Tuesday, 15 January 2013
We Don't Have To Legally Do It!
I just had a row with one of the blokes who works in the office at Maggie and Alice’s nursery. As I pulled in this morning I noticed that the bays where the staff park had all been cleared of snow. The parking bays for parents – and particularly the two disabled bays – hadn’t been cleared of snow. I remarked to one of the receptionists - as I struggled past carrying Maggie, pulling her (very heavy) chair, keeping an eye on Alice and propping open the doors with my feet – that I thought this a little odd. Yes, it is a bit, she replied.
After dropping off the girls at their class, I returned to reception to ask whether I could expect the disabled bay to be clear when I returned to pick them up. The receptionist started to say yes but a voice from the back of the room shouted: “We don’t have to legally do it you know!” This made me angry: “Oh, you don’t have to legally do it? Fine. I’ll just slip and drop Maggie shall I?” I then stormed off.
As I got a few steps out my anger made me turn back. The bloke who’d shouted had the same idea and we met at the door. He started ranting about how he didn’t have to legally clear the snow from the disabled bay or from any bay for that matter all we have to do is clear the road and I’ve been out here for four hours this morning clearing all this and whah, whah fucking whah. To the latter point I suggested he take it up with his employer. To the other point I responded that legally people don’t have to do lots of things – but they do. It’s what makes us nice, decent human beings.
And, of course, he didn’t have to legally clear the staff parking bays either. But he did. If all the parking bays had been left covered with snow I wouldn’t have said anything.
Most days – twice a day – me or Shannon struggle through those nursery double doors carrying Maggie and pulling her chair and keeping an eye on Alice. We haven’t ever – not once – asked for assistance. Even though we’re running the risk of dropping Maggie or doing ourselves an injury. And every day the people in reception watch us doing this. Today it would have been good to have had a little assistance. Or, rather, to have had a little consideration.
But really it was the “we don’t have to legally do it” that boiled my blood. Two things: it’s a very mean-spirited view of the world and, worse, the implicit suggestion there is that I was asking the fucking earth. Who do we think we are with our pain in the arse disabled kid and unreasonable demands?
NB: The girls’ nursery, by the way, is fabulous. The staff there are great and Laura – the young woman who looks after Maggie – is marvellous.