Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Finding something you didn't know you were looking for
Rhonda called me today to tell me what happened to her at work. It seems that the lady who told Rhonda she doesn't approve of scooters is softening her attitude. She sped up walking so she could open the door for Rhonda AND she smiled back at her. Hopefully this signals a change of heart.
Later, when Rhonda was near the elevator in the parking garage she encountered four casually dressed young men who moved to the side to let her pass. One of them approached and politely inquired about her scooter. It didn't take long to figure out his ulterior motive -- he realized it was just what his granny needs. She has complications from diabetes and struggles to put a wheelchair in and out of her back seat. (If you've ever put a full size wheelchair in or out of a back seat, you'd know WHY she struggles. Those things are heavy and clumsy.) This is obviously a young man who loves his grandmother. He got on the phone with his mom and told her to go to TravelScoot.com immediately.
He asked Rhonda how she gets it in and out of the car, and then asked if he could follow her to her car to watch. After watching her fold it up, he asked if he could try. He practiced unfolding and folding it and said that his granny is pretty strong, and he thinks she can do it. He said he'd just have to clean out her trunk so it'll fit.
Here's the great part. His grandmother is about to retire and have a big birthday and the family has been saving up to buy her something big, but hadn't decided what it will be. He said they didn't have quite enough for a TravelScoot, but he wanted her to have the li-ion battery and was willing to work extra shifts to make more money to contribute.
This young man's family has good reason to be proud of him for being so thoughtful. He and Rhonda were also in the right place at the right time. She was leaving work and he was there with a friend who was paying a speeding ticket.
I'd love to know how this story turns out, but every time I talk to someone who approaches me about my scooter I want to know how the story turns out. I'm sure it happens to you all too, but I've talked to some of the most caring people. Last week Rhonda and I saw a man sitting at the front of Hobby Lobby, and it seemed to me (mostly from the way he was sizing up our TravelScoots) that he was sitting there because walking from the parking lot was about as far as he could go. He struck up a conversation with us and was amazed at how lightweight yet powerful our scooters are. Another man and his friend approached us. It's touching to me how you see a light in their eyes, like they've found something they didn't even know they were looking for. His wife can't really even walk in her home very well, and while she's able to get to work, can't shop or have other fun adventures. He couldn't have been more enthusiastic.
What's hard is hearing someone say they could never get their loved one to use a scooter. I do understand the feeling of stigma, but it's like the first time you go sleeveless in public. Most people really aren't paying as much attention to you as you think, and those who look do it briefly and look away. When I catch someone staring when I'm scooting I give them a big smile and say, "cool, isn't it!"
I know the young man Rhonda talked to today has this blog address, so if you're reading, let us know how things turn out! Either Rhonda or I would be happy to meet you and your family at Target to let you try one of our scoots and to answer questions, or I'd be happy to answer questions by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.