Author Topic: Special Snowflake Stories  (Read 5645846 times)

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Slartibartfast

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #17445 on: October 05, 2012, 10:53:25 AM »
Why didn't the TSA agents stop her? She was still obviously in sight of them, and that certainly seems to be an exhibit of suspicious behavior. After going through in a wheelchair and then jumping up to rush off with two heavy bags, I'm surprised she wasn't tackled and brought to a pivate interview room for several hours of intense screening.

Of course, since we're hearing about this more than third hand, it could just as easily be a case where the person could walk but not stand for long stretches, so when she was done with security she got up, retrieved her purse and carry-on and walked to her gate.

They're not allowed to ask - it's like people with service dogs.  Here's the NYT article about it.  Airline employees say they see a marked uptick in the number of wheelchair requests when the security lines are long, and the wheelchairs brought to meet passengers at the end of the flights end up unused because the passengers sit in wheelchairs to be first on the plane but don't want to wait to be the last off so they just walk off instead.  They also say it's only a small percentage of people who abuse the system like this, though.

Christabeldreams

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #17446 on: October 05, 2012, 11:23:06 AM »
We encountered a semi-special snowflake coming home from Cotillion one night. It came in the form of a big truck parked right in front of our driveway, presumably stopping by our neighbors house. Yes, it did have other parking options. We had to drive around the block till it was gone. to this day, I have no idea what it was there for or why the driver thought it was ok to fence people in/out like that.

VorFemme

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #17447 on: October 05, 2012, 11:44:26 AM »
Oh VorFemme, you are a much much better person than me.

Three reasons, well, maybe four.  Pick any combination.

The vehicle was parked where the gas station attendant could see it (might have been their vehicle). 

There was a security vehicle making the rounds.

I was brought up better & told that I had to set a good example.  Dang being the oldest child in the family - it still sticks 50 years later.

I didn't want to sink to BELOW the level of the person blocking the air pump.
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jedikaiti

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #17448 on: October 05, 2012, 12:39:06 PM »
I heard the tale-end of this story on the radio this morning, so I don't know the original source.  At airports (all or some, I don't know), people in wheelchairs have a special line that is much faster than the regular line because there are less people in it.  I'm guessing the special line is because the TSA agents need to be specially trained on doing a security check on someone in a wheelchair.  According to the dj's on the radio this morning, there are people who are claiming that they need wheelchair assistance at airports so they can go through the line, but they are lying about their need for assistance.  They specifically mentioned a story of a woman who was in a wheelchair, got fast-tracked through the security line and then after got out of her wheelchair, grabbed two heavy bags and walked off.  I personally view people like that the same as I view people who park in handicapped spots when they don't need to, and I pray that karma doesn't come back and bite them in the tush and truly put them in that position.

I (and whoever is traveling with me) use the disabled access because I use a walking stick and have more than the average amount of medications/durable medical equipment all of which requires special screening. I am usually the only person in that line when traveling, and we just came back from a two week trip.

It is quite ridiculous to fake needing that line, as the only thing it saves you is turning in the regular queue lines. You still wait with the remainder of the people.

People who fake it should be forced to go through the regular line and get screened again when they're caught.
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kymom3

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #17449 on: October 05, 2012, 03:20:20 PM »
My next door neighbors had a yard sale today.  I have a driveway right off of our street, the don't.  Their driveway is behind their house off of the alley.

Yes, as I came out of my house to leave for work, a customer had parked in my driveway, blocking me in. 

What made it SS--she kept saying she was ready to leave, but kept picking up other items, looking for change, she walked back and forth to her vehicle several times, each time saying she was ready to leave.  I wasn't in a super big hurry, but come on!   ::)

v33ly

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #17450 on: October 05, 2012, 04:14:54 PM »
Companion to the pickup truck stories:

I drive a Vespa to work with a milk crate strapped to the luggage rack.  The area I work is a busy downtown/college campus area and parking is always at a premium.  A broken sidewalk bench was removed and the alcove turned into motorcycle/scooter parking to help alleviate this.  This mean my vespa is on the sidewalk with the rear out towards pedestrians.

I can't count the number of times I've come out and found someone has dumped trash in my milk crate.  My favorite was coming out around 10 a.m. to discover an empty frozen yogurt container and empty tallboy of beer.  Breakfast of champions!

kherbert05

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #17451 on: October 05, 2012, 09:14:08 PM »
Why didn't the TSA agents stop her? She was still obviously in sight of them, and that certainly seems to be an exhibit of suspicious behavior. After going through in a wheelchair and then jumping up to rush off with two heavy bags, I'm surprised she wasn't tackled and brought to a pivate interview room for several hours of intense screening.

Of course, since we're hearing about this more than third hand, it could just as easily be a case where the person could walk but not stand for long stretches, so when she was done with security she got up, retrieved her purse and carry-on and walked to her gate.

They're not allowed to ask - it's like people with service dogs.  Here's the NYT article about it.  Airline employees say they see a marked uptick in the number of wheelchair requests when the security lines are long, and the wheelchairs brought to meet passengers at the end of the flights end up unused because the passengers sit in wheelchairs to be first on the plane but don't want to wait to be the last off so they just walk off instead.  They also say it's only a small percentage of people who abuse the system like this, though.
My Mom needed the wheel chairs at airports after she broke her hip. She normally used a cane but the standing still in lines and people nearly shoving* her over in lines at airports meant she needed a wheel chair. She shocked the people helping her, by asking if she could be last on. She only had her purse and cane as carry ons - and she was claustrophobic.


*I have to give the security at Toronto Airport kudos. We were in US customs. The line snaked between a pillar and the wall. Our luggage cart was too wide. Dad and I went around the outside of the pillar and joined MOm and Sis in line when they moved up to that point.


This woman behind US started yelling we were cutting, and nearly sent Mom flying by slamming her rollie bag into Mom. She tried a 2nd time and Sis took the rollie cart away from her. Security came over the people in front of us and the people behind rollie bag woman all confirmed it was obvious we were together and like everyone else with the airport cart had had to go round the other side of the pillar, and that the woman had delibrately hit Mom and was trying to hit her again. Mom already had a nasty bruise forming on the back of her leg.


They asked the woman to come with them. She smuggly started walking to the front of the line. THey stopped her and escorted her to the end of another line, and told her that if she touched another person they would arrest her for assault.


The kicker - her plane was canceled because of a hurricane/TD on the East coast of the US. She saw us after it was announced and yelled we made her late so they canceled the flight.  ::) 


Dad thought her real problem was that US customs and Immigration had 2 lanes reserved for planes close to taking off. They went through the other lines checking tickets and moved certain planes to the "express" lane. They kept refusing to move her, and taking planes with later departure times, because they were knew the fight would be canceled and were waiting for official word.


Which begs a question. In a situation like this were you go through customs before boarding the flight into the US - what happens when the flight is canceled. Do you have to leave through Canadian Customs?
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Elfmama

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #17452 on: October 05, 2012, 10:18:18 PM »
the people behind rollie bag woman all confirmed it was obvious we were together and like everyone else with the airport cart had had to go round the other side of the pillar, and that the woman had delibrately hit Mom and was trying to hit her again. Mom already had a nasty bruise forming on the back of her leg.

They asked the woman to come with them. She smuggly started walking to the front of the line. THey stopped her and escorted her to the end of another line, and told her that if she touched another person they would arrest her for assault.
She should have been arrested for assault right then and there.  >:(   Do you get second chances in other crimes?  "Oh, he only robbed one bank.  We'll arrest him if he knocks over a second one."
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still in va

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #17453 on: October 05, 2012, 10:24:12 PM »
My next door neighbors had a yard sale today.  I have a driveway right off of our street, the don't.  Their driveway is behind their house off of the alley.

Yes, as I came out of my house to leave for work, a customer had parked in my driveway, blocking me in. 

What made it SS--she kept saying she was ready to leave, but kept picking up other items, looking for change, she walked back and forth to her vehicle several times, each time saying she was ready to leave.  I wasn't in a super big hurry, but come on!   ::)

ah yes, the attendee to a neighbor's garage sale.  years ago, in our old house on a cul de sac, our next door neighbor had a yard sale.  i had come out of our house and gotten into the hub's truck, which was parked on our driveway,  to head to the store.  as i was closing the truck door, some chick whips into the cul de sac, parks across the bottom of our driveway blocking me in, and jumps out of her car to head to the yard sale next door.  i called to her to move her car.  she yells back "you'll have to wait, i'll only be 10 minutes, i'm going to your neighbor's yard sale!"  as if i should just wait to leave my house until she was done. i turned on the truck, gave a few honks of the horn, and started slowly coasting down the driveway.  she screamed, ran back to her car, jumped in, and moved her car, swearing at me the whole time.  she stopped her car dead in the middle of the cul de sac (thus blocking 5 driveways instead of just mine), jumps out of her car screaming at me, telling me she'll call the police for threatening her, etc.  our neighbor, having the yard sale, had seen the whole thing.  he told her to move along, that she wasn't allowed in his yard.  she jumped back into her car and sped off, flashing a rude gesture to us all out her driver's side window.  by the way, the truck never got to the end of our driveway, and her car was never in any danger.  also, it's against county ordinance to block driveways here, even your own driveway.

she actually DID call the police on me.  the nice officer showed up an hour later, and upon hearing what i had to say, what the next door neighbor had to say, and two neighbors across the street had to say, shook his head, remarked how people go crazy about yard sales, and told me to have a good day.

sunnygirl

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #17454 on: October 06, 2012, 07:22:57 AM »
(Long time lurker, first time poster) There are many "invisible" disabilities and medical conditions/illnesses that mean someone requires a wheelchair part-time. This idea that you are either permanently confined to a wheelchair and incapable of taking a single step without it, or you're faking, is completely wrong and very damaging. I have M.E. and a neurological/balance disorder. I can walk okay most days, but not long distances, and standing is a million times harder and more painful than walking - some days I am physically incapable of standing still for longer than maybe 30 seconds without collapsing. Yet I might still be able to walk a medium distance fine that day and I walk fast. So when I go somewhere that will involve walking long distances, or standing still in a queue for a long time, I will usually bring my wheelchair. My doctors and I know my medical status and my medical need for a wheelchair - if an official wants to challenge me, I am happy to show my disability paperwork, heck I will give my neurologist permission to tell you about my medical status. But it's not the business of random observers. Just because I get out of my wheelchair and walk does not mean I've been "caught faking" and should be penalized or called out.


kherbert05

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #17455 on: October 06, 2012, 07:38:19 AM »
the people behind rollie bag woman all confirmed it was obvious we were together and like everyone else with the airport cart had had to go round the other side of the pillar, and that the woman had delibrately hit Mom and was trying to hit her again. Mom already had a nasty bruise forming on the back of her leg.

They asked the woman to come with them. She smuggly started walking to the front of the line. THey stopped her and escorted her to the end of another line, and told her that if she touched another person they would arrest her for assault.
She should have been arrested for assault right then and there.  >:(   Do you get second chances in other crimes?  "Oh, he only robbed one bank.  We'll arrest him if he knocks over a second one."
I agree - I think the only reason they didn't arrest her was the victim and the criminal were both leaving the country.
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Jocelyn

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #17456 on: October 06, 2012, 12:19:37 PM »
(Long time lurker, first time poster) There are many "invisible" disabilities and medical conditions/illnesses that mean someone requires a wheelchair part-time. This idea that you are either permanently confined to a wheelchair and incapable of taking a single step without it, or you're faking, is completely wrong and very damaging. I have M.E. and a neurological/balance disorder. I can walk okay most days, but not long distances, and standing is a million times harder and more painful than walking - some days I am physically incapable of standing still for longer than maybe 30 seconds without collapsing. Yet I might still be able to walk a medium distance fine that day and I walk fast. So when I go somewhere that will involve walking long distances, or standing still in a queue for a long time, I will usually bring my wheelchair. My doctors and I know my medical status and my medical need for a wheelchair - if an official wants to challenge me, I am happy to show my disability paperwork, heck I will give my neurologist permission to tell you about my medical status. But it's not the business of random observers. Just because I get out of my wheelchair and walk does not mean I've been "caught faking" and should be penalized or called out.
Absolutely. There's a student at school who needs her chair to get from class to class, but because our classroom has rather small aisles, she prefers to park it in the hall (there is a convenient spot where it's not in the way between the classroom and the ladies' room), walk into the ladies' and then walk back to the classroom. It's a lot easier than wheeling into the bathroom (where you're likely to get smacked by stall doors that open OUT- a lot easier to avoid them if you're on your feet. I don't know who installed the doors so that they open out, but there's a close call for someone during every change-of-classes peak bathroom use. 

Slartibartfast

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #17457 on: October 06, 2012, 12:23:19 PM »
(Long time lurker, first time poster) There are many "invisible" disabilities and medical conditions/illnesses that mean someone requires a wheelchair part-time. This idea that you are either permanently confined to a wheelchair and incapable of taking a single step without it, or you're faking, is completely wrong and very damaging. I have M.E. and a neurological/balance disorder. I can walk okay most days, but not long distances, and standing is a million times harder and more painful than walking - some days I am physically incapable of standing still for longer than maybe 30 seconds without collapsing. Yet I might still be able to walk a medium distance fine that day and I walk fast. So when I go somewhere that will involve walking long distances, or standing still in a queue for a long time, I will usually bring my wheelchair. My doctors and I know my medical status and my medical need for a wheelchair - if an official wants to challenge me, I am happy to show my disability paperwork, heck I will give my neurologist permission to tell you about my medical status. But it's not the business of random observers. Just because I get out of my wheelchair and walk does not mean I've been "caught faking" and should be penalized or called out.
Absolutely. There's a student at school who needs her chair to get from class to class, but because our classroom has rather small aisles, she prefers to park it in the hall (there is a convenient spot where it's not in the way between the classroom and the ladies' room), walk into the ladies' and then walk back to the classroom. It's a lot easier than wheeling into the bathroom (where you're likely to get smacked by stall doors that open OUT- a lot easier to avoid them if you're on your feet. I don't know who installed the doors so that they open out, but there's a close call for someone during every change-of-classes peak bathroom use.

I assume this is why they don't require "proof" for someone to use an airport wheelchair - people have all sorts of mobility issues, and it's nobody else's business what those are.  However, the fact that more people use the wheelchairs when the wait is long and that people take the wheelchair to but not from the airplane suggests that at least on some level, there is abuse.

Jocelyn

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #17458 on: October 06, 2012, 12:45:01 PM »
Probably there are people who are requesting a wheelchair to scam the system.
But on a case by case basis, it's possible that a person might opt for a chair thinking they did not want to make themselves over-tired, and after hours of sitting, decided that walking would be better for their health. My sister has fibromyalgia, and she will try to save up stamina ahead of time, and sometimes her pain just goes away,

I caught the flu a day before my dissertation defense, and by the time I'd defended, I had irritated my vocal cords so badly that I didn't have a voice for three weeks. The national convention where my profession does its initial interviews for faculty positions was taking place, so I opted to go ahead and go (by then I felt fine, I just had no voice). Got on the plane, no voice...got off, my voice was back. I have no explanation for it, but it was wonderful to be able to actually SPEAK to the interviewers.

Midnight Kitty

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #17459 on: October 06, 2012, 01:41:03 PM »
(Long time lurker, first time poster) There are many "invisible" disabilities and medical conditions/illnesses that mean someone requires a wheelchair part-time. This idea that you are either permanently confined to a wheelchair and incapable of taking a single step without it, or you're faking, is completely wrong and very damaging. I have M.E. and a neurological/balance disorder. I can walk okay most days, but not long distances, and standing is a million times harder and more painful than walking - some days I am physically incapable of standing still for longer than maybe 30 seconds without collapsing. Yet I might still be able to walk a medium distance fine that day and I walk fast. So when I go somewhere that will involve walking long distances, or standing still in a queue for a long time, I will usually bring my wheelchair. My doctors and I know my medical status and my medical need for a wheelchair - if an official wants to challenge me, I am happy to show my disability paperwork, heck I will give my neurologist permission to tell you about my medical status. But it's not the business of random observers. Just because I get out of my wheelchair and walk does not mean I've been "caught faking" and should be penalized or called out.
Excellent first post, sunnygirl.  You are a welcome addition to the forum.

My husband uses his wheelchair in a similar manner to you.  In our tiny condo, he can use the walls, tables, counters, etc. to steady & support him.  Otherwise he uses a cane and, for long distances or waits, he needs his wheelchair.  Sometimes, when he see someone giving him "stink-eye" as he stands up out of the wheelchair to walk onto the plane, he'll look down in faked amazement and exclaim, "It's a miracle! I can WALK!!"  >:D

It is some kind of special to co opt these amenities just for convenience or laziness.  I felt like I was requesting SS service when I first started using the guys who push the wheelchair in the airport, but I have fibromyalgia and arthritis and it became too painful for me.  I felt really SS because the first guy who pushed DH for me in an airport was 86 year old.  I forget which airport it was, but he's a legend there.  He still bicycled hundreds of miles a year, down from the thousands in his 70s. He told great stories and made us comfortable. :)
« Last Edit: October 06, 2012, 01:43:42 PM by Midnight Kitty »
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