-win. "

Personally, I don't think I should need to do something because it makes other people feel better. If I did that, I'd be bending over backwards and not do anything because everyone wants to help me all the time. Sometimes I do push through things because I need to see if I can do them or need the practice. I'm lucky that my friends, at least, understand that and wait for me to ask for help. If they're really worried they'll ask if I want help. With strangers there are things I'll ask for help, but there are other things where my struggling through is actually safer. Unfortunately, strangers are also much more likely to jump in and there are times when that's caused me actual harm than if I'd been allowed to just deal with it myself.

I'd say among my disabled friends and I, the majority of us are less likely to just expect help. We'd rather be asked if we need help or have others wait for us to ask. I can tell you from personal experience that the scariest bits are when someone just starts helping without asking (I'm a 20-something female; having a stranger come up from behind and just start pushing my wheelchair with no warning is incredibly scary and has happened many times.)

Rickismom said...

We ALL need help sometimes.So we ask.
I agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY with Penelope.