Discrimination Is Taking Over Unnoticed by Many

discrimination against human rights

Discrimination is rampant, but unless you are a victim you probably have not noticed. Why on earth would I say that? Because I have noticed. And yes, that means I have experienced discrimination. However, none so obvious as happened a few days ago. It was almost laughable as it was so obvious. First, a look at the meaning of discrimination…  

Option 2 at the link. “Treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.”

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/discrimination?s=t

Discrimination by a company

It was almost laughable, it was so obvious.

I needed my air-conditioning serviced, so I did what most people do nowadays, I did an Internet search. The company I found was happy to do the work, but it would be a few days before it could be done. Since I had not expected someone to come immediately this was fine, so I opened my diary at the day he mentioned to make sure I had no appointments. It was clear.

discrimination over maintenance

Before asking for a timeframe, I said, “There is something I need to tell you. I am on oxygen full time, plus I have a strong allergy to fragrances, something whoever comes needs to be aware of.”

The reply, “Actually, I don’t think we can help you. We don’t carry parts for your brand of air-conditioner. However, I can give you the name of an engineering company who supply parts for your model air conditioner, they will be able to help you.”

Alarm bells were ringing. I didn’t need parts, I wanted maintenance. I remember thinking, “I am getting the ‘bum’s rush.’

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bum%27s%20rush

The Engineering Company

The woman I spoke to was kind, helpful and agreed with me. The other company had ;given me the bum’s rush.’ Her company supplied parts to companies who did maintenance, but they didn’t do maintenance themselves. However, she did give me the names and phone numbers of a couple of companies they dealt with. She was extremely helpful.

So, what made me think ‘discrimination?’

(By the first company I spoke to.)

The person I spoke to had given me a day and date for the service, until I mentioned…

  1. I am on oxygen full-time
    • That can cause problems if anyone needs to use equipment that would make sparks. However, it has never been a problem with other work I needed done.
  2. I have a strong fragrance allergy.
    • “In the US Federal courts have ruled that an allergy to scents can be considered a disability under ADAAA (the most recent amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act). Under this law, when an employee has a severe reaction to exposure to an odor or scent their employer must act on their behalf to remedy the situation.”
      https://www.fragrancex.com/blog/fragrance-sensitivity/

I rather think the latter.

Why?

Remember the incidents mentioned in that blog post? (Sorry, of course you don’t.) I do though.

The perfumed Bank…

They say… “Individually we can be great but together we are greater. At … Bank, we call this ‘the power of &’. And is at the heart of everything we do.”

Not the last time I had to go to a branch to deposit a cheque. The staff member I dealt with was definitely ‘cool.’ The difference was noticeable; I had been served by her before – but that was before I complained about the fragrance diffuser they had installed. Someone in ‘head office’ emailed me and suggested I change to Internet banking. That doesn’t work with depositing foreign cheques.

The angry ‘home help’

The lady who refused to leave my home because she could not believe I could ‘dislike’ her strong, expensive perfume. By the way, I was on my care plan not to use any fragrance products when with me.

And after someone comes into my home wearing a strong fragrance, even after the person leaves the fragrance does not. At least not for a long time.

It’s an invisible disability

Isolated by discrimination

If you are near me, you can see I use oxygen. That is isolating in itself and limits so much of my life. There are so many places that cannot be accessed, and I cannot be around smokers, or a BBQ.

Oxygen and flames, or sparks are not a good mix.

But the fragrance allergy/sensitivity is a source of great stress. It limits where I can go even more. It also isolates me, and people like me, in a way that is often ‘attacked’ by those who don’t want to understand.

So what happens when I cannot get away from a fragrance?

I might have a coughing ‘fit.’ However, it is more than a simple coughing fit, it could lead to incontinence, or it could lead to angina.

Perhaps it would cause rhinitis. https://www.medicinenet.com/chronic_rhinitis/article.htm

With me, it is a runny nose. When my nose is running, I cannot breathe the oxygen. (I need the oxygen.)

Discrimination or understanding

Tradesmen have come to my home to do work in the past, and when I have explained the difficulty most have been considerate. This is why these have been ‘stand-outs’ for a negative reason.

  • I write this in the hope it will help others with this ‘problem.’
  • We are human, we have rights
  • We did not ask for this isolating condition.

This kind of discrimination is unnoticed by many, because few are aware of it. Of those who are there are some who either don’t want to know, or do not believe it is a ‘real’ condition.

Susan