09 March, 2012

I was going to try and write about this coherently and explain the specific reasons why my disability prevents me from driving but maybe I will do that another time. For now here is a cross-post from tumblr.

hate the assumption that everyone drives

I seriously see people argue that everyone drives/has to drive. um if you couldn’t drive because you would DIE, you would learn that there are other ways of getting around, but not only do they blow, other people constantly ignore or forget that you don’t drive! while I was trying to explain this situation to the scheduling person at my work, I tried to explain that it takes me FOUR HOURS to get to and from work, and she made a little wince face. yeah, sit on the bus for four hours a day and see if all you can say about that is a little wince face.

so here’s the deal, help me out here because I feel like these kind of rules aren’t always set in stone if you actually have a good reason, but like…I’m a supercrip mongoose and there’s nothing I’m worse at than explaining I’m in extreme circumstances. I’m probably going to write a letter and then it’s going to be like “oh just talk to her why did you write a letter lol” (I actually tried to write a letter originally but I got redirected to talking and the little wince face, yeah, NOT HAPPENING AGAIN)

if you have talked to me about my job you might have gotten the impression I hate it. I actually love my job, I have the same job as Hodor. let me rephrase—I love my job WHEN I’M AT WORK.

don’t love that I get paid to work 40 hours a week, but spend 20 more hours riding the bus, for a grand total of SIXTY HOURS. don’t love being home for only 12 hours in between two work nights—go to bed! sleep! wake up! eat and veg out for an hour, feed the mysterious homeless cat, get dressed, go back to work! if you are wondering how I manage showers I would advise you not to come too close to me.

if you talk to me at night when I am about to go to work, you would never get the impression that I love my job, because I fucking hate my job when I wake up at night and I can feel my short period of freedom immediately slipping away from me. I don’t hate work but I hate that I have no fucking time.

so, I was considering asking to work 3 12-hour shifts instead of 5 8-hour shifts. I knew some other people did it and it would save me 8 hours on the bus and give me longer periods of free time. but I didn’t really get around to asking because it wasn’t a huge deal and I didn’t want to change my routine so early.

then this thing starts happening where when I walk to work at night men follow me and stuff. one time this happens when I leave work to go to walgreens at 3 am, and this time other staff notice it because the guy drives into the parking lot to look for me and then drives away when security comes out.

so that morning 2 nurses from the day shift made me go sit in a room with them and gave me a talk about DON’T LEAVE THE PREMISES AT NIGHT, which I swear to God began, “Aw, did you think you were in trouble? Don’t worry, this is for your own good.” I don’t know how much more annoying they would be if they knew I have a disability, but when people don’t consciously know I am disabled they subconsciously perceive that I am 11. in this case, an 11-year-old who’s asking for it!

but stuff also happens to me when I am just walking to work, from the bus, when I have no choice! staff have also concern-trolled when they see me walking to work from the bus stop. “THIS ISN’T A SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD.” oh yeah you think?

anyway after the adventure with the guy in the parking lot, I’ve finally decided fuck this I want to start working 3 12-hour shifts and getting to work WHEN IT IS STILL LIGHT OUT PLEASE.

so…then they told me that only people who work on the independent living floor can have 12-hour shifts and people who work in LTC can only have 8-hour shifts. even though aides who technically work on the independent living floor get assigned to work in LTC all the time. that’s how I met so many people who have 12-hour shifts! so it’s clearly like, a policy/way of doing things and not the way things have to be.

God help me, the first thing I said was, “Oh, well can I work 16-hour shifts then?” and she was like “I’ll get back to you about that next week” and…yeah, fuck me, I would do it if they let me, but I’m still worried.

I was obviously totally unsuccessful at pulling at the heartstrings and explaining how extreme this situation is. I’m not crazy, right? this isn’t just me whimsically asking to work 12-hour shifts because I like the number 12. but…there I was bleating, “but my bus ride is 4 hours” and not hitting on the important ideas like, “MEN FOLLOWING ME IN CARS.”

so I’m probably going to write a letter, but yeah, advice is appreciated because the current form of the letter is pretty angry.


  1. I wouldn't know how to write the kind of letter you want since I generally tend to try to ask for things as little as possible. But I can sympathize with you about the not driving, since I don't drive either. I tried to learn to drive and I was terrible at it and there's this really annoying thing where people refuse to believe that I'm as bad at things as I say I am and just choose instead to keep pushing me harder. But my learning disability really makes driving hard for me. I can't multitask at all well and my reflexes are pretty slow. And I'm really spacey. All of which conspires to make me unsafe at any speed.

  2. A letter sounds like a good idea. Like, holy crap. Creepy men folk following you.

    I hate the everyone drives assumption too- and I live in a place with ultra limited public transit (some of which is getting cut!) so technically unless you live "down town" (tiny town though) you have to either drive or have a driver available any time you need to go anywhere. It's total crap.

    Also, bus stops are creepy. And 4 hours on the bus is pretty bad if you aren't doing it for fun. (I have ridden a bus for that long just for fun, but that's because of where my brains go.)

  3. Before I learned to drive, creepy men would follow me home from the bus. Also I WAS CLEARLY PREGNANT (Who would follow a pregnant woman???), scared the crap out of me but I had no choice. :(

    You should definitely write a letter!!! I was assaulted twice before I finally learned to drive when I was 23. If you need help making it less angry, just ask.