Friday 9 March 2012

Forgetting I'm deaf

Today is Thankful Friday and the only blog of the week. It's a disgrace, isn't it?

I think one of the reasons for my complete writer's block of late is that I simply can't bring myself to write about one of the main things consuming my thoughts right now  – my neighbour. Her shocking behaviour is on-going and to be honest, the only way I can deal with this is by sticking my head in the sand and simply getting on with things.

The realisation that some things really can't be fixed is a tricky one. I'm a fairly rational person – I can see both sides of the story and have, on more than one occasion attempted some sort of middle ground reconciliation with her downstairs. But at the same time, I have also stood my ground on issues that are important to me – the safety aspect of having a downstairs hallway filled with bikes for example – which she sees as some form of attack.

But it's not an attack, and her rage is akin to a toddler who can't get their own way. She's called me every name under the sun – not to my face of course, but the fireman was introduced to me as 'That bitch upstairs' and she cooly informed my window men that I wasn't very nice to her.

It's not about being nice, it's about not creating a fire hazard and mouse party with crap in the hallway.

You see why I'm not blogging right now, right?!?

Anyway, in amongst all this, a new development in my life is that I've actually found myself forgetting I am deaf. So either I've either been so stressed with other stuff I don't have room to worry about it, or I've succeeded in streamlining my life to occur without the constant remind that I am aurally challenged.

My phone never rings, I've worked up a good email relationship with people I need regular contact with, and my texting is so speedy, it's actually quicker than speech anyway.

And perhaps, non-aural services are improving, too.

Take the other day for example, when I was looking online for a replacement to my shoddy filing cabinet. I stumbled upon a website called The Dormy House and there I found a gorgeous Ottoman, with a concealed filing space inside.

Perfect, I thought and happily added it to my basket. But it was only at the till that I realised that while you could choose a specific delivery day, this would involve a phone call to organise and as a result, I hit cancel and went back to the drawing board.

The next day, my phone rang. I didn't pick up but instead googled the number and it turned out to be The Dormy House. Two minutes later, an email arrived in my inbox from Vicki at The Dormy House enquiring politely why I had not proceeded with my order. I replied immediately, explaining how, with my deafness, I was put off by the delivery methods.

Within five minutes, I had a reply – she could organise the immediate shipping of the Ottoman with delivery the following day if I ordered within the hour.

Incredible huh?

I did indeed place the order, and it did indeed arrive the next day and I marvelled at how, someone who hadn't even known I was deaf had made my life 100% easier.

And it's true, customer service is getting better for deaf people, or at least for me anyway – every week I find myself with another positive experience to add to the list, and the negative experiences are becoming less and less frequent.

Times are changing, things are getting better, subtitles – however terrible at times – are becoming more standard on catch-up TV, videos and even iTunes films and programmes. People are becoming more responsive on email – you no longer have to wait days for a reply where a phone call would generate an immediate response. I can do most things – pay bills, order things, organise workmen for my flat and indeed do my job –without ever needing to hear.

And that's what I am thankful for. I'm becoming more efficient, more productive, more satisfied and more 'normal'. Actually scap the last one. who wants to be normal anyway?!

Happy weekend peeps.


Emily Dame said...

Love your blog. I have severe bi-lateral hearing loss and Meniere's Disease. Have had programming issues for the last six months with my aids and consequently having been struggling to hear. I am not deaf but some of the experiences you mention in your tweets and your blog really run parallel to mine. Today's blog really hit home because I've been having real issues with the telephone for several months now. I have a captioning phone which wasn't functioning and of course, that meant scheduling a service appointment. I finally asked my husband to help me resolve this and consequently my captioning phone line has been repaired and voila I'm back to using the telephone easily again.

What I learned from your blog today--a) technology has truly come a long way; b) the goodness of many people is evident when I let them into my world and ask for them to accomodate my disability and c) I'm not alone in struggling to live with a hearing disability. Thanks so much for your blog!

Me said...

HI Emily,
Such lovely feedback – thank you!
Have a great weekend.
DG x said...

glad you are ok am certainly glad of subs on tv even if they are slow and bad at times but netherless deaf people are being recgnized more and helped i text a lot and use phone with ci

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