On more than a few afternoons, I have waited at the bus stop only for this one woman to turn up and jump the queue.
What would your response to this be? Mine is to make sure that I get on the bus before her unless, say, a person who is in front of me allows her to go first. That is good behaviour, yes?
She generally arrives after me. When she sights the bus, a minute or two after I do due to my superb eyesight, she moves forward and then thrusts herself on first. This is a selfish thing, right?
The problem is that this woman is in a wheelchair. Well, not that she is in a wheelchair but how people react to the way I react to her queue jumping.
Is it still selfish even if she is disabled or am I meant to make allowances because she is disabled?
I try to treat everybody equally. So to this woman I react like I would to anybody else. But it still makes me uneasy.
This woman parks her electric chair, ahem, electric-powered chair in the same place near where the bus’ doors usually are when it stops. When she sees a bus, she moves her chair forward. It beeps when she moves. The beep amuses me for some reason. Twice I have had to get on before her, making me feel like a heel. Once, she has jumped ahead of me. Once again, she tried but was allowed on by the person who was in front of me.
I don’t want to insult the woman and have her think that I am reacting thusly because she is disabled. Or for people to think me an arse because I am not allowing her to be selfish but…
I don’t know of any disabled person who would say, “treat me differently and give me preferential treatment because I am disabled”, this does not happen. This is why I take special care to treat disabled people like I would treat Johnny Ablebody. I feel that is the correct way to behave.
Yes, I do allow people in front of me if they are infirm, elderly or whatever but that is because it is sometimes polite to do so. For a person to assume that, because they are infirm or disabled, they can push in front…that is not good behaviour.
Incidentally, referring to people as ‘disabled’ always seems a little wrong to me. It is as morally offensive, in my eyes, as calling black people ‘unwhite’.
I am not an advocate for equality. But for my full views on that, check the tags on the right side of this screen but in short: equality doesn’t exist but that does not mean anyone is better (or worse) than the next person. Everyone, however, should be treated equally no matter what. Everybody is human, so treat them as such.
Saying all that does not make me feel less guilty though.
I still feel like I am damning myself. Alas I will be damned if I let someone jump the queue no matter their situation.
I am such a bad person…