Just me? What do they think is going to happen?!
I don’t answer the door to deliveries often. When I do, what’s with the startled face?! And can they really not wait 3 seconds for me to put the brakes on?
So many questions…
The thing is, I get they’re in a rush – time pressure is ludicrous for deliveries. But I also remember what it’s like answering the door as a standing person. And the package being thrust at me like it’s a bomb, eyes shining with terror before they sprint away, was not a thing.
None of us knows how other people experience the world. The differences can be small, impossible to quantify. It’s best not to mention these things in mixed company, or you get a lot of explaining away – “he’s probably having a bad day” etc. Which gets a bit gaslight-ish.
These small differences add up to a massive difference in how we experience the world, and how we expect to be treated.
A few years ago I had an extreme example. I was pregnant, James was in hospital. I opened the door to the postman, who somehow shoved the envelopes at me with such indecent speed he gave me an immediate papercut.
So I was pregnant, blood dripping down my arm, and of course sitting in the wheelchair. It was so farcical I burst out laughing. I have never seen anyone so desperate to escape in my life.
The real reason that time sticks with me is – my neighbour was pregnant at the same time. I told her my funny story, but she said – “what – Tom*?!! He’s always so helpful!”
And for once I had total clarity – that one person’s friendly-to-pregnant-women postman is someone else’s cannot-run-fast-enough postman.
Seriously – are they worried I’m going to ask them a favour or something? What is the fear about?
– Lucy Catchpole
*not actually Tom.
[Image description: A mirror selfie – my text reads: ‘Dear delivery people – if a wheelchair user answers the door, try not looking terrified? Cheers, Lucy.’ I’m a white wheelchair user, wearing a long skirt & a fetching caramel coloured cotton velvet headband. The mirror’s ancient with peeling paint & a straw hat hooked over it, taking up too much of the frame. (Pretty hat, though.)]