Let's say I work at an establishment that provides a service. There is a woman there (patron) who is unpleasant, outright rude at times, and has personally wronged me. The other factor is that she has a disability that affects her motor skills. I hesitate to mention the disability, but it is a factor in the situation.
I do not interact with her as part of my job. But our paths do cross. Before she wronged me (I don't want to get too specific), I made a general comment about bad weather outside to a few other people in a common area. This woman was there and went off on a rant that totally misconstrued my comment. After that, I made it a point to not engage her. I asked my boss about her and she said this was a good idea and that's how boss deals with her; this woman was prone to do that type of thing and has done this in the past to her and others. Boss told me about how it almost seems this woman likes to create a situation where she can complain or rant about something. And her rants are often related to her disability....basically, a disabled special snowflake. Now, I get that things are more tough for her. But I also don't believe that her disability gives her a free pass to yell at people, be rude to them and wrong them. So anyway, after that, if the woman said something to me, I would give a smile and a pleasant reply, but that's it.
So then came the incident where she wronged me. After that, I wanted nothing to do with her. Basically, cut direct. I can tolerate a lot, but I will not tolerate someone doing to me what she did.
However, I still see her, and because of her mobility issues, she often asks people to do things for her, or she wants things a certain way that accommodate her and her alone. For example (not the real situation), we're in a library with a bank of computers. Every day, she comes in to use a computer. However, she likes to use a footstool to prop up her leg. Footstools are typically kept across the room, so while she could get one, it would take her a while to walk over there. So she asks various people to get her one. Also, there's a fan above the computers. It's on a timer and the switch is several feet away from where she sits. So after she gets someone to bring her a footstool, she asks someone to turn on the fan. And after the fan cycle is done, she'll ask someone to turn it back on. So if you're using one of the computers around her, you can also feel the fan.
Now, the problem is that when I'm done with work, I like to use the computers for a couple of minutes; not more than five. But I don't want the fan blowing on me; it gives me a headache. So I've been avoiding using the computers because she's there and I don't want to deal with her. However, this kind of annoys be, because I feel like I'm letting her win; like she can dictate what I can and can't do just by her surly attitude (one time, someone didn't want the fan on and she got verbally nasty with the person, and kept insisting that the person turn on the fan).
So anyway, I get that she has a disability, but she also has the expectation that she should be accommodated with whatever she wants, whenever she wants, but whoever, and I don't think that's right. Her general attitude and nastiness, coupled with the fact of what she did to me, makes me not want to engage her in any way, like I said. If it was anyone else, I would be happy to help them, and in fact, I have helped people many times. I'm a sociable person. But I have no tolerance for THIS person because of what I have personally witnessed and experienced. However, I'm starting to resent that because she's basically dictating what I can and can't do, because I don't want to engage her, and I KNOW that she'll try to get me to do something for her or will at least ask to turn on the fan. She's 'winning' with her surly attitude.
So if you made it through that, is there any way that I can politely avoid her, yet not let her dictate my enjoyment of the computers? Seriously, she's always there. If she asks me to turn on the fan, would a polite "no, thank you" suffice, or would I have to go into more of an explanation? "No, thank you. The fan gives me a headache." Or do I just have to suck it up and turn on the stupid fan?
And please, no flames. If anyone wants the real story, you can PM me.