Posts Tagged 'hearing aid ‘T’ switch'

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hearing loop heist

Before posting off my comprehensive list of suggestions on how to improve the experience of hearing impaired jurors at Glasgow Sheriff Court, I thought I’d better establish that the Oticons were actually working properly. There’s nothing worse than accidentally perjuring yourself in a complaint letter to the Justiciary.

A loop testing opportunity presented itself that very evening, as the 17:02 train drew out of Exhibition Centre station without me on board, despite a heroic, if slightly reckless, sprint down the wet stairs. Huffing and puffing, I noticed the ticket office was less busy than usual, so I pretended to take great interest in the unattended luggage notice on a nearby monitor, whilst I hatched a plan. I kept glancing furtively at the diminishing ticket queue, until the final condition of my hastily devised Loop Testing Protocol was met.

1. Friendly looking ticket man, check.

2. Blue ‘loop system active’ light illuminated, check.

3. Microphone visible somewhere on counter, check.

4. No other passengers in immediate vicinity, check.

The time was right, I had to move fast. The ticket man was moving towards his kettle and reaching for the notice which says ‘TICKET OFFICE CLOSED WHILE ESSENTIAL STATION MAINTENANCE IS BEING CARRIED OUT‘.

I switched immediately to T-mode and lunged at his window.

“Scuse me”, I said, leaning sideways on one elbow and smiling seductively, “is your hearing loop switched on? I just want to test that my hearing aids are working properly…”

The ticket man put down his tea mug in surprise.

“Er…aye, ah think so…they’ve just refurbished this place…”

I could hear a suitcase on wheels bumping down the stairs. Damn. I didn’t want any interruptions right now.

Without warning, I suddenly found myself acting as if I was in the hearing aid equivalent of a bank heist movie. I wished I’d worn a beige balaclava for full effect.

“OKAY”, I said assertively, “SPEAK TO ME!”

The ticket man was struck dumb by the unusual request, but soon rallied.

“Testing, testing…can you hear me? How’s that?”

I shook my head…nothing through the aids. Not even a set of printheads. My heart sank.

“TRY AGAIN!”, I commanded. “GET CLOSER TO THE MIC THIS TIME!”

The ticket man bent forward and tried again. Still nothing. A rhythmic clunking on the ceramic floor tiles signalled the approach of the suitcase on wheels, and I was beginning to get desperate.

“GET CLOSER!” I said.

I heard a rustle.

“WAIT… I THINK I GOT SOMETHING JUST THEN…GET RIGHT NEXT TO THE MIC!”

The ticket man crouched over the mic. His voice was faint, but it was the first voice to come through on the loop. Eat your heart out Marconi! I reached frantically for my volume settings, but I could feel the rumble of a train approaching. I couldn’t hang about.

“THANKS!” I shouted to my partner in crime, as I ran for the platform to jump aboard my getaway vehicle.

 

* * * * *

If you’d like to vote for a real movie in the Scottish BAFTAs starring our very own Soozie cyborginafield talking about her cochlear implant experience, vote for We Are Northern Lights here  (voting closes Mon 28th Oct 2013) 

 

101 Uses for your hearing aid ‘T’ switch

Richard Box Field

The power of inductive coupling made visible, in this stunning Field installation by Richard Box. Hundreds of fluorescent tubes planted in the soil glow by inductive coupling to the electromagnetic field of the overhead power lines. This is the same process by which your hearing aids hook up to a loop (or railway power cables) but don’t ask me to explain it any further, you’ll need a physicist or Richard Box for that.

Inspired by the visual drama of Field, I have now lost interest in attempting to hear at station ticket offices, and am off to listen to some pylons instead.


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