Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Are People Stupid?

What is the matter with a lot of people? Do they really not understand the word deaf? Since my implant stopped working properly, I can no longer hear on the phone. That’s fine, and most of my friends understand totally, and contact me via SMS txt, or email, or they just call into see me.

But I’m still getting phone calls. Most of the time I just let the phone ring, not answer it. At first this was a strange thing to do. A telephone ringing is one of the most insistent sounds ever. The ring goes ‘answer me’ ‘answer me’ ‘answer me’., and it gets really annoying when people leave the phone ringing for a good 3 or 4 minutes. I’m sure most people would answer the phone within the first four rings, so why do they have to leave it ringing another 15? I’m not kidding!

Occasionally, if my student from Hong Kong is home, she will answer it for me. She tells them clearly that yes, I am home, but I cannot hear on the phone because I am deaf. They still insist on talking with me. She tells them again – I cannot hear on the phone but it usually takes several goes for it to sink in. Deaf. Cannot Hear.

If it was a one off, I could understand, but it’s not. Yesterday it happened three times. My friend was here for one of these calls and she answered for me and had to explain twice. She even offered to relay what they wanted to me, and that took a while to sink in too. Deaf. Cannot Hear.

I’m wondering if I should take the phone from my student or friend and say ‘hello’. Then hold the phone for 2 minutes and then go ‘hello? Hello? Are you there? I can’t hear you? Speak up? Louder? …. Then hang up while muttering – there’s no one there! When they ring back, I can do the same again. I wonder who would give up first?

What part of deaf do they not understand? Maybe they should tell them I’m dead instead. Although these people would probably insist on talking to me then too!

It really does make me wonder about some people’s intelligence!


Bron said...

Yes indeed, that was me, the translating friend. It is not the first time I have had to explain to someone on the phone that Robyn is deaf and therefore will not be able to talk to them only to have them insist persistantly that they still want to talk to her anyway! What do they think will happen? That she will miraculously make an exception just for them this one time? You'd think they would ask obvious intelligent questions instead like "how would she like me to contact her?" or "does she have email, txt, msn?" This is about as ridiculous as hospitals sending out letters to deaf people with a phone number asking them to phone to confirm an appointment and providing no other contact options. You'd think they would get an email address wouldn't you!

Anonymous said...

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity. Ever.

Tom Willard said...

Yes, people are stupid. Sorry you are just finding this out. My favorite is when they call and find out you are deaf and they say, "Okay, I'll call back later." As if being deaf is similar to stepping out for a bit, they can call later and everything will be fine :-)

Anonymous said...

I did know this happened, but I had forgotten. I've had near normal hearing again for the last 15 years, so am only just experiencing people's stupidity again now.

It never ceases to amaze me though!


OCDAC said...

Dont get mad. Just use their stupidity to your advantage.

kw said...

Yes people are incredibly stupid!! You need to get an answering machine that will answer on the second ring and caller ID. This way your student can take your messages and you can monitor calls coming in from important people, then text them back.

Abbie said...

I had a friendship that was split because I couldn't hear on the phone. She was an idiot and i'm glad that I don't have her in my life anymore but she got all upset because I wasn't answering the phone regardless of how many times I told I couldn't use the phone. Her response

"But can't you read lips?"

Lips yes, minds no!