Ok so I haven’t blogged in like a hundred years. I’ve been off having a life, sorry. Looking back I think there was stuff that happened that was worth blogging about but none of it is particularly relevant anymore. I’ll just start afresh shall I? With a bit of luck, regular blogging should resume. Not that I was ever particularly good at it anyway. Moving on...
Firstly, I just want to offer a public apology to Luke
for not sending his CDs yet. I made him some ages ago and they’ve been sitting on my desk. The bright side is I’ve been discovering new bands and adding to the collection. But sorry mate, I’m a slack tart!
The other thing that I think might be slightly blog-worthy right now is the letter I received from the Equal Opportunity Commission last week. They wrote to let me know that the complaint I’d lodged against a music venue over 12 months ago has been “successful”. Meaning that they now have a crip toilet, and some portable ramps that they’ll put down to let you in. No word on my strong suggestion that the security staff have some equality training. Imagine that!
I’m glad something
has happened at least. It was a pretty nasty process. The incident itself involved arguing on the street with several security guards for half an hour about their responsibilities under the DDA, having to sit on the floor and crawl under the merch desk to prevent being trampled while my friends carried my chair down some steps, enduring nasty looks from venue staff all night, and not even being able to have a drink because there was no accessible toilet. And yes, prior to purchasing tickets to the gig, I did
call to ask about access and was told by a senior staff member that the venue was fully wheelchair accessible. What, did he think I wasn’t actually planning to attend at some point?
Six months later I had to go to the commission for a conciliation meeting. Such a load of crap. When I first got stroppy and lodged the complaint, I was under the understanding that the Equal Opportunity Commission were interested in, you know, equal opportunity. I thought that they would actually represent the person who had been denied equal opportunity. In fact, what they actually do is try and shut you up. If they are on the “side” of either party, it’s certainly not the complainant. I wasn’t allowed to bring anyone to represent me. I could bring one person, but they were not allowed to speak at all during the process. The conciliator started by asking me to explain why I thought I had been discriminated against. Well, as stroppy as I am, it was all a bit much and I ended up crying in front of these horrible bullies. I recall blubbering something about them being mean to me, among other things. Yeah, way to assert your rights Stell!
So now they have some folding ramps (that would be useless if you had to exit in an emergency) and some handrails in a spacious toilet. Big friggin deal. Unfortunately I think the major lessons from this process have been learnt by me, rather than them:
- Our DDA isn’t worth the paper it’s written on
- If you’re going to push it to conciliation, make sure you invest in water-proof mascara