Saturday, January 20, 2007

"They sure did train you good." What a thing to say.

It really amazes me how people open up their mouths and let whatever they want to come flying out of it. Which is more powerful, the mouth or the mind? Of course the mind is. In fact, the mind should control the mouth. But why in the heck do so many people speak without thinking? In fact the mouth should consider the mind a superior partner, always to be considered the authority on most communication matters. But maybe people really are not capable of using their minds as well as I expect them to. Maybe I give folks and their ability to think too much credit. I don't know...

Perhaps, I am rambling and really not getting to the point of this entry. (smile) I think that's it. Well, let's get to the point of this particular blog entry.

A couple of days ago, I went inside of my bank branch to make a deposit. While making the deposit, I mentioned to the teller that I needed assistance filling out the deposit slip because I'm blind. She was shocked. She along with countless other people must think that a blind person looks like something other than me. At least that's what they always say. "Oh, you don't look blind." That's a good thing. I would much rather look like Angela than Blind.

And what does blind look like anyway? Does blind look like big, darkly tinted glasses? Does blind look like a swaying head? Does blind look like it sits in front of a piano all day and night? Does blind look ugly or something? Does blind look clumsy? Does blind look plain stupid?

Well, the lady went on to praise me for being such a good little blind girl. In her words...

"They sure did train you good. Who trained you? They did such a good job training you. You act so normal. You do good just like Ray Charles. You don't look blind at all. You're so pretty. I know you went to a special school to get trained to do so well."

If it were not for the fact that I decided to look over her nonsense, I would have felt so reduced. My sister said she was talking to me like a was a trained pet. I vote a well trained child.

My mother said that we shouldn't be hard on the lady. She said that the lady meant no harm by her statements. Maybe not... But her statements were still quite inappropriate. Being sincere and having good intentions do not let you off the hook for being plain wrong.

In my opinion, her comments were the byproduct of ignorance and insensitivity. That may be a little harsh for some folks. But I don't think so. She's a professional in a public facility. Her customer service skills should be more advanced. Plus, I live by the rule of, "If you don't know what to say, then it's best to be quiet."

Speaking of customer service... I am so sick of coming in contact with sales or customer service people that act all discombobulated when they realize I'm blind. I'm blind, not the elephant man. But I take that back. Even a deformed, mutilated person deserves respect. Yes, you might be caught a little off guard. But "train" yourself to manage your response when you come in contact with someone or something that you are not familiar with or don't understand.

Now, don't get me wrong... I do realize that I'm interesting, unique, or plain uncommon. I don't get all weirded out when folks express some curiosity or concern about me and my blindness. But it's all in how you do it. My only request is that you approach me with respect and dignity. Every human deserves that.

7 comments:

julie volz said...

i think that everybody should have to take a interpersonal communitaction class so we all know what to say and how what we say effect other people you would think that that person would know what to say she has the job where she comes in contact diffent peolpe every day just think of how many other people feeling her has hurt. by opening her mouth

Cherry Azucena said...

I believe that the title of this article very well fitted what it contains. As a matter of fact I really felt the importance of sometimes pointing out the faults of some individuals we encounter. Otherwise, I sometimes felt if it is not address it'll never be corrected or they won't be aware of it. I do agree about the saying you mentioned, "If you don't know what to say, then it's best to be quiet." Besides some individuals since they get caught or stucked in a situation, instead of honest and sincere remarks they would choose to continue saying unecessary and sometimes worsening statements.

Rahila Bham said...

I like the article I agreed with the comments of julie and cherry.she must know how to deel with people because bank is the place where all different kind of people comes. But I agreed with your mom to because may be that women was surprise by looking at you and do'nt know how to express her feeling but she should stay shut. Or may say that "I do'nt believe you are blind because you are so perfect". if you do not like this comment than I am sorry and disregard it.

krystal c. said...

Yes,you are 100% right, people should be approached with respect and dignity no matter who or what they are. No one wants others to start going off on how you look or why you look a certain way. I agree with you, that the banker lady should have been more professional and less chit chatty. I do think she must have been curious but, that dosen't make up for how rude she relly was. If you work in a location that deals with lots of customer service don't ask questions or stare, just do your job and move on.

patricia galvan said...

I think that the bankteller meant to be nice but just went a little too far in asking those questions. It's not like someone can just train a blind person, the blind person learns how to do everything independently. The banktellers comments were rude and obnoxious.

c.brooks said...

I agree with Julie that everyone should have to take an interpersonal communication class but with you being the teacher. I also think you should go back with a business card letting her know you will be conducting a seminar on how to communicate and you expect her to be there. lol I am glad you did not allow her ignorance to drag you down. I tell my children never let someones words make them feel less. Their Father is a King and he loves them. He also loves the ones that are speaking these hurtful words. So, we are to pray for them that do not know what they are doing. c.brooks

Cheryl_Henao said...

I feel you hit the nail on the head when you said "comments were the byproduct of ignorance and insensitivity". When she found out you were blind she should have just did as you asked and helped fill out the form. People like that need to be taught a lesson in manners and professional etiquette. I agree with everyone else people should have to take a interpersonal communications class especially her. I also would have asked to speak to her manager and made a complaint.