Tiny vent time right now.

  • I can't hear.
  • This includes phone calls. I mostly have a phone so I can send and receive text messages[0].
  • My voicemail message says, explicitly, I can't hear, do not leave me voicemail, it will not, not, NOT get listened to because I CAN'T HEAR.
  • When I give people my phone number (when I must), I always write something to the effect of "I can't hear, please SMS or email."

[0] There are exceptions. When people I know very well - folks who I've talked with often and long enough to be used to their voice and word choice patterns - call and talk with me on a subject I know (and which thus has predictable conversations paths), I can make it through a call. It's still hard. Generally speaking, the cognitive load needed for me to process audio-only data is sufficient to make my reasoning sub-par when I can't lipread (or in other words, if you want me to be able to think and comment intelligently on what you're saying, find a way to let me read your lips). Drive out to meet me. Turn around to face me. Grab a webcam. Go to text chat. Something. Anything. Seriously.

[1] And expect me to call them back and speak with their customer service representatives. I need to find a relay service I'm happy with because AT&T over AIM has not been able to help me make my calls the last 5 or so times I've tried. Not sure what's up with that.

[2] Imagine needing to ask a friend to listen to - and relay - every voicemail message you ever get. Think about how inconvenient, potentially embarrassing, and - honestly - downright disempowering - that would feel. I realize I have a lot of privilege, I realize this is a minor thing compared to what many other people have to go through, but... after a decade (I've had a phone for 10 years now) it's starting to get to me a little.

I've vented about this before, but still don't have a good solution. Any ideas?