Saturday, July 08, 2017

What About You????

I booked a hotel room today at a chain that I don't often stay at. I went on their website and could find rates and rooms but no information on accessibility. So, I called. I don't understand why accessibility is so foreign that it requires a call, why can computers handle it? Anyways, I called. The fellow who answered the phone was nice, really nice actually. I explained what I wanted and he went into the system to see if there was an accessible room available.

After a brief hold he came back to tell me that the accessible room, please not the singular 'the ... room', was occupied but there had been a note made that the person had requested a main floor room. He told me he'd call the guest that was scheduled to be in that room to find out if they needed the accessible room or if they only wanted a main floor room. I thanked him, he said he'd be back in a couple of minutes.

Maybe five minutes later he called me back. The person put in that room had not requested an accessible room, did not know that he'd been placed in one and was more than willing to move to a different room so an actual disabled person could have the room. Then we set about making the reservation.

The booking was done, he wanted me to wait until the email confirmation when through, which I did and then we were done. I said, "Thanks," and rung off. Seconds later I had this kind of realization that I'd not gushed gratitude towards him for doing his job and getting me the room I needed. I felt almost badly that I'd not emphasized my appreciation a little bit more. I felt like I somehow owed him.

I'm now really conflicted about just a plain 'Thanks' like any other customer booking any other room. He did have to go to extraordinary measures in order for me to have the room I needed. But, is that my issue? Should it be my issue? If they hadn't just randomly placed someone in the accessible room, I'd have just been able to book it.


Sometimes I overthink things.

I do this a lot more as a disabled person that I ever did before, I'm not sure why.

Am I alone in this, do any of you run through routine interactions in your mind because of something to do with either disability or accessibility, I'm curious.


Cal said...


I bought a bus ticket, indicated that I needed to stay in my chair, and showed up at the bus station.

Big big drama.

I held my ground and got to ride, but I am still turning it over in my mind.

Julie J said...

I don't know about your question...but I have a question for you. Do you ever get accomodations you didn't ask for, or want? My disability is blindness and this happens all the time. I get the wheelchair accessible room at hotels, even though I didn't ask for or need it. When signing up for a community leadership class, I requested the paper materials to be sent by email. What I got was someone to meet me at the meeting room to get a coffee and donut for me. I explain, and re-explain, but I'm not sure I'm getting anywhere. Got any words of wisdom on this one?

Unknown said...

My disability is not physical and does not require accessibility, so I am spared most of what you experience in the world.
I can say that I am an 'over thinker' and have been one since I was a kid. Learning to harness that ability to see many perspectives and nuances and possibilities into a process that allows me to pick the most important factors and use those to make a decision has been a long hard process.
As someone who tends to sort things out by talking them out, it is NOT an endearing trait to friends, family, coworkers. Writing it out is easier on everyone else.

On the other hand, that overthinking is sometimes a trait that enriches my inner life and changes my understanding of the world around me...and allows me to change.


Unknown said...

I definitely do this constantly. I have it so ingrained in my being that just my existence is a burden to anyone who has to interact with me that "Sorry" and "Thank you" are uttered in every sentence. Thank you (lol!) so much for your blog; for reminding me that I matter- that I'm human too!

Andrea Shettle, MSW said...

Julie J: I am a walking, sighted deaf person ... and have had people try to offer to get something in braille for me, or ask if I needed a wheelchair. Usually when I ask for deaf accommodations in hotels, most of the time they either give it to me or forget altogether until I remind them at the front desk. But one time, the hotel did put me in a wheelchair accessible room while still completely failing to give me any of the deaf-related equipment I had requested.

Shannon said...

i notice that I say thank you a lot because people are always doing things to help me, whether I ask or not. If they grab the chair and start pushing, though, i tell them to ask first. I find it so strange that people who are deaf and blind are being given wheelchair accessible accommodations they don't need. I guess that's the kind of accommodation that is most familiar, but if you stop and think a minute... you would think they would realize. I am glad my apartment complex has a lift to get into the pool... I do thank them for that.

Mary Nau said...

I have a tough time taking politeness for granted under any circumstances. I often like to let polite people know that I noticed. My sense is that polite people tend to be more sensitive and actually need some acknowledgment from at least some people in order not to become discouraged. It's affirmation to a decent human being who is also trying to survive in an often hostile, ungrateful world of customers, managers, etc.