Unhelpful Help

TW: brief description of assault


As you know, I have many reasons to dislike live music events.


Because of my friends circle and the small matter of having to use events as treats as a crutch, to you know, get through this, I still go.


Occasionally, this involves a new venue or sorting out issues with security. (The incident with the security person in the post I linked about is still going. More on that another time; I can’t bring myself to check that email right now.)

So I’m somewhat-out-of-political-necessity attending a show in September. I sent a contact form to the club, asking if they had seating. That’s it. “I can’t stand the whole time, do you have a place to sit?”

The reply was like “We do! And there are stairs! And you can ask the manager for help at any time!”

… I only asked about seating. Because, you know, I’m fairly adept at managing these things, even if it involves being yelled at and curling up on the floor because pain. Seats are not great, actually, but there’s a thing around sitting where people tend not to bother you and you can put your knitting and your bear down somewhere. I mean, there’s one place where the seats are literally stools next to load-bearing pillars, which is about as bad as no seats at all, except for not being pushed over in the pit and next thing you know being carried out and not allowed back in (true story, that.)

I wrote back and stated I wouldn’t be accessing that help, but you know. They did answer my question, even if a lot of stuff I didn’t ask was put in as well.

So now I have the general manager’s phone number, and I’m meant to SMS him and, I dunno, he’ll be my personal waiter? I don’t get it. I just asked if there was a place to sit because I can’t stand the entire time. That’s it. I’m sure he has actual managing to do instead. I didn’t ask for it.


Why do people decide what help you need and then shove it on you? I mean, I ponied up – normally it’s like one email, and then I hide it somewhere so it looks like I didn’t get it, and that’s that – and stated “this is what I need, do you have it?” and got a bunch of stuff I didn’t need. I can’t stand, so obviously I must have trouble with stairs, and I must know there are stairs! (It’s located underground, did they think I was expecting a slippery dip?) And if I need help, because I asked about seats, I have to chase through a small venue packed with people to find one person who has other things to do. And! When I pointed out that that wouldn’t be possible and I wouldn’t be doing that, so that this dude wasn’t waiting around every night (because, they don’t even know what event this is for), they just go ‘here’s his phone number!’

So what, I’m supposed to give a guy I don’t know my phone number? Because, you know, that’s how it works when you text someone. And then what? “I’m the person in a corset who is sitting three tables away from stage right, can you please buy me a Coke with no ice and I’ll give you the money when it gets here?” Because we’re all taught to accept drinks from strangers. And! The one thing they do know is that I won’t be there alone (well, in effect, I will be, but I’m going because it’s apparently both expected and highly meaningful that I do go see my friend play). Why would they assume I don’t have a support system?


It’s weird, especially since the thing I keep trying to enforce, over and over, is that if I need and want help from you, I will ask you specifically for what I need, and you have to trust me that I know what I need.


In this case, I know that seat > lying on the floor > standing all night (or more realistically, sneaking out midway through out of sheer boredom). I only asked if they have seating.


Giving me some strange man’s phone number and telling me to text him for help when I get there? Is a really really really strong reason for me to wake up that morning and decide it’s way too much effort and not go; and you bet I will be telling my friend, because he can choose not to play there again. (He probably would, actually, blacklist them, if I said it was a problem.)


And this is why people don’t ask for help or information. Honestly. It’s so hard to get a simple answer that is just what you asked, and even harder to be trusted to manage your own stuff.


It’s a bit like the time being dragged up to the stage where the LEDs flashed straight in my eyes and I ended up with a migraine (obviously). I also had an allergic reaction and a broken corset because some straight guy tried to pick me up and kissed me without my consent, and was dragging me around by the corset all night. (This was in a GLBTQIA bar.) His friends were offering to walk me to my car, then told me I couldn’t drive and they would call a taxi, and eventually one of the girlfriends pulled them away and explained that harassing someone who clearly didn’t want to go home with the drunk friend who couldn’t even be arsed to know anyone’s name wasn’t a good thing. He followed me out, and kept screaming at me for trying to type to him (this was when I was just discovering that people were actually okay with typing, and it was amazing to me that I could order my own drink by typing ‘May I please have a Coke? Thank you.’) because that meant I was too busy to interact with him, despite apparently him being too busy to ask me first before kissing/dragging/yanking/stripping me.

I took two pills in the club, swallowed them dry, got home, took two more pills, watched the game while the pain eased from sharp pain in one spot to duller pain all over, then went and slept. I was quite clumsy for a few days after, and then I was pissed as everything was processed.

Unsurprisingly, none of them ever contacted me again. I don’t know how that shook out after their hangovers, but I don’t want to know.

I still managed my own shit and got out of unsafe situation all by myself! Because, miraculously, despite the “well done for coming!” rhetoric and the really awkward moment where they realised I was actually, you know, not Deaf and he was just being really rude, I was still able to get my own drinks, look after myself, and got bonus points for pulling someone off a police officer before they got arrested for finding the night vests fascinating.

Because, you know, I can.


So I don’t actually intend, to, you know, be texting the manager. I know what I need to know, which is that I won’t have to lie on the floor. Otherwise, it will take about a week’s worth of spoons all at once, and I’ll have to plan a bunch of no people days either side, but I can actually handle everything else on my own. Not that, you know, they think so, apparently.


But, you know, I will.