In the following story, we’ll learn about Stephanie, a legally blind woman, and her rough encounter with an entitled person at the airport.
An Airport Encounter
Stephanie had just returned from a business trip and was at the airport in Cincinnati, Ohio when she decided to grab a cup of coffee.
She asked the person who was helping her to take her to Starbucks, as she was desperate for caffeination.
She Knew What the Woman Was Trying to Do
The helper put Stephanie in line and said she would be back in 20 minutes. Stephanie was standing in line waiting for her turn when she noticed a woman creeping up to her right, trying to cut in front of her.
Stephanie could feel that the woman was trying to pull a fast one on her, and she wasn’t about to let it happen.
Who Would Do This?!
Being legally blind, Stephanie relied on her sight cane to get around, and she needed assistance from others.
She had no sight in one eye and very little sight in the other, so she couldn’t afford to have someone cut in front of her at a busy airport.
A Great Plan
She slyly slid her cane over to her right, effectively preventing the woman from cutting in front of her.
The woman realized Stephanie had caught her out and huffed a bit, as her plan of cutting in front of an undercaffeinated blind person at 6:45 am had been effectively thwarted.
The Rudest Encounter Ever!
Stephanie finally got her drink and took a seat at one of the empty tables.
She was trying to enjoy her drink in peace while waiting for her guide when the same woman who had attempted to cut in front of her, approached her and sat down at her table.
The woman then waved her hand in front of Stephanie’s face and asked, “So, are you blind or what?”
She Did Well to Remain Composed
The woman’s insensitive question took Stephanie aback. She explained that she was legally blind and relied on a sight cane to get around.
The woman then asked, “Like, how much can you see? Are you faking? Just how blind are you?”
An Annoying Barrage of Questions
Stephanie tried to remain calm and collected, but she was getting annoyed by the woman’s questions.
The woman waved her hand in front of Stephanie’s face again and asked, “Can you see this? Why do you need a cane if you can see it? Is it macular degeneration or what?”
A Complete Invasion of Privacy
Stephanie had had it with the woman’s insensitivity and lack of respect for her privacy.
She asked the woman to leave her table, stating that she didn’t owe her an explanation or any part of her medical history. The woman huffed and left for parts unknown.
Stephanie’s Had This One Too Many Times
Stephanie’s encounter with this woman was not the first time that someone had shown an entitled attitude toward her disability.
She had experienced people grabbing her cane and pulling her in a particular direction without her consent.
She had encountered parents who thought it was cute to let their children grab her cane, even though it was inappropriate.
They Did What?!
She had also dealt with a random woman who had grabbed her arm on the Fourth of July and dragged her over to her son, who had recently lost his eyesight, so Stephanie could tell him her story.
Her daughter had let the woman know how inappropriate her actions were, but the woman was super offended, stating that she was “just trying to help her son adapt to his new reality.”
People Need to Be More Understanding
Stephanie believes that disabled people should be able to live their lives like anyone else without feeling like they owe someone an explanation about their disability or medical history.
She hoped that by sharing her story, people would understand that disabled individuals are not entitled to explain themselves to anyone.
They are not obligated to share their medical history or their stories with strangers who ask insensitive questions. Disabled people are human beings who deserve respect and dignity, just like anyone else.
People Display This Entitled Behavior Every Day
Stephanie’s experience at the airport is just one example of the entitled behavior that some individuals exhibit toward people with disabilities.
While it’s understandable to be curious about someone’s condition, it’s important to remember that they are not obligated to share their personal information with strangers.
Treat People How You’d Want to Be Treated
Disability is not an invitation for unsolicited advice, help, or pity. It’s a fact of life that many people have to live with, and the best way to show support is to treat them with respect, just like any other person.
We Have It in Us!
As a society, we can work towards creating a more inclusive and understanding environment by educating ourselves and others about disability etiquette and boundaries.
It’s crucial to recognize that every individual’s medical history and disability status are personal and private matters, and it’s not appropriate to ask for explanations or grab their mobility aids without permission.
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The post She’s Totally Fed Up With Rude Strangers Interrogating Her About Her Disability first appeared on Career Step Up.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Roman Samborskyi. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.