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Fast Talkers

Posted Jan 07 2010 2:01pm

I know that I’m fortunate that I am a cochlear implant user that can use the phone and is no longer afraid to answer it. I really do as well as most hearing people. Today I spoke with a person that spoke so fast I don’t know how anybody could understand her.


Really fast talking should be against the law. These people should be cited and fined for saying more than eight syllables per second and should not be allowed to work a business phone if they talk so fast you think they may be speaking in a different language.


When I could not understand the name of the company she was calling from, I felt like I was having flashbacks to the days when I started giving up on communicating on the phone. She wanted my business ID number, so I figured it was an employee of one of my clients and I had to make sure I knew who I was talking to before I gave out this sensitive information.


I gave in to something I now do only when I have to and told her I hear with cochlear implants and that I needed her to slow down. “Okay,” she said and then she said the name of her company again - and I missed it. Unh. I hate this. She explained what form she needed filled out and I got that. Did I have a fax number she could send it to? “Yes, I do,” I said and then I asked her again to tell me what company she was calling from. Out it came and I could practically see it speed past my ears and out of reach before I could make out what it was. Aaaaahhhhh! I was getting really frustrated, but I tried to keep a smile on my face and calmly asked her again to tell me the name of her company. Swish, there it went and I had to ask her again. I took a breath and politely told her I missed it again, could she please say it one more time and then I focused and hoped I would catch it this time. She said it again and slowed it down just enough that I got the first two words and I said, “Oh! it’s ____ _____ _____. Thank You.” What a relief.


This is the stuff that wears on my confidence. Fortunately there was quite a bit of the conversation that I did get, so I know that it wasn’t all me. Sometimes I wonder, can they really listen and hear as fast as they can talk?


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