Wait. Back up a bit.
Roomate is a tinkerer. They love to watch shows that focus on making machinery “How It’s Made,” “The Works” “American Chopper.”
So, last week, my new manual chair arrived, and when I was sitting in a recliner, roomate decided to tip it back, and examine and spin the small wheels over and over and over….I was remembering a story they told that they dissasembled an entire vacum cleaner as a child ‘just to try and put it all back together.’
“Stop,” I said reasonably. “It’s my chair and you cannot fiddle with it.”
“I’m not fiddling with it, I’m just spinning the wheels”
“You can’t use the chair as project. Stop, please.”
“You could damage-”
Me exasperated, “Not *intentionally* no, but you still might-”
“I’m *NOT* doing anything to it! I’m just *looking at it.”
“Let’s try this another way. How would you feel if you had prosthetic legs, and someone picked them up while you were sitting/laying someplace and they picked them up because they were intricately constructed and they wanted to see how they worked. Unintentionally someone breaks a small piece (but a vital one) and hey presto, you have a repair bill, or have to get a new set altogether.
The chair is my *feet!* How would you feel if some medical student felt your legs were fascinating, removed them in some magically painless way, and started to reverse engineer them?”
I’m not saying I wasn’t over the top. But the grit of the argument has not convinced roomate in any way.
Machines are machines, and are fascinating items to tinker with and fair game in my house. The roomate is careful, and never intends to damage.
I’m an only child and it shows.
My stuff is *my* stuff.
I figure I can make this post generic enough that it won’t divulge anything proprietary about my present employer…
There’s a ghost in my department, a poltergeist, a gnome, a trickster…or some real person crossing a line, I’m not sure which
I have an ergonomically designed chair and desk, that have been altered to suit my specifications.
Every morning for nearly two weeks I come into work, and my chair is raised to its maximum height, as are the chair’s armrests. No one elses chair has been subject to nocturnal alteration.
Since I cannot reach the lever by myself, a coworker has to come and sit in the chair and lower it back down each morning…
This began to hack me off.
Boss and co-workers have said they have not been there, and are gone by the time I leave, anyway so they’re ruled out. (there may be some covert investigation going on that they are not allowed to disclose, but there’s been little tension at work lately, so I discount that)
I checked with IT…none of them have had to do any long term nocturnal fixes to my computer.
I checked with Maintenance, and they advised that they’d checked and they have no people up there either…
I then wrote a professional letter and attached it to the back of my chair, making a pointed, albeit professionally polite request that no one adjust my chair after working hours period, and that no one sit in that chair unless business needs compel them to do so. (I don’t want some loose cannon in amongst my desk and computer, with the potential to make me look bad, mess up my email, jeopardize the job, etc )
It is taped to the back of my chair.
And still this morning the chair and arms were again into the stratosphere
Our strategy tonight was to hide the chair in the departmental “food cube” the unoccupied corner reserved for smaller potluck foods, or Friday’s muffin, donut, or bagel departmental treat.
If the chair is raised up, in the food cube, dragged back to my cube and raised up, or someone has moved another chair into my cube, then this will be serious…
There’s the thing. Or several things, it doesn’t matter. That set of things that you can *do,* but the time you take to do them is foreign and frustrating to that able bodied friend, family member, or relative, or even the paid PCA types.
Some of us just want to go ahead and do the thing, even if it takes us four hours to the able bodied’s two.
But, the able, in their mounting frustration, just won’t allow it.
Their brain is thinking, “My-gods-I could-do-this-quicker-and-she-just-tried-for-a-third-go-round-to pull-the-last-pair-of-trousers-out-of-the-washtub…I’LL JUST *DO* IT!”
And then, just a splash of resentment, not much, because somewhere in their brains this has morphed into something they were *forced* to do….
And when we’re tired ourselves, we may not even do the thing, just ask that someone else do it, and then the level of resentment quadruples, understandably.
One thing that I try to do if I see someone has done for me unasked…make sure I thank them, and admit where it helps.
It has nothing to do with my physical limits then, it’s just (In my opinion) common courtesy to recognize a good thing….
No, its not all about reachers as a great piece of assistive technology that some with impairments (myself included) and the elderly use to grab and grasp and things they cannot get to otherwise….
It is about another kind of assister, more about Lee Child, and the most addictive thriller series of books I have come across (thanks to a coworker generous with her books)
Lee Child’s ex military drifter Reacher has almost nothing in common with The Fugitive television show and Richard Kimble. Unlike Kimble he feels a bit confined by owning things, living in a permanent home or having a girlfriend that, however flexible, is more drawn to having a space to call home than he is.
Reacher is obvious about loving being a loner. His most longtime possession appears to be a toothbrush…and he buys clothes in every new town….(what he does for eating, clothing and shelter money is a mystery because we almost never see his day job when he isn’t being begged by some arm of government or other, or simply falls into a trouble spot…to remedy the situation, find the bad guy share a brief romance with an equally tough woman….
His moral compass is pretty straightforward even if his methods for getting the job done often come close to matching the bad guys for brutality. (You have to have some corner of yourself that is consistently bloody-minded, I think, not to have that part bother you)
The plotting is tight, the twists annoyingly difficult to figure ahead, even *after* you’ve read three or so and come to know Child’s style.
So between figuring out how to use the new washer (I haven’t done laundry for myself in some time, and have forgotten a few things) and helping to orchestrate gradually moving things from the old place to the new one…
That’s what I’ve done in between.
I’ve been debating the wisdom of making this public all day. I will make as clear as I can to friends who read here that I’m attempting to take the calm rational necessary steps to remedy this and there is nothing happening yet. Can’t be helped. I’m shaking with rage and there’s no place to put it. I haven’t been this angry since I discovered some interesting facts about what someone close to me knew and when he knew it.
I’m trapped in my home. Again. If there was a fire, a flood (surprisingly a common occurence in Rocky Mountain springtimes in a few months,) or a tornado… I couldn’t leave this place quickly no matter what. I would be trapped. I am trapped.
Being smart is nothing. Writing well is nothing. Managing to hang on to a job is *nothing.*
Remember that as you get older and slower. Don’t live alone if you can help it, because circumstances will **** with you no matter what. Don’t sing me songs about inclusion and living in the commuinity tonight because I’d as likely spit at you and curse you out as thank you. Social Model of Disability my ass. Circumstances can make ‘rights’ something as far away as the moon. Just because one elevator is ***ed up.
“I’m not on call.” was the answer the roomate got when she did the stairs for the fourth time today.
And then, because she was tired and angry herself, she crashed and is asleep, which means I cannot crawl out *tonight* which I would have rather done…gotten to a hotel this evening and made sure of making the monday deadline of being to work on time.
I’m afraid of the stairs and of walking on ice which I vowed I would never do again.
But I’m going to do that tomorow morning in the middle of the new cold snap because I cannot afford to piss off my employer.
Monday, tomorow I’ve decided to crawl down the hall at about six forty five ayem and try to lever myself down on my backside, two steep half- flights with a turn in between…can’t walk them. can’t can’t can’t…too steep and too old and to thin and small….I would fall if I walked them….so once I lever myself down I’ll then attempt to stand, and then use the crutches rather than the chair; walking is extremely painful and difficult as well as being something I’m *not supposed to do*, both due to carpal tunnel and the recent mess with my foot.
Why is the *ability to come and go from my home as I please* impossible for two weeks in a row.
Perhaps karma will mean that those forces not ready to make leaving my house simple and direct instead of a humiliating circus freak show, will be *trapped in their homes* one day…and calling me for help.
Sorry… I’m not on call.
Update: Monday 8:38 am. Still here. Got no sleep after 1:30 am and my gut is doing a tango…