Vampire or werewolf, which will I be? I can never tell, but, it will be one of them. I wonder if others of you who are wheelchair users have similar experiences. When I wait for an elevator, I wait off to the side, giving passengers room to exit. However, even though you'd expect that those who get on elevators would:
a) be used to people with disabilities using elevators because, um, chairs can't do stairs
b) they'd have grown used to the idea that there was a higher likelihood of seeing someone who needed elevators on elevators
but you'd be wrong.
Apparently we are always a surprise.
So, I wait. There are two basic reactions, the 'vampire' and the 'werewolf.' Here's how they work. Those who upon the opening of the door see me and fling themselves back into the elevator bathing themselves in the light of the small room - they've had the 'you are a vampire' reaction. Those who upon the opening of the door see me begin to dash around in the elevator, out of the elevator, back in the elevator, bounce from one side to the other - they've had the 'you are a werewolf' reaction.
Funny, once or twice years ago, tiresome now. I'm just wanting to get on the freaking elevator.
There is one elevator that I use a lot where I've developed a bit of a strategy. It's a small elevator that opens into a darkish space. I wait off to the side but when the door opens, I am in place. I just immediately speak, before they react. "Go there," I say firmly but without anger or upset, and point to the spot where they need to go. They do, always, kind of grateful because their nasty shock upon seeing a person in a wheelchair at an elevator, has taken away their ability to reason through how to use space. Then when they are in place, I pull in to the elevator and then they can pass by me and head out the door.
Yesterday when I did this, the woman who got off the elevator and went to where I pointed, waited as I pulled in and she said with a smile in her voice, "it's kind of like dance moves."
I said that it was.
I didn't add because it would have made sense to none but me, "The Monster Mash."