Posted By Kristabella on October 25, 2011
I’m forcing myself to write something, and something funny, because today was a rough day at work. I can’t get into it, but let’s just say I hope today never repeats itself in my tenure. And I hope that tenure is long!
So Monday morning, as I was getting off the bus and heading to the train station, I was like the 15th person in line. My bus route ends at the rail station, so everyone gets off the bus and I would say that most, if not all, people go into the station to get on the train.
This can cause quite a back-up at the turnstiles. Not only are you having to deal with the throngs of people, you also have to sometimes deal with the person who is trying to exit the station through the turnstile you’re trying to go through.
I’m not patient. I’m especially not patient early in the morning when I’m running late and haven’t had any coffee. So I will go to any open turnstile.
We have accessible turnstiles at most rail stations. They are wider and can fit a wheelchair through it. It’s also helpful when you’re bringing a suitcase or some sort of large bag with you that won’t easily fit through the narrow turnstiles.
So Monday morning there was some back-up at the three non-accessible turnstiles. I decided to use the accessible one to a) help move traffic through efficiently and b) because my fare card/pass has been acting up and only likes to work when it is the first smart card to touch the pad. Otherwise it takes me forever to get it to work and then I hold up people and they curse at me under their breath.
Let me preface this with the fact that I was not cutting off someone in a wheelchair to use the accessible turnstile. I was not putting myself before others who NEEDED this turnstile, whose only option was this turnstile. I just really didn’t want to hold up the other line with my touchy card.
So, I enter the turnstile and push the door open. As I do this, I see a little kid coming towards me, followed closely by a man with a stroller. I decided to be nice and hold the gate open for him, seeing as it is hard to maneuver.
This was my first mistake.
He then looks at me and starts screaming at me. (Keep in mind it’s like before 8 AM.) He’s decided that I, as a non-wheelchaired person, shouldn’t be using this turnstile. So he starts shouting, “Because you’re handicapped, right? Because you’re handicapped?”
My jaw drops to the ground. And yet, I STILL KEEP HOLDING THE GATE OPEN FOR HIM AND HIS STROLLER. And then he’s at it again.
“Because you’re handicapped? Right? You’re handicapped? Because you’re handicapped.”
I can do nothing but glare. Which is my second mistake. I should have punched him in the junk.
I finally get my uncaffeniated wits about me and scream back “BECAUSE YOU ARE?” And then I run up the stairs to catch my train. (Thankfully, not falling up the stairs or escalator.)
I have the whole commute in to work to think about this, which just makes me seethe. I have every right to use that turnstile, no more or less than he does. And my using that turnstile didn’t make him have to wait, even a nanosecond, to exit the station. I was through the gate and HOLDING IT OPEN FOR HIS CHILD HE LET RUN AHEAD IN A CROWDED TRAIN STATION AT RUSH HOUR when he got all pissy.
There is no rule you can’t use the accessible turnstiles if you’re not in a wheelchair. And how do you know I don’t have a medical issue where I can’t go through turnstiles? What if I had a fake hip? What if I had a bad back and the turnstile made it hurt more? OH WAIT, I DO.
The worst part is that the Customer Assistants at the stations will encourage exactly what I did during the rush periods. The faster you can get people through, the better. Everyone is happy and no one misses their train.
I just don’t understand. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE??