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Sorry? I can't understand what you're saying

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Mar. 28th, 2011 | 10:18 pm

I can't hear shit. It's really getting aggravating. I don't know whether I can't hear anything or whether I just can't understand, but either way I'm that person going "Huh? HUH?"

So apparently, the noise threshold of where I work is above 85 dB SPL, which means that OSHA requires us to get yearly hearing tests and we're supposed to wear hearing protection. I just got my hearing checked so I know I'm not losing too much hearing, but the results were weird. I did better on the high frequencies than the mid-range frequencies, the ones that people talk at (people with deeper voices anyway, like men). And at one particular high frequency, I did perfect in one ear and borderline mild loss in the other ear, which the guy said shouldn't even be possible. My ears, they are impossible!

So I know my hearing is "normal," but I still can't hear shit, and I can't comprehend anything.

This guy stops by where I'm working, sticks his head in and says "Party!" And I'm like "What?" And he says "Party!" again. And I'm thinking, but ... it's 6 a.m. It's a little early to be partying. It is Friday, though. And I play it say and go "Huh?" again and he says "Party!" again only this time, even though I still hear him say it, after he says it the syllables resolve differently in my mind and I realize he was actually saying "Mornin'!"

And no, he didn't have some strange accent that makes party sound like morning. I just can't hear people in noisy places. Someone will come up to me and I'll hear them say "Execute grey elephants in Nova Scotia," and I'll have to make a choice - go "Huh?" and make them repeat "Execute grey elephants in Nova Scotia!" or I just sort of smile and nod and hope that it isn't important.

It would help if people wouldn't say random things to me. One cook stopped by my dishwashing station, shook my hand and said hi, and then after a few minutes came back, gave me a pot to wash and said "You are a cutie!" Of course, I had him repeat that, because ... like, what? And as soon as I understood, I dissolved into embarrassed giggles and blushed. Because, sadly, it's true. I am a cutie.

What's with the drive-by flirting anyway? I was leaving work and some guy sitting on the bench was like "Watchoo name? Watchoo number?" Dude, I don't even - I've never seen you before in my life and my hair is greasy and I was washing dishes for the past 8 hours and I'm sure I smell like dishwater and I'm wearing blue jeans that don't fit and you're hitting on me? Does this approach actually work? Does it? Maybe I should have given him my number just to see what would have happened. But I couldn't quite hear what he was saying and I was embarrassed and I kind of walked away waving my hands like "I can't even ..."

I should probably wear the ear plugs at work like OSHA requires, but they're too big and they poke in my ear canal and hurt me. I don't think it's health to shove things against my ear drum, so screw that. I guess I'll have to either buy my own or take it up with management (bleh). Besides, no one else wears them and I feel stupid doing so.

Link | Click to be heard |

Comments {23}

M

(no subject)

from: miripanda
date: Mar. 29th, 2011 12:10 pm (UTC)
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I have two thoughts.... one, people might be mumblier or talking faster than you're used to so gradually you'll adjust...and two, if you go get standard issue squishy earplugs from CVS you may find you can actually hear better with those middle layers of noise filtered out or toned down. When I wear earplugs to concerts I can magically hear the vocals over the bass and it's the best thing ever.

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Sex and a dog-eared paperback dictionary

(no subject)

from: redcoast
date: Mar. 29th, 2011 12:14 pm (UTC)
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I think the ear plugs we use are standard-issue squishy ones, they just are a little too big for my ear canals, I think. I should always remember to wear ear plugs to concerts (and movies!) because the sound hurts my ears to the extent that I have to put my fingers in my ears anyway. I'm a big sissy like that though.

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asakiyume

(no subject)

from: asakiyume
date: Mar. 29th, 2011 03:24 pm (UTC)
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I like the sound transformation that turns "mornin'" into "party"--maybe your brain's hopefulness?

And I like the idea of getting people to repeat compliments :D

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Sex and a dog-eared paperback dictionary

(no subject)

from: redcoast
date: Mar. 29th, 2011 06:32 pm (UTC)
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Well I ask them to repeat everything, not just compliments ... if an insult is repeated, does that make it more true?

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asakiyume

more true?

from: asakiyume
date: Mar. 29th, 2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
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Hmmm. I think getting people to repeat things makes them have to commit to what they're saying. A guy who will repeat that you're a cutie is not to embarrassed or ashamed to own his statement. I guess a guy who was willing to repeat his insult would, likewise, be nervy enough to stand by what he said.

... I don't think in either case they're necessarily true. (Though I'd agree that you're definitely a cutie)

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Sex and a dog-eared paperback dictionary

Re: more true?

from: redcoast
date: Mar. 29th, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC)
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You know the saying "What I tell you three times is true"? Like a magic spell?

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asakiyume

Re: more true?

from: asakiyume
date: Mar. 29th, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC)
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I didn't know that!

Now I'm going to make people repeat things three times.

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Sex and a dog-eared paperback dictionary

Re: more true?

from: redcoast
date: Mar. 29th, 2011 06:45 pm (UTC)
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"Just the place for a Snark!" the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.

"Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
What i tell you three times is true."

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Ashley

(no subject)

from: a_neonta
date: Mar. 29th, 2011 04:20 pm (UTC)
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I also have a terrible time hearing people over background noise. I do a lot of smiling and nodding, which usually works unless the person has asked me a question that can't be answered with a nod, and then it's embarrassing.

I am also incapable of understanding men with deep voices over the phone, which is troublesome because my husband's voice gets deeper when he's tired, and we usually only talk on the phone when he's away doing something tiring.

We should learn to read lips.

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beraht

(no subject)

from: beraht
date: Mar. 30th, 2011 12:48 am (UTC)
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I do this a lot when I talk to you on the phone. I have a really hard time understanding you.

I also had an exceptionally hard time with Vince's mom. I just say "yeah" a lot and hope you don't notice, or I'm not agreeing that I eat boogers, or something.

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Sex and a dog-eared paperback dictionary

(no subject)

from: redcoast
date: Mar. 30th, 2011 12:50 am (UTC)
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my cell's microphone isn't helping matters i'm sure

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(Deleted comment)

Sex and a dog-eared paperback dictionary

(no subject)

from: redcoast
date: Mar. 31st, 2011 03:07 am (UTC)
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Rebecca, you mumble like a mumbling mumbler. :P <3

Arrgh yes. Fuckity fuck.

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(Deleted comment)

beraht

(no subject)

from: beraht
date: Mar. 30th, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC)
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Depending on the person, I can see that being an actual question. B, say, or Magda.

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(Deleted comment)

beraht

(no subject)

from: beraht
date: Mar. 30th, 2011 10:30 pm (UTC)
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They wanted to know if you wanted some nipples? o_O

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(Deleted comment)

beraht

(no subject)

from: beraht
date: Mar. 30th, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
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Okay, so you heard someone say nipples instead of nibbles? Because your first post made it sound like you misheard another word as nibbles. A bit weird, but it makes sense. I thought you took it to mean something else, though, hence the B and Magda comment.

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juicy couture handbags

from: anonymous
date: Mar. 31st, 2011 05:47 am (UTC)
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Very informative article. I'm really amazed by the quality of your blog.

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Sex and a dog-eared paperback dictionary

Re: juicy couture handbags

from: redcoast
date: Mar. 31st, 2011 02:55 pm (UTC)
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WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH JUICY COUTURE HANDBAGS

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A Quirky Undead Chick

Re: juicy couture handbags

from: ardys_the_ghoul
date: Mar. 31st, 2011 06:15 pm (UTC)
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Dude, I had a comment like that, too, except it was about Louis Vuitton.

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Sex and a dog-eared paperback dictionary

Re: juicy couture handbags

from: redcoast
date: Mar. 31st, 2011 08:46 pm (UTC)
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The spam needs to be of a higher quality!

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A Quirky Undead Chick

(no subject)

from: ardys_the_ghoul
date: Mar. 31st, 2011 06:11 pm (UTC)
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You totally are a cutie.

And, this sounds like me. I have an issue with what I call, "aural comprehension." Which is to say, I can hear what people are saying to me, but it makes no sense. I have to have them repeat it three or four times before I can understand what they're telling me. They might as well be speaking Greek.

Have you always had this problem? Because it's one of those "Asperger's things" that I thought was something only I had a problem with. Have you ever been tested for Asperger's? (I'm serious, have you?)

Random dude hitting on you happened to me once, in the Wal-Mart parking lot--random black dude pulled up to me in his car and asked if I had a boyfriend, because he liked the way I looked. My hair was all standing on end from the wind, and I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Talk about a "huh?" moment. (My mom freaked out when I told her about that.)

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Sex and a dog-eared paperback dictionary

(no subject)

from: redcoast
date: Mar. 31st, 2011 08:49 pm (UTC)
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Have you ever been tested for Asperger's?

No. I don't think I have it, though. I suspect it's an ADHD thing.

Random dude hitting on you happened to me once, in the Wal-Mart parking lot--random black dude pulled up to me in his car and asked if I had a boyfriend, because he liked the way I looked. My hair was all standing on end from the wind, and I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Talk about a "huh?" moment. (My mom freaked out when I told her about that.)

You probably have a nice ass or something.

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A Quirky Undead Chick

(no subject)

from: ardys_the_ghoul
date: Apr. 1st, 2011 10:28 pm (UTC)
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I was actually diagnosed as borderline ADHD as a kid--apparently, the two conditions are often mistaken for each other.

And I have a large ass, I wouldn't necessarily say it's nice. Maybe he was turned on by my super-cute Happy Bunny t-shirt?

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Sex and a dog-eared paperback dictionary

(no subject)

from: redcoast
date: Apr. 2nd, 2011 05:40 am (UTC)
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For some people, large = nice when it comes to asses. Your ass is probably fine, girl!

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