Last week I was in local supermarket, walking through the open space where double glazing salesmen lie in ambush ready for that unwary eye contact. I used to have pin – sharp eyesight, with a look that could freeze such salesmen at fifty feet. I think though, I must have a permanent quizzical look on my face now, as I squint at the world.
Thrusting his leaflets under my nose, and in a state of job-enforced enthusiasm, he grinned widely as he offered me great deals on his brand of double glazing. I said “No thanks” and started to walk on. Undeterred he took a couple of steps in front, and said “great money savers these deals, sir, think about a survey”.
Summoning up my best withering look – which used to be quite effective until I started to squint hazily at the world – I told him that legions of disabled people had little or no income, savings or ready cash available nowadays, because of the actions of the Dept. of Work and Pensions, ATOS’s tests, Austerity, the Financial Collapse, and in the pause for breath before I named other culprits like the readers of certain newspapers, he said “You look really healthy, you’re not disabled”.
Have you ever noticed that flat, almost otherworldly silence, following some mangled thoughts and ideas that have meandered from your brain, and exited via your mouth? This phenomenon is usually associated with an ancient tongue–loosening medicine called alcohol. That is when you wish that your mouth had a net to catch stray words and thoughts in the seconds following such a statement.
It is usually the flat silence blocking out all other sound, which makes the biggest impression in the immediate seconds following such an utterance. I remained expressionless, stony-faced and watched with hidden amusement, as the salesman began thinking on his feet, but he was clearly discomfited. The newly psychic salesman, sensing that he may have hit a sensitive nerve, stuttered that he was type 1 Diabetic. “Then you have a disability, albeit hidden” I said, and walked off.
Hidden disability and having a robust and strong looking physique, and complexion, have always had this effect on Doctors as well. Unfortunately, that instant diagnosis by doctors has been the bane of my life.
Double–Glazing salesmen are not people I would normally have a convivial chat with. Far less share a medical record with.
He did have some good offers though.