Joe and I had a spat, which as turned into a dispute. I am, as I am during our occasional rows, firmly convinced that I'm right. Joe is, as he is during our, ahem, disagreements, firmly convinced that I'm wrong. We agreed to let you all settle the argument.
The background to the Joe v Dave square-off:
We arrived at our hotel in NYC, a boutique hotel there website had told us, and manage to deal with the car, get me into my chair and arrange for luggage to be brought up. We enter the front door and find no way in for me in my chair. There is an elevator, there is a set of stairs. We thought this must be the way because we had followed the bell hop in, he'd have told us if there was another way, right? Wrong. Joe goes in search and we are finally directed around the side of the building to another entrance. We go to that entrance and a met by a security guy who tells us that the hotel is under construction and we're going to have to go in the 'construction entrance.'
The construction entrance is a narrow, dark, steep entrance way with soot blacken walls and ramps built out of plywood. In the effort to get down, most of that effort was controlling the terror that either my chair or I would get hurt. Once down, I turned to look and knew that I was not going to be able to go back up those stairs, or if I did I would be taking a huge risk.
We get to the desk where I express my anger, at the situation, not at the clerk, I express my frustration that I'm in New York and I'm trapped in my hotel. She assures me there is another way in and out. I say that we should have been notified that the hotel wasn't accessible because they knew I was coming in a chair. She says, 'Your room wasn't booked to be ADA.' At this point I just stare at here, there are few things I'm sure of and one of them was that the room was booked.. Magically, even though the accessible room hadn't been booked, they had one available for me.
We come back down to the lobby to find this other exit. Every security person says there is no other accessible exit. The manager tells me that there isn't one. Finally I get them to talk to her, and yes, there is one. They take me over to an elevator, go down in the bowels of the elevator, we make our way through a hallway clogged with laundry carts, many of which have to be moved, and then get to a newly installed elevator that takes us up to a service entrance, and from there, we access the street. The same needs to be done on our way back, Except, I've got to wait on the street while Joe goes and finds someone to take us through the underground maze.
While we were out, we fulfilled two missions, I got to do a bit of shopping, Joe got to have a Manhattan in Manhattan - we've been doing that for years! While he sipped on his redundant drink, he asked me if we should tip the security guys who we will need to get us in, after we finish at the bar and then in the morning to get us out. We'd already tipped the car guy and the bellhop who took us to our room, shouldn't we also tip the security guy.
My response was the beginning of the dispute, for which we need your perspective, I said, "No, you don't tip for access. The car guy and the bellhop, everyone tips those guys, it would only be people with disabilities who have to tip for the mere act of getting in." Joe disagreed, he said, "It's not the security guy's fault that the hotel isn't, at present, accessible. He's having to go out of his way and will actually be spending more time with us than any of the other people we tip."
I remained resolute.
"No, you don't tip for access."
Joe said, "We aren't tipping for access, we are tipping for service."
This sounds so dry now, here in print, but it was a somewhat passionate and sometimes loud discussion.
So, we agree to abide by you ...
(PS - I'm adding a post script after reading a few comments - be sure, be very sure, that complaints were made at every level it was possible to make a complaint. Everyone knew that I was very, very, unhappy to have entered through a makeshift and frightening construction entrance.)