|Photo Description: a big red star, outline in gold with the words The MOVIES written across.|
They had two spaces where people with disabilities could sit next to someone and two spaces where there were spaces for people in wheelchairs but no seats for anyone without their own chair. There were already two people with disabilities there, both with significant disabilities, who were with staff. The sat on either end of a row with their staff sitting beside them. OK those spots were taken.
Joe and I began to look at where we'd take up residence. One of the staff calls to us and tells us that we can sit 'there.' We looked to see where 'there' was and saw that it was at the far right of the theatre. I could back my chair up against a seat and Joe would sit in the remaining chair. I could immediately see several problems with this arrangement:
It was at the far right of the auditorium which doesn't give a great view of the screen.
It wasn't designed for wheelchair seating so I'd be sticking way out and thought I wouldn't be in the way, I don't like sticking way out.
It still wouldn't be possible to sit beside Joe as he'd be behind me in that seat.
I told the staff that I didn't want to stick out and feel that I was in the way. She spoke up and began to tell me, in more assertive tones, that I wouldn't be in the way and that I should sit there. I said, again, that I didn't want to sit there. She started up again, trying to coerce / convince me that that's where I should sit.
I wanted this to end. I am capable of picking a seat. I said, "Thanks but I don't need your help."
She sat back in her seat as if slapped.
She was annoyed.
A disabled person hadn't done what she had instructed them to do.
This upset the natural order of her day.
Joe and I chose where to sit. He sat in the row behind and over my left shoulder and I sat in the row in middle front nearly but not quite directly in front of him in one of the other spaces for wheelchair users to sit. It was a good solution, the best in the circumstances.
Joe, once we were in place, leaned forward and said one word, "Staff."
"Yep, she's staff," I said, "the power kind."