I stopped enjoying sob stories along time ago. Someone on the news or one of the many social media outlets had a “disability” to signal to bystanders. I wish they would try to do something else in their lives for meaning besides milking people for sympathy. It actually hurts people with actual disabilities or at least the people that need an actual hand in life. This reminds me…
I was at a closeout store in a nearby town. I occasionally go in their looking for odd tools or home repair crap for a scratch/dent price. It usually isn’t the most interesting place to people watch. It isn’t exciting enough to have the “People of Walmart” level of entertainment. I had a cool experience that trumped my best experiences in a Walmart or Piggly Wiggly.
40 degree weather came at the right time. I enjoyed that fall. Chopping wood and prepping the house for the winter season pushed me to the closeout store again. I didn’t lollygag but I enjoyed looking at the tools section. I was looking for a specific type of clamp for a small project. I sure as hell didn’t find it.
I had walked around aisles and drew a blank. A man politely mentioned to me that things were a little bare lately. I agreed and we both had a laugh. I asked him if he knew when the truck was coming in and he didn’t know either. I saw him fumbling around in a basin of a brackets. He seemed to spin them around in that box in lazy figure eights.
I stopped to see why he kept making strange noises in that box. It was easy to notice that he couldn’t pick up two brackets at the same time to compare them. Without trying to mind his business, I noticed what looked like bandages covering his hands. (Part of the bandages were spotted with blood). He looked at me and stopped me verbally.
He asked me the following: Would you mind giving me a hand here? I smiled and said yes. He had mentioned that he just had surgery a week ago. Not only did he have injured hands which couldn’t hold anything, he didn’t have hands at all. That dude was one interesting guy. Well read and a crafty bastard. Built his own survival shelter out in the sticks. Dug his own holes to put in his building, set up winches, and operated heavy equipment. He was able to finagle a tubing bender to put together a wiring project.
This was during his issues with nerve issues and a condition he had since he was a kid. He wasn’t upset at all. He was thankful to live another day and seemed to like life. He didn’t feel sorry for himself. He didn’t act like a “sorry cripple”. He didn’t identify as some affronted class. He didn’t signal that he was missing his hands. The only accommodation he asked for was the bare minimum of assistance.
He was a lesson for the rest of you. Quit feeling sorry for yourselves. Stop signaling and attempting to milk people for sympathy. Get on with your lives and call me when they get in a new shipment of brackets.