I am a liar and a fake. I lie and fake on a daily basis as do many deaf people. It’s what I do when I can’t be bothered with communication. Sometimes the effort of lip-reading and intense concentration involved with communicating with hearing peers is a drag. So rather than make this effort I lie and I fake. If you are deaf I am betting THAT YOU DO TOO!!
It happens everywhere. Where I work there are thousands of people walking around everyday. They come from all walks of life. From overseas, from up the road from regional Victoria … you name it we have it. At least four times a week someone will stop me, lost in the vastness of the campus and ask for directions. Now sometimes it is a simple ask like, “Where’s the loo?” and sometimes it’s more elaborate and detailed like, “..Where is the X room in the Y building?”
Now generally I can assist but from time to time I get an Asian person asking for directions. Now I am not racist but I can not lip-read many Asian accents. Some Malaysian student will come up and ask me a question and I just will not understand them. So I fake it and answer, “No idea mate, the office will be able to help you.” And point them to the office. Sometimes they give me weird looks. They probably asked something like, “What’s your name?” and I answer, “No idea mate, the office will know.”
McDonalds and any like fast-food place are the pits. It’s noisy and the person serving you just can not accept your order. You specifically say what you want and they ask if you want more. “Large chips?”, “would you like an upsize?”, “Desert with that?” -It’s worse than the Spanish inquisition. On occasions I will fake it, look a my son and say, “What do you reckon?” This is a mistake because he will always say “Yes”, “Large” and “More”. The consequence is I end up spending 20 bucks more than I intend to!
Then of course when you have ordered they have to repeat your order to you. It’s noisy in McDonalds you know. I have a deaf voice and have trouble monitoring my volume in noisy areas. I either scream or whisper but very rarely get the right volume for the moment. What this means is I am often misunderstood. The person serving me will read back my order of a Big Mac with a large fries as a “Kids pack and an apple pie” I of course – fake it and nod vigorously. Mind you its fun to play with the toys. I guess you reap what you sow.
I am a liar and a fake – My question to my fellow deaf folk out there is – ARE YOU?
2 thoughts on “A Liar and a Fake”
I am learning Auslan. I am hearing. At times, I lie and fake understanding of Auslan as well. Not so much that I can’t be bothered, it’s more out of shame for not understanding. And it’s not fair on the other person.
As you said, you reap what you sow. Your blog post came along at the right time: thanks for holding me accountable. I’ll pull my finger out.
We’re all liars and fakes. It’s far better than being humiliated.
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