Monday, November 28, 2011

A win, in my book

So I'm at school; I drive my motorized wheelchair to the elevator and push the button. Nothing happens. I ask a student to go upstairs and push the button there. Nothing happens there, too.

And I have a class waiting to be let in, outside the locked second-floor classroom door. It's cold, and I don't want the kids to suffer in the cold.

So I somehow drag myself up the stairs and wall-walk to the door, and let them in.

The comedy hasn't even started. I go for my cell phone, to call the facilities director to get him to see if he knows anything about/can fix the elevator. The call won't go through.

I have to wall-walk my way to the door. Then totter out to the wall of the second-floor balcony that extends around the building, and place my call from there. Fortunately, it does go through. He says he'll come and look at the elevator. Repeat the process, backwards, stumbling across the balcony back to the door, wall-walk back to my chair.

One of the students looks a little concerned. I tell her, "It's comedy that you just can't write. I mean, if I wrote this in a sit-com, people would say, 'That would never happen!'" She smiles. I also say, "Y'know, when a two-year-old totters across the room and careens into the wall, everybody laughs. A fifty-year-old does it, it's not so funny." She smiles. The concern of the kids assuaged, I wait for facilities guy to look into the elevator.

It was an easy fix, he went into the machine room, cycled the power or flipped a switch or something, and everything is working fine. He gives me the good news, and heads out... of course, leaving me sans wheelchair, stuck on the second floor. I let the kids out a couple of minutes early so I can deal with the struggle down the stairs not during the rush between classes, struggle down the stairs, and pop back into my wheelchair.

And that was only the first hour of the day, of the first day of the week.

"Uninteresting" is a view that the M.S. Highway never provides. Actually, I considered it a victory—I kept the kids from worrying.

I was massively inconvenienced. They were concerned. I laughed at the inconvenience. They laughed with me. As far as I'm concerned, that's a "win" in my book.


Katja said...

Congratulations on your win, and putting your kids at ease.

Only one question: why didn't you take the now-operative ELEVATOR back downstairs to your wheelchair?

Robert Parker said...

A valid question, and a simple answer: it was a shorter trip to use the stairs to where I had stashed the wheelchair. Plus, it was much more wall-walkable. And, I wouldn't have had to go right through the middle of anything, I could just slip back into my chair quietly.

And, in the tradition of "comedy you can't write," I gotta admit, it was funnier to have to use the stairs twice. Now why I chose that path... but it did work out that way.

Katja said...

Good reason. May I have a second question? Are you comfortable leaving your chair elsewhere? I totally freak out when my chair is removed from my control.

Robert Parker said...

The school is a VERY safe environment for leaving wheelchairs "unsupervised." Heads would roll if people drove off with it; but the students are VERY nice, I'm lucky to be surrounded by kids who have better and kinder things to do than to make a handicapped person's life MORE difficult.