Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lifting Beth

For awhile, I've thought it would be great to have a lift (think mini-elevator) to replace the 3 stairs from our garage into our house. I'm normally fine with them - I somewhat pull myself up and partly use my legs - I figure it's good exercise. It's only been a disaster when I have an MS attack, but then everything becomes a disaster. But once my shoulder began to hurt, I thought that pulling myself into the house is just further damaging my shoulders. Certainly I could find a lift for $4,000.

Enter the MS Society. I know someone there who is great and gave me 4 resources and encouraged me to apply for a grant. As I tell people, I don't qualify for grants. They tell me am I sure? Maybe I should try... No, I'm 100% certain I wouldn't qualify (we're not rich, but we are fine and have 2 adults working good jobs). So I started through the sources.

Two of the sources referred me back to source #1, and he came and gave me an estimate. It just happened the estimate was $8,000! Now, I guess we could afford that, but it's not where I want my money to go. So, I asked this person if there were other brands. Back and forth started - did I know of other brands? Which ones? Could I give him their names and he would give me info on them? But the problem was, intermixed in the back and forth, emerged a patronizing tone... "brand x is the best because ... best warranty ... platform ... set up ... Beth, could you do the Internet research, because I can't compare to phantoms." The phantom conversation occurred because I asked about other brands. Shouldn't someone in that field know about other brands? In the end, I thought, this is really patronizing. Is this person being this way because they think I have a disability and can't think to explore other options? Is it because I'm a woman who also can't think to explore other options? Or is this just how this person is? Maybe it's how the person is - but then it's not a good way to get business from me. Even if I needed to pay $8,000, it wasn't going to go to him.

I called the last company on the list. This company talked about multiple brands. The guy who has talked to me has always listened and seems patient. He explored used lifts, and found the perfect one for me. It's not $8,000. It's $3,300. Wow. It's always good to explore options. I don't need the Cadillac lift. I need a lift that works, and a company that will service it if it breaks.

And I let the MS Society know how great they have been. I hope in what I do, I learn to listen more. I think after this I will listen more, and perhaps I'll learn a bit more about patience at the same time. And I will be lifted - into the house. Smile.

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