Jennifer Leigh blueyed_turtle wrote in customers_suck
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Another portrait studio rant
First off - thanks to all those who commented and sympathized with my portrait studio customer rants. It's nice to see how many can relate as well!

This next one happen some time last year at a different studio, but it still resonates in my mind because of the insensitivity. It was a studio that booked every ten minutes and printed on site (which I hated) so naturally, a lot of people like to have their pictures right then and there and it kept them busy.

One weekend (around Easter), I was up front trying to deal with crisis control and this one irate woman came up and asked how much longer it would be (we were hour or so behind and she had only been there for about 20 minutes). She came back a few minutes later and I asked her to repeat what she said (it was really noisy).

She became really agitated and said, "what are you, deaf or something??"

I am actually hard of hearing and wear a hearing aid, so...that hit bit of a nerve. I had to take a breather and step outside. One of my coworkers asked what just happened and I told her. She was not happy with the customer. The customer probably saw my hearing aid and asked my coworker if I was deaf and she told them that I was. Apparently she turned white and felt horrible, so she found me and immensely apologized.

Being the diplomatic person I am - and one of the faces of the company - I just told her that it was fine and that I understood how stressful today was.

Case in point: don't be an ass-butt just because you're impatient, especially if you're going to use a disability to insult someone...


2014-03-25 05:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

You don't even have to be deaf to have trouble hearing what someone is saying in a noisy place. I have excellent hearing, but I also have auditory processing issues, so it's often impossible for me to tell what one particular person is saying in a noisy situation.

Since this woman was embarrassed to find out you actually are hard of hearing, I assume she just wasn't thinking. I give her credit for apologizing.

But it's not like you would ask her to repeat herself just for the fun of it. Hopefully next time, she'll think before she opens her mouth and sticks her foot in it.


2014-03-26 10:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Auditory processing issues"

Thank you so much for giving me something to Google. It led me to "auditory processing disorder" or APD, which I can now research to figure out ways to ameliorate.


2014-03-26 11:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

To tell you the truth, I'm pretty sure I first read the term here!

Auditory processing disorder is an umbrella term for a bunch of issues - some of which can be treated, some of which just have to be lived with.

I have trouble specifically with making out what people are saying when there's a lot of ambient noise. I can hear their voice, but I can't make out the individual words. Running water and multiple conversations are particularly difficult for me. I don't seem to have the same problem with other sounds - just voices.

In my case, it seems to be hereditary because my mother has the same problem. I've had my hearing tested multiple times, and it's excellent, so it's kind of irritating when people tell me to get my hearing checked.

It's bad enough that I have walked in - and walked right back out - of restaurants with bad acoustics or loud music.


2014-03-25 08:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Since she was embarrassed and truly apologetic, it seems that she at least learned a lesson and might think twice about saying something like that. She kind of zorro'd herself there!


2014-03-25 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

I have trouble hearing when there is a lot of background noise too and I am not hard of hearing so there is that. The woman is a total jerk. Your co worker should not have told her anything about you. That was not right either. I am glad she apologized.


2014-03-25 11:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

The customer probably saw my hearing aid and asked my coworker if I was deaf and she told them that I was. Apparently she turned white and felt horrible, so she found me and immensely apologized.

I am also a bit hard of hearing and wear hearing aids, and when I read this part, I wanted to stand up and cheer!

I wonder, on a daily basis, wtf is wrong with people, that no one seems to realize that people who have trouble hearing things--either because of a disability like mine or noisy conditions, etc.--actually exist. It just never seems to enter anyone's mind, not even the most mumbly people in the world, that someone might have trouble hearing them, especially with a lot of background noise. It also never seems to enter anyone's mind that those of who do have hearing issues don't walk around wearing a large sign that says: "I have trouble hearing! Please speak up!"

And yeah, I admit it, this story touched a nerve. I need to stop now, because if I let myself, I could rant forever about people who, when asked to speak up, continue to repeat the same words with the SAME slurred diction and NO increase in volume whatsoever--and have trouble understanding why I still can't understand what they said. AAAUUUGGGHHHH--sometimes I hate people!


2014-03-26 12:23 am (UTC) (Link)

I have trouble understanding people in noisy situations too, so I also have to ask people to repeat themselves. At least she had the decency to apologize when she realized she said something offensive.


2014-03-26 12:39 am (UTC) (Link)

I have trouble hearing in a noisy room, especially if I am tired.
I've had people ask nastily if I've got hearing problems, and I've been happy to explain that yes I am truly having difficulty hearing them which is why I asked them to repeat themselves. So far every time they've been apologetic and been willing to repeat themselves. Good luck.


2014-03-26 12:55 am (UTC) (Link)

I have tinnitus in one ear, and it's difficult to hear out of that ear under the best of circumstances; it's totally impossible to hear in a room with a lot of ambient noise. There's also no hearing aid I can really use for this condition, so I've been living with it for about 30 years.

I work about a shift a week at the local food co-op; although there's a stereo receiver that people usually tune to their favorite station—unless they're listening to Pandora or some internet station—I usually turn it off if I'm able.

One of my co-workers last week said, "You don't like music, do you?" I had to explain my hearing problem—and that yes, I actually do like music. In a work situation—this is a case where all working members do a volunteer shift a week—I think the main priority is to hear what customers are saying to you.


2014-03-26 11:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

I used to work in an open plan office and from my desk I could hear 4 different radios playing 4 completely different stations. And my coworkers wondered why I put my finger in the opposite ear from the phone receiver when I answered the department phone...


2014-03-30 07:18 am (UTC) (Link)

I work in a cubicle farm, and yeah... I can usually hear at least one or two radios, everyone within a 40-foot radius who's talking with any sort of volume and/or clarity, and at least one person who's turned on speakerphone while they're on hold and the hold music is playing. Makes it hard to concentrate sometimes...


2014-03-26 02:11 am (UTC) (Link)

I'm just enough of a confrontational ass to retort, "Yes. Actually." xP People like that deserve to feel awful. I hope she thinks about it and feels mortified to this day.


2014-03-26 02:53 am (UTC) (Link)


I mean what a horrible thing to say. So what then in the answer is "yes"?!


2014-03-26 11:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

I get the 'what are you, blind?' every once in a while and I always respond with, 'well, yes.' Tone depends on how long someone has been trying to get me to see whatever it is...And most of the time I'll just fake like I see whatever it is :/


2014-03-30 07:45 am (UTC) (Link)

I have a family member who's Deaf, and she's a very un-filtered person who doesn't understand concepts like sarcasm or rhetorical questions very well, so if someone asks "Are you deaf?" she'll say "Yes!" and then launch into pretty much the entire story of how and why she lost her hearing. So far, there actually haven't been any customers who have reacted negatively to that...

But on the other hand, when I was working I had a similar awkward moment, where a song that I'd done a dance routine to came on over the stereo system, so if you've ever done that you know how ingrained in your head it is, and I didn't really see anyone around so I was just kind of smiling and doing a little bit of a cha-cha down the hallway... when I hear someone make a displeased noise and see someone with some kind of condition that made them walk with an unusual gait giving me a death glare. And I felt like absolute shit because I knew he thought I was making fun of him, but I also knew that if I tried to be like "Sorry, I was just dancing!" it'd sound like just a cheap excuse and I'd make myself into even more of an ass than I already had, so I had to just slink off without making eye contact. Still feel bad about it today :-(


2014-03-26 03:05 am (UTC) (Link)

First off, ugh to people. That's just freakin' rude.

Secondly, you said ass-butt. *cackles*


2014-03-26 06:06 am (UTC) (Link)

I <3 when people get annoyed that I can't hear them. I work a drive thru with no speaker box, you order at the window. I also have blenders, steam wands, grinders, and traffic noises to compete, so please, understand when i can't hear you when you are taking to your phone instead of to me.
I've gotten pretty good at reading lips with this job. :)


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