Re: Stand-up - long and rant

Subject: Re: Stand-up - long and rant
From: Sean Hower <hokumhome -at- freehomepage -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2002 09:36:09 -0800 (PST)

A couple of things about this discussion:

1: Has anyone thought that maybe the ad was a simple mistake, written by someone who had a ton of projects to finish, so they just threw together the first things that came to mind? (Because that "never" happens.) People are all to quick to find discrimination where there may not be any. I'm _NOT_ saying that discrimination doesn't exist, so don't even try to flame me on that. But at the same time, what people perceive as discrimination could be insensitivity or just a brain fart.

2: Has anyone thought that the ad may have been written the way it was because they were looking for someone who would raise the issue? In other words, maybe they were hoping to find someone who couldn't stand that would apply for the job and make a point of the requirement being ridiculous. That could be the sign of a go-getter, who's willing to take risks and stand up for themselves. It would be a sign of someone who is secure with themselves. That's the kind of person a company usually wants. (okay, so maybe this isn't all that likely, but it is possible.)

3: Just out of curiosity, how many people on this list are permanently disabled and can't stand at all? I'm not asking about people who broke their leg or needed some sort of surgery. I'm asking about people who are permanently in need of some aid for their movement. I'll take their opinions and feelings over an "abled" person's any day. Why? Because people are all too willing to jump on the band wagon for just about any cause without really knowing the issues at stake. They base their opinions on a news report on TV or an article they read in the news paper, and they get all fired up without really thinking about the issue because it offends their own rigid perception of the world. (example follows) I have an autistic step daughter. My wife told me a story about an encounter she had with a man. The man was completely offended and worked up into a rage about how the movie Rainman belittled and made light of autism. He dispised the movie so thoroughly because it was insensitive to the special needs of autistics. The man new nothing about autism. He had never met anyone with autism. He had never met anyone who had an autistic child (until he had met my wife). And yet, he was banging the discrimination drum as loud as can be. Of course, my wife set him straight. Most people in autistism world love that movie because it does what most movies and shows about people with disabilities don't do. It shows the reality of the situation. It doesn't sugar coat it with the typical notion that autistics may have a disability, but they have other "magical" powers that make them special and make their lives wonderful. (feel the sarcasm) It does, however, use humor to lighten the mood a little. Humor=good, especially when you're in a situation as difficult as having a permanent mental disability. The thing that bugs me the most about this kind of situation is that the "abled" persons take on the attitude that they know what's best for the "disabled" person, which is the worst kind of discrimination because you're assuming the "disabled" person is a moron and can't defend himself or herself on their own.

4: I agree with Andrew's post about can't and won't. Maybe the employers had a series of "abled" people refuse to stand during a presentation. Maybe they got sick of the overly-sensitive types who are equally morally outraged by words like train and work. Do we know that this isn't the case? I don't care if someone has a disability or not. I would just be worried about whether or not the person can do the job I need them to do. If that means they have to stand, then that is part of the requirement. I'd be worried about whether or not a person would be willing to do the job even more. People are lazy. People try to get out of doing as much work as possible, and usually end up working harder to avoid the job they're supposed to be doing. (I've seen this happen way too often). I'd be worried about whether the person was nice or a complete jerk, regardless of any "disability."

5: Has anyone really thought about the bigger picture and placed the the issue in context without blowing it of proportion. The fact that you're assuming the job requirement automatically disqualifies a person who can't stand is loaded with prejudice and assumptions about the job and the company. Isn't that just as bad as disqualifying a person from work becasue they have a disability? In both cases, people are over-generalizing and reacting to a situation for which they don't have all of the facts.

6: There really isn't a number six, it just makes everything look all even..... Okay, I'm ready for the flames now. I'm sure I've offended at least 100 or so people with my "insensitivity" on these issues. Because, obviously if I am not a complete liberal then I'm a complete conservative. After all, the world only exists in black-and-white. Right? <sarcasm...lots of it too>

Sean Hower

technical writer

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