I was waiting for the light to change in order to go south. They were coming towards me from the east. One was in a four wheel scooter, the other in a power wheelchair. Being still full of holiday spirit I took the chance and waved at them. They both waved back. Lots of people who use mobility devises do everything they can to avoid even eye contact with others who also motor rather than walk. But not these two, they pulled up beside us and began chatting.
As it turned out we were going to the same destination. All of us on an early morning shopping expedition. They, like we, have discovered that the earlier you go, the easier it is to get around the store. Just as we entered the building we came to a stop to chat a little bit more. I mentioned to them that my chair had been unpredictable lately, the ramifications of which they understood instantly. Now we are more than strangers. We have entered into that realm where there is instant intimacy.
We talked chairs. We talked adaptions. We talked funding sources. They had great advice of where I should go for help, what kind of chairs they have and which were good and which were not. They both had stories to tell. As, and you will not be surprised, did I.
We came away with phone numbers of those they though could be helpful to us.
Over the next half hour we kept running into each other in the grocery store, and though we were now just shoppers, there was that conspiratorial smile that comes from knowing, just knowing, that you are understood.
I have found the experience of others to be extremely helpful, and when it comes to wheelchairs and repairers of wheelchairs, the experiences of others can be essential. Recently, I have been having very unpleasant repair experiences and my friends are all hearing about them and my service provider. My current service provider may have less custom in future because of my big mouth, but hey! he has earned it, with his sloppy, slow service.
I have picked up some tips about good service providers from my friends. My future wheelchair repairs may be less stressful.
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