"I Am Not Your Conscience"!
My use of a mobility device means that I have to use lifts/elevators to get from one floor to another, this is just a fact. I also use ramps or somewhat level footpaths. I often move along supermarket aisles, go through checkouts and visit a plethora of retail outlets and eating establishments.
Getting back to the lifts, as I said if I wish to participate on varying levels in society, I need to find and then use a lift to raise or lower me to my chosen level of involvement. This can sometimes be an easy everyday task or a tad harder depending on where the lift is located, the size of the lift and the placement of the lift buttons. But the access or the adequacy of the lift itself is not my issue, well not today anyway.
When I use a lift, obviously I am not the only person to do so. Many individuals who utilise their legs as their chosen form of transport also use lifts, this is their right and I do not bemoan or judge their choice. Even if there is only one floor to negotiate and there is only one small lift to use and even if the person demonstrates their physical prowess by running swiftly to catch the lift. This can be regardless of the presence of a perfectly good set of stairs right next to the lift or a escalator situated within eye sight of the left. Using the lift is that particular individual's choice at that particular time.
But, if you are said individual determined to catch a ride in the lift that I am about to enter or exit "I am not your conscience'! You do not need to seek my absolution for your lazy lift catching ways by apologising to me every time you enter or exit a lift and you are surprised to find me on the other side of the door. Where else am I or others who use mobility devices and share this multi-layered world going to be? Stop saying 'sorry', 'sorry about that', 'sorry mate', 'I'm really sorry', 'oh, sorry', 'Oh My God I'm sooo sorry'. I am not your God! If you take the easy option that's really okay, you won't be the first and you certainly won't be the last!
Plus, I do not need to here about your sore toe or your pulled calf muscle you received whilst snow skiing on your recent holiday, or the day you spent having to use a wheelchair because your glucose levels were low. I really just want to get from one level to another without the lift becoming a confessional.
If you wish to communicate with me whilst traveling in the lift, then 'hi' or 'how are you', 'how they hangin', 'nice day', nice shoes' or 'OMG you’re like so good looking' are all acceptable platitudes. Or if you are like me, an acceptable but not too creepy smile can do.
This goes for using ramps, footpaths, supermarket aisles, shops and restaurants. I will be pushing up them, on them and around them and I will not absolve you of your sins on contact with you. So lets share the built environment without judgement or the need for guilt or absolution. My travel space is your travel space.