To the Guy in the Wheelchair,
I’ve just attended an appointment with my Consultant, at 34 weeks pregnant. My appointment was supposed to be 10am, but I didn’t get seen until 11:10am. I’ve then rushed to my next appointment in another town and I’m 10 minutes late. I get through my appointment, get back in the car and drive off towards the chip shop. It’s lunchtime, I’m extremely hungry and after the morning I’ve had, I totally deserve something yummy. I park up and walk towards the chip shop. Stepping past you, guy in the wheelchair, to get inside the shop and queue. Well, not exactly ‘past’, but ‘over’. You see, I was so wrapped up in my own stresses, my own little world, that it took me a moment to realise what I had just done.
I’d just queue-jumped. I am so sorry. I would never purposely do such a thing. I hadn’t realised that you were part of the queue, because you weren’t inside the shop – but how were you supposed to negotiate the step up to get inside the shop, when alone and in a wheelchair? I asked you if you were waiting to be served and what you wanted to order, just in case the servers didn’t get to you when it was your ‘turn’.
The queue dwindled down until it was just me left in the shop. How many other people had done just as I had, and stepped over you to feed themselves? I asked the server’s to get your order before I would ask them for mine. You were happy with your order and off you went, away and on with your life.
Is this something you experience every day? Not only the difficulties with accessing services, but the ignorance of others? I am quite ashamed of myself that I acted as I did that morning. The nature of my job requires me to take into account the needs of all when designing new projects. And yet, without my Engineer’s hat on, I lost that open outlook.
I suppose I’m writing this post to say sorry for my behaviour that morning. I hope that you do see an improvement in the behaviour of strangers. I also hope that businesses can help to make their services more accessible to the wider audience.
No-one should be denied access to live their lives independently as they see fit.