I don’t really understand technology. I admit it. I can find my way around my laptop. I can order things on Amazon, much to my husband’s dismay. I can play a few games on my phone. And, being a teacher and living in the days of Corona, I can add Zoom calls and short phone videos to my list of technological advancements. But, that’s about it. Ultimately, technology and I are not friends. So, when my “Hearing-aid Guy” at Costco, added an app to control the sound of my hearing aids to my phone, I should have been skeptical.
A little history, I first noticed my hearing loss when I became a grandmother at 45 and realized that my granddaughter’s precious, little, high-pitched, voice was beyond my range of hearing. Then, about 4 years later, I started teaching. Since hearing is an important part of teaching, I went to Costco, had an extremely comprehensive hearing test, and got myself some hearing aids. That was about 10 years ago.
Last year I realized I wasn’t hearing very well even with my hearing aids and went back for another test. They gave me “closed domes”, reset my hearing aid program, and put all of the controls for my hearing aids on my phone…with an app…please reread the first line of this blog. The technician said it would be easy and much more convenient. Of course, the technician doesn’t know me.
Initially, things seemed to go pretty well. I had figured out how to raise and lower the volume. I could even open and close my microphones to block out sounds behind me in a restaurant or open them up completely to hear all around me in class. I was kind of proud of myself for awhile. But then, one day the media volume on my phone wouldn’t work. Since the media volume controls the hearing aid app, I was kind of…not in a good place. Even worse, the volume on my hearing aids was “stuck” on high.
Can I tell you, I love my hearing aids 99.9% of the time. But, when a pot clatters to the tile floor, when dishes bang into each other as you’re taking them out or putting them away, or when some other tinny sound happens and your “ears” are at peek volume; the sound reverberates in your ears and travels throughout your entire body, it makes your teeth hurt. It’s pretty horrible. And so, amidst the world of Corona, I traveled to Verizon to see what they could do for my media button.
The store had all of their 6′ marks set up and I stood on one of them and waited my turn. A girl was sitting in a chair 6′ from the desk of the technician. When she left, I was called up. I stood at the 6′ mark and explained my problem. And then, of course, I had to give the technician my phone but, I wasn’t sure how. I am a short person, my arms do not even come close to a 6′ reach. I contemplated throwing it at him, but what if he was a klutz like me and missed? I didn’t want to ‘bean’ the man with my phone. So, I broke the rules. I approached the desk. I stood no less than 2.5′ away and handed him my phone. I decided that stepping closer was much more preferable to me throwing my phone at him. I waited for his reaction. He could have cared less.
He took my phone and pressed all of the secret buttons that only technicians seem to know about and was obviously perplexed for a moment. And then, he smiled.
Did you know that your phone has a “Do Not Disturb” button? Did you also know that if you, accidentally, turn on your “Do Not Disturb” button, it immediately and completely turns off your media sound? Yup. How about that? I asked him to show me where this deadly “button” was for future reference. He did. I left. “Do Not Disturb” button acknowledged and off. Media button restored. Hearing aids at an acceptable, non-reverberating volume. And so it goes…because it’s really not that big a deal!