Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Witching To Ease the Pain

One year, the well on our farm dried up. My dad decided to call in a dowser.

I remember following this man with his forked stick as he walked in ever-increasing circles around our house, divining for water. I was amazed that the twitching of his stick indicated where to find an underground river that kept the house well-supplied with water.

I sometimes feel like I'm a modern-day dowser - not for water but for spotting people who are in pain, especially when they're at work.

Today, I was in a large Canadian-owned store and was surprised to see that the cashier had a stool. I remarked how progressive it was that she was allowed to sit at the till. She quietly confided that it wasn't without a fight. Apparently, her manager is not in agreement with this; but thanks to a note from a surgeon, she was the only cashier who was allowed a stool.

Standing in one position is very hard - not only for the feet, but the knees, hips and back. It is far easier to move or walk than to remain stationary, especially if you have mobility issues.

There is a movement afoot (pun slightly intended!) to increase inclusivity of people with disabilities. However, there is still a perception that cashiers must stand to do their work. I find this out-dated and restrictive.

This past year, a number of news anchors have had their chairs removed. I don't see why they need to stand in order to deliver the news? 

How many people suffer by having to stand in place for hours during their work shift? This takes a toll on the body - it creates stress and pain. It also exacerbates the situation.

What is your opinion? Have you had a similar experience?

For the curious, here is more information on dowsing.

Image courtesy of Michal Zacharzewski.

3 comments:

  1. You have hit a sore spot Marianna. As you probably know, both my hip joints have been replaced and revised. While I can move around for short spells and even go for long walks where the momentum carries me without too much stress, if I have to stand around, it is extremely uncomfortable. Because of this condition, I have had to decline invitations to lecture students in a few local institutions of management, despite my keenness to teach and the joy I derive from that. Unfortunately, I am yet to find an auditorium where I can teach with frequent sitting down after bursts of visiting the white board or walking along the aisles to interact with the students. When one particularly keen institute's director asked me why I have stopped, he said that he would arrange for a comfortable chair, which turned out to be anything but! Students now visit me at home for shall we say, inspiration!

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  2. Ramana,
    I'm so sorry that you've been denied an opportunity to do something you love and the students have been denied the opportunity to learn from you in a group setting, one which has a different dynamic than one-on-one.

    Obviously, the director needs a little more "education". It can get tiring explaining what one needs and why. If someone doesn't have mobility issues it is often hard for them to comprehend the amount of energy it can take to get through a day.

    I have purchased a high stool which folds flat. It's unfortunate that I have to lug this thing around, but I find that I can perch upon it when I am doing a talk.

    I once had someone give me some "helpful" advice and tell me that I should be standing at the tradeshow because I looked "lazy". Some disabilities are less visible and it becomes easy for people to take a "snapshot" of what they see and make a decision or judgement based upon that moment in time.

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  3. I find standing in the kitchen for long hours very tiring. I like to get out of there as early as possible...

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