Communication Knows No Boundaries

It has been three weeks now since I’ve gotten my job up town (I know, I can hardly believe it ether!) and I am still absolutely loving it!  Sure, working in retail means that I have to deal with some ‘not-so-nice people’ sometimes, but I choose to look at all of the positives rather than the negatives with my new job..

!!! For example !!!

The other day; this lady came in, grabbed a few items, and came up to the front to check out.  I asked her my normal greeting of “How are you doing today?” and “Did you find everything you were looking for?” while I scanned her items.  She asked me to repeat myself because she couldn’t hear me, and seeing as she was an older lady (and because I had a mask on) I repeated my question slower and louder than before so that she could hear me.  I figuring that she was hard of hearing at first, and these masks we have to wear aren’t really good for hearing what someone says.

After about the third time of repeating myself, the lady finally admitted that she had to read lips to understand people, and that she couldn’t hear (but was not completely deaf).  Understanding, I backed up a bit from the glass that separated us over the counter, before quickly pulling down my mask and repeating my questions so that she could understand what I had said.  Once she could see my lips, she could understand.  However, the store policy was to wear my mask at all times..

The lady understood this policy and pulled her phone out and told me that I could speak into it and that it would translate what I said for her by writing it down.  So when it was time for me to speak into the phone so that she could show me how it worked, I asked “can you only read lips, or can you sign too?”

When she pulled her phone back to read what I had said, she looked back up at me with a gleam in her eye and told me that she knew sign language, but that she wasn’t fluent in it.  With that, I knew that the time had finally presented itself for me to put all of my signing practice to the test..  When I finished ringing her up and showed her where to find the total, I was so eager to sign to her ‘have a good day’ that I forgot to press the button that allows her to pay with a card!  Finally, I snapped back to reality when she told me that nothing was happening when she swiped her card, and I quickly pressed the button and signed that it was my bad and that she could go ahead and swipe again.

When she had paid and grabbed her bags, I signed to her to ‘have a good day’ and she signed back ‘you too’.  I was smiling ear to ear for the rest of that night!  (And the rest of that week too!)

Kindness and understanding go a long way.  I’ve learned over the years that even if you don’t speak the same language (or don’t speak at all), we can all communicate in one way or another.  That day, I just so happen to be able to speak the language.  Tomorrow, I may get to interact with someone who speaks a language I cannot understand.  But it doesn’t mean that I won’t listen and try to communicate in some way. ❤

Have you ever communicated with someone who didn’t speak your language?  What would you have done if you were put in my situation?  Comment below and share some love! 💙

As always, smile, have an amazing day, and look for opportunities opportunities to spread love and kindness!

3 comments

  1. I am deaf and although hearing aids assist, like that lady, I rely on lipreading. I don’t know what the law is over there, but in the UK, it’s ‘wearing masks, unless you have a goid reason not too.’

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is the same here in the State of Michigan in the U.S. All employees are required to wear masks, as well as all customers, unless a medical condition requires you to NOT wear one. I’d like to get a mask that is see through, but I feel like my breath would just cause it to fog up and then no one could see through it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes thats the thing with clear masks, but here in the UK if not wearing a clear mask, for disability access, a person can remove their mask, so someone can lipread.

        Like

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