Sunlight Shining Through Cloud

More Than Able

Posted on: April 29, 2011

I walked into a Cost Cutters a few years ago.  After being invited to sit in a chair, I noticed a posting on the mirror in front of me.  It said something like: “Hello, my name is Charlie and I am deaf and I can’t talk.  But even though I can’t hear you, I can hear you.  Please just speak in a normal voice.  I’ll read your lips.  An added bonus…you won’t have to suffer the idle chit-chat.”  I walked out fifteen minutes later with a terrific haircut.

I went to a government office today to take care of some complicated business.  When I sat down, all I saw was a nice lady.  It took me a full minute to realize that she was sitting on a motorized wheelchair, had no use of her right hand, and limited use of her left.  That said, her impediments were instantly trumped by her competency.  She accomplished what I needed her to with two fingers of one hand and a good brain.  It took her only as long as it would have anyone else.

I was in awe of this woman, really, and I wanted to say something complimentary when we were done.  But then I remembered Charlie.  All he wanted was to be treated like any one of us.

So when I stood up to leave this afternoon, I thanked this nice lady and wished her a great weekend.  And I left.

1 Response to "More Than Able"

I’m pretty sure that your pleasant wishes and thank you at the end of transaction was sufficient. I have a serious hearing defect which is not well-corrected by hearing aids. I can’t tell you how tiresome it gets to tell people that you don’t know and will probably never see again that you are hard of hearing. I think Charlie is lucky to have a workable solution.

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