Monday 5 October 2015

Deaf Girly in Starbucks

This morning I was reminded embarrassingly of my deafness when, as a special treat, I decided to get a toasted Cheese and Marmite panini before work.

With Starbucks, I always try to pass the Denny's test when giving my order (you know the one where you have to get your entire order through without the waitress asking any qualifying questions) and usually I do well. I make sure if I'm ordering a drink I give the size, clarify that I won't want any bells and whistles and that I don't want anything else. It's a self preservation thing – I find it so hard to hear in Starbucks, Pret, Itsu and all the other breakfast and lunch places in central London.

So today I thought would be relatively straight forward. After all, it was a Cheese and Marmite panini to take away, no hot drinks. But apparently not.

The woman behind the counter asked me something. She asked it again. And again and again. She was embarrassed. I was embarrassed. The information I gave her about being hard of hearing fell on deaf ears. The situation was too far gone to salvage.

Eventually after leaning my head between the till and the counter in such a way that had I been in a bank, I would have set alarms off and been carted away, I managed to grasp that she was asking me whether I wanted Ketchup or brown sauce with my Cheese and Marmite panini.

Never in a million years would I have guessed she was going to ask me that, because ketchup or brown sauce with cheese and marmite seems to categorically wrong that I simply can't envisage it. And that's coming from someone that eats baked beans on lettuce and adds salad cream to practically everything.

Failing the Denny's test was a stark reminder that I am deaf. And while most of the time I can wing it, some days, like today, I fail spectacularly. But just incase, from now on I am going to add that to my Starbucks order.

'Cheese and marmite panini please. Toasted. To take away. No ketchup or brown sauce (no I'm not crazy). No hot or cold drinks. No receipt. Thank you.'

I'll let you know how I get on.

Happy Monday peeps.


1 comment:

Dean Wales said...

I'm gobsmacked that a company like Starbucks fails to embark on any kind of deaf awareness training for their staff, particularly as their environment nearly always has very high levels of background noise.

Shame on you Starbucks...hope you enjoyed the panini though, sounds lush!


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