They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

Help, I'm Being Helped

There I was Thursday morning, just finishing my PHYS-1070 class and the Astronomy class which follows was filling in. The big lecture hall, 1104 Rood, has two aisles and no railings. But unlike the awful 1118 Rood lecture hall, there are only two stairs per level, they're not as steep and they are evenly spaced. With both the four-footed and the single-point cane, I can get up and down the stairs not too badly. Getting decent speed going up these days. Using a bag with a handle that doesn't have too much of a load, I can even carry things down into the well and back up. Otherwise I beg a student to porter for me.



So there I am, coming up the stairs when a student in the next class takes it upon himself to help me.

Help me.

Save me from people trying to help me unbidden.

In our family, accusing someone of helping is the worst. (grin)

So, this genius who is not in my class, takes my parked walker, and -- mind he has not asked permission to do this -- shoves it along without releasing the brakes and is turning it so it's right in front of the too of the stairs. As in, right in front there isn't any room for canes or feet.

-- He touched my walker and manhandled it.
-- Without permission.
-- Blocked my way.
-- And provided an unsafe path for me.

I mean consider... suppose I lost my balance while trying to grab onto the walker and negotiate the last step. I could fail backwards. Down the stairs. Clever. Worse, students barreling into the lecture hall could round the corner to hop down the stairs and run into the walker and knock me down the stairs. Double plus clever.

My procedure, and yes I have carefully worked out a safe procedure, is to get up on the ground floor level, turn 90° and address the walker which is carefully placed 90° to the stairs and not over them. Put the canes on the walker, unlock the brakes, turn around 180°, then roll out of the lecture hall.

Look, I know he "meant well", but that's just a damning indictment. For future reference, do not touch a handicapped person's equipment without permission or without asking, unless it is a real emergency. And you can accuse me of being hypersensitive -- lots of people try to help when what they are really doing is getting in my way and preventing me from doing what I can and should do myself. Frankly, the things that would really help -- an elevator in the southwest corner of Rood Hall -- is way beyond anyone's capability.

Sorry. It really annoyed me.

Dr. Phil
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