Hard of Hearing

17 Jun

Letterbalm Man Hard of HearingDear LetterBalm: I have a disorder that has resulted in severe hearing loss and tinnitus in one ear. My doctors tell me that a hearing aid will be worthless because my auditory nerve is degraded. This means I occasionally find myself having to ask people to repeat themselves in conversation. (My boss is nasty about it, saying in a loud voice, “You want me to repeat myself, you want me to repeat myself?” But confronting him would be the end of my job.) I have several well-meaning colleagues who insist that today’s technology can provide me with a usable hearing aid. They say I’m just an attention-seeker. How do I end this once and for all?

–Tired of the Noise

By “end this once and for all”, Ms. L.B. assumes you don’t mean putting your head in a noose. With this lovely cast of characters, you might be tempted. Meetings must be torture for you, and your boss is the chief torturer. You have patiently explained your condition, but none of them wants to hear it. So, the next time somebody decides to take a shot at you, speak up in no uncertain terms – harsher than you’ve been. And, ramp-up your job search. You need to get away from this rude and insensitive bunch:   

I’ll say this once and for all: No matter what the technology, a hearing aid will not work with my condition. You persist in not accepting this fact when doctors far more expert than you say that a hearing aid is worthless. Clearly, you value my expertise because we continue to work together with great results for this company. So, how is it that such smart people cannot accept reality? Don’t you think I’d be smart enough to end this torture and get a hearing aid if it would help? Now, let’s get back to work.

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