Today I had to go meet a friend of ours at the local AT&T store to switch out a phone number for my husband. I arrived about 10 minutes before them. It wasn't too busy. I got signed in and the door greeter directed me to another young man at the counter on the other side of the store. The music was blaring really loud, so loud that I couldn't hear myself talk. So, I smiled and told the young man that I was sorry, I'm hearing impaired and I wear hearing aids. I pulled my hair away and pointed to them. I told him that I knew that the tone of my voice was off and I was probably talking too loud and that I was sorry but I couldn't hear myself talk over the music. He rolled his eyes at me and started trying to conduct business with me anyway. I again explained that the music was drowning my ability to communicate with him out and I kindly asked if he'd turn it down so I could hear myself talk. Again I reminded him that I knew my voice was off because I couldn't hear myself talk. He got angry with me and started yelling real loud at me that I didn't have to be rude. By then other customers were watching this. I stood there embarrassed and fighting back tears. About that time a manager came out of the back and turned off the music and apologized. I asked if someone else could help me instead of the young man who had just publically humiliated me. He agreed and another young man came over. I observed the manager making the one that was so mean to me leave the sales floor altogether. All of this happened in a span of 5 minutes. I pulled myself together before my husband's friend got there so I didn't embarass him and we were able to get the business done.
No problem, right? After all I was able to get on with my task at hand. WRONG. I should be use to this and just shake it off, right? WRONG. I know I deal with things like this every day. People treat me horrible and are quick to ridicule and humiliate me all the time. They treat me like I'm stupid. All because they can hear and do not care about understanding hearing loss. Most days I do shake it off but today I don't have it in me.
For most people with hearing loss there is no one that understands at home to turn to. Most loved ones can hear and just don't understand why these types of things upset us. They think we should just cow tow and take this kind of treatment from people. It's that way for me too. I live in a hearing world and everyone thinks I'm the one that should adjust my behavior and just take it and be polite. Well, today I did do that and my heart is broke but there's nowhere to turn that someone just says I understand and it's ok.
I don't need to be told what I should've done or what I didn't do right or how it was my fault. I just need someone to hold me and let me cry because it's a selfish cruel world out there.
Rant over :'(