Saturday, 26 January 2008

"It's my fault, I'm really sorry."

Someone made a pretty big mistake today. One that affected me pretty badly.

But then took the time to put there hands up to me and say "Emma, I'm really sorry." and to admit to me that it was their fault. He looked me straight in the eye and went "I spoke to Julie and she told me she'd got you on the train but I just forgot to come help you off." He told me he shouldn't have forgotten and that it wasn't good enough.

By the time I had been to Reading waiting for a train back and gotten to my sleepy little town he'd arranged for a wheelchair accessible taxi to meet me (no mean feat in my sleepy town where they are like gold dust) and it was there waiting. And he'd arranged for it to be paid for by the train company.

I live literally ten minutes walk from the station. I told him it was pointless, no need. But he was insistent that I took the taxi home. He stood there saying "it's my fault" and variations on "sorry sorry sorry" as the driver clamped me down. And he told me that he wished he could do more to make it up to me.

I went "actually, you can. These things happen stop apologising and shut up!"

We laughed and off the taxi went.

I was an hour and a half or so late getting home. And I will complain about that. but more so about the fact that on that train type the "emergency call" buzzers are set in the ceiling and as a wheelchair user I can't reach them when I need them.

I really, really, respect the fact that he had the nerve and the confidence to admit to me. To say that he forgot and that he's sorry. And he meant it too.

I'll tell the train company that.

And I'll tell them about the train manager on the one I got stuck on. I never saw her until after I should have left the train. She got me sorted out and off of the train in Reading. And even though I was then with Gordon (who does journey care there and who I know well) and I was fine she insisted on waiting with me and traveling to my sleepy station with me to be sure I was ok. Her shift was over. I never got her name but hopefully if I tell them the train times etc they will know who it is.

Gordon waiting with me the entire time I was waiting to (they usually go and do other work). He told me it was great to see me but he wished he hadn't. We laughed.

With both of them I insisted I was fine. She could leave me and as long as he came back so could Gordon. They refused and they stayed.

None of that makes what happened today okay.

But it goes a LONG way towards helping.

Particularly the person brave enough to own up to forgetting and to apologise. I'm annoyed but I also have huge respect for him and his honesty. I don't think I could do that.

4 comments:

Kathryn said...

Emma- nice post. Taking personal responsibility for our mistakes as well as our accomplishments is the first step in building a better world. Nice to remember that! Still - sorry you had a long trip home!

Terri said...

I like this and I like the addition of taking responsibility/sincere apology/doing what you can to make things better to the professional's toolbox.

Preventing/not making mistakes is best, but people just mess up sometimes. Handling that, rather than denying it or ignoring really makes a big difference.

Christamae said...

I am glad that you got home safely-a sincere apology goes a long way. It sounds like you have been busy with social events and advocating...Hope this is a good week.


--Christamae

Writings of a Wheelchair Princess said...

[...] don’t think it was as heartfelt as when Chris messed up and then apologised to me a couple of weeks ago BUT at least she didn’t tell me that it wasn’t her job like [...]

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