We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
-Thomas Jefferson

Our founding father had the right idea, on paper anyway. I think he forgot a few things, most of which I’ll save for another time; I think mister Jefferson forgot the disabled community. Yes, the disabled community has the most rights protecting us, the world seems to forget that we too are afforded the same basic unalienable rights as our able-bodied counterparts. Such basic rights include: having a job.

I work part-time at a local higher end department store. I am at least the local branch’s if not the entire corporation’s first disabled associate. Luckily, the management and my co-workers are nice and very accommodating, which initially I wasn’t expecting. It’s the customers that can be a bit narrow-minded.  Out of my two shifts a week, I can guarantee at least one customer will make some sort of microaggression toward me during at least one of my shifts. If you don’t know what a microaggression is it is defined as:

mi·cro·ag·gres·sion – a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority.

Typically these sentiments are just verbal usually along the lines of:

A) “You work here, WOW that’s so great!”

or

B) “Oh, you work here I assumed you were a customer.”

But in the instance today I was making my rounds on the sales floor when I spotted a man presumably late 40’s/ early 50’s and his wife. They looked a bit confused so I stopped and asked for help; the man declined my offer then proceeded to clasp my hand in between both of his and say: “God Bless you.”. Not knowing what to say I quickly thanked him and went about my business. I appreciate the gesture but at the same time find it terribly awkward because I’m willing to bet that, that man wouldn’t have done that to my able-bodied co-workers purely for doing their job.

I don’t understand why people think it’s so great that I, a wheelchair user but otherwise average twenty-two-year-old have a job. It’s just a job.