June 30, 2017

Dear UPS:

Dear UPS Driver,

It's early Friday evening, and I know we are both tired.  But in your effort to save yourself some steps, you prevented someone who is unable to take any steps at all from going into a toy store.

I can't imagine that you didn't notice when you reversed in to park, that you were parking in a handicap spot.  Not only did you take up one handicap spot, but you took up TWO handicap parking spots.  Which could also be numbered as all of the handicap parking.

I drive a large van.  It is nearly as large as your truck, so we have that in common, you and I.  Where we differ is my large van is an accessible handicap van with a lift that I use to get my son, who is (and will always be) in a wheelchair in and out of the van.  Our ability to go places depend on those handicap spaces.

I sat and watched your truck for a long time.  I was two aisles away, in a row that would have plenty of space for your truck.  It would have required you to use your dolly and take a couple trips. However, it couldn't work for me because when you parked in all of the handicap spaces you were also blocking the handicap curb cut out.  So even if I didn't mind pushing a wheelchair around the end of the aisles of the parking lot rows to the main shopping center lane and back down around towards the handicap parking spots (because, you see, wheelchairs can't fit through the parked cars of the aisles like walking people can), I still couldn't have been able to get into the store because you were completely blocking the curb cut out for wheelchair access.

Maybe, to you, this is a little thing.  But to a mother of a child with special needs, who just wanted to take her non-ambulatory son to the store, it is a big thing.

There are already enough challenges to people who need handicap parking caused by those who illegally use handicap tags that they get their hands on.  We can't afford to add to that the abuse by those who don't have handicap placards issued to them.

I know that the speedy delivery of those packages is important to UPS.  It is a great convenience you offer customers to have their packages delivered promptly.  However, your parking choice of "convenience" to accelerate that customer service to some is an incredible disservice to others that you displayed your blatant disregard to tonight. Which, to you, is clearly a population that is not as important.

I would pay millions of dollars if my son didn't have to be in a wheelchair his entire life and my physical burden this evening could have been limited to a handful of extra steps and a dolly.  But it isn't.  Nor will it ever be.  So for now and forever, I am grateful for my special blue tag and the access it allows an amazing little boy to experience just a little bit more of life.  

Please don't take that from him.