>Sometimes I swear the world is trying to make me crazy (or maybe thats crazier?). And I am so SICK of all this stupid stuff thats been going on lately. On my 101 in 1001 list (linked over in the side bar) I had write three letters of complaints as one (believe it or not I used not to be such a good advocate) and three praising good service. I’ve sent more than three complaint letters since I set that goal in 2006. But as for letters praising good service? Nary one.
Also, it please me most of the time to be an advocate and stand up for myself and others. I do think it’s very important. But just lately I can’t help feeling and/or getting the impression that it’s making others think of me as something of a bitch who is never happy. Being a constant advocate drains me a little at times too and now is one of those times.
I spent 20 minutes on the phone trying to book my assisted train travel to go to Milton Keynes on Wednesday. The woman was insistant that the way I want to go (changing at Oxford and Coventry) wasn’t valid and that I had to get a train to Paddington, travel across to Euston and go that way. I asked her how I was supposed to travel across London given that the tube basically isn’t wheelchair accessible. She put me on hold and then came back saying that her colleague agreed with her that the tube is accessible at most stations, I can have help, they do have ramps and it would all be fine. It would also be really, really difficult for her to arrange for me not to go via London.
I told her that as far as I was aware the tube wasn’t accessible and I didn’t want to chance it, please make the arrangements I had asked for. She suggests I take the transport for London phone number and call them where they would tell me it was accessible and I could do it. If they said it wasn’t, and she really did *think* it was accessible, I could call her back. The arrangements I wanted would be difficult to arrange.
This, clearly was bullshit (being I wanted nothing more than I usually had I just didn’t want to go to fucking London and it;s stupid tube system) and I pushed her until she made them – she had to do it as two separate journeys – one from here to Oxford and one from Oxford to MK as otherwise her computer would explode or some such rubbish.
Sorted. But then again she tells me the tube IS accessible she THINKS and suggests I call them (she’ll give me the number) so I can AVOID the HASSLE if I want to do the journey in the future. At this point I should have told her the only hassle about it was her being so bloody minded and argumentative.
I told her I didn’t want the number. And then I went onto the transport for london website. Neither of the tube stations I would have to use to travel across London have full access – they are marked on the accessibility map as having no access in and out of them from the street but you may be able to change trains between certain lines. Also, they don’t do ramps or booked assistance – the accessibility page warns that in some places the gap between train and platform can be 12 INCHES HIGHER!
Oh and out of 275 tube stations in London? 48, that’s FORTY EIGHT, have step free access from street to platform.
It’s a bloody good job I stuck to my guns. But why she couldn’t accept what I wanted in the first place.
Maybe I should see if I can get one of those heavy old NHS standard wheelchairs and some bondage stuff (I hear they’ve got some good handcuffs in there lately!) from Ann Summers. Perhaps if I tie the idiots I’ve been dealing with lately done so they actually are WHEELCHAIR BOUND they might get it. Or at least stop be so bloody minded and start being more aware.
I deal with the public a lot and I know that the customer isn’t always right but clearly what she doesn’t know is that when I am the customer I AM always right.