A recent experience at work prompted me to think about the more difficult situations I have, when it is most difficult to hear other people. I thought of my top 3 "hardest to hear" situations and decided to list them here.
I'm curious to know what you would consider the top 3 moments it's hardest to hear. What do you think?
1) Trying to talk in a fast food restaurant that has seemingly random beeping, noises, and cleaning equipment running. Of course, the beeping and other noises are not random if you are working there, as I'm sure it's the equipment trying to get your attention. But from the customer's side, these noises sound random, overly loud, and really interfere with hearing. A local fast food place I enjoy going to has become less enjoyable because of the proximity of loud machines to the customer area. I can't have a conversation if it's going to be punctuated by beeping and other sounds that don't even affect me.
2) When I am at work, the most difficult situation for me to hear is when the other person is distracted. I always get a sinking feeling in my stomach when two patrons strike up a conversation while in line. What often seems to happen is that they continue their conversation as they are assisted by me or my coworkers. That means they aren't paying any attention to me trying to ask them questions, and when they do speak to me they are most often oriented to keep speaking to their newfound friend, meaning I can't read their lips. Not only that, but I can't break in smoothly to ask what I need to ask.
The specific situation at work had to do with a particularly chatty patron who was talking to everyone in line or nearby - except me. As he finished picking up his items, he looked at me and said, "Well, you're not very talkative, are you?"
I just informed him there was a line forming behind him and moved to the next patron. But what I would have liked to have done is pointed out the multiple ways he had made it impossible to speak to him during our transaction - and how he had managed to make it nearly impossible for me to figure out if he was addressing me or someone else.
3) A windy day. The wind really interferes with my hearing aids and it easily snatches sound away. I particularly hate trying to walk in a parking lot and talk to someone else when it is windy. Walking side by side, plus the wind, makes it very difficult.