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Just what part of DEAF do people not understand?

Posted Mar 19 2009 4:10pm
I'm still gobsmacked at the continuing sagas that happen around me when it comes to my deafness.

Two weeks ago I had the following conversation.

Person 1: "You should read Robyn's blog - it's hilarious"
Person 2: "Yep - Robyn you should write professionally"
Me: "Well - I would if someone would pay me!!"
Person 1: "I still can't believe some of the things she has to go through when people just can't get it that she's deaf and can't hear on the phone"

I then explained for the others who haven't read the blog, how my friend answered the phone for me one day, and explained calmly over thephone that I was deaf and couldn't her on the phone, yet they still insisted on talking to me. This went on for some time until my friend had to ask 'Just what part of DEAF do you not understand'.

I've told her that next time it happens just tell them I'm dead - it may be easier for them to understand why I can't come to the phone!!

Anyway person 3 pipes up...

Person 3: "Why don't you just get those flashing lights so you can tell when the phone rings"
Me:. (trying not to be sarcastic) "ooooo I didn't think of that" but then I had to explain to her "I still wouldn't be able to answer the phone at all as I can't hear on it to pick it up"
Person 3: (Realising she has made a mistake) "oooooooo of course giggle"
Person 3: "So why don't you just get an answerphone then?"

I gave up after that, while Person 1 was having trouble getting up of the floor as she was laughing so hard!

Then there's today. My alarm went off again today. At the moment, when my alarm goes off, my company that monitors the alarm rings my daughter to let her know that the alarm is going off. She told me when I got home that she had a missed call from the security company today.

So I get onto the internet relay and rang the Alarm company. Asked for someone to help me with my alarm, got put into one department. On talking to them, they then transferred me to the monitoring department. They promptly hung up on the relay operator. I had the relay operator ring back, and asked to be put through the monitoring company and the conversation went something like this...

Me:. Hi - My name is Robyn . I am totally utterly deaf. At present when my alarm goes off, you contact my daughter on her cellphone, however she's going overseas in a couple of weeks, so I need you to contact me instead. As I can't hear on the phone, can you text me on my cellphone?

Alarm company: "no"

Me: "Not at all"

Alarm company 'No"

Me: - "Well - as I'm totally deaf, is there some exception you can make in my circumstances, or some solution you could come up with to help me with this, otherwise I see absolutely no point of having my alarm monitored, and paying a monthly fee. Do you?"

Alarm company: "Well - we could fax you or email you"

Me: "Well - if my alarm is going off, the chances are that I am out, therefore I'm not home to pick up emails or faxes" (She has to be blonde right?)

I then asked for her manager, who then put me through to someone else.

The long and short of it is that Yes - the alarm company CAN txt me alarm alerts and will do so from now on. But... Fax? Email? That's hilarious! I think some staff training is necessary in this company!!!

In the meantime I know have 8 voice mail messages on my cellphone, of which I have absolutely no idea how to listen to. Sigh - probably should just delete them!
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