Visually-Impaired Doctor Speaks Out After Guy On Escalator Shames Him For Not Moving Aside
A visually-impaired doctor wondered why people in certain instances are so quick to feel anger over compassion.
Dr. Amit Patel, an author and disability rights campaigner, relies on his guide dog to help navigate him around in public.
He had his trusted companion next to him on an escalator leading to a London subway station when he was confronted by a commuter who was tail-gating him and anxious to walk past them.
While commuters in major cities are generally aware of the unspoken rule of standing to one side on an escalator for courtesy, they are not obligated to do so.
Patel needed his guide dog to stay beside him for safety, and an impatient commuter failed to identify the situation and resorted to denigrating him.
In a clip Patel shared on Twitter, the frustrated commuter who was "blocked" on the operating escalator was heard telling Patel:
“You’re worse than a dog if you don’t understand the human being. I just want to catch the train."
Why do some people get so angry? \n\nThis guy may have forgotten what he said by the time he got on the tube, but it ruined my day. You can hear in my voice just how stressed I was.\n\nI\u2019d never endanger @Kika_GuideDog or myself by attempting to move on an escalator.\n\nPlease, be kindpic.twitter.com/5QkjRUvhmN— Dr Amit Patel (@Dr Amit Patel) 1644480121
“Yes but I can’t move, she’s a guide dog. I can’t physically move, she’s not going to move. There’s no point arguing.”
The man then stopped complaining for the rest of the descent.
"Why do some people get so angry?" Patel later wrote in the Twitter caption.
"This guy may have forgotten what he said by the time he got on the tube, but it ruined my day. You can hear in my voice just how stressed I was."
"I’d never endanger @Kika_GuideDog or myself by attempting to move on an escalator."
Patel ended his post with a reminder to "Please, be kind."
The doctor had the full support of Twitter.
Amit I\u2019m sorry you and Kika had to deal with this. \n\nGood on the other passenger for filming it. I really hope they will also stand as a witness if you decide to report this individual to the police. \n\nCome on TfL time for some awareness posters on the tube.— \ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08Adrian and Retired GD Gem #WearAMask\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08 (@\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08Adrian and Retired GD Gem #WearAMask\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08) 1644484849
Im sorry that you had to endure that again. People need to learn basic skills again. If one is late don\u2019t blame it on other people. Disabled or not. He probably would have pushed someone else aside— Claudia Burwitz (@Claudia Burwitz) 1644480349
I\u2019m so so sorry you both had to endure that kind of behaviour. I hope you\u2019re both ok. Sending love— Rita Morar (@Rita Morar) 1644535614
Good that you posted this. It may increase awareness about guide dogs on escalators , although it should be obvious— brevitybelle1 (@brevitybelle1) 1644481521
Those familiar with Patel's situation commiserated with him.
My girlfriend has a wonderful guide dog. We are often blocked on the path by ignorant people who demand we move out of their way. \nIt really bugs me, but my partner luckily doesn't get to see the filthy looks they give her. More awareness and tolerance is needed in society.pic.twitter.com/FVXUizTlKh— Gary Evans (@Gary Evans) 1644504072
I have been on a escalator once as a disabled person. I took to long to get on it and getting off it I got told to move faster. Just a extra couple of seconds. People are horrible. Hugs to u and ur dog x— Sophstar (@Sophstar) 1644482604
Oh Amit, am so so sorry. As a wheelchair user, I felt my heart lurch due to the familiarity of these type of encounters. It\u2019s like a micro trauma each time.— Louise Halling Video Counselling (@Louise Halling Video Counselling) 1644482088
I've had people attempt to push or squeeze past when I'm going down an escalator on my wheelchair, then act surprised when I block them and/or very firmly tell them that it's not going to happen.\n\nMost people are fine!\n\nGet occasional call from above/below of "stand to one side!"— Heavy Metal Handcyclist (@Heavy Metal Handcyclist) 1644490137
People called out the man's audacity in making a stink about a minor inconvenience.
Is it me or have people become more angry and less tolerant towards others. It\u2019s one thing keeping any irritation to yourself but to actually voice it. An island with a 10 foot fence around it sounds very inviting sometimes.— Catherine McKiernan (@Catherine McKiernan) 1644513369
What a world we live in, black people kicking cats and Asian people having a go because the guide dog can\u2019t move. Yet we are the first to complain about people disrespecting us and treating us badly. I know this post will be unpopular but it\u2019s the truth.— \ud83d\udc95\ud83d\udc95 Yvonne Coghill \ud83d\udc95\ud83d\udc95 (@\ud83d\udc95\ud83d\udc95 Yvonne Coghill \ud83d\udc95\ud83d\udc95) 1644556371
Things like this make me livid. It also sums up a lot of people in London (where I lived for 15 years) who have zero patience, compassion and willingness to wait. It was one of the reasons I moved away.\n\nI hope you and Kika are ok and that this person gets their cuppenance.— Stuart Armstrong (@Stuart Armstrong) 1644492792
Why are people like this? If he's late that's his problem, not yours. Leave earlier and have some respect. Ignorance is no excuse to speak anyone like that. That's the kind of attitude that could lead to him finding a very quick way down.— Andy (@Andy) 1644481641
The official Twitter account for the charity Guide Dogs also expressed support for Patel.
“We're so sorry you've had to endure this Amit. Hope you and @Kika_GuideDog are ok.”
Guide Dogs also shared the clip on their page, writing:
"To reiterate from @BlindDad_Uk - It is incredibly dangerous to demand a guide dog owner ‘moves’ on an escalator.”
In response to the video, Chief Customer Officer Mark Evers said in a statement obtained Indy 100:
“We are very sorry that Dr. Patel experienced this."
"Everyone has the right to travel around London safely without abuse and we encourage customers to be patient and mindful of other people’s needs."
“We have reached out to Dr. Patel to ask for more information about this incident so we can ensure everything is being done to prevent this from happening again.”