Well ahead of schedule BC’s stroller was ready for us to pick up today. YAY!
We decided we might as well go and get it straight away as we WEIRDLY didn’t have anything else on this afternoon.
The lady I spoke with told me we could drive into the hospital car park as there’s a little parking bay for collecting equipment and the first 20 minutes is free.
When we arrived, BC wanted to walk in. I was a little worried about our 20 minute limit, but figured that we still wouldn’t be long and the walk wasn’t far anyway.
The lady was waiting for us, she helped adjust the chair and told me quickly (rather than showing me) how to fold it as BC decided he’d rather sit in the chair back to the car instead of walking.
The stroller is great. It’s easy to push and is comfortable. BC was very impressed.
We had a very brief discussion about the stroller, and about the process for getting a different stroller, or wheelchair that he can push himself, in the future. It sounds like the process of changing over in the future will be easy. Great.
It was so refreshing for everything to be so easy and well organised. Fantastic.
When we got to the car, it turns out that I hadn’t paid very good attention to how to fold the stroller.Not the first time a piece of equipment and a simple set of instructions has bamboozled me.
So, it took a while.
This meant, when we drove around the corner to leave the car park, we’d been there for 24 minutes.
That’s 4 minutes over the ‘free’ time limit allocation.
And they wanted me to pay $5.00.
I explained that I was only over time because I couldn’t fold a piece of equipment that I was here to pick up. The attendants were so close to where I had parked, I was surprised they hadn’t been watching me do battle with it (or heard me. I am a potty mouth when I get frustrated).
They said it didn’t matter. They said they couldn’t ‘override the system’ and asked me to pay.
It wasn’t about the $5.00. It was because I felt a little common sense should have prevailed.
I would be happy to pay IF we’d gone to the onsite McDonalds after getting the chair (and no, I am not joking. We really do have a McDonalds in our city Children’s hospital). Or if we’d been late because I’d had to take BC off to the toilet. Even if we’d been really over the time limit because it all taken a lot longer than anticipated.
But everything had gone so smoothly up until the car. And it was only FOUR minutes.
It just didn’t seem to make much sense to me. And I really hate it when anyone turns to the mighty power of the ‘system’ that a mere mortal has apparently no control over.
They rang their supervisor who told them if I wanted to get a waiver from paying I had to drive up to the main building, park the car, take the kids out, find her office, fill in a form and ask for the $5.00 to be waived. It was already 3.30pm. If we left right then, we might miss the worst of the peak hour traffic. But not if we had to do that.
I spoke to the supervisor and laid down my case. Finally, she agreed I could leave my driver’s licence details and a phone number with the attendants and the manager could call me later. That sounded fairly reasonable to me.
I still haven’t heard from him. I am half expecting not to but also half expecting a bill for $5.00 in the mail (or maybe more – administration fees?).
So now. Home. Not stressed by a stroller that I couldn’t fold. Not facing the prospect of peak hour traffic. And realising that $5.00 really isn’t that much money after all. I feel a little silly. I think it’s very possible that I could have been in the wrong.
After all, they were just attendants. Maybe the ‘system’ would have docked their pay if $5.00 was missing. And I was after all, over the limit.
So. I need you to be honest with me. Did I overreact?