Was I an asshole (to a guy in a wheelchair)

I opened a door for a co-worker in a wheel chair. He said afterwards that people go out of their way to make sure they are not opening or holding doors open for him, especially at work.

So, I voted "not an asshole’’.

Aha! Microaggression! How dare you offer to be nice if it could possibly impact someone’s opinion of themselves!

In other words: No, not assholish at all. This was entirely the appropriate and desirable thing to do in polite society.

I’m just envisioning some guy in a wheel chair looking at the wall of the various and numerous varieties of Bush’s baked beans.

I ask if he needs me to get a high up can.

He gets all bent out of shape…then I ask him to hand me one from the top.

Damn, when trying to be nice becomes a minefield…well screw that crap.

Not an asshole. My SIL is in a wheelchair, and polite offers to help are either graciously accepted or graciously declined.

The assholes are the ones who assume she’s mentally feeble because she can’t walk, or the ones who ask us how she’s doing in front of her. She’s sitting right there, why don’t you ask her instead of treating her like she’s our injured pet?

Damn, I hate being in the majority! I voted “not an asshole” too.



I used a scooter thing for a while when I was non-weight bearing after a bad ankle fracture. You were not an asshole.

In fact, at the time, I didn’t even get mad at people who would push me to let them load my scooter into the car. Yes, it was awkward to do it one leg. Yes, I am sure that I looked like I was struggling. Overall, because it was something that I often had to do by myself, it was important to me that I be able to do it by myself. What if I found myself alone somewhere and needed to do it? Some folks pushed on that, but I just kept smiling and saying “no”. I appreciated the human kindness. Nice to know it’s still out there.

Now the frickin’ bathroom designers who don’t take into account how a wheeled person needs to move around the door to get in or out of the room. Those guys are assholes.

The opinion of someone who wore an arm cast for ten weeks and had trouble using her left hand for a year: It’s okay to offer to help anybody who looks like they are struggling to do something. If they say “No, thank you,” let it go.

If they ask you for help with something minor that you can do, and you say “no,” that is asshole writ large. Next time it could be you needing assistance.

I agree - the OP was being polite and friendly, not an asshole.

I do not think you were being an asshole. You were offering to help another human being.
On the other hand, bringing up Osama or Trump in reference to a wife scolding you or getting something off of a shelf is a bit of a problem.

I have no doubt that it is annoys some disabled people to get asked if they need help. If you hear anything often enough, it can be annoying.

But I’m guessing a similar proportion would be bothered if someone saw them struggling and ignored them.

All I know is that it doesn’t bother me when people ask me if I need help. But it does bothers me when they don’t accept my “no”. Since you respected his “no thanks”, I think you’re in the clear.

I wouldn’t go that far. I don’t think the OP was an asshole with what he did, but the person wasn’t struggling and hadn’t asked for help. Going about his business without saying anything wouldn’t make the OP an asshole either.

You were. Always wear a tie when your’re in a jacket.

Nope. There’s never a tall person around when I need something on a top shelf and the items are all gone from the front. I’ve certainly scaled more grocery shelving units and freezer cases in my lifetime than I care to count. True, I’m not in a chair, but if a tall person offered to get that thing I would not be offended. The few people I’ve known in chairs would not have a problem with the OP’s exchange as described.

Off-topic, but it would be pretty hilarious if someone went around offering to grab things off the shelf for able-bodied adults. That would be good Candid Camera material right there. :smiley:

Yeah, that was too far in the opposite direction.

Eh. I’m an able-bodied adult but I’m not even 5’4" and was annoyed tonight that a guy simply watched me try to get something off a high shelf for over a minute rather than say anything. :dubious: I did manage to knock it down to where I could grab it eventually, though.

Nope, you did nothing wrong, imo. The assholes are the ones who “ask” and then go ahead and do it anyway, irrespective of the answer they get (this happens all the time). You were being polite, more people should be.

Such a situation would rarely even be possible, as there is rarely ever a time when at least somebody doesn’t ask me if I need help, even if I’m literally doing nothing (I guess I can’t sit still in public without people assuming I’m lost or in distress somehow).

Ha! I bet you your husband has.

When I read the thread title before reading the OP, I thought, of course you were an asshole. If you have to ask…

But I was wrong. Your actions were polite and appropriate.