Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Random Acts of Deafness (1)

Random Acts of Deafness is something I am creating in an effort to catergorize all of the unconventional experiences I encounter as a hard of hearing person.  In these posts I'll give you an idea of things that happen randomly in public as a result of or a product of my deafness. I hope to post these as they happen or as I remember past experiences.

Episode 1:
I was recently interviewed for a job.  The interviewer asked me if I wanted to answer phones all day.  I responded that phone work is difficult for me because I am hard of hearing.  Before I even finished the sentence, the interviewer stood up to leave, exclaiming, "That's all I needed to hear."  ...are you kidding me?  That's like saying, "See what I mean?" to a blind guy!  They did bring in someone else to interview me for a position that was more suitable for me.  But seriously, did he have to use those particular words?  A more sensitive person could have been easily offended; to me, it's just another Random Act of Deafness.

Episode 2:
On a lighter note, I took my truck to be inspected.  My hair was pulled up into a pony tail so my hearing aids were visible if one were to actually look at my face long enough to observe anything. Autoshops are always noisy, but I managed to figure out that the man behind the desk wanted me to go out to my truck so he could get the vehical specs and drive it into the shop.  He had to repeat himself plenty of times!

I waited inside, keeping busy with the difficult decision making process that one only encounters when faced with two magazine choices: Family Circle or Deer Hunter.  At least they didn't complicate matters by throwing in People or Golf Digest.  After about 30 minutes, a shadow fell across the rifle ad in the hunting magazine.  I saw that he was calling my name and heard it about the time I looked up.  Standing in front of me, the guy from behind the counter waited until he had my full attention, looked me directly in the eye, and said, "Heather, your truck is ready." 

I was surprised that a random guy in a noisy autoshop would recognize that I couldn't hear him unless I could see him, make an effort to come across the room, get my attention, and verify that he was being heard.  I'm not sure if he was accustomed to dealing with a hard of hearing person in his life or if he is just man with both common sense and compassion.  It was a pleasant surprise and another Random Act of Deafness; one that happens so very rarely.

...until next time,