Mobilize March -- Travel Blog

Day 15 — Stuck in the middle with you

Well, this one is gonna be the epitome of short! I got busy relaxing and playing some guitar and almost forgot where I was! Then just as I was about to make a little blog post I got into a heated discussion about accessible transit solutions with Sam and BAM, it was 1am.

So today was a day of work, but rather than accessible transportation, today I was slaving over my thesis. The writing is basically all done, I’m just putting the final touches on it and doing a ridiculous load of layout/format work. Whoever said the hardest part about doing an MA thesis is the writing is a liar and a thief…the worst and most tedious part is definitely the formatting.

Today also signified the end of freeloading at my dad’s condo–back to the hotel life for us. We checked into our new hotel, a Radisson, and man-oh-man are these some nice rooms! We’re just a bit north of downtown, but the rooms are really big and very classy (not to mention, at a very nice discounted rate). In honour of good work habits (and lets be honest, a bit of a reward), Pete and I headed out for some well earned Subway sandwiches for dinner. Luckily, not only is this hotel extremely nice and quite affordable, it’s also the mecca of all things tasty, being surrounded by basically every restaurant I could ever want–Tim Hortans, Wendys, Harveys, Subway, Basic Grocery Store, Red Lobster, and two British Pubs…side by side…I wonder if they have soccer brawls…

Anyway, as we’re walking into the Subway, Pete spots a sticker on their door that reads something along the lines “If you need special assistance, just ask for help” with a little handicapped logo. I’ve never quite seen anything like it, but I was curious to know where they got it–was it a part of a training program? A guild? Who knows. Anyway, after ordering our traditional subs (why rock the boat? been doin’ enough of that already!), while watching our server construct some god-like sandwiches, another employee came out from the back room and gave me a nice big stare. Then, hilariously, she bends down and looks at me through the glass and in a tone that was likely far more confrontational than she ever intended, she barks out “You want something?!” Now let me clarify; generally, this would be the type of thing a restaurant, or any service industry worker, may ask a customer…albeit not the most polite, it definitely gets the point across. However, the intonation and the glare she gave me when saying it lead me to believe that rather than offering to provide me with excellent service, she thought I may want a piece of her and was subsequently challenging me to a knife fight. Terrified and concerned she may be concealing a sandwich knife, I begin stammering “I’m with him” and pointing at Pete, who I’m pretty sure was trying to hold back his laughter. I’m not sure what was funnier: the way she asked me if I wanted anything or the fact that I was so surprised I basically crapped my pants.

Anyway, tomorrow is a big day of phone calls, networking, and a presentation to the TTC’s ACAT group who are asking the public for recommendations on how to make the Wheeltrans service better. (insert snarky comment here)

Well, my eyes are drooping and my sleep number bed is calling, my number is Softness x 1000, so I should probably wander off to bed. More to come, as if I hadn’t done enough already.

Knife-fightingly yours,

– Jeff

By Jeffrey Preston

Born with a rare neuromuscular myopathy, Jeff has spent his life dedicated to advocating for himself and others with disabilities. With a PhD in Media Studies from Western University, Jeff's research focuses on the representation of disability in popular and digital culture. Jeff is currently an Assistant Professor of Disability Studies at King's University College @ Western University in London, ON.