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Saturday, September 23, 2006

This Week

End of the first week back at work. It has been an interesting time moving around on crutches in public places and taking public transport. Now I understand why the handicapped keep on complaining about the lack of empathy by the public and the people in charge of transport and buildings.

At my office, to reach the lift there is a flight of steps no bid deal to the able bodied but to the disabled, it is a mountain to climb. As my cubicle is on the 2nd floor and the pantry is on the first floor, everytime I need to replenish my drinks, it is either go down 2 flights of staircase on 2 crutches carrying the bottle or take the cargo lift which means I have to exit via the back door to use the cargo lift and logged in again at the main office entrance to reach the pantry - no mean feat balancing bottles, ID passes and crutches and rushing to open the door after keying in the key before it shut down again. Interestingly, 2 colleagues offered to get the water for me and both are not from my dept. Not wanting to make my girls feel bad, I turned down their offer.

On the train, it was even more interesting. First day home, nobody gave up their seat to me. 2nd day a lady restored my faith in Singaporean by jumping up almost immediately when I got in the train. 3rd day I was off so nothing to recount. Thursday the train was quite empty so no problem getting a seat myself. Friday morning ha - at Tanjong Pagar MRT was waiting at the lift. There was already some people in front of me waiting for the lift. When the lift came, all rushed in. Nobody seemed to have seen me. Nevermind, since I was behind them, waited for the next lift to come. Then the trains came and discharged another load of passengers. So many moved to the front of the lift door and again I was crowded out. Same thing happened the third time and I finally gave up and walked to the escalator. Maybe I should be in a wheel chair?

Anyway, I am thankful that mine is a temporary problem but for those who are genuinely physically disabled, I now fully understand how they feel and their frustration when they go out. I will consciously ensure that I never behave like these boors and will be gracious and helpful in whatever way possible.

As for those boors, I pity them cos I am temporary partially disabled but for them, I think mentally they are truly disabled.

1 comment:

  1. we just need to be educated. Without going through the pain of those disable or witness it first hand, for many it does not apply to them sunconsciously.

    next stop, ministry of social - education for disable? Dont stand at the window again...:)