Thursday, February 18, 2010

Is This 2010 Update

We just talked to the hotel manager in NC, he did apologized and saw that the stuff did make mistake, but had the right to be concern. The situation did get out of control and should have known we were quests when Dena walked in with our bags and dinner.

The hotel has already scheduled sensitivity training, but not with us, we offered our services. They of the option of using the everyday training service, or get an experience that people will remember for a lifetime.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Team Work Does Pay Visit To UNCC

Last week we had to travel in between storms for a speaking gig at UNCC. It snowed the night before we left on Wednesday, so there was no telling if we would get the early start as we wanted. Dena and I were on the road by 9 and did make any stops until NC.
About 2 hours into our trip, we saw a Volvo station wagon towing a plywood wonder breadbox. As we past him the back was full of puppets, so one could figure he was a clown. We honked our horn and gave him two thumbs up. The next thing we knew he putted on a clown nose. He could not keep up, so we went on our ways.
About 2 hours from our “hotel” we started to see signs for a big discount store and one sign is for cosmetics, so we decided to stop. I could tell Dena was disappointed with the selection, so we were back on our way. As we past one rest stop Dena sees the wonder bread wagon. To reach him we had to make a mile circle getting on and off at exits. Dena thinks what if he already got back on the road. He did not; he is a puppet master on his way to Martigra from Maine. We made his day catching him 4 hours later.
This engagement was a year in the making from the office of Student With Disability Service to their adviser committee. It sounds as is the student on the committee did most of the legwork. They did multiple fundraisers, even on the day of the presentation they were putting up signs to promote the presentation. They also set up the reception after ward and planned all of public relation before hand.
It just goes to show you what can be accomplished when people work together for a commond goal. I had one moment where one says I’m not the old, am I? The student that did the introduction said she watched King Gimp at the age of 10.
Dena and I what to stay another day to relax, but we had to race the storm him. In the pictures you can see what we had for breakfast. Ah the life of road worries.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What a difference 48 hours makes.

Dena and I reached MD just as the snow started come down. We went to the market to get some food for the next few days. As we were checking out in was in front of Dena holding onto the cart with the food already bagged. Dena was busy paying and did notice.

The security guard at the market made the gesture to offer me help getting out side. I shook my head to say no, they turned my head to point to Dena. Without saying one word the guard knew whom I was with and that I was ok.

This happened 48 hours after the hotel, now who looks like the idiots?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

is this really 2010

I am going to share this story to express my frustration and use this as a learning experience. Trust me, I will see this through the King Gimp way!

I went to University of North Carolina-Charlotte for a keynote speaking engagement. We left early and arrived about 8 hours later. I have not been to the bathroom since we left. Dena dropped me off at the lobby and asked the door man where was the restroom was located. I went into the hotel independently and managed everything on my own. Dena then went to get dinner in the community. I sat in the lobby for few minutes to get my bearings. I moved twice to get out of the way because the lobby was crowded.

The doorman did ask me if he could show me to the bathroom?

I said no.

So I went to the bathroom, when I left the mens room the doorman past me and said, “there you are”!

I replied, “yeah”. This correspondence shows that communication was not a barrier between customer and the Bellman, how is it that this couldn’t be an example to ALL the staff.

An hour later Dena returns and doesn’t look happy.
This is the conversation that took place the moment she drove up to the hotel property.

Security-Are you with the man in the wheelchair?
Dena-you mean Danny? It is strange that you ask me in that term, is everything all right?

Security-What is his story?
Dena-His story…what do you mean?

Security-I mean, what is his disability?
Dena-Danny has Cerebral Palsy-why are you asking me this?

Security-Why doesn’t he have a caretaker with him?
Dena-Do you have a caretaker?

Security-No, but we are not talking about me.
Dena-Why do you think that Danny needs a caretaker? He is fiercely independent and the idea that you feel he needs one is passing judgment. Let me tell you something, Danny is probably more intelligent that you and I put together.

Security-Do you see where we are coming from here?

Security-It looks as if someone just dropped him off and left him, we didn’t know if anyone was coming back and it looked like one of those circumstances that we didn’t know what to do with him.
Dena-I have been gone an hour to get dinner for us how are you to turn this around, you are OFFENDING me, I mean us. I need to speak to your Manager.

Security-It is my job to protect and see things through. We TRIED to communicate. We asked him if he was here with anyone, will anyone be back for him and if he had a care provider and he couldn’t answer to anything.

Security-You are lucky, we were minutes from having him “taken away”.
Dena-Stop speaking with me immediately I am deeply offended and will not speak with you at all.

We entered the lobby and had finished this conversation front and center. The lead Manager in charge, the Security Guard, Dena and I along with 60 + guests that were observing this dual.

They (Manager and Security Guard) said they were concerned. Dena asked were you so concerned that asked Danny if he were o.k. or if he needed anything or needed to call 911. This is what concerned people do, inquire the problem. Dena then asked me, “did anyone approach you to ask you any of these questions?” I said, “NO”! The whole hour no one spoke to me. We challenged their timeline and caught them in a lie. The Security Guard had told Dena I was incapable of corresponding to the questions that they had asked.

I made the statement I am here because the University invited me to be their Keynote Speaker, this event inspires others how to break these typical stereotypes. This can go away if you both come and participate. They both laughed it off.

They called the police; Dena and I were making our way out. The security was pushing people out of my way, as if I would run them over. I kept yelling I could do it myself, by this time I just wanted to explode. But it would just play into their hands. Dena and I are now out side, standing. Four police cars arrive all having attitudes because they felt it really wasn’t a “real problem”. One Officer said, “that you have no legal rights and it’s only a civil matter”. The Manager spoke up and said, “if the events got louder then we can press charges” the Police Officer agreed. Clearly, we couldn’t understand how a hotel had more legal backing over abrupt conversation and would have more protection then discrimination with the disabled. We were told to leave because you are still on ‘hotel property’. When we drove off they remained laughing, as if we were jokes. Let’s see if they are laughing in court.

I do not blame UNCC for any of this, in fact they already pulled out all of the college accounts with this hotel. They also offered to set me up with a local legal advocate, which I am doing. In addition, I will be working with my network of advocates and am weighing out all my options. I want freedom of speech and awareness to bring everyone in the mind set of 2010.