My mother has recently been in contact with two organisations:

1. The local borough council.
2. The hearing aid department of the local hospital.

Bearing in mind that the second body is one we might expect to have dealings with deaf people on a daily basis, let's link those two organisations to the following two experiences:

A. Mum calls the readily available textphone number, which is promptly answered by a helpful, if inexperienced operator. She makes an appointment with ease. On attending this appointment, she finds that the people she deals with are well trained in speaking to those who need to lip-read, and she is easily able to understand them.

B. There is no textphone number that mum can find, so she calls the main number through TypeTalk (which I should mention is actually the general name for a service that has been re-branded as Text Direct). The operator reports that when he or she connected, a recorded message was playing, asking for a message. Mum tries contacting this number on five different occasions, on different days and at different times. Each time a recorded message seems to cut in suddenly. Mum becomes convinced that when they hear the recorded message (which is something like) 'This is a call from a deaf person using Text Direct, please hold while an operator connects.' they are turning on an answering machine because they do not want to deal with the call. In order to prove to my mother that this is baseless paranoia, I call the same number myself, shortly after her fifth attempt. And immediately get through to a human being. I make my mother's appointment for her, and then ask about the difficulties she had getting through. The woman on the other end seems familiar with the idea of TypeTalk, but doesn't seem to know that this is what Text Direct actually is, and claims that she has only just sat down to answer the phone - mine is the first call she has received. I don't want to antagonise her (and also, I don't think to mention) but this doesn't actually explain how my mum had so much trouble getting through at so many different times on different days. When my mother attends her appointment, she finds that the person she deals with speaks too quickly, and when told to speak more slowly gets annoyed. She seems to believe that simply facing a deaf person is enough to let them lip-read you (but nevertheless starts speaking more clearly).

Okay, write down your answers...

Ready? Good. Now, if you matched the local borough council with A and the hearing aid department with B, congratulations! You are now as confused as I am.


zhoen said...

Stupidity run rampant.

Diddums said...

Everything's getting more confusing - and more impersonal - and people in general are less invested in what they do. I think most people now just go through the motions and try to stay in their own comfort zone while getting through the day's work. Hopefully I'm wrong and there are still plenty of interested and motivated people out there. Not sure I can say "yes I know someone like that..."

Maybe a cat rescue organization I know of. But that's about it.

Tinker said...

Well good for your local borough council - kudos to them!
But the hearing aid dept. of the local hospital ought to all be made to wear cotton in their ears for a day and see how quickly they lipread ...How frustrating!

Floraine Kay said...

Things are much the same here.