Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sometimes it feels like we all need to take a step back ... and just be kind to each other (myself included)

from: Linda
date: Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 3:41 PM
subject: GO Elevators


Happy holiday weekend! I am a long-time reader of your blog and it helps me get through the craziness of the GO commute - thank you for that.

I just want to send a message to regular and occasional GO riders as we head into the Family Day long weekend - not all disabilities are visible. I know you've posted about this before but I just witnessed a most unpleasant episode outside a GO elevator.

As with most long weekends, there was quite a crowd at Union and two trains were called at the same time on  the same platform. A rush to the elevator with lots of patrons (a couple with canes) and several strollers ensued.

Somebody got hot under the collar and started carping about the non-disabled or those without strollers using the elevators, even berating a young woman who got on the elevator because she thought the strollers should go first. The young woman turned around and said, "Yes, but I have MS."

I myself am using the elevator because my knee is injured. I can walk okay, but stairs are torture. I am waiting on ultrasound results to see if I need surgery. Other patrons could have any number of conditions that may cause them to use the elevator - many of them not visible to the naked eye.

I'm sure many people use the elevator that "don't need to". But to make judgements and trying to shame people when you know nothing of a person's situation is ignorant and wrong.

I'd also like to say now that I don't believe having a Hummer-sized stroller should give someone priority in getting to the train platform.

If you could please hide my email if you publish this I'd appreciate it as this is my business email.

Thank you,

Linda T.


Squiggles said...

Wow. It is a shame that people need to justify their use of the elevator. Mind you, I am in the same situation as Linda, so I do take the elevators in the morning and take my time on the stairs at Union. And get cranky when I have to skirt around those that thing standing on said stairs is appropriate.

But, I do have to question why people think it is appropriate to take a stroller, especially those hummer-sized ones, on a rush-hour public transportation - either Bus or Train. Especially when they most probably have more options before rush hour.

Kelly said...

The stroller thing is a whole other can of worms. I chose daycare close to my home, but I guess some parents travel with their kids - saying they have more options before rush hour isn't fair - like they need to get up earlier, get kids up and ready earlier just because you don't like them? Not their fault the size of strollers they make, or the amount they might need to carry. Not everyone buys an extra small stroller. In any case, they have as much right to be there as you or anyone else - as much as someone in a wheelchair which is larger and you wouldn't complain about that. Like I said, I never did it, but as a mom, I understand and it's not realistic to force parents off rush hour trains.

Snaggletooth75 said...

I can totally relate to your post. I have two chronic back problems. I suffer from Lumbar Spinal Stenosis and Degenerative Disc Disease. My back pain levels are usually 7 out of 10 everyday. There is some days I have thoughts of suicide because of my pain. Thank god I have my wife, she gives me a reason to not kill myself. Taking stairs is murder on my back. When ever my wife and I go to Toronto for the day, she always helps me on and off the GO Train. One day we were going home from a day out in Toronto. We always ride in the accessibility car as it is easier for me to board the train. We were sitting in our seats minding our own business when this fucktard looked at me and said loudly, you shouldn't be sitting there. He said why are you sitting there? What's your excuse for sitting there loser. My wife stood up for me and said my husband has chronic pain conditions in his back. I even have a doctors note explaining what is wrong with my back. The guy said that sounds like bullshit. I handed the note to the CSA in the accessibility car to read. He told the guy to shut up and sit down or get off the train.

It's like what Linda said, not all disabilities are visible. I think that if these people who judge someone about their disabilities went through what people with disabilities go through on a daily basis they wouldn't be so quick to judge.