CBC’s Radio Active co-host Rod Kurtz interviewed Caroline about her implant experience. Full disclosure, we’ve known Rod for a long time. He knew Caroline was hearing impaired, but didn’t know she is profoundly impaired (it’s fun to say she hears best out of her deaf side – with the implant). Caroline wanted her experience to not just raise awareness, but ally any fears and to provide a human perspective for something that’s rarely seen. Good job, good job.
Here’s part 2 of CBC Radio Active interview with Caroline…
Most hard of hearing or deaf people tend to gravitate to occupations that, you know, aren’t demanding listening environments. There’s sort of an extreme limit to that since challenging noise environments like factories and foundries have ridiculously high rates of hearing loss among employees. You could say you don’t need to be able to hear to work in a factory, which is good, because by the end you won’t be able to anyway. Occupational hearing safety should be about more than little foam earplugs. But I digress…
We’re talking about deaf people avoiding occupations because it’s just easier to avoid constant hearing. Caroline loves people. She loves people so much that she became a server and eventually rose to an elite level of service. She’s won city-wide recognition and awards, yes, as a server. Today, she added one more.
A little over a year ago My Beautiful Cyborg (who didn’t even know she was going to be a cyborg) needed a change of venue. A year later she’s recognized as a service leader in the hotel. Today she received a letter from her supervisor letting her know she is the Employee of the Month. Caroline works at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Edmonton (best valley patio in the city by the way).
How is it that a deaf person who listens to people all day connects to deeply with people. The answer to that is purely existential. Really, Caroline receives recognition for being who she is. And she is so unabashedly who she is, that she fights and scraps every day to hear people, and get their orders right, and make sure they feel loved and cared for. Simply, it’s a Caroline thing.
As the guy who gets to be proud of My Beautiful Cyborg, today is just another confirmation of what I already know: if machinery is what it takes for Caroline to connect with humanity, that’s absolutely what she’s going to do.