narryaworry (narryaworry) wrote in bad_service,
narryaworry
narryaworry
bad_service

Housing frustrations

I'm currently a student at a very highly regarded culinary school.  I completed my associates in culinary arts at their California location and recently moved to their New York location in order to get my bachelors in culinary management.  I was originally going to move out to New York with two friends and share an apartment with them, but things fell through and I ended up applying for student housing in the dorms.  On my dorm application I specified that I needed a handicap accessible room as I have fibromyalgia and it limits my mobility during a flare.  It's actually the reason I did my associates in California rather than New York, cold causes it to flare and when going through a program that is mainly physical I couldn't risk being bedridden.  As the bachelors program is mainly school work, I figured that when I do flare I can hobble my way around and sit at a desk long enough to graduate.  I got a confirmation email back from the school stating that my housing application had been approved and giving me a date to show up to check in.  I had absolutely no indication that anything was not as it should be.

I arrived to check in and was informed that my room was on the second floor, but there was no elevator available so I'd have to carry all my stuff up the very steep stairs.  Uh, that's a problem.  I told the RA that I had specified that I needed a handicap accessible room at which point they kind of stared at me wide eyed for a moment before running off to find the housing coordinator.  The coordinator told me he'd never seen my application and couldn't seem to pull it up on his computer, which I find really freaking weird considering that they assigned me a room.  He goes on to inform me that there are no handicap or first floor rooms available, so I'll have to stay in the second floor room until they can figure things out.  I figure it won't be too bad, just paperwork gone missing and it will be fixed soon.

I ended causing myself to flare from carrying my stuff up the stairs despite only bringing the bare essentials up, I could barely walk by dinner time and ended up having to basically drug myself up to the eyeballs just to be able to function.  The bed itself is not even accessible to me, I had to get a step ladder just to get into it at all it's so high off the ground.  Attempting to get into it without the ladder caused me extreme pain, it felt like my hips were being dislocated and let me assure you that is not a fun sensation.  I went back to the housing coordinator to try and make it abundantly clear that this is not okay, but got waved off like it was no big deal.  I spoke to the coordinator every day the first week I was here trying to get things figured out, it wasn't even until the Thursday after I arrived, a good 6 days, that they even acknowledged that my housing application did in fact state my special needs.

8 days after my arrival I was informed that there would not be a handicap accessible room available until next spring, but in 12 weeks they can get me on the first floor.  They had the gall to smile and ask me if that was okay.  No, it is not okay.  Not at all.  I can barely get into my bed when I'm not flaring, I will be trapped in my room if I do flare badly.  They then had the absolute nerve to lecture me on the importance of dealing with unexpected obstacles life throws at us with grace and dignity like I'm some errant child.  I am 23 years old, I deserve to be treated like the adult I am.  I wasn't behaving like a spoiled child, I was handling everything in a calm if persistent manner, I was just telling them no, I won't accept this.  I informed them that this was not an unexpected obstacle, this was their mistake that I am paying for.  Had I been informed that an ADA room was not available I never would have moved into the dorms, I would have found an apartment and made arrangements to transport my furniture out to New York.  Now I'm stuck with no furniture in a room that I can't live in for much longer.  I'm currently apartment shopping and plan to find cheap furniture on craigslist that I can resell when I'm done with school, but I am beyond angry that I am even in this situation.  I kind of want to throw a massive fit upon my departure and curse them out, but I have a feeling that wouldn't really help in getting the point across.  If I wasn't at the school's mercy for my degree I would probably lodge a formal complaint about them not being ADA compliant, I may do so anyway.
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