Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Passing it on, paying it forward

Sorry for the delay, I've been discussing several things in online forums this past week. One person, I do not know if they were male of female, put forth the idea that deaf people felt a sense of entitlement. I spent the better part of my Sunday morning blasting their argument out of the blogosphere. Part of me wanted to show what I wrote. I still might, but the person who owns the blog might be offended if I simply posted all of that thread here. The writer in me is saying; 'plagiarism=bad'.
Yes, I can't plagiarize myself, but it was for a different audience.
 Instead, I'll give you snippets of a different post I wrote. What's surprising is how much of it can be universally applied.

When I had a job interview, they fell into one of two categories. The first one is where my hearing came up, If I had to ask them to repeat the question, or I misinterpreted a word, the game was up. (and yes, it was a game.) The second category is where I lip read the interviewer successfully. Guess which one I got called back on? Every potential employer will say the same thing: Discrimination is against the law. Speeding is also against the law, but people do it anyway. Unfortunately, proving they discriminated is almost impossible. It boils down to their word against yours. It's no surprise the unemployed deaf are bitter. Another observation is that it is very easy to fall into the trap of blaming your disability. 'Oh man, they didn't hire me because I was deaf!'
No, the reason they didn't hire you was because of your poor performance in the interview. First impressions are critical!
Yes, I'm the smartest man for the job, and here's why:
Yes, I am the hardest working employee you will ever have. (and here's why!)
Keep in mind: employers are always looking at the bottom line. Does it cost a few dollars more? They won't go for it.
I've said it elsewhere, being deaf doesn't define me. There is so much more to me than this little hiccup of a thing. That's the way I had to play it.
Yes: I had to trick the interviewer by passing myself off as a hearing person. It took a lot of practice. In hindsight, they may have said; 'There's something about him... I can't place it.' But I showed them that I was more than capable of doing the job.
Never late, worked harder than my hearing co-workers. Made the extra effort (especially when the boss was looking.) I had to go the distance just to prove I was as good as everyone else.
Those first nine points that were covered in the original post are worth printing out and taping it to your mirror before the interview.
Are they going to hire you because you're deaf? No.
They will hire you because you are friendly, positive, smart and an interesting person.
I know it's tough. I've been in your situation. If you want the situation to change, be the person who can bring about that change.

These are the nine points I mentioned in my rant. They apply to everyone.
1. Dress professionally & behave appropriately in front of the hiring managers.
2. Be positive & energetic.
3. Try to put your problems aside & show them what you can do for a job.
4. Never, ever demand anything from them like asking for an ASL interpreter.
5. Always be kind & smile...a lot!
6. Believe in yourself. If you don't, no one else will.
7. Always be prepared to answer why they should hire you or why you're a better candidate.
8. Use your common sense & think about what they look for in an applicant.
9. Be strong & aggressive but not in a mean way!

Tony Robbins couldn't have said it better.

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