I was at work and a women after it seems we had talked about the product I was promoting, proceeded to ask “How are you?” But then something cut her off ,maybe Is aid something or it was something else. She proceeded to ask as she was was to leave , “How are You” or “How have you been?” I responded okay. Perhaps, I was lying. I had just been shamed by someone in the restroom for using the handicapped restroom. All the other stalls were full, and so when a little girl ( who did not seem handicapped came out) I went in, plus I was on a lunch break with limited time.
Now in recent times I had thought about perhaps getting shamed for using that restroom. It never occurred to me it was an issue until I guess I saw or heard something on social media about it and looked into it further. To my knowledge in all the years I have been , I have never been told it was wrong for an able bodied person to use the handicapped stall. Obviously if there was a handicapped person there and you were there , preference should be made for the handicapped person to use the stall , when regular stalls are available.
I learned recently some people have a condition that could be deadly if they wait to long to use stall, so ( it was from Reddit) so now that I am aware of that…I have to do my best to say away from using that stall. ( It incredibly tough for me to admit fault here ..but yeah.)
I guess I was even thinking like omg would it by my luck if a handicapped person came. And sure enough, while I was attempting to do number 2 ( I was a bit constipated..) someone in a wheelchair came to the stall to open it, and they were quite aggressive about it… the waited by the stall as I finished.
I did my best to finish ASAP, which I did , and opened the stall to leave. Come to find out it was customer I had previously seen in the store that day to whom I was attempting to hand out a sample. So yeah..
I could tell she felt entitled . She said, “Could you not use the handicapped stall when other stalls are available?” I got a bit defensive and innocent like saying all the other stalls were full ( which they were). But damage had been done, I felt horrible stupid and smh. I was going to eat something but after that I went back and just waited and sat somewhere near my other co-workers on lunch in the back store room of the store. Self hatred welled up I guess. I was probably thinking about how it would be good to be dead. and yeah it was not good. Worse I had to go back on the floor and to pretend to be happy chirpy to give out samples of a product. I guess I was able to do it, but I felt I had to, financially. I felt I needed the money ( as low as it is) and had to do my best to get it , even if it mean faking enthusiasm. and trust me..there is probably lots of others out there that have or are doing that..
Anyway the fact of the matter is I felt she could have been nice about it, but I am not in her position, clearly she has had to deal with handicap and health issues, its likely hard for her, so yes I was upset but I am quick to acknowledge I am not in her position. And to be frank and honest, it brought to my awareness that I should do my best not to use the handicapped stall like unless its an emergency. Prior to that I can’t say I would always go to that stall. I didn’t have a rhyme or reason to which stall I picked, other than issues like time, cleanliness of the stall, access to trash bin ( if on period),etc. So its not like I always ran to that handicap stall to use it though it is a bit roomier in there.
But, since I guess out of common courtesy and respect , and need ( like there are some handicapped people that could get a stroke or die if they hold for too long to use a stall : https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/m1fah/i_got_shamed_for_using_a_handicap_bathroom_did_i/c2xb7yb ) I should do my best not to use it.
I mean it sucks that happened, I wish I didn’t need to become aware this in this way.
Okay so I clearly sidetracked but the following has to do with the woman saying something like how are you.
Why do people who don’t even know you feel the need to say “How are you” ..um do I think you care ? And to make it worse this is a complete stranger not even so much an acquaintance. Usually the buck stops there and I say ,” Okay, ” Even though I may honestly be a mess, ( as someone else said a sweet mess ) . Social custom as I read somewhere online and have experienced is to say, “fine” though it is complete bullshit.
It’s disingenuous, it’s a lie. I try to not “lie” by saying *okay*, instead of fine. But yeah I mean what makes people think I am going to share my real issues of whats going on in my life , if I am not comfortable or feel emotionally secure safe with you? If it is embarrassing? When I don’t really even know you ?
I mean I remember in high school. I was alone. Literally had no close friends. I went all four years of high school for the most part eating by myself at school. So if you could imagine how I may have felt about that…
I’ll just say I was not happy and did not feel cared for at least by many.I guess I felt stupid. Being made fun and some other experiences like that earlier in my life perhaps contributed to how got in that situation. Now as I look back I guess I could have done something to not have had to go through that though. I wonder if I had joined a sports team, would I have made friends..
But in my senior year ( I had actually just moved to that school October of my senior year), my physics teacher , asked me that question. ( I don’t even want to say *my* physics teacher…). He was like , “How have you been doing”. I said fine. H proceeded to something again like . I proceeded to be defensive and was like I’m okay though I was close to the verge of tears he let it go. But why would he think I should be vulnerable to him? Later on, I realized I may have protected myself from further hurt from this guy. Did he really care, or was I some experiment..( maybe I am being a little bit cynical) .
I remember he was going over my physics work in class, I am not sure if it was in class with most of the other students or after school, but I remember a girl who was really nice to me, who was next to me who saw his response. About my handwriting, he complained and remarked in a way ( a mix of anger and frustration), I am not sure if I can remember or vividly describe the spirit by which he moved, the air, spirit he was giving off about my handwriting. I admit it – I haven’t been known to have the best handwriting. I think he was like , “What is -what is this!!” – and probably said other things like that. I remember the nice girl sitting next to me seeing the situation unfold. She just saw but I didn’t feel judged.
Now imagine earlier had I actually told that very teacher about my situation at school- had I released my hurt to him. I may have been even more hurt by how he was reacting towards me concerning my handwriting. It could have been like, “I opened up this personal, sensitive, topic/ issue to you and yet you yourself are now hurting me?” I can imagine doing that with tears swelling in my eyes ( maybe I am being a little overdramatic but…)
Now question, is would he have treated me that way had he known what I had been struggling with at school as concerning friends ? I can’t say I know for sure. But judging from his behavior character as my physics teacher… What I know is he could have reacted more better. Interestingly prior to that as a junior, I had frustrated another classmate with my handwriting , that was wrong. Clearly its an area I could do better at but nevertheless, others should learn how to handle a frustrating situation better, but yeah I can not always influence how others act and its only nice and respectful that I write clearly, neatly and legibly.
Long story short, its hard to share your hurts, where your are struggling with people who you are not even in relationship with or friends with. There’s no security and there is fear they could use what you tell them against you.
Anyway I guess I need to learn more about that, I can’t say I am here to teach you something but just to share my experience what I went though, or am going through.
Disclaimer: This is not to say you can’t ever say “How are you” to some people that might be what they needed. For some people it might come across as fake and disingenuous …