'What have you done?"... how to respond?

bowiefan Community member Posts: 1 Listener
edited January 2019 in Everyday life
I need some help please. I have a disability which means I have to use 2 crutches to walk with.(Farley new 4 years and i'm 52) i work part time in a customer facing role. I get asked at least once a day "what have you done" or "should you be working?" . I find that it becomes upsetting depending on what kind of day I have had with my pain level's etc. If I respond saying It's personal people become offended. If I respond with I'm Disabled people become offended!!!. Why is it not offensive that they have asked me? How can I respond as to not offend the person who is offending me? They then try to justify themselves by saying I was just being kind. How is it kind to ask a disabled person what have you done?. I need a one line response to hopefully not offend and still keep my own spirits up. Any suggestions please xx


  • steve51
    steve51 Community member Posts: 7,147 Championing
    Hi @bowiefan

    Welcome to our online community /family ?

    I am very very sorry to hear about your current situation.

    Yes justifying being "Disabled" is becoming more difficult by the day  

    I think that the  "old addidge"
    off  "Bitting your Lip"  would come in very handy.

  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,790 Championing
    Hi @bowiefan, and a warm welcome to the community! Great to have you here.

    Sorry to hear about your experiences. I'm sure many of our community members will be able to relate and share their thoughts: I've certainly experienced this myself! Look forward to hearing what others have to say too.

  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Community member Posts: 6,377 Championing
    Hello @bowiefan Pleased to meet you.

    I get this all the time when going out. Have physical deformity of the hands.

    People are curious, nosey want to know. So I do not tell them.  People are offended then they have the issues and problems not you.

    Once went to a disabled support group and the volunteers running the group. One wanted to know. Would you believe. So I added well ever body has imperfections things they do not want reminding of.

    I could point out things about you but I will not , because I am a gentleman. Something I do occasionally use.

    I went on a course a few years ago. Communication and the skills needed. Very informative and useful to counteract this sort of issues.

    Problem is this country every one has a opinion and view treats us differently.

    Understand to use tact and diplomatic I do and just avoid the question.

    Hate ever more when and if I ever had to be patronised and certain other demeanours and attitude.  By others who point you out and make jest and make references.

    All I can say you have friends here so . We as a community are here to support you.


  • Richard_Scope
    Richard_Scope Posts: 3,638 Scope online community team
    Tell them it's an injury from your old job as a stunt double!
  • JCC
    JCC Community member Posts: 38 Contributor
    Hello and welcome.   I am sorry that some people seem to leave their empathy behind on occasions.  My daughter is in a similar position and has experienced the same type of thoughtless behaviour.  It is as a previous member suggested becoming more difficult to have any form of disability or difficulty nowadays.  
    Your employers should be proud that you are doing your best and it is not for others to comment.  That said, people do. Just give them a big smile and say I like the company and keeping busy.    You are not alone and we are here. Xx
  • wilko
    wilko Community member Posts: 2,458 Championing
    For me personally I tell them the truth, I look well not my age but as a sufferer of MS and use a Mobility Scooter people have asked what my disability is. On telling them it’s o I am sorry my friends dad has MS  and the conversation is moved on by them not me. I am not embarrassed by my disability I am not after symphony just acceptance as any body else dose except I have mobility issues. It may be the people in the area where you live or work.
  • DavidJ
    DavidJ Community member Posts: 55 Empowering
    It’s a tough one is this !! Your damned if you tell them and your damned if you don’t !
    Let me tell you that I was very fit and active . Spent a long time in the forces so you may not quite get my sense of humour . After my accident I began struggling with walking and some days I couldn’t . So I got an EPV and a mobility vehicle . 
    Now I am so thick skinned it doesn’t bother me but it appears to bother the “ables” as I call them . I never tell anyone what is wrong because it’s not their business .
    This is what I did .
    I returned to work and put a sign on my desk ,which read 
    Its a bit if reverse sarcasm ! There are others I did but can’t remember them all 
  • Free2fly
    Free2fly Community member Posts: 5 Listener
    haha very good David! ..i would quickly turn the questioning around by asking them what 'they have'   following up with everybody has something..'do you work'?
    .hmm .. maybe you shouldn't be.
  • Notquitetigger
    Notquitetigger Community member Posts: 6 Connected
    Im on sticks too. I tell folk it's an ingrown toenail. It's great watching them trying to u derstand. 
  • Free2fly
    Free2fly Community member Posts: 5 Listener
    hahaha...........That's a funny response thank you not quite Tigger lOL
  • axwy62
    axwy62 Community member Posts: 142 Empowering
    Totally agree that something funny or completely off the wall is one way to respond. Not likely to go down well in a retail environment, but you could be equally rude back and ask what's wrong with their manners.

    My son frequently has the same issue and also works in retail. He uses crutches so often gets asked what he's done. He used to tell them whatever popped into his head at the time, football injury or whatever, but now just says 'it's genetic' and leaves it at that. 

    Funnily enough, he rarely gets asked when we're out together. I think most people would assume that we're mother and son because of the age difference, so they tend to look from the wheelchair to the crutches and decide they don't really want to know.