Deaf To Reason, Part 5

| Working | January 14, 2017

(I am hard of hearing and while I can hear and communicate with others if they are around me, using telephones or any devices where I am unable to see the speaker is a bit of a train wreck. My boss and manager are well aware of this fact, and assured me that I wouldn’t be expected to take any orders by phone. I’ve been working there long enough now that almost all my coworkers know about this arrangement, but one coworker doesn’t seem to quite understand and constantly complains that I’m just lazy. On this day the manager has stepped outside, so it’s just the two of us when the phone rings.)

Me: *already busy with an order* “[Coworker]! Phone!”

Coworker: “You heard it first. You get it!”

Me: “That’s not how it works. [Manager] is out and I can’t use the phone, so you’re the only one who can grab it.”

Coworker: *huffs* “I can’t believe how lazy you are! You always push this on everyone else so you don’t have to work as hard!”

Me: “No. Not only am I currently busy with an order but I also have no training to take phone orders, so even if I could miraculously use the phone I wouldn’t know how correctly input the order in the system and we would lose a sale.”

(He huffs and answers the phone, clearly not convinced. After he finishes taking the order and comes back.)

Coworker: “See?! I don’t get why you make such a big deal of this! You can clearly hear me talking to you so it’s really no different. I bet you’re just pretending to be deaf so you don’t have to work as hard.”

Me: “Um, it’s completely different. For one, I’m hard of hearing, not deaf, and I doubt anyone would want to fake not being able to hear because it absolutely sucks. I have no training whatsoever to take phone orders, so I make up for this by doing extra work around the store to balance it out. We’re in a enclosed area with very little background noise, unlike on a phone where the signal can cut out words and the line can hum loudly and drown out the customer on the other end. Not only that but the quality of the sound through a phone is very artificial to me. Also, I can read your lips and body language because I can see you to fill in the blanks, and I can’t do that over a phone. Anytime I’m forced to use a phone or device where I have to rely 100% on my hearing, I end up asking the other person to repeat themselves a LOT and still miss tons of information. So no, it’s actually extremely different from talking to a person in real time.”

Coworker: “You’re just lazy! There’s no way you can hear me but not use a phone!”

(I gave up and ignored the rest of his rant how I was faking my hearing impairment just to get out of doing my job. He eventually complained to our boss with this belief that I was pretending to have hearing problems to get out of work. She chewed him though and asked him if he seriously thought that anyone would actually pretend to be deaf for the fun of it. He was fired not too long after that.)

 

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