It all started very early in the morning. We’d requested a ride such that we’d arrive at 6AM but we were offered a ride that would get there at 5AM with a pick up time of just after 4AM. So when the alarm went off we woke and then moved with blistering speed. Even so, the bus was waiting and the driver tapping his foot as we came out the door.

We relaxed into the ride and watched Toronto sleep and marvelled at how many others of us were in cars or on the street at that time in the morning. By the look of some of them, they were simply trying to find their way home from the night before. Given that the traffic was really, really, light, we got to the airport in record time and were in and ready to get in a line up long before our scheduled arrival time. Talk about being ready.

It took a few minutes of figuring out the monitors to be able to determine where we were supposed to go to get checked in, but eventually we did and we made our way over to the check in counters. I thought we were to use the computerized check in stands but Joe went over and spoke to a woman who directed us to a serpentine pathway to a series of check in desks. I rolled over to him while asking whether or not we had to check in electronically.

The woman, who had spoken to Joe, then spoke to me.

Let me stop for a second and ask you a question. Have you ever seen someone’s diversity training just click in a second after they started talking? Me either, but it was funny to see it happen.

She said, “Wheeeee …” starting the word, “Wheelchairs …” while indicating, “go here” with her hand. But she didn’t say that and the “eeeeee” part of the world just stretched out. She knew, probably from some training she had with some trainer somewhere, that she shouldn’t refer to people as “wheelchairs” but she was stuck, she’d started the word. But then, her eyes sparkled, she’d figured out what to say.

“Wheeeeeee ..,” she began but finished with … “….llll, help you here.

“We’ll help you here,”

A good save.

Joe and I glanced at each other and held back our laughter. We wanted to give her the impression that we didn’t notice, because it was a really, really, good save.