Please answer ME when I ask the question12 Jun 2012
On the weekend I went shopping with my husband for some new boots, it was a shop I frequently visit.
I was looking at some new boots and hoping I could find a pair that covered more of the leg. There was a new girl working there and I asked her if she had any longer boots. She turned to my husband, Andrew, and answered him, then proceeded to ask him more questions about the boots I wanted.
His response was a shrug of the shoulders and a reply of, “ask her, she’s the one wanting to buy them.”
When she looked in my direction I said to her, “I was the one who asked you the question in the first place so you should talk to me about them.”
She replied with, “That’s true.” And kept helping me like she would anyone else.
I wasn’t wanting to be rude about it but I was frustrated. When this situation arises I feel as though I am insignificant and unimportant. In my opinion I asked an intelligent question and I look presentable and my speech is understandable – so why talk with whomever I’m with instead of me?
My husband, says that he feels really awkward and uncomfortable when this happens and he just doesn’t get it.
This has happened to me more times than I care to remember.
One time it was so magnified that I have to share it...
I went to a night club with my cousin and a security guard asked me to stay where I was while he walked with my cousin some 10 metres away to ask her how to get me into the club as there were stairs. My cousin yelled out to me, “Hey Martha, this guy wants to know how we’re going to get you up the stairs?” My response was, “Come back over here and I’ll tell you...”
I question how I’m seen by society when this happens. It really affects my identity. I have to convince myself that I will be taken seriously enough, I will be given a fair go and most people do see past my wheelchair.
If this happens to you and you are looking for employment, stay strong and fight because there are more people out there that do ‘see’ you for who YOU really are.
What are your experiences?