I felt sorry for my client. She came to the door in a wheelchair when I delivered the estimate. She was in that same wheelchair when we showed up to do the job. It was obvious she was having a hard time getting around. To make matters worse her house was a split level home with several short sets of stairs. That must have been rough.
We started the work and she talked to me about how difficult it was to get around and how they were putting the house on the market so that she could find a home with no stairs. Seemed reasonable. Then she got up and walked over to a window to show me a problem with one of the hand cranks that open the window.
She got up and walked over to the window. From the wheelchair. Did you catch that?
Her car was in the garage and it had the blue handicapped tag in the window. Several times she sighed and complained about lack of mobility. But later as I was working, she got up again, picked up a single crutch and went up two of the flights of stairs to be in her office. Then she hopped around the office without a crutch to gather up some paperwork before she sat at her computer.
"What happened?" I asked, about her handicap.
"I rolled my ankle playing tennis. I had surgery and they put a pin in my ankle."
Tennis? A pin? A single pin in the ankle? Shit, I have a pin in my knee and two in my wrist and those weren't major surgeries at all. Most of my friends have had operations of some sort or another with pins, plates, and perhaps random dinnerware inserted in their bodies. No wheelchairs that I know of.
"I had to quit my job because there was too much walking?"
I had to ask. "What did you do?"
"I was an office manager."
I just about went off right there. But I didn't. I went back to work because talking to her wasn't making the work go any faster and laughing at her would've been a poor choice of actions.
Then the medical supply company arrived. I shit you not. They brought her an electric cart, like you see old people driving around the shopping center.
So I asked, "Is the injury permanent?"
"No, the doctor says I'll be in physical therapy next week. I was supposed to start this week but I'm in too much pain."
"Did the doctor recommend the wheelchair?" I had to know.
"No. I decided to get the mobility aids on my own, but I made him give me the handicapped parking tag. Can you believe for something this serious he wasn't going to prescribe a parking tag? But I insisted."
Mobility Aids. She had the nerve to say mobility aids.
So, thank your lucky stars you're not in such terrible shape as my client, Ms. Mobility Aid.
- rick, disbelieving.