Today I went to lunch at a local restaurant chain. I’ve been there a lot. The people who work there are friendly. I’ve never had any complaints with either the food or service there.

Today was different. I asked for a large cup of water. I even paid for it, because the free cups of water are ridiculously small & as hot and thirsty as I was, I would have been up & down from the table a bunch of times going to ask them for more water.

I have MS & one of the most persistent problems of the disease for me is difficulty going from sitting to standing, or vice versa. It’s difficult for me to change position in any way.

When I asked this cashier for the large cup of water, I told her why. I told her that I have MS, but I spelled it out. I said multiple sclerosis instead of MS. I told her I wanted the large cup of water because I was very thirsty & that I was having a lot of problems with my legs & didn’t want to keep getting up.

The normally friendly cashier turned quickly unfriendly & turned away saying something under her breath about lazy people & their excuses. She also whispered something to a manager & pointed at me.

I didn’t say anything to the cashier. Just ate my food & drank my large cup of water. When I’m faced with conflict, I usually don’t do anything about it, but I was thinking many things.

Now it’s over & I’m wondering many things. Why did I even tell the usually friendly cashier about my MS? Was it because I wanted to educate, even in small doses? Was it because she was always friendly?

I wonder why this woman felt the need to judge me. I am not lazy, & I do not use my health as an excuse. I make it a point to avoid situations where people could possibly think I was using my health as an excuse as often as possible.

Then I realized – it doesn’t matter. The way this cashier acted did nothing but reflect poorly on her. She may have her reasons. Maybe something happened that caused her to act out. Things trigger odd reactions in people sometimes.

For me, this was just a bad customer service experience. I won’t complain. I have been on both sides of the counter.

But, people, don’t judge other people. You don’t ever know what’s going on inside someone. Just be nice. Or don’t be mean. Geez.

4 thoughts on “Judgment”

  1. God bless you I have been suffering for over 16 years so tired of apologizing, getting dirty looks when I use my legal handicap parking spaces. If they could only live one day in our bodies, they would understand the suffering of us with diseases that causes chronic pain. I think it is the way of the world today no one cares about those that are not perfect, if it isn’t obvious of what your disease is then they automatically think the worse of us. You think that education would help put people make up their minds about you in the first few seconds of seeing someone. I always just pray that people will be kinder and more compassionate but please don’t stress as she does not know better or doesn’t care to even try to have empathy for others. Stress just makes us worse so don’t let anyone steal your joy from you. I understand!

  2. Good for you Ellie, realizing it doesn’t matter. That was a reflection of their own laziness and had nothing to do with you. Had someone else come in and asked the same thing, I am sure their reaction would not have changed.

    I used to get all bent out of shape about things like that. I felt like those things were hurting me inside my core. Especially when I used my handicap parking tag and then would get out of my car without using my cane on some days.

    I will no longer subject myself to wasting energy on how people that I don’t know feel about me. I’m even starting not to care about how my friends and family think about me because they’re just judging me. I try not to judge myself anymore and I am trying not to judge them.

    I am the only one in this world who will love me unconditionally, the exact way I feel I should be loved. I try to focus on doing everything that makes me feel joyful emotionally and physically. I try to focus on thoughts that makes me feel peaceful. I try to ignore or say to myself “don’t go there” when I start thinking about things that don’t make me feel joyful and that don’t make me feel peaceful.

    Beliefs (where guilt and shame come from), are simply thoughts, thought over and over again until they become a belief. To change our beliefs about ourselves, or about our worth, our about our health, we simply need to think those types of thoughts over and over until they become our beliefs, ignoring the previous thoughts completely.

    Take Care and the Best of Luck in your future, Ellie!!!

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