Can I hear you now? Pretty unlikely.

So my dad had lots of admirable qualities and features that I would love to have inherited.  Hearing deficit wasn’t one of them, but it seems that’s the one I received.  No big deal, no complaints really.  I’ve found that there are kind of unexpected perks to having a bit of hearing loss at times.  😉  Might as well make the best of it, huh? 

And like every other unpleasant physical condition, it’s always a good idea to find the humor and laugh at yourself occasionally.

Several years ago while shopping in a local Walmart store, I heard my name called over the PA system.  “Benita Coffman to aisle 2 please”.  Having just recently moved from a really small town to big old Wichita it took me by surprise to hear my name like that.  So I didn’t respond immediately, thinking I’d heard wrong.  But then a few minutes later, same announcement.  After the third time I began to wonder what in the world  was going on, so I timidly made my way to Aisle 2.

After reaching that aisle, I saw a store employee and walked up to her.  She looked at me and asked if she could help me.  I tentatively said “I’m Benita Coffman”.  Which elicited a puzzled look from her face.  About that time the announcement came over  the PA again.  I could hear it clearly this time.  “I need a stock man to aisle 2 please.”.  Well.  What do you know.  Ineeda Stockman.  Not really my name.   That was embarrassing.  Then I said “Oh, never mind” and quickly walked on down the aisle.   Good grief.

The wonderful thing about Walmart is that there’s no real high standard of behavior for their customers.  But still.  I was pretty mortified and swore that something of this nature would NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.  !!!  

And I vowed to never again listen to any PA system messages in any retail store while shopping.  Just ignore it, Benita.  You cannot hear well enough to deal with that kind of stuff.  Face it, no one will EVER be calling your name over the PA in a retail store.

A few years later during my lunch break from work I decided to leave the building and go to Walgreens.  Just wanted to get out of the building for a bit and buy some much-needed snacks for the break room.  And so of course I strolled through every aisle of that store because there might just be new hair products or some fantastic AS SEEN ON TV product screaming “buy me”.

But I didn’t hear the “Buy Me” message.  What I did hear was this:  “Benita Coffman to customer service”.  No way, not falling for it.  They just need a stock man to customer service.   I continued shopping and of course the message was repeated.  I kind of shivered with horror as I recalled that one day at Walmart.  Not happening to me again.  Ever.   I made my way to the checkout counter and again heard my name.  By this time it was becoming pretty difficult to not say something to the checkout employee but….NO WAY.  

I quickly paid for my purchases and practically ran out the door and got into my car, feeling proud that I handled this little situation way better than that Walmart fiasco a few years prior.  Nothing wrong with my hearing.  They needed a stock man.  You know, old Ineeda Stockman.

As I entered my workplace after lunch break I was met by a recently hired new nurse who frantically said “Why didn’t you answer your page at Walgreens?  We needed you back here right away!!”.  Apparently she overheard me talking about my lunch plans to go to Walgreens.  Uh oh.  Happily, it really wasn’t as emergent as she was inclined to believe and when I told her and the rest of the gang why I ignored the page based on previous Walmart history, everyone got a good chuckle out of it.

Laughter is okay.  Laughter is therapeutic.  Laughter is actually a pretty good way to deal with silly situations that try to reduce one’s self esteem to record low levels.  Might as well laugh.  😊

I still don’t listen to overhead announcements in public buildings.  I may end up wearing a hearing aide soon, but I will forever refuse to respond to anything that sounds like my name coming out of a loudspeaker in a store.  Nope. I ain’t doing it.



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