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Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanks to the kindness of a stranger ...

I was able to get my driver’s license renewed today. After being given the wrong ticket by the guy who didn’t focus all that hard on what I said I needed to do at the DMV, I was eventually sent to a woman who spoke broken English when I finally had my number called. She may otherwise be a very nice person, but she clearly wasn’t comfortable assisting me in any way. To be fair, I’ll even admit that I don’t know how often someone with my level of physical disability would need to access the DMV, so this is not a complaint about the woman nor the lack of accessibility in their system. (Previous experiences have actually been extremely easy, in fact.) But between signing things with pens that were chained to the desk and having to access a number keypad to answer questions on a computer that wasn’t equipped with adaptive features, the process quickly became frustrating. Then a middle-aged white guy – and I mention those characteristics because he is part of a group that is generally the least likely to offer assistance to me in public in my experience even though I am more or less part of that group – got out of the waiting area to assist me. He wasn’t asked to help, I’ve never seen the guy before in my life, and I have no idea what prompted him to do it. But less than a week from Thanksgiving on a day that turned out to be filled with frustrating customer service (or lack thereof) in places where it should be expected I was very thankful for his assistance.

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