Monday, January 7, 2008

Oops! I did a Faux Pas Again!

I had to laugh when I read this blog entry back in October and it reminded me of some other things.

Mind Your P’s and Q’s, Or in This Case: D’s and H’s

Those of us who tend to alternate between the hearing and the deaf worlds usually know what they shouldn't do, but now and then a foulup will happen.

Sure, we've all had to make relay calls. The post comments about how some hearing people are so rude to the point of voicing that they have a deaf person on the phone or something. I was job searching awhile ago, there was this receptionist who said "This is a place of business." I told them why I was calling, and then she sighed and directed my call to the right person. Heck, maybe I should have said "...and I'm a job seeker, so what's your point?" Another friend's dad said the relay calls were slow, and that's pretty much the truth. Hearing people can have 5 minute calls. A relay call like this could last as long as 30 minutes. "S" *pause* "L" *pause* "O" *long pause* "W" he said.

Another call I made before IPRelay and the 800 numbers, though each state had their own 800 number. I called this craft store not once, but twice, each time getting a hangup after they say something like "I'm with a customer!" or something quite rude. I had to type to the operator that I was seriously considering going out there and straightening them out. The operator's response? "GO FOR IT!"

But of course squeaky hearing aids are as equally irritating. At one point in high school, I had a crack in the tubing leading to my earmold. During the *ENTIRE* history class, it whistled. It wasn't til the end of class when the interpreter told me about it. Then there's the other funny moments I mentioned in my Growing Up Deaf posts.

I worked at this now-gone candy bar manufacturer in the office as part of coop years ago. Since I couldn't hear the monitor beeping which indicated a program just started running, someone made a poster with "beepbeepbeepbeep" on it. Then every time it beeped, they'd knock on the glass walls and show me the poster and I'd go from there. I think I still have it somewhere. Another thing I'd occasionally do is make like a speakerphone call to that person on the other side of the window, so all they had to do was nod or shake their head for yes or no.

I've probably forgotten a few things... I'll remember them.


Paotie said...

What an interesting article.

I have mixed feelings about the Relay. I am glad it exists - very much so - because it has helped me out plenty of times.

And the operators have a difficult job, too.

It's just that SOME operators are moody and that SOME operators cut corners at any chance and aren't to be trusted. And it's also that the Relay is sloooooooooooooooooow.

I type fast, man. I want an operator that sounds like an auctioneer - not a person who just woke up after being anesthetized with codeine.

Cool! I hope to see more from articles from you. I like your writing style, too.



Amanda said...

Don't get me started!! haha... I think MOST of us identify with you regarding the relay service and operators.. I don't know how many times I've yelled at people in person because of their conduct on the phone but they always apologize and go out of their way to accommodate me and what have you. :) nice article