Friday, June 29, 2007

Me Deaf Worker....Hearing Boss


Oscar the Observer said...

Welcome bac--- NO! DON'T DELETE THIS POST! *laugh* I simply have good RSS reader, okay :).

Yeah, TGIF right? *chuckle* Hope this gets better soon :).

DeafWoman said...

MY GOSH!!!! That boss of yours is SO incredibly rude and inconsiderate!! Unbelievable!! I'm sorry you had to put up with him like that!! That was uncalled for him to treat you like second class! I think you should share with him about your feelings, but PLEASE do it in writing...bring note with you and let him read it...telling him how you offended or hurt you are with his msgs to your coworkers to relay to you. His actions and attitudes speaks VOLUME, loudly, than his words of "promise" to communicate with you directly. I implore you to please "write" him a never know you may need this evidence...(of course make a copy for yourself!). And make a note on your copy how it went.
Now block him out of your mind and try n enjoy your weekend like you said at the end of your blog. Here's my hugs!

Dennis Bacon said...

Relax yourself. I work in big company. I don't know how big company you work for. Do they have a policy called "Open Door"? "Open Door" means you file a complaint and present it to your boss and make a copy to Human Resource. So he will sit and talk with you. If not, report to Human Resource that your boss refuse to talk or listen.
My company used to have a deaf committee to talk over with the managements to improve the better understanding between deaf people and the managements. In the past the managements had hard time to deal with deaf people. Today it is so so. I blunted the issue with a plant manager and human resource same time after the meeting about communication with all employees. I told them that finally you said communication is very important and what happenend to deaf's communication that the management tended to ingore. They gulped big time and changed pretty good. I still keep eye on their performance. I can report it to Corporate Human Resource if they don't follow up on the communication improving.

LaRonda said...

My suggestion, tell it like it is. Be honest and let the boss know how you feel. You have options. E-mail is always safe. The boss can read and react to it in private, decide how to respond and then make the next move.

If you're more brave, meeting in person to discuss it is another way. But it sounds like your boss is awkward with the communication challenges he feels.

Written word is common ground. I would start with an e-mail.

~ LaRonda

Fookem said...

Write a note to your boss, human resource, manager, boss, etc.... IT WON'T work at all, period.

Simple thing for you is to write a letter to EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity). Believe me, it works.


IamMine said...

Good to see you, BAD! :D

I'm with LaRonda here - I can understand and I'm glad that you didn't blow up right there! You do have a lot of self-control while boiling inside!

Clearly, he doesn't see it that way and it tells me he also treats other co-workers like this because he's in his own comfort zone of his typical communication style.

Some people find it awkward to adjust their behaviors to meet their subordinators' level (that sounds awful, I know) because they are in the upper level. Some of them forget they are there to communicate with the workers!

It is the same at my hubby's work - all hearing and he is very very frustrated with the proper and/or lack of communication with the management. They also pass it to co-workers - their "favorite" workers, if you like.

As for the "deafness" issue - I don't think he's realizing how it made you feel. He's thinking like the majority of hearing people, unfortunately, because that's usually the first thing they see when they find out who you are.

That could be what he meant - that he wouldn't let that in the way, despite what people think, you will be promoted.

It sure sucks to be in the minority (double for ya, woman and deaf) and being viewed that way.

But that's our job of educating them in the best way we can. :)

Anyway – take a deep breath and relax over the weekend…and think about how you want to tell him how you feel and solutions. Do try to see from his point of view and then expand on that to YOUR point of view and how this can be fixed. :D

Keep us posted! This would be a good information and lesson for other deaf workers! :D I know I would when I get a job and I’d be thinking of your vlog on this problem! :-)

Amy said...


As LaRonda suggested using email to help to communicate with your boss.

I respectfully disagree with this suggestion. E-mails should not be used for employee-employer issues, because it will backfire very easily.

E-mails are considered as a 'cold' way to resolve difficulties, because it is invasive, standoffish, and remote.

The best way is to meet your boss, by talking in person. First, set up a 20-minute one-on-one time with your employer. Once given this time, that will give you enough time to come up no more than 3 issues (three is sufficient - believe me) to discuss with your boss.

I found this most effective, that if you organize three issues, and start with one issue that is not 'personal' or 'sensitive' which your boss can truly resolve the issue, which will make your boss feel very competent to help you.

Then, you can bring up the second issue with a forewarning that this may take little bit more time to discuss because it involves communication or cultural conflicts. Your boss will likely listen to your issue when the forewarning was given.

Finally, the third issue, make it simple and sound upbeat that both of you can come up with easy solution.

With this kind of approach, your boss will start feeling competent with the first issue, and the second one, prepare the boss with forewarning, so it'll take the boss' defenses down, and willingness to listen to your perspective. Then maybe, the third issue by using this example: "When I come into your office, and I see you working on the computer, does that mean you are focused on what you are writing? If so, what would you suggest for me to do when I need your eye contact without interrupting your work?" This is a great problem solving opportunity for both of you to come up with reasonable solutions.

Then, your boss will feel comfortable, and impressed with your approach.

Please do not use e-mails. It'll make things worse. It opens too many misinterpretations. I just know. No matter how well you write up an email, with several drafts, edits, and making it crystal clear, BUT bringing up sensitive issues on e-mail is a big NO!

Try this approach if you can.

Thanks for asking us to come up with different solutions how you can address to this issue.

Good luck,
Amy Cohen Efron

Anonymous said...

I empathize with you and your work situation. I do not agree with Fookem's suggestion because it is not yet time to take that step and would only make matters worse.
My suggestion regarding labor/work issues is to always resolve issues at the lowest possible level and work your way up from there. This way your superior, and if necessary his superior would appreciate your wanting to resolve problems within. This way, there's the opportunity to keep the problems within the company and get them resolved.

If no resolution is found between you and your superior (the e-mail idea is good for a few reasons), then carry the issue to his boss, etc before going outside the organization to EEOC, for example.

Best wishes to you on your endeavors.

Squ65 said...

My best advice is to bring your interpreter or a friend interpreter (of course certified) SShh ..... to surprise your boss. But first set up a meeting with your boss a few weeks advance in order to find the interpreter more time. *Evil Grin* How that sound to you? or Write a letter to the Human Resource person with your advocator (Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing) la la la ... I have a similiar situation as yours. At first My bosses wouldn't let me to work in ER (at the veterinary hospital) just because I can't hear the dogs' growling. Sheesh .. In the meeting, I blunted to my several bosses with the interpreter in a nice friendly way .. Have to! lol .. I can tell by their body language with my keen eyes! I follow my guts too! Irony I was bitten twice within 7 years. Many hearings got bitten too! Pah .. I am allowed to work there now. I did learned to do the blood drawn etc etc .. I did that a few times then that was it. Mostly help out to restrain the dogs/cats for x-ray, for a blood drawn etc .. The ER always busy sigh ... I work as a scrub technician -- so it is alot of work.

B.A.D. said...

THANK THANK THANK you ALL so very much for your responses, it made my day and made me think ALOT!!

ALL of you - I agree on. EVEN e-mail, to hold some piece of evidence for future references.

I will work on it NOW, and read your supports and start to "talk" o him SOON!! I've had enough...truly.

Anonymous said...

Amy C. Efron's suggestions are excellent! It is what I do whenever there is a matter or issue to bring up with your boss or co-worker. Emails or letters can easily backfire or may lead to negative OVER-thinking and to wrong actions.

Don't attack your boss in any way. Stay positive and calm and use 'I' instead of 'you'.

HOWEVER, it would help write down:

a) specific issues which you and your boss discussed

b) write a plan of action to resolve each issue.

c) ask whether the info is accurate

That will be emailed to your supervisor (boss) AFTER your meeting. It leads to better employee-supervisor relationship.

That is what I do, but if you want to do something different. You know your boss well.

Best of luck with your meeting with your supervisor!! Do tell us how it goes.

~ Just Deaf

Anonymous said...

Umm... I would go to Human Resources first and they should arrange the meeting between you, the boss and one of HR employer.
I would feel safe do that way, with witness, to prevent the boss can fired your ass if you confront her/him alone.

Anonymous said...