What would you have done at the time and afterwards?
To mark my wife's birthday we had booked a table for dinner at a top class hotel restaurant.
My wife and I parked in one of the freely available marked disabled spaces a short walk from the main entrance and I duly displayed my blue badge.
The independently owned hotel owner was standing under the entrance canopy. As we left the car and walked towards the entrance he called out to us that the spaces were for disabled parking. I acknowledged this and said that the blue badge was on display.
As we got closer to him he then said “which one of you is disabled?” I replied “you should not be asking that, it is sufficient that we have displayed the badge as required”. He then immediately retorted “neither of you look disabled” and persisted to badger us on this in both contexts. He stood in our way and continued to harass us regarding the nature of the disability. I informed him that he had no right to the private information he was insisting on. I advised him to go and research ‘unseen disability’ and generally, as he appeared to be in total ignorance of the laws that relate to the treatment of the disabled. He continued in the same vein and I subsequently retrieved the blue badge from the car to show him, which was both unnecessary and humiliating.
I believe he is a drinker, and from his manner, I suspect he had been indulging that evening.
The whole experience was quite stressful due to the degree of confrontation. He moved closely into my personal space and was quite intimidating. I had to ask him to step back, which he did not do. Due to the heightened stress, and my condition, I felt unwell for the rest of the evening. I am still quite upset the next day.
We were so affected by the whole affair we decided not to eat there and went elsewhere. Needless to say our special evening was totally ruined, and I honestly don't know if I will be around to celebrate my wife's next birthday.
IMO this man contravened the law relating to the disabled. As a service provider he should be aware of his legal obligation not to harass a disabled person. To paraphrase the law ““Someone is harassing you if you find their behaviour towards you offensive, frightening, degrading, humiliating or in any way distressing”. I repeatedly told him he was hassling us to the point that we had to leave.
The foregoing took place at the entrance foyer of a public area. It was a most humiliating and unpleasant experience.
I feel quite powerless, because the only nearby witness other than my wife was his doorman. He is also prominent member of the establishment, both locally and nationally.
What would you have done under the circumstances?
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