[bct] Coping with help

  • From: "Mary Emerson" <maryemerson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2006 14:43:01 -0800


Sometimes you just have to be firm. I mentioned a few months ago on this list that one day when I was taking the trash out, there was a truck parked next to the curb with a ramp extending out, and a very nice, polite gentleman was moving in; he and I had a calm, enjoyable conversation; suddenly somebody who couldn't speak English and sounded like he came from the Middle East started running toward me, yelling loud and sounding like he was about to have a stroke from sheer panic that I'd do something like let the truck run over me or something. I, in self-defense, raised my cane, and my trash bag, and started yelling back; he kept yelling, the very calm man stood beside me, watching the entire thing. Finally I yelled "shut up! at the foreign man, and he knew what that meant, because he backed off. So, the calm man and I finished our enjoyable conversation, he politely offered to move his truck, I equally politely said, thank you, but I can walk around it; which I did, tossed the trash into the dumpster, turned around, went past the truck, and the minute I got on the curb, I heard a car door slam and a motor start up. I suspect the foreign person had watched me the whole time. I guess their culture thinks that disabled people, especially women, and more particularly all women, are stupid, or like children, and need taking care of.

In situations like that, especially when you cannot understand the person and can't really communicate, you have to be assertive and stand your ground. That's true even when people speak English and won't listen. Sometimes you have to point out that if they don't move, and you go through a door with whatever you are carrying or pulling behind you, those people will get hurt if their fingers or hands get smashed between the door and a ton or so of equipment.

It boils down to adaptability, I think; the situation you're in demands specific forms of behavior.


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