Snohomish County Career Fair - September 10
The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Gas stations


It can hurt to ask for help at pump

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In response to the letter, “It can’t hurt to ask for help at pump,” about the disabled needing assistance, let me give you a tip:
I am legally disabled, display the blue handicapped sign on the car, and have asked many times for help after struggling to:
(1) Get out of the car (2) take my purse (3) walk inside (4) wait for someone to acknowledge me (5) present my need. Only to be told:
(1) Could I come back later between the hours of such and such when there are more people on duty. (2) Told they will help me when they can, but they are busy. (3) Being given the loud sighs and the person I am speaking to calling someone over reluctantly to deal with me. I could go on and on.
What I can tell you is:
By the time I have been assisted I am mortified, late, feel so badly I return home instead of proceeding on. Or I have gotten an attitude and expressed my feelings about their attitude, which exhausts me.
Don’t tell me “just to ask.” Don’t dismiss my legitimate need. Since 1972 I have struggled with this obscene treatment. I get a family member to pump my gas if a all possible. I don’t look that handicapped. I am not that old. However, my arm was almost completely severed by a drunk driver years ago, so it is painful and hard for me to use the pumps. I have had a brain aneurism so there is a bit of paralysis. I have severe spine pain, again thanks to the drunk driver in 1972. Sadly, the kind of injuries you receive from such trauma don’t get better as you age. They get worse, but sometimes cannot be seen. Should I have to explain that sad story every time I want gas in my car?
I am no slacker. I have a doctorate, worked as a professional for 40 years, raised a family, serve in my community.
The answer if not in my continuing to humiliate, anger, frustrate, sadden myself just for a tank of gas.
The answer is for smart gas stations to hire young people at minimum wage, have them respond pleasantly, wash my windows, and pump my gas. I would love to then give them a tip.
Patricia Therrell
Snohomish

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