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Apologies all around

There's been a rash of news stories about people asking for apologies, people offering apologies, people saying apologies aren't enough. What is it with all the apologizing?



Someone - maybe you or Dave Reynolds - should try to "pitch" the stories to Diversity, Inc. They've been doing more of them over the past year or so. The first two stories - based in the U.S. - might be something they'd run with if someone called their attention to the items.

I've had a continuing issue with my car dealership; they consistently park showroom cars in the handicapped permit spaces, over the curb cuts, etc. I've spoken to managers, I've written, I've called, and every time the response is precisely the same:

Abject apology, shock and ignorance that this practice is occurring, promises that it will be taken care of.

Obviously the first is insincere, the second disingeneous, and the third a lie.

Yesterday I was there picking up parts, and they had hit the inaccessibility jackpot: they had cars parked in every access aisle (not the handicapped spaces, just the striped access aisles) blocking the curbcuts, a car on the sidewalk blocking a curbcut, and a car in the entrance circle blocking a curbcut. There was literally no way to get on to the curb.

Once I got in, I dragged the owner outside with me, and starting giving her chapter and verse about access aisles. She must have apologized five times before I hollered, "DO NOT apologize to me again!"

And she said, "What else can I do? I can't police this!"

It's enough to make you cry. This is what passes for customer service.

The article by Harlan Hahn which has just been posted on Ragged Edge reminds us that employers will try all sorts of things to get rid of disabled employees -- employers in this case being universities. And speaking of universities, as if we needed a reminder that they might not be all that keen about accommodating their disabled -- faculty or students -- Monday's Washington Post brings us the story of the suicidal teen whom Georget Washington University tried to get rid of lest he cause them problems:

The above is a cut-and-paste from your website. I'm writing because Jordan Nott was not suicidal at any time. He never contemplated committing suicide nor formulated a plan to do so. He was disturbed because he was thinking about suicide in a general way, partly in the context of his friend's suicide, but he didn't think about committing suicide himself. You might have said that he had suicidal thoughts, but the comment that he was suicidal was inaccurate.


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