Office Drama with Hearing Loss
In my last blog, I mentioned a humiliating experience that ended up helping me come to terms with my hearing loss.
Back when I was a sales rep, I worked in a shared office space with other reps. It was sociable, but very noisy, making it tough for me to speak with my clients on the phone. Instead of doing the right thing – asking for accommodations – I waited until the room was quiet and only then did I make phone calls. But this strategy made me less productive. Worse, it blew up in my face.
One day while I was on the phone, an associate logged into her voicemail on the speakerphone. Her loud messages made it impossible for me to hear or understand what my caller was saying, and the call was too important for me to interrupt. I asked the other rep to use her handset rather than the speakerphone, which seemed like a modest request. But not to her.
When I hung up, she screamed at me, calling me a selfish bitch. She then convinced our manager to exile me to an empty office where I stayed, like a bad girl, saying nothing and completely out of the loop and the life of the company. It took me days to recover.
Why didn’t I tell my manager that an empty office would make me more productive in the first place? He had always been supportive of my hearing difficulties in the past. But, I did nothing.
It took me a while to realize how much I needed to rethink the way I dealt with my hearing loss. Today I see this humiliating experience as a critical motivator in my own evolution of learning to live with a hearing loss.
In my next blog I’ll talk about how education helped me take the next step in my journey, which persuaded me to rename my practice The Hearing Loss Evolution. Watch for the relaunch of the website on on September 1st.