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A few comments about my OT. This is not because I intend to challenge her, and/or find another one as they are rather thin on the ground and I basically want her to do a specific job, like a good member of the staff of Splodge.

Let's call her Qgle, because it's easy to type.

I first met Qgle about two years ago, when I had moved to Big Sister's investment unit while I looked for permanent digs. It was still early days after I broke my bloody leg, and my sister's place was quite hard to negotiate. Qgle was good and professional and arranged for a few handrails and grab bars at the doors. Job done, thankyou.

She's now helping me get a new scooter. And hopefully at some point I'll be able to say "job done, thankyou", and leave it at that.

Don't get me wrong, I totally appreciate and understand that service providers need to see their clients as more than just a jumbled set of needs. Hell, I'm quite militant about that.

But there's a point where it becomes farcical. And patronising. It seems that when we spoke two years ago, Qgle asked and duly noted that I own a lot of books and like my books. And that sometimes I like drawing.

So when Qgle came to see me here, about the scooter application, she sat down in my living room and enthused about the fact that I've bought this place, and then looked at the bookshelf next to her and said "oh and you've got your books here, that's great".

I concured, but wondered why she needed to sound so excited.

Glancing at her notes, she then asked "you like drawing, how's that going?" and glanced around as if to find evidence for progress. I mentioned that it's just a small activity that comes and goes, and I'm fine with that, thanks.

She looked momentarily troubled but backed off.

Next time Qgle visited, with the scooter salesman, we were discussing what I'll be using it for, and she made a comment to the effect of "going to demonstrations - she's a protester!" and there was a ...patronising... exchange between them about needing somewhere to put placards. (Although I had mentioned that I'd been to a couple of protests recently, just in passing, I'd never said anything about placards).


But it's not all about me being patronised by her.

(In other words, no one need ablesplain her behaviour to me, I can ablesplain quite well myself).

I remember back when I was on the other side of the fence, and so keen to be seen to appreciate people that I acted as though perfectly normal things were somehow special and something to make a big deal about. I was blissfully ignorant of the fact that those people were probably seeing me as their equal. In a more powerful position perhaps, but not beyond judgement. And they were, probably, well aware that I was being patronising.

Maybe, one day, if it comes up and the stars are in alignment and all that, I may quietly give her some feedback, but probably not as it takes more effort than I want to give to this problem.

This entry was originally posted at http://splodgenoodles.dreamwidth.org/2352739.html. You may comment here, or there using OpenID if you have no Dreamwidth account.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 30th, 2014 07:48 am (UTC)
Ablesplain, I like that.
Jul. 30th, 2014 08:15 am (UTC)
Thankyou. I'm not sure if I coined it or read it somewhere, but it's a part of my vocabulary now.

It amazes me how much ablesplaining I've been subjected to, given that all the people who've done it to me know that I got to 32 before I landed on this side of the fence.

Which is not to say it's okay for people who've had disabilities since birth, except that many of those people have a longer struggle to identify that problem and to find ways to rebel against it.

And there is of course, that weird thing wherein a person in a privileged position assumes a person in a less privileged position lacks comprehension of the p.o.v. of the privileged, as compared to a reality observed by people studying power and oppression - people who are obliged to serve and are subjected are generally acutely aware of the needs and desires of the powerful and the best means to appease. Or not.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 30th, 2014 12:18 pm (UTC)
I think you win a pony for that one.
Jul. 30th, 2014 10:56 am (UTC)
It seems to be a common denominator among certain kinds of professionals...the patronising stuff I mean. I often wonder if they are actually aware of what they sound like or has it all entered the realm of professional-speak. Do they talk to their kids or family that way?

Jul. 30th, 2014 12:19 pm (UTC)
I don't think I fully realised, when I was on the other side of the fence. I was trying to be empathic, but not really aware of the degree to which you shouldn't ...try, as such.
Jul. 30th, 2014 07:04 pm (UTC)
There's an club locally for people like me who're mentally ill. The last time I volunteered the woman I worked with told me that I was an"good helper". Yech!
Jul. 31st, 2014 09:07 am (UTC)
Oh lordy. :/
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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