This is a story about three chairs; two tall chairs and one power wheelchair.
This is a story about two situations; one stopping into the lounge for a drink and one going for breakfast.
Here's what happened when we went for a drink after arriving at the hotel. All the tables that are set out for people sit around are very low, just places to put their drink glasses. There are also tables which are for people who decide to have a snack or meal in the bar, these tables are more at the height of regular restaurant tables. Finally there are two very long, very tall tables in the restaurant section on the lounge, these are surrounded by tall chairs. We sit in none of these places.
We decided that we'd sit at the bar, which was also surrounded by the tall chairs because the bar, too, was tall. These are easier for me because my wheelchair is quite tall and, of course, so am I. We arrive and try to see where we could move a chair so that I could get in. A staff approaches and she said, "I'll make some space for you." In seconds the chairs were gone, vanished. They were no where to be seen. Lovely. We sat and chatted with the bartender and relaxed. It had been a long drive.
Here's what happened when we went for breakfast the following morning. We approached one of the long tall tables that ran the width of the restaurant. Again, the tall tables are much easier for me, in my tall chair and with my over six foot frame. Here too there were chairs surrounding the table. A staff approached and said he'd move the chairs. He did, but he just moved them down and sat them alongside chairs that were already in place. They stuck out horribly. It looked as if they sat there staring at their place, resenting having been moved. They did the opposite of vanish - they called attention to themselves. They also made the passageway between these tables and the other tables very narrow. I wasn't blocking space but it was clear that space was being blocked because of me.
I asked, twice, if the chairs could be put somewhere else, but all I got was a friendly and breezy 'Don't worry about it."
But I did.
The bar was nearly empty, but the chairs were removed.
The restaurant was nearly full, but the chairs stayed visible.
One staff seemed to think it mattered.
Is it training? Is it awareness? Or is it possible I'm the only one placing meaning on this at all?