21 November 2013

The man who couldn't say sorry or ask for help

(source)

I was accompanying one of my (kindergarten) kids today during a hearing test with an audiometrist. He was pretty much an older guy, eons away from my age. He has an interesting reputation in Kindergarten as the egoistic guy who wants to be right all the time, who won't take no for an answer, who does practically everything he wants and who wouldn't even own up to the fact that it's okay to make mistakes and it's okay to be embarrassed.

A conversation between us went like this today:

Him: "Kira, Kira, why don't you help Jerry get on the chair?"
Me: "My NAME... is Ira."
Him: "Ira, right. Ira.... *thinks*.... Kira sounds a lot better than Ira though, but.... okay..."
At this point I thought, wow... this guy is trying to console himself by telling me that my name sounds worse than his embarrassing mistake? Hahaha.
So I repeated my name: "Ira."
Him: "Yeah, fine, whatever."
Me: "It's Ira."
He didn't say anything.
Me: "Get used to that."



Before conducting the hearing test on the boy, this audiometrist struggled and struggled to change the batteries of the boy's speech processor (see image below) - which works together with his cochlear implant.

(source)

Every speech processor is different but as an audiometrist who's worked there for many years I would expect him to know that. But he didn't. He actually had no idea. I was appalled.
I tried to explain to him how it's done because I've done it before and he interrupted me and didn't let me finish.
Okay.

SO as a kindergarten teacher (in training) I instantly recognized this behaviour as a grumpy, childish behaviour. I let him try and try... He pulled the damn thing apart, twisted and screwed and I was like... my goodness...
And each time he tried... I had to watch him fail. I was trying hard not to shake my head but he wanted to do it at all costs so... be my guest. All he had to do was ask.

Then he told me: "Better check on the internet before we do anything wrong."
Me: "Ookay..."
Him: "Do you know where my office is?"
Testing me?
Me: "No I do not know where your office is."
See, being honest doesn't hurt. I don't know him that well, he's not that important and IMHO I don't really care.
Nothing personal.

So he'd rather go online instead of ask his colleagues how it's done (because he knew how embarrassing that was going to be). But then again... it's absolutely normal to NOT KNOW. It's okay! What is so fatal about asking for help?

So I left him alone and he went online. A few minutes later I checked up on him.

Me: "Did you find anything?"
Him: "Here, you do it then if you're so clever."
Me: *takes the speech processor* "I need the other part for it. Where is it?"
Him: "It's upstairs."

Upstairs:

Me: "I'm going to take it apart now" *starts unscrewing*
Him: "Mm hm"
Me: "Watch." *pulls the battery compartment apart* "Do you know how it works now?"
Him: "Aaah! Ten points for you. I should remember that."
Me: "I really think you should. Yeah."

Aaah.. yes. The 'Intern' knows how it works and the Audiometrist who's been doing hearing tests for years has no idea. I understand that there are many different kinds of speech processors out there but we only have like 20 children in the whole Kindergarten for the deaf... If you ask me, it's really not that difficult to remember.

He didn't just waste my time, he wasted his time too.
And apart from that he could've just asked.

So guys... men... out there.... please don't hesitate to ask if you don't know anything. And if you get a woman's name wrong, don't go saying that some other name sounds better. It's sad, it's obvious that you're embarrassed and it's so rude that you will lose all respect - even your own respect for yourself.
Do you really think that you could lose your manliness by saying "Sorry" or "I need help"?

Accept and admit your weakness and your mistakes.
It makes you real.
It makes you human.


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