Monday, October 25, 2010

Hearing Loss and Jobs

I have to this day an insecurity about my hearing. Sometimes I forget to tell someone about my hearing and they will think I am being snobby by ignoring them. In reality I didn't hear them talking to me. Sometimes I would purposefully not tell them because of prejudice. Yes, it still lives in this day and age. For example, people will doubt I can do a job that I applied for because of my hearing loss. Well, I may have ears that do not work, but my brain between them works pretty darn well, thank you!

After a few times of knowing that I didn't get a job because of the hearing loss I started not telling them. I had long hair and it would hide my hearing aid and my speech was pretty good. Later after I had a job for a while they would find out and ask me why I didn't tell them. I would bluntly ask, "Would you have hired me?" Usually their honest answer would be no. By then I had proved that I could do the job so the lying by omission was a moot point.

I despise beards because they make lip-reading really hard. One time at my job in Kentucky Fried Chicken there was a customer who had a beard. He was frustrated because I was having trouble taking his order with all the noise and his huge beard. Finally he blurted out "What are you? Deaf?" My calm response was, "Why, yes I am. Here is my hearing aid. See" The look on his face was pure horror. My friends started turning purple and left the front counter FAST to keep from laughing out loud in front of him. It was a priceless moment, even if it was mean of me to do that. But what do you want me to say!

Whenever I set out to do something, job or college classes, I would go about it like any other person. Sometimes I would have to be upfront about my hearing loss. Usually they would respond with doubt and I would tell them to let me try and if I can't do it I will quit. One of the toughest one's was going back to college to get an EMT certification. It required a lot of meetings with different people. Everyone who registers for the class has to get approval because of limited seating and that was a tough one for me. I knew from their actions that they had major doubts and wondered if it was worth giving me one of the few openings in the course. I got them to give me a chance and I passed with flying colors. At the beginning my instructors were leery but partway through they were impressed and happy to have me.

Every time I have won a challenge I feel great but I have also had times when I had to acknowledge when I couldn't do something. It sucked when I had to admit that and it would get me down for a bit. But then I would go ahead and find something new to challenge me.

I call those times when life got the better of me "Potholes in the road". I just keep going on and eventually I will find a nice patch of road.

No comments:

Post a Comment