Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Hearing....

Okay I meant to write about this a long long time ago but of course I am just getting around to it.

Master is hard of hearing. He doesn't have hearing at all in one ear. And the other ear is probably lower then 50% hearing. Master doesn't pipe up often enough to say I am hard of hearing or at least to ask them repeat something when he is only catching little bits of it. Instead of asking for person to repeat something when he hasn't hear them he will just go along like has heard them. And I know he has been doing this all his life so it is a hard habit to break. But it bothers me. Though lately what has been bothering me even more is people he interacts with being very rude when it is obvious he isn't hearing them. I guess I shouldn't be upset with them...as they don't know for sure he is hard of hearing but it still bothers me a lot because it just feels like people are very inconsiderate. They just assume he is being rude instead of thinking about what just happened. Because if they took 2 seconds they would say "why did he answer that way -- it had nothing to do with what I said." Then to me it is clear that he didn't hear what they said.

Example: Master was getting his license renewed and the lady behind the counter who is facing him but blocked by a machine so that it blocks the sound of her voice as well as her lips...reaches around and hands Master's a piece of paper pointing to the place to sign. While she did that she said "read this through and then when I tell you...sign." Basically she needed to get the machine in place -- while he was reading and once through she should have it where it would record his signature. Okay well Master didn't hear the part about waiting to sign. And she was pointing so he got the idea of what to do....so he signs and then reads it over. It wasn't very long and it was just one of those things that had all his info and he needed to verify that it was right. She gets all huffy and said "you weren't suppose to sign yet....well I guess you did though." Okay she is still blocked so he doesn't even hear her say that. I am sitting a little ways away and so I pipe up he didn't hear you. She just gave me this look like I was stupid...like the man is standing right here and of course he heard me. And kind of rolled her eyes at me.

Okay so then she is still behind the machine still....and tells him that he can stand against the curtain to get his picture taken. He again doesn't move. He never even heard her say anything. So she finally steps around the machine and says it again a little louder and looking at him. And he moves to the curtain. You could see that she had a lightbulb moment....of damn he is hard of hearing. But of course being the wonderfully considerate woman she is...she lets that info leave her brain quickly and continues to mumble and not look at him as while she talks. At the end she said something about a form that would be mailed to him and turns and walks away. So he standing there wondering where the form is...I get up and tell him. And then she turns around and gives him a dirty look like....why is he still here.

I wanted to throttle her. I really did. I wanted to go complain to supervisor because her tone when Master had not heard her was just so bitchy! And even after she figured it out that he wasn't really hearing her she still was being bitchy to him...she acted like he was purposely ignoring her.

Cashiers and wait staff have also been getting on my nerves due to the same reason of acting like his purposefully ignoring them or not listening to them.

A waitress asked Master if he wanted another drink one night. And he answered that whatever he was eating was great. It was so not the answer to go with do you want another drink so to me it is obvious he didn't hear her right. Instead of asking again she just kind of gave him this look like he was being rude. And so I said to him she asked if you would like another drink. And he said, "oh sorry no I am fine." And she still acted like he had been rude to her.

It has been been on my mind and bothering me.

3 comments:

  1. you are right!!!! it takes so little to be kind...and to understand if other people have some difficulties. it's really really sad. It seems people always try to show their worse face (and not always there's a better one to be shown).

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  2. Oh this one I really do get! I have almost the same issue -- total hearing loss on the left side. I have fairly good hearing on the right, but if I'm not looking at you, I can't hear you. And if there's background noise (restaurants, big groups, etc.) it is impossible for me to pick out conversations. Master, and T, and I always do this little dance at restaurants -- where does everyone have to sit so that I can "hear"? And they, like you, cover for my apparent lapses in understanding in some situations. I am, like your Master, reluctant (or sometimes simply unaware) to ask people to repeat what I haven't heard and that makes communication difficult. Even when people with "normal" hearing do know about my disability, they often have no clue about how to be really helpful to me. I don't think they are intentionally rude, generally -- just not sure how to help and so uncomfortable.

    swan

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  3. Thank you for the comments!

    swan, I am sorry that you have to go through this problem too!

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