Hello blogger friends and welcome. Here is another post for the
Redefining Disability Challenge started by Rose B. Fischer. If you click on the image to the left, you can see exactly what it’s all about and feel free to join. Answer as many of the 52 questions as you like, or the ones that pertain to you. There is no time limit. Answer them in one post, one a day, a week, or whatever fits your needs.
I’m going to spread the questions out over the remainder of the year since a lot of the questions pertain to me already. For today’s post I’m going to answer question(s) 17 .
17. Have you experienced discrimination because of disabilities? Discrimination comes in many forms, from refusal to employ or accommodate a person with a disability to treating that person with disrespect because of it. I would be lying if I said that I’ve never been discriminated against because of my disability. It’s disheartening, hurtful, and most times makes me extremely upset and angry. Unfortunately, when I become upset, angry or overwhelmed, I tend to stutter and/or cry when attempting to speak. It’s one of the residual effects of my sub-arachnoid hemorrhage and stroke from 2011 that I’m still working on. It’s why I will be continuing with Speech Therapy starting later this month.
Anyway, the most recent episode happened about two months ago when I called traffic court in Secaucus, NJ with a question about a ticket I’d paid several months earlier that hadn’t cleared through PA’s DMV when I tried to renew my license. Normally I spoke to one woman in particular, but since I wasn’t home, I couldn’t remember her name off the top of my head. Unfortunately, I ended up with a lady (ha!) named Donna.
I was already a little emotional because I’d just come from DMV and couldn’t renew my license and the title and tag place was trying to give me a hard time registering my vehicle. ?????? While I was on the phone with the Traffic Court, my friend and neighbor took care of the registration nonsense.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, my bleed HAS NOT diminished my mental capacity AT ALL. My brain just needs to re-route the way it processes information and sometimes it takes longer than it used to. That’s all. I tried to explain this to the Donna person on the phone when I first got on but she was condescending, rude, and disrespectful from the beginning of the conversation.
When she asked for my Driver License number and/or ticket number, it took me a few moments to realize that she needed my old NJ number; I had my PA one in my hand. I apologized and told her everything was at home and all I had with me was my PA license. Her response was, “And what good do you think a Pennsylvania license is gonna do for me?! And why are you crying? Crying will get you nowhere with me.” I again tried explaining that I’d been there in person months earlier with cash in hand to take care of said ticket, but it couldn’t be accepted since it had to go before the prosecutor and Judge first. Mind you, I’m trying to calm down while this “lady” continued talking down to me like I was slow.
Of course, she wasn’t having any of it. “Well, I’ve worked here over 15 years, and I’ve NEVER heard of us not taking cash as payment for a ticket! Just, just give me your name and I’ll look it up in the system.” I did and she came back telling me that everything had been cleared and she didn’t know why there was such a problem. She read off my old NJ address and I reminded her that I lived in PA now. After more hemming and hawwing, she took my address down and said she was going to send me the paperwork showing that my ticket was paid in full.
I left out much of the conversation, but wanted to give you the general gist of what I went through. When I got off the phone all I could do was break down and cry in the title and tag place. My friend Tamera had taken care of the registration fiasco for me, hugged me and said, “Don’t cry Miss Eva, people like that only lose their blessings. Let it go.” I tried, but it turned out to be a pretty bad day for me.
I didn’t find out until I called NJ DMV a few days later that I had to pay the restoration fee in order to have that listing taken off the record. It would’ve been nice if someone had let me know. Thank goodness the lady at NJ DMV was a sweetheart and actually stayed on the phone with me and walked me through the procedure as I did it online. I heart her and the lady at PA’s DMV because she was a sweetheart too.
That’s all I have for today. Until my next post, have a great day all…