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2004.05.31 Stupidity is NOT a Protected Disability - Part 2

posted Mar 26, 2010, 6:04 AM by Troy Cheek   [ updated Mar 26, 2010, 6:09 AM ]

As you may remember from last week, my boss got the brilliant idea that security should spend more time enforcing handicap parking laws. All this because I asked an employee not to park in those cute little hashed off areas between handicap parking spaces. It turns out that she didn't know that they were there to keep people from blocking the special ramps and powered lifts that some vehicles had. "I just knew I could always find a parking space there."

The boss never actually got around to getting us trained and certified to write citations for parking in handicap spaces, so I was limited to simply asking people to move and, if they failed to do so, call the local police and ask them to send an officer. This was a pretty low priority for the local police and often the officer would not arrive until after the violator had finished his business and gone home.

It was also a struggle to get some of the officers to actually write a citation, as they felt the $100+ fine and court costs was excessively excessive and didn't want to do that for people. One officer actually told me that since this was a hospital, he just assumed anyone parking in a handicap parking space was hurt badly enough to qualify and refused to write any tickets.

And thus it turned out that little ol' Troy was mostly left to his own devices. These devices included intimidation, sarcasm, and official-looking (but completely lacking in force of law) "noification of indicent" tickets.

Day One

The man walked up as I was writing a ticket. "Don't ticket me! I have a handicap permit in my car, officer."

"Yes, I can see that, but that is only supposed to apply to the person to which it was issued, and you look pretty darn healthy to me."

The man thanked me and flexed his biceps. They were impressive. I wondered why he was trying to impress me. Of course, he might have actually been trying to intimidate me. I don't intimidate easily. "Actually, it is mine. It's because of my high blood pressure."

High blood pressure gets you a handicap parking permit?

"Oh, yes, officer. My doctor says that because of my high blood pressure, I'm not supposed to walk long distances. Good day!"

I mulled that over as I watched him drive off. I have high blood pressure. The way my doctor talks, I'm lucky I'm alive at all. Maybe I should talk to him about this.

"Absolutely not!" was his reply. "You've got high blood pressure. Everyone knows that high blood pressure is reduced by exercise. You should park as far away from the building as possible so you have to walk farther. I've never heard of such a thing! Why, in my day..."

Day Two

The woman walked up as I was writing a ticket. "Don't ticket me! I have a handicap permit in my car, officer."

"Yes, I can see that, but that is only supposed to apply to the person to which it was issued, and you look pretty darn healthy to me."

The woman thanked me and fluffed her hair. "Actually, it is mine. It's because of my diabetes. I have high blood sugar."

High blood sugar gets you a handicap parking permit?

"Oh, yes, officer. My doctor says that because of my high blood sugar, I'm not supposed to walk long distances. Good day!"

I mulled that over as I watched her drive off. I have diabetes. The way my doctor talks, it's going to kill me faster than my high blood pressure. Maybe I should talk to him about this.

"Absolutely not!" was his reply. "Your glucose level runs dangerously high as it is. Everyone knows that blood glucose levels are reduced by exercise and extra muscle mass. You should park as far away from the building as possible so you have to walk farther. I've never heard of such a thing! Why, in my day..."

Day Three

The woman walked up as I was writing a ticket. "Don't ticket me! I have a handicap permit in my car, officer."

"Yes, I can see that, but that is only supposed to apply to the person to which it was issued, and you look pretty darn healthy to me."

The woman thanked me and bent over to display some cleavage under the guise of adjusting a shoe. "Actually, it is mine. It's because of my peripheral neuropathy."

Peripheral neuropathy gets you a handicap parking permit?

"Oh, yes, officer. In my legs. I'm not supposed to walk long distances. Good day!"

I mulled that over as I watched her drive off. The doctor once told me that the tingling in my thigh was peripheral neuropathy. It's not going to kill me any time soon, but it was annoying, and if I could get something good out of it, so be it. Maybe I should talk to him about this.

"Absolutely not!" was his reply. "Your neuropathy is caused by your diabetes. Control the diabetes and it will go away. You should park as far away from the building as possible so you have to walk farther. I've never heard of such a thing! Why, in my day..."

Day Four

The man and the woman walked up as I was writing a ticket. "Don't ticket us! We have a handicap permit in my car, officer."

"Yes, I can see that, but that is only supposed to apply to the person to which it was issued, and you both look pretty darn healthy to me."

The man thanked me for the compliment. "Actually, it is mine. It's because of my high chloresterol."

The woman interupted him. "No, it's mine, because I'm pregnant."

"Okay! Never mind! Go! Get out of here! Move!"

Day Five

The boss called me in and told me we were cancelling the project. It seemed that we were getting too many complaints. But that was okay, because he had a plan to move all handicap parking to the uppermost "unused" level of the parking garage. Luckily, that plan never got off the ground.

Besides, I had enough trouble with parking in the parking garage already. I had recently asked a lady to move because she had parked blocking one of the ramps. Luckily, there were a few spaces open so I could actually point to where she could park. "I had to park there, young man, because there are only four handicap parking spaces in the parking garage and they're all full."

Actually, there were 16, 4 on each of the 4 levels of the parking garage. I told her that she could have gone up the ramp she had been blocking and found more handicap parking. She explained that she could only park on the main because of her husband, whom I was helping out of the car. "He don't walk too good. He'd never make it down that ramp."

"Actually, you're not supposed to walk on the ramps," I explained. "That's why we have stairwells in the corners. And for those who can't walk stairs, we have elevators."

She was aghast. "Oh, he can't take an elevator! He has a heart condition!"

"He doesn't have to take the steps. We have elev... Huh?"

"He can't ride in an elevator," she repeated, slowly. "He has a heart condition."

"I can understand it keeping someone from walking long distances or climbing stairs, but but exactly does having a heart condition keep one from riding an elevator?"

"You work at a hospital and you don't understand a simple thing like that? What kind of training do you get, anyway? Who's your boss?"

I told her, and "accidentally" gave her his home phone number.

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