Agree to Disagree

Earlier this week I ran across a news article on Facebook about a man in North Carolina who has Down syndrome. According to the article, this individual was fired from his job at Wendy’s after 20 years. The reason given is that he did not have the ability to perform the duties of his position. So, why was he employed for 20 years?

Reading some of the comments on Facebook of this particular news story were nauseating. For instance, there was an individual who wrote:

Well, that sucks.

I totally understand both sides and I’m not entirely sure where I fall on the question of the disabled in the workplace.

It is a pain in the you know what to have to figure out what to do with a handicapped person on your shift. They can’t do everything that you ask of them but you can’t say that either because that’s deemed wrong and in some cases illegal so you have to beat around the bush with nonsense tasks and you still have to cover the work that isn’t getting done because dude is gimped out. They blow hole in your budget because they might work 8hrs but only get 4-5 hours of work done. I will say this though once you get them dialed in on a routine they don’t forget anything and I ain’t ever seen em slacking off either. So there is that…

Then there’s the altruistic side me that says everyone deserves an opportunity.

My views on the handicapped are incredibly unpopular and have been labeled extreme on several occasions. I’m a fan of aborting these folks in utero like what Greeland or Iceland has been doing for decades now. They don’t have to negotiate all these social conundrums they just pull the plug and start anew. I look at quadriplegic folks or the folks layer up in a bed for 60yrs. and I got to think that that’s just an awful thing to do to someone. I know I have expressed my wishes to my lived one’s incase I end up gorped.

I responded with the following:

Your views are not just extreme. They are idiotic. I am a disabled person who works full time. I am also married and have a family. I have a right to exist just as much as you.

This person simply replied:

Agree to disagree…

I was actually dumbfounded. Do I not have a right to exist because I am different? I am contributing to society. However, if an individual is not able to be a productive member of their community, should we just cast them aside? It is frightening to think that there are people in the world who still think like this. It is this line of thinking that led to the Holocaust.

5 thoughts on “Agree to Disagree

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  1. Hi… I just came across your blog and really enjoyed reading about your life story which has many parallels with mine. I got polio as a 4 year old which severely paralyzed my legs, and so I joined the lifelong mighty crippled nation too! I am also married, with 2 kids and a couple of grandkids, live in Illinois and am a Cubs fan! If you are interested, drop me an email and we can compare notes. You are an excellent writer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been very fortunate that my handicap was just mild enough to permit me to be very mobile (I’ve used crutches to walk with just one severely paralyzed leg from the polio rather than both). As I have almost no memories from my life before polio, I don’t have any sense of “loss”, only “never had”. And grieving over what you never had seems pretty pointless, right?

    With regard to your correspondent’s letter, I think the issues of aborting a fetus with severe disabilities *e.g., Downs) for me is not as black and white maybe as it seems to be for you. I’m not even sure what exactly he was “agreeing to disagree with” in what you wrote. And anyway these discussions never convince one side they are simply wrong… it’s too complex.

    Fortunately I was given a good brain to allow me have a good career (sans physical labor), and had the kind of personality as both a kid and adult that can pretty easily tolerate difficulty with patience. And my parents were able to raise me, and whatever problems there were that i created for my parents, they shielded me from those until later in life.

    In the abortion debate, what bothers me is that some people are absolutists about abortion (usually religious) but are not equal absolutionists (far from it, often) about societty equally committing to providing enough money to people to be able to raise that baby in a reasonably nurturing environment.

    In my case, my parents, who were lower middle class and raising my 2 older brothers, were still able to accommodate me back in our house. In many cases back in the ’50s, kids like me ended up in “Homes for Crippled Children” which accounts indicate were often quite ghastly environments. I know charities are trying to help financially but I’m not sure how much or how successfully.

    Back to your correspondent, I can’t say how I would have felt if I were in an iron lung my whole life from the polio though… probably less chipper, but I don’t know how much. It’s a life, im sure, but I do feel adults with disabilities should be able at some point to make the decision to get off the train.

    Wow. I found this blog on the web because it was supposed to be about the humor about disability. I apologize for this note. I actually have some funny stories about being a cripple. (I totally approve of that term, by the way, which also.attracted me here.) Including one about Aunt Elsie totally reaming out a cab driver when I was 5. We were going to see “Bambi” at a movie theater, and the driver talked on his car radio to the dispatcher about having picked up “a woman and a crippled boy”. I never before heard Aunt Elsie use such language and turn those particular colors. The driver was positively cowering.


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