The MV1 we have rented for this trip doesn't have the automatic ramp, this one is manual and is pulled out by hand. This means that it's also a bit shorter than the automatic one and, when set on the ground it's a bit steep going up and in. For that reason we've always set it down on a curb, it makes entry and exit much easier. We were leaving from the hotel, where I'd spoken, and the vehicle was pulled up being loaded. I'd asked the bellman where we'd go where we could find a bit of curb to pull up to so I could get in.
He said, "Just get on here."
Both Joe and I were aghast, that mean that we'd be setting the ramp down right on 7th avenue where traffic was non stop, heavy and driver's have a slightly wild look in their eyes. Joe said, "Wouldn't that be suicide?" The bell guy said, "I'll make sure you have the space." I started to say something about the angle of the ramp. He said, "Have you tried going up from the road?" I said that I hadn't. He said, "Well, then you don't know that it can't be done."
We went around, I had misgivings, but he had a point. I'd never tried. The ramp was extended and it wasn't as long, nor did it intrude as far into traffic as we imagined. I mentioned that I didn't like the idea of stopping traffic. He said, "Oh, they won't stop, they'll go around and over, but they won't stop." I started to say that I didn't like to be a bother. He said, "We move traffic all the time here, people load in all sorts of stuff in every door they have. What makes it OK for them and not OK for you. Don't tell me that your needs are different than theirs. They need to load stuff in, you need to get yourself in, people get that. You do it and I'll be you don't get one horn honked at you."
I got myself round to the front of the ramp, the first try I couldn't get in. The bellman said, "You've got to take a run at it." I knew he was right, I backed up, traffic flowed around me, and I zipped up and into the vehicle. No problem at all. None. I was in, now the manual chair was in and I was being strapped to the floor in preparation for leaving. I thanked the bellman. He said, "I hope you don't mind me saying, but you have to remember to take what's yours. I've done this thousands of times and not one guest thought that getting stuff into the car, and taking the space they need to do it, was an imposition. So, I tell you, take what's yours."
I've only been disabled for 7 years and already I'm beginning to forget what's mine.
I'm beginning to see my needs as exceptional, or special - after all that's what they are called.
But I need to get back to basics and simply take what's mine.