Monday, 12 October 2009

Complaining, again

I don't want to go into too many details here just yet but I have to make formal complaints again about access issues. I actually verbally raised said issue at the time it happened tonight and have never had such a bad response. Or at least not in a long time. Given how often I make complaints about access issues I think it's safe to say I can't remember every single one from over the years.

It makes me so angry. In fact I was so angry when I was talking to the person it triggered my clonus (muscle spasms where in my case my legs shake uncontrollably - it happens randomly but certain things such as emotion trigger it frequently for me). Even though I pointed out the legality of the situation (i.e. definite DDA breach = illegal) they seemed to think it was a small no big deal thing.

I've been writing letters and have a multilayer strategy planned for dealing with this (this being not the first time this issue has been raised with them).

But I was wondering, what do you think about complaining? Do you complain or do you let things go and moan in private? Who do you complain to and how do you complain? What do you complain about? How high up the food chain do you go before giving it up as a bad job?

I'm really curious about these things as I seem to complain a lot - a lot of other people would give up on things or let them go then I would. And I know at least one friend who was brought up to believe that complaining was a bad thing and you shouldn't do it.

Maybe I'm more weird than I realised.

As for this complaint - it's going all the way if it has to because I'm fed up on this issue in particularly keep cropping up every so often. There's also absolutely no way they can argue out of it as well. And also because of the various access issues of late (there have been many of them) it's the one I CAN deal with.


Diane J Standiford said...

Ah, I too am labeled a complainer. 18 years since working for city of Seattle, I have complained, but I never WANTED to! I use a 1 2 3 rule. 1. I ask nicely 2. I tell forcefully 3. I go to the higher level of person in charge and if that yields no positive outcome, I take matters into my own hands. I have complained about poor access, no cut out curbs, wrongly designed doors, bad restrooms, too much perfume, too steep ramps, too short time crossing lights, pot holes, being ignored by the MS Society, illegal drug ads, unethical you name it, stupid mayor decisions, stupid mgmnt decisions, my union, my co-workers, diversity groups, gay groups, medical supply stores (I 1 2 3 up to filing a formal complaint with atty gen office and speaking the company president, also spoke to Teva president (MS drug), I don't call this complaining. I am advocating for the correction of wrongs. I have legal dictionaries, the entire ADA in a binder, atty gen on speed dial. Here is how I see it: I am still able to do these things many elderly and disabled can not because THEIR game is to wear one DOWN. I write letters, send emails, go into offices unannonced and WAIT. I have done things I can't even mention. Friends warn me, "Diane, they will get you." No one has "Got me" in 18 years. 23 years now. I am not good at networking, usually go it alone, which is not good. The more behind you the better, but one person can do a lot. Be professional, be prepared (know thy enemy) be personal, be cautious, be undaunted. You must never stop speaking up. If more people did the world would be much better. Stay focused, stay brave, naysayers will thank you one day. I thank you now. (I hope you aren't protesting gay marriage or seal belts, but oh well!)

Diane J Standiford said...

Oh, and remember: EVERYBODY has a boss, EVERYBODY. Find the one(s) who cares.

Anonymous said...

You know that I'm a complainer too. I think us people with a disability face adversity regularly and unless we can honestly say "oh well, doesn't matter" it really is worth complaining about. One thing that sometime prevents me taking things further is the mental health impact of banging my head against the proverbial wall..

OhWheely . . said...

There are some days when I let things go and some days when I definitely won't. Also it depends on the severity of the inconvenience (no access versus ramped goods entrance)and how much I want to do it (do I mind if I can't get into parents evening? - not always). Some times I will just complain locally and sometimes take it to the top. If you have the will and the energy then go for it.


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