I just want to start this blog off by stating that I know I’ve only recently started to lose my hearing, and this is all really new to me. I’m not coming from the perspective of someone who has been hard of hearing (HoH) for their whole life. This is a journey I am on, and I’m just sharing my experiences with you along the way.
Over the last few months I’ve really noticed my hearing starting to deteriorate, and I’m having to ask people to speak up, face me or repeat what they’ve said. However, yesterday I experienced something that really got me frustrated, and I was already in an annoyed mood before this happened.
To give you a very brief back story, I’d been trying to upgrade my phone with EE, and they had not sent my phone, so they sent me to a store, made me call them up, sent me to another store (you get the hang of how frustrated I was by this point). By the time I got to my final store, I went in and explained the problem. One of the members of staff decided to take me over to sit down and help me with the problem.
Now, this is where I really got my back up. He was mumbling under his breath and not facing me, so I actually said to him “I can’t hear what you’re saying, I have a slight hearing loss, could you speak up please?” and do you think he changed the way he spoke? Of course not!
I was in that store being helped by him for the best part of an hour, and I had to ask him countless times to speak up, and not ONCE did he listen to me. I ended up walking away feeling so annoyed and angry towards EE for so many reasons, but that was the worst one.
However, this has lit a fire under me. As if I didn’t want more deaf awareness and Sign Language taught enough, I want it even more now! It’s unacceptable that people can act like this, even after they’ve been told. I’ve always knows about the barriers my parents have faced over the years, but now I’m beginning to feel the frustrations too. So I’m going to use that negative feeling and turn it into something positive and continue to fight for what I believe in!