Overly helpful Disney guests or Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity

Staren

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 24, 2017
Ok, can we talk about the Disney guests who insist on being “helpful”. On my most recent trip I had so much fun, but was very nearly hurt multiple times by other guests trying to “help” me without making any attempt to find out if I need or want any help. Some kind of education is sorely needed.

I have no problem with people asking if I need help, but this is getting crazy.

Multiple times on this trip I’ve had people rip a door out of my hand trying to open it for me. I’ve had people come up behind me and try to help push me up a hill when I’m in the middle of pushing my way along. I wear gloves when using my manual chair of course, but I’d like to avoid breaking a finger or ripping skin off my palms thank you. That’s not even getting into the people who want to open queue chains for me when waiting for a CM, or have no idea how access on the busses works but feel the need to jump into the situation when I’m waiting for everyone else to get off the bus.
 
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  • Wubar

    Stop asking about "worth". Totally subjective.
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2017
    Perhaps instead of trying to be helpful during your next trip, they will all be rude, unhelpful, and brusque in manner in any of their interactions with you when they aren't flat out ignoring you. Maybe that will make your next trip more magical?
     

    lorivegas

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 9, 2000
    Perhaps instead of trying to be helpful during your next trip, they will all be rude, unhelpful, and brusque in manner in any of their interactions with you when they aren't flat out ignoring you. Maybe that will make your next trip more magical?
    YOU TOOK THE WORDS RIGHT OUT OF MY MOUTH! Some people just LOVE to complain and not appreciate kindness.
     

    kathyk2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2004
    I agree with the OP It's not that we don't appreciate kindness it's about personal safety. What if someone tries to push your wheelchair and you tip over? A pickpocket could use the excuse of helping a disabled person in order to rob them. My blind friends have told me stories of strangers trying to grab their canes which you are not supposed to do.
     
  • Planogirl

    I feel the nerd in me stirring
    Joined
    Aug 11, 2000
    It's nice to be helpful but people should ask first. Or at least give a warning! I see this as intruding on someone's personal space without at least letting them know. Most people wouldn't like that.
     

    Staren

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 24, 2017
    Thank you to all of you who took my point and was able to make it clearer. It’s not that I don’t appreciate kindness, but kindness without thought is honestly dangerous. When someone trying to help actually makes my day harder or has the real potential to harm me, no the thought does not count.

    If you’re not familiar with someone you think needs help, ask before doing anything. And yes, moving a personal wheelchair without permission is assault.

    And yes, for those wondering, I would actually prefer other guests to ignore me as much as they would other groups. I’m going about my way. I’d rather they go about theirs. If I do actually need help with something there are more than enough CMs to whom I can explain exactly what I need.
     
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    arminnie

    <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2003
    I can stand to transfer to a seat, but I am very wobbly when I let go of one surface to grab onto the next. I know someone is trying to help me when they grab my arm or hand, but it totally throws me off balance.

    Now I may lose my balance on occasion anyway so I try to have my chair positioned so I can fall back into it. It was worse when I still used a rollator.

    Many individuals can use a helping hand. Just not me. A touch can topple me. When I could still pull myself up stairs with a railing my DH would offer his arm if there was no railing. That did NOT work at all as he was not 100% still and rooted in place.

    It’s very kind to offer help - but please offer before you touch. If I thought you needed to wipe your mouth or nose I’d offer you a tissue or napkin. I wouldn’t step up and wipe it for you.

    But a BIG special thanks to all who help with doors. I was waiting for my DH to finish putting the lift back in the van before going in a building. A very nice lady stopped her car and offered to get out and open the door for me. That was so nice of her, but my DH was there about 30 seconds later. It made my day.
     
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    NJlauren

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 6, 2014
    I’m so sorry! While I would never push someone’s wheelchair, this thought would never even cross my mind. I do hold doors for everyone and try to be friendly and helpful in general.

    This is a good reminder that it’s also helpful to ask what can be helpful, and we should not just assume.
     
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  • Staren

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 24, 2017
    @arminnie i have a similar issue with using other people for balance. Another person is actually one of the worst options to help steady you. It took my father years to understand that a railing, wall, or porch post worked much better for me than a hand or arm, and I wasn’t using them because I didn’t want to inconvenience him.

    As far as holding doors goes, my thought is that if someone is coming up to a door and it’s convenient for you to hold it, perfect thank you. However if someone already has a door in their hand, please just assume they’re good or ask.
     

    Betty Rohrer

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2010
    @arminnie i have a similar issue with using other people for balance. Another person is actually one of the worst options to help steady you. It took my father years to understand that a railing, wall, or porch post worked much better for me than a hand or arm, and I wasn’t using them because I didn’t want to inconvenience him.

    As far as holding doors goes, my thought is that if someone is coming up to a door and it’s convenient for you to hold it, perfect thank you. However if someone already has a door in their hand, please just assume they’re good or ask.
    had my at the time nonverbal grandson let the teen who with her mother decided he needed to be caught at bottom of pool slide. he had a lifejacket on and loved going under the water. I was a way back from slide and would grab his jacket as he went by. we were doing this over and over. teen "told" me she was going to catch him cause he was going under the water. I asked her not to but she answered her mother told her she could do it. about third time she grabbed him he bit her bare shoulder, did not break skin but left a good mark, her mom tried to get us kicked out of pool. guard talked with me when I said I had asked her to not grab him and that child was nonverbal guard was fine and told mom to have her child leave him alone. mom was not happy so it is not just wheelchairs
     

    fabfemmeboy

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2014
    It's also pretty infantilizing to assume that anyone who doesn't move as a "typical" person might must need assistance to do things - not just some things, but everything. We learn how to navigate the world around us as safely as we can. We know how our bodies work and how they don't, and we can gauge for ourselves whether something is feasible or not. When someone just grabs a wheelchair and starts pushing - without asking - or jumps in front to try to "help" when boarding a bus if they themselves don't know what they're doing, then it's saying that they - a person who doesn't know what's going on and stumbled in mid-scene - know better than we do what we need.

    My partner is pretty short (5'0"); imagine if, while he was walking up a hill, some taller person just scooped him up and carried him to the top, assuming that it would be "easier" than walking alll the way up on his short little legs. That would be incredibly rude, no matter how good the person's intentions. Now, if the tall person saw him struggling to reach something on a high shelf and said "Could you use a hand with that?", that would be a welcome offer of assistance. For one thing, it would allow my partner to decide for himself whether the offer would help him or not. Asking instead of simply doing puts the disabled/differently-abled person in a position of authority and agency over our own bodies by allowing us to say "Yes, thank you, that would be great!" or "No, I've got it, thanks though."

    No one is saying that no one should ever help, but simply swooping in and doing rather than asking if they will be helpful or counterproductive is really rude. People need to be aware of that.
     

    DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    I've worked with a student who used a wheelchair, that he propelled himself for the most part. I did have to help him up hills - the first time he started to roll back I was just luckily right there behind him, and from that moment on, I had my hands on his chair when he went uphill.

    So if I saw a person self-propelling in a wheelchair at WDW, and that person started to roll back down a hill, I'd step in to stop that person from rolling into someone else, etc. I would hope that person in the wheelchair wouldn't get all bent out of shape about it. But I agree that it is not appropriate to touch a person or their wheelchair when they are making safe forward progress, no matter how hard they are straining. I'd get in front and make eye contact and ask if they'd like some help if they look like they are straining (if they appear to be alone too - I'd hope someone in the group would help if needed first) and I hope that wouldn't be taken the wrong way either. But no touching without asking! That goes for all people, regardless of abilities.
     

    Staren

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 24, 2017
    I'd get in front and make eye contact
    Please be very careful and aware if you’re going to do this. Momentum is a constant issue with manual chairs. What users are really looking for in a wheelchair is called “glide”, the amount of forward movement you get for each push. Small quick pushes, only getting one turn of the wheels for each push takes much more effort. While most experienced manual wheelchair users can stop quite quickly, we prefer not to. If someone I don’t know looks like they are going to step in front of me, I immediately swerve to go around them. Especially if I’m on a hill and stopping or slowing down is going to kill built up momentum.
     
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    DazzleT

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2018
    I once read a rant about how young folks don’t help anymore and the example was an older woman struggling to move from wheel chair to regular chair. I was like, no way I am going to do that. I have not been trained in patient transport and I know how easily those things can go wrong. I also wouldn’t interrupt her to ask because I also know that could throw her off.

    But I think there are people who are trying to help but just don’t know they are making it worse.
     

    DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    Please be very careful and aware if you’re going to do this. Momentum is a constant issue with manual chairs. What users are really looking for in a wheelchair is called “glide”, the amount of forward movement you get for each push. Small quick pushes, only getting one turn of the wheels for each push takes much more effort. While most experienced manual wheelchair users can stop quite quickly, we prefer not to. If someone I don’t know looks like they are going to step in front of me, I immediately swerve to go around them. Especially if I’m on a hill and stopping or slowing down is going to kill built up momentum.
    Well, if you were going so fast you had to swerve, then I'd not be asking you if you needed help now, would I? ;) But I get the point you are trying to make. As I stated before, I've worked with a student in a wheelchair, so I know better than to step in front of a moving wheelchair. A simple walk up beside and a bit ahead, in the same direction the chair is moving, would be easy enough to do, don't you think?
     

    gap2368

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2015
    was just at my local CVS store in the vitamin aisle where an older man in an ECV ( the one from the store) was looking about 10-15 feet from me this lady walks up and ask if he needed help he said no, this when on for about 5 minutes ( I did not really hear what she first said but after about 5 minutes I did. I finally looked at the lady and said what part of I do not need help do you not understand. she walked away then and I said well at least she asked if you needed help, he laughed and said well she was handing me random things asking if this was what I want, he thanked me for getting her away from him and we both went out ways.
     


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