Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The horror

On Friday, a friend was filming my hands and computer screen, so she moved things on my desk out of the shot (although she left Mego Spider-Man hanging over the computer screen). One of the things she moved was my water bottle, which she actually moved to a shelf I can't reach.

I forgot to ask for it back right away, and she went off to another job. I asked her next time I saw her to stop by my desk when she had a chance. I left shortly after that, though, planning to just get my bottle Monday.

On Monday, as I wandered down the hall, I felt a tap on my shoulder and my friend asked what I wanted.

She was horrified when I told her. She led the way back to my desk, got my bottle, then held out her wrist for me to slap (I lamely missed). She stopped by my desk several other times to apologize and make sure everything else was back where she moved it from. She also told me sternly that if such a thing happens again, I am not to ask her to stop by sometime. I am instead to tell her forcefully to come over and fix things NOW.

It was just a water bottle, but it did make me feel good. It made me sad, too.

I work for a progressive agency that makes hiring and retention of people with disabilities a priority. It has never turned down any request I have had and has frequently done more than I asked for.

But I am pretty sure no one is horrified by the really big couch they installed on Monday that really cuts down an open path (A boss was pretty annoyed by the couch for many reasons, including its size. I gave him my two cents as more evidence it is bad).

And I doubt I will engender much horror when I complain about the toilet-seat covers. They put the dispenser for the sanitary covers in the most convenient spot for them, the stall wall next to the toilet. Any other place would have meant drilling into a real wall. The problem is, though, I lean on the stall wall to stand. Now, I lean against the edge of the dispenser. I don't think it is dangerous, just uncomfortable.

I am not alone at work. I have plenty of advocates, and all the time I gain new ones or find ones who have been advocating without me knowing it. One co-worker moved the big couch as out of the way as possible. I passed a woman with a clipboard in the hall. She asked how easy it is to get in and out of the office and took notes as I showed her.

That is what I need to focus on.

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