I was at the grocery store late one night. As I was walking, cane in hand, I came across two teenagers riding past me on electric shopping carts. My initial thought was that the two boys physically disabled.
I wondered are those two boys disabled. I assumed they were not because both of them were giggling.Their joy-ride was cut short somewhat abruptly when a store employee told them to “bring both of the carts back to the front of the store or I can call the police and have you escorted out.” Understandably, the boys returned the carts to the front of the store. As they approached, the employee told the boys to “plug the carts in because people like this gentleman (referring to me), who may really need to use these (carts), can have the cart fully charged.” As I walked past the employee, I told him “thank you.”
This episode left me with mixed emotions. I have mulled long and hard over how I could tell my audiences about this situation when one were to juxtapose the practical joke alongside my real situation. Clearly, the teenagers were just pulling a harmless prank. But I was fuming over the incident because I deemed what the teenagers did puerile and inconsiderate.
Until they are truly handicapped, many people erroneously think that disability is not that bad. I would know. You would not believe what and how readily I would trade my so-called benefits with a normal person, so I can lead a normal life again.
Yet, in hindsight, I was fairly sure many people have sneaked a ride on the electric shopping cart just for the experience and some harmless fun.
Has anyone experienced this type of discrimination? What type of discrimination was it? How did it make you feel? Did you ever notice; there are no punitive actions against this behavior.