Last night I was driving home and saw something that really started to tick me off and make smoke come boiling out of my ears. Matter of fact, I got mad at what I saw, and I think you’ll know why in a minute…
I was stopped at a red light and noticed a restaurant on my right that said they were open. I also noticed that they were remodeling their patio and that there was wood, dirt and fencing all around the building. I saw a couple walking out of the restaurant, I guess they’d just eaten dinner, and they had to literally hike OVER mounds of dirt and through a gate to get to the parking lot.
This got me to thinking, “Aren’t construction companies supposed to get a permit or something that says handicapped citizens, like ME, can get in the front door of a business to be able to eat or to buy something we want or need?” Let’s say I hadn’t eaten all day, my stomach was growling like an angry grizzly bear you just woke up from a nap, and I wanted to stop in this particular restaurant and have dinner. I wouldn’t be able to do that until the construction was finished because the foreman or whoever’s in charge didn’t use what my supervisor calls “higher level thinking” or anticipate that a person in a wheelchair would come eat at the restaurant.
This really makes me mad because it’s almost like the restaurant and the construction crews are ONLY looking out for number one and don’t even care who they’re discriminating against. The restaurant owners APPARENTLY only want to make their restaurant bigger and more attractive so more guests can come in and give them more money. The construction crews are probably thinking to themselves, “Hey the economy stinks, and this is probably the ONLY big job we’ll have for a while. Let’s take it, block off the only way to get in, take all the time we want, and then charge the owners a LOT of money, since we’re struggling to put food on the table for our families.”
Now, before I go any further, you have to understand I was driving, watching traffic around me too. There may very well have been a way for me to get inside and eat dinner, but from my vantage point sitting at the light in my van (which is the COOLEST van in the world by the way), I couldn’t really tell if I could get in.
I am just really thankful that I work in a city that actually CARES about the handicapped citizens who live, work, play and eat in their community. I’ve made a lot of great friends with many of the business owners within walking distance of my office, and they are always asking if I need anything, need help getting inside their business if the weather’s bad, or how my day is going.
In fact, last night I stopped on the Square on the way home and grabbed a bite to eat at one of my favorite restaurants. After I finished eating, the owner came out and asked me how I was. He even sat down and talked to me for about fifteen minutes and mentioned a couple ways I could help publicize a group I am a part of. He has become one of my best friends in the community, and it really makes me feel good that there are still great people like him who care about guys like me.