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DeltaSierra
08-17-2008, 09:01 PM
This is not directly SC, but it does qualify for a brain burp.

A good friend of mine is currently job hunting, having been laid off from his welding job last month. He's deaf, speech-reads, has hearing aids and perfect speech.

He goes to a local construction company that had hiring signs, and went to the back office to speak to the secretary. Conversation ensues:

Friend: "I understand your company is hiring?"
Secretary: "Yes we are"
Friend: "What positions are you currently hiring in?"
Secretary: "Well at the moment we (looks down to her papers) *mumble mumble mumble*"
Friend: "I'm sorry could you repeat that? I'm deaf and couldn't understand what you were saying when your head was down"
Secretary: "..... oh....um...er.... well you realize, you'd have to be able to TALK to work here!"
Friend: "I AM talking to you"
Secretary: ".....oh.....ummm....well, *flustered* we need welders and general laborers"
Friend: "Perfect, is it possible to get an application?"
Secretary: (still apparently flustered, digs application out of her desk, and starts speaking s-l-o-w-l-y) "Y...o...u w...i...l..l h...a...v..e t...o"
Friend: (cuts her off) "Um, Ma'am? I'm deaf, not mentally incapacitated. Just speak normally please."
Secretary: "....oh....umm....get the papers back to me by Friday?"
Friend: "Fine thank you. I'll do that. Have a nice day"

I hope her behavior isn't indicative of the company!

Aethian
08-17-2008, 09:32 PM
If he doesn't get the job, make sure he notes that to your states labour board. I've known a couple deaf guys who couldn't wear hearing aids that worked on the great big postal machines where you have to walk INTO them to work on them. Very dangerous stuff.

Gurndigarn
08-18-2008, 02:40 AM
If he doesn't get the job, make sure he notes that to your states labour board.

Please don't, unless you have strong evidence that it was deafness that was the primary cause of being turned down. One of the stories I tell frequently... well, let me tell it again.

I'm in the management training program for my company at the time, and sent to another store to cover off a manager's vacation. There is one— count 'em, one— other employee in the arcade, when you need at least two more, and ideally three. So I get to do interviews. By myself, with no training. Oh, and there are only three applications I can find. So I call them all, set up times.

First interview: black male, professional, just left a job that makes more money than I'm going to see until seven years and two promotions later. Looking for a... part time, minimum wage job. I know people complain about being told their overqualified, but still...

Second interview: white male, just entered college (!), wants nights and weekend hours (!!), eagle scout (!), nicely dressed (!), had better interviewing presence than I did (!!), asked questions that indicated competence and understanding of what the job would be like (!!!)

Third interview: black female. Most recent two jobs less than six months each, reason for leaving: conflict with management. The first question I always have asked in an interview is "Tell me a bit about yourself." Y'know, let's break the ice, see what you think is important about yourself. Well, she looked down and to the side, and said "I'm basically a shy person."

AND YOU WANT TO WORK IN A FREAKING ARCADE!?!?! ARE YOU NUTS?

Well, I didn't say that, of course. Professional demeanor and all that. Instead, I realized that it couldn't get any worse, and continued on... and found out that yes, it could get worse. Conflicts with management at prior jobs... wanted daytime hours, which we didn't have to offer... acted unsure about dealing with young kids... and more that my memory has fortunately erased since. This lady was pure poison, the second worst interview I've ever been in— and she followed the best interview I've ever been in.

Well, she called later to check up on the job (the only positive thing I got from her). I said "I'm sorry, we've decided to go with som—"
"Awhitemaleright?"

Anyway, to summarize... don't assume that if he doesn't get a job it's because of his problems hearing. There are any of a number of other possibilities, and if he protests strongly, he may make it harder for other people with physical issues to even get an interview.

DeltaSierra
08-18-2008, 03:01 AM
The only one he's "protested" to is me and a few friends. He's hoping to get a call back, as he loves what he does and hates being out of work. He's good, too.

Aethian
08-18-2008, 03:19 AM
I'm not saying that they would just tell him no because he's deaf but if he doesn't get it and can't be told a good reason why. As in they found another more qualified and that they really did then yea there is no reason to go to a labour board. But if they can't say why he didn't get it and I'm hoping he does get the job....then their might be a problem based on how the secretary acted.

DesignFox
08-18-2008, 12:49 PM
I think the secretary was just clueless, not necessarily discriminatory. Some people really don't know how to handle being in the presence of a person with a disability.

Neecy's friend doesn't seem to have any problems communicating, as he can speak normally, can hear a little with his hearing aids, and can read lips. The secratary may have been flustered and embarrassed by her own actions, not annoyed at having a deaf man in front of her.

I've read, I think somewhere on this board, that construction companies don't mind having a deaf person because it's actually easier to communicate with someone accustomed to reading body language and hand signals rather than having to receive verbal instructions- which often get drowned out in all the loud noise at the site.

I hope your friend gets the job Neecy!

greek_jester
08-18-2008, 02:45 PM
The secratary may have been flustered and embarrassed by her own actions, not annoyed at having a deaf man in front of her.

That sounds about right to me, from the way I read it. I'm partially deaf (only a little, 30% hearing loss in my left ear) & have trouble sometimes if someone isn't looking at me or is behind me when they speak. If I explain this to some people I get the some very odd, overly exagerated & overly loud conversations. They usually stop if I tell them they can talk normally, but if they don't I speak that way right back. Soon stops them! ;)

I've read, I think somewhere on this board, that construction companies don't mind having a deaf person because it's actually easier to communicate with someone accustomed to reading body language and hand signals rather than having to receive verbal instructions- which often get drowned out in all the loud noise at the site.

Having also worked in the office of a plastic bottle production site, I can tell you that this is true. Saves on earplugs, certainly! All we had to do was make sure that our fire alarms had flashing lights, & they're fairly common now anyway.

DeltaSierra
08-18-2008, 09:45 PM
I wouldn't call out the discrimination card either (and I doubt he would) it was just a funny brain burp. I had a similar thing happen to me when I was 16 and had to take a summer school class for Algebra (HATED math at the time and it showed,) and my Mom came along with me to explain to the teacher that I could lipread him and as long as he spoke clearly and didn't turn his back on the class while explaining something I'd have no problem. His first comment was "Well can she speak?"

Thankfully my Mother, diplomat that she is, rather than get angry simply retorted "Its her ears that don't work, Sir. Her mouth works overtime" ;)

Had no problem with the teacher after that - passed the class, and he later transferred schools and became my 12th grade math teacher. First time I got an "A" in a math class!!!