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Kittens +  Grenade


Building had a fire drill today. Wash rinse repeat, apparently there is one every year. I did it last year, so I can vouch that yes, you do get dizzy going down the stairs because you constantly turn in one direction... and that's WITH the direction switch part-way down.

This year there was a problem. I still have a lot of trouble going down stairs. It HURTS. I don't have that range of motion back yet. No way in hell was I making it down 12 flights - I had trouble the last time with muscle fatigue, and I wasn't recovering from injury!

I brought it up with the HR manager, and it was no problem. There was a group of various people who for various reasons wouldn't be doing the drill (an elderly client, a coworker with a rib fracture from a recent car accident, someone with a bad knee), I could join them. We'd just stand in the stairwell until it was over.

It was fine, really... but... two people asked us what we were doing, and when the answer was "we're the disabled group," the answer was invariably an exasperated roll of the eyes. One of them even said "oh please," as she headed down the stairwell. They didn't even stick around long enough for any of us to retaliate. Though I did snark "Bite me" at the first.

I shouldn't be touchy about that. I really know I shouldn't. But it's a long-standing sore point. My feet have always been a hidden disability. I'm not sitting out because I'm lazy. I'm not shirking the annoying exercise that everyone else has to do. I'm not exactly unhappy about not doing it, but I would if I could.

It's just.... people look at me, and I'm not on crutches or in a wheelchair (anymore - o how short the coworker's memory must be), so obviously I'm perfectly able-bodied and therefore I'm just LAZY. Not Trying Hard Enough, TM.

Contribute to my sense of worthlessless a little more, why don't you. I'm sorry I don't have a big red H on the front of my forehead to tell you all the details of my physical condition.

Looking back, I should have given a smartass answer like "we're waiting for everyone else to leave so we can jump." Or something more specific, "ankle still healing." You never think of these things when it matters. I'd like to save them for next year, except next year I'll probably be able to do the drill with everyone else.


That really angers me. It's not their right to judge you at ALL, let alone for a physical disability. Neither is it their job to decide whether or not you qualify as "able-bodied" or not.

You know, this qualifies as harassment. You have been insulted and made to feel uncomfortable as a result of a physical disability, and it sounds like 1) this happens a lot and 2) you have many witnesses who have been similarly harassed.

I'm not saying file a lawsuit. I'm saying that if you can't take it any more, you can go to your superior, open with "I'm not going to file a lawsuit over this, BUT," and explain the situation. Unfortunately, without knowing your environment better I don't know whether or not that would help or just increase the resentment. :/
*shrugs* It hasn't happened here a lot, really just this one time. But I've gotten it a lot throughout my life, at school, at theme parks...

Theoretically I should bring it up with my boss, because it did make me uncomfortable, but I've already done that once (ended up being over a complete misinterpretation) and I don't want it to be a pattern... I don't go LOOKING for things to get offended at (honest), but it's gonna seem like that if I pipe up.

Hm. Maybe I can ask our HR person to send out a brief explanation of why we were there, so people know there are real physical issues involved. I like that idea. Hmmm.
I like the HR idea. And have the safety officer explain that if the rest of the line gets held up because someone with bad ankles has to try negotiating stairs, it makes it that much more likely that someone else is going to die.

Nothing like putting a bit of fear into people.
Ngaha. Of course, if there was a real emergency, I'd be negotiating the stairs anyway, hazard or not. ;)

Part of the problem was that no one stuck around long enough for an explanation, from us or the safety officer.

And uh...what would these people have done if you were actually in a wheelchair?? Yeah, you don't have crutches...so that means anything you say in regards to being slightly handicapped is just some smartass remark from some smartass punk? I guess they have every right to be cynical... but damn, what happened to compassion? In all honesty, before rolling my eyes, I would have at least asked, "You're handicapped? Really?" Then, "How can I help?" Pfft. People can be real idiots sometimes.

Don't worry any. There will always come a time in a person's life when they realize the importance of compassion and patience. Meanwhile, feel free to pummell their asses in tiny little metal steel balls.

*coughs* Yeah, I'm drunk. But hell, why can't we have some fun? *Chocks some ball bearings at the moronic cynics*
Humans are so judgemental, they form prejudices like that bitch did. She can just feel superior to you, as she races down the stairs while you are in pain. Hope it's worth it, lady.
It's like I always say, two words: People suck.

It seems like it's almost basic human nature for someone to assure themselves of their own self-worth by belittling others and taking pleasure in sutfering.

Maybe that's why the genuinely nice, kind people in the world are often the ones with low self-esteems. Because they don't try to feel better about themselves by knocking other people down.

Just a thought, anyway.
*sighs* I didn't know that happened.

I don't really have anything to offer as advice. Honestly, I think I'd hunt the bitch down and pee in her coffee or something.

Shoulda said "Oh, we're the boss' favorites, we don't have to do the plebian fire drill. There's a secret fireproof bunker around the back with tea and cakes and a wide screen TV."
*chuckles* Plebian...

Yeah, I didn't mention it when I updated you on the fire drill... mostly I hadn't figured out how I felt about it yet, if I was going to forget about it and brush it off or if it really bothered me.

The only part that bothers me...

... Where was I? Oh... yes:

The only part that bothers me is. What if it had been an actual fire or evacuation emergency? Would they abandon you, and the rest of the incapacitated persons up there to be charred?
If not, no matter how much it hurts, you and the rest should have done the drill. That is, after all, the point of the drill. To practice how to exit under your current abilities should the need for such arise.

And, before anyone gets upset - Yes, I have personally done worse, and yes, I have helped others through worse in similar as well as actual emergency circumstances.

Re: The only part that bothers me...

Theoretically firemen would be sent up to get those who couldn't make it down... i.e. like when I was in a wheelchair a couple months ago.

If there was a real emergency, I would try to make it down. But since it was a test, there is no sense in injuring myself or overstraining healing tissue. The point of the exercise is so that everyone is familiar with procedure and route, which I am. NOT to hurt yourself.

I don't see the sense in injuring myself for a drill.