Feral Cement sent me an email
saying some here have been offended by his comments about signing etc. I have not been offended by his comments. I would not have made them, but I'm sure I am quite capable of inserting my foot into my mouth without any assistance. I did not feel then and do not feel now that he was intending to be mean or disrespectful. Cut the guy some slack, ok?
So all of you know, had I a choice of loosing my vision, an arm, a leg, any appendage on the day I was blown up, instead of my hearing, I would opt for the appendage in a heart beat. Were I blind, you would know it immediately and not expect me to read the street sign. Were I in a wheel
chair you would not expect me to climb a flight of stairs, but I'm none of those things, I am nearly deaf and you can't tell it unless, like poor Michael, you are trying to communicate with me by speech. Hearing loss is the invisible disability. Sometimes I can communicate fairly well if the environment
is right or I just guess lucky and as Michael experienced, sometimes I can't. In my experience, people quickly forget those times I couldn't, remembering only that I could and become offended when I can't. I've been accused of "not paying attention;" "not caring what I say;" "choosing not to hear;" and just plain, "being rude." All because I was not able to hear something someone was trying to say to me.
One person told my ex she thought me very unfriendly because she had a tendency to come up behind me and talk to me, which of course I ignored because I had no idea she was trying to talk to me! That meant I was rude and unfriendly. Go figure. Years ago when my hearing first started being problematic I was hoplessly in love with a British girl. Her hair turned purple in the sunlight on my sailboat, Gawd was she awesome. She dumped me though because, "you don't listen to what I'm saying to you and then you talk about something else!" That hurt. She knew I had a hearing problem, but yet she was offended when I couldn't hear what she had to say. Sometimes life is hard, ya' know?
Our society in general is not very accommodating to the hearing impaired. The two most hated words in my English
lexicon are, "Call Me!" Ewwww that just makes me shudder! Most support lines are telephone based. Virgin WiFi
is one of the worst. I've been fighting with them for a month because they refuse to give me support except via telephone. I went with them because they offered "email support." So, when the first problem came up, I fired off an email
and they responded with, "Please call our 800 number for assistance..." I now have an email string of more than 40 emails trying to get some assistance to no avail.
One of the worst offenders is the one place you would think would be the most understanding....the Veterans Administration! Better than 33% of all disabled veterans are hearing impaired yet the VA ignores our needs. When I need an appointment I get a post card or letter in the mail from them saying, "Call our 800 number to schedule your appointment...." Incredible, but true. I've often wondered if they send vets who've lost their legs letters saying, "if you want an appointment, just run up these three flights of stairs," ya' know?
Enough for this rant, if I go on I might get depressed.
So, when that old geezer you're talking to says, "huh?" a lot, be patient, he can't help he doesn't understand you. Maybe you should trying writing him a note?