Life is Like Wading Through Treacle
My cr£dit card company have begun the annoying practice of putting the following sticker on my replacement card: “please call this number to confirm that you have received this.”
I’m deaf – I can’t call that number.
I asked my sister if she was getting that sticker on her cards as well, and she said she was in such a mood about hers that she marched into her bank branch and asked a member of staff there to do the ringing up. I thought that was a good idea, which was why I was waiting in a bank queue yesterday. I asked if I really had to ring that number, or if I could safely ignore it, but she said “do you want me to ring for you?” and I said “yes please.”
It took a bit longer than we expected… she managed to get through when she rang the number, but the people at the other end wouldn’t believe her, and refused the request to confirm my card. Fortunately she had an ace up her sleeve in the form of a private number, so she rang that, and this time it was accepted. Presumably they knew who she was on that phone.
The bank clerk agreed it was all terribly difficult, and when we were talking about it later, Mum said, “it’s so unnecessary.” I said if they didn’t believe she was who she said she was, how would they have believed me? Presumably they’re not allowed to ask me my pin. How would they know who I was?
All these questions. What I really wanted, I suppose, was some indication that calling was optional. (Ha). Or a little slip to fill in and send off. I thought they used to do that. What happened to that plan?
The thought of having to go through this every time a replacement card arrives makes me tired. I wonder if switching to another cr£dit card would be a smart move… or do they all pull that trick?
Here is a short clipping from it – I will remove it if the writer is not comfortable with the direct quotation:
I am going to argue that deafness is a disability, since it makes some things impossible and some things difficult. But I am also going to argue that deafness is actually a rather mild disability. And here’s where I think my point really comes to the fore: deafness is only so serious a disability in so far as it is so thoroughly discriminated against.
As far as I’m aware, Pacian has no hearing loss himself but he knows from second hand experience what kind of issues arise from it. He is a little worried that he worded his post too strongly, but I rarely see someone describing problems so similar to mine with such gusto and understanding – it was refreshing. I agree with him that even those of us who have had our say against disablism in general are not angels, and are likely to have discriminated against others ourselves. I’m sure I’m no angel and I can’t help understanding (in many cases) why people do ‘this’, say ‘that’, or react in whatever way they react… I don’t think it’s possible to make everybody get along / accept everybody else / understand everything that goes on in other people’s lives. I do my best within my limits, keep an open mind, and hope that others do as well. There are people out there who understand some of the problems we face. Just knowing that makes my day – it really does.
I’m still reading through the blogs on disablism – there have been some amazing posts and great blogs. I’m determined to read all of them, but that list expands by the minute! I have to get some sleep now, but I will continue tomorrow, and check to see I didn’t miss any new ones.
Meanwhile, I’ve had a thought about something.
Over a year ago, the BBC carried out a personality survey of the UK population. If I remember right, they discovered that the biggest personality type among those who answered the survey were ‘realists’. Did anybody else see this? My sister did the online survey and was counted amongst the realists. (She’s like Norb from The Angry Beavers – clear-sighted and efficient).
My personality type was Idealist. (“Aw nuts!” as Dag would say).
I got Mum to do the test as well. She’s not so confident with the computer so I called up the site and waited while she answered the questions. She was pegged as an idealist as well.
I said “you didn’t answer all the questions exactly the way I did.”
“Oh,” she said. “Was it the bit about interacting with others you answered differently?”
Yes – I was a little stumped how to answer them. There was the one about how much we talk when we are out with friends. There’s a difference between how much I (with my hearing loss) would like to join in, and how much I’m actually able to. So how do you answer it? A bit of a poser, until you remember that the quiz is about personality, not abilities.
That said, I can’t remember now what answer I gave. It just amused me at the time that in spite of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), which was being talked about a lot just then, this nationwide personality test was a little wide of the mark.
Well, it’s easy to pick holes. I imagine it would be challenging (but not impossible?) to write a test that took account of such… er… anomalies. I can’t remember it in any great detail so maybe the test was OK – particularly if those completing it were keeping in mind that it was all about personality and not ability.
I mean, if I go out with friends and feel like getting involved, but they’re talking so hard that I can’t get a word in edgeways… does my silence (and unwillingness to bring them up short, something that’s usually counter-productive) still count as being my personality? After all, it’s how I behave in reality. That’s part of my personality, isn’t it? Is it? Now I’m stumped!
Never mind – it was just a quiz. And I’m still an idealist.
Good night to all!