Ever since my first incredulous realisation that hearing aids do not have OFF switches, I have longed for a method of discreet, instant relief from life’s little amplified auditory trials. Like the bunch of shrieking teenagers happy-slapping each other on the station platform yesterday morning. It was with great excitement, then, that I seized the opportunity to test the revolutionary (to me) MUTE stand-by setting on the wondrous new Oticons.
I gripped both aids firmly, as if about to lift my head off my shoulders by the ears, pressed the buttons for the 3 seconds advised in the instruction manual, and waited. And waited. 20 seconds later, the amplified teenagers were still screeching, and the devastating realisation dawned that the mute option must not have been activated in the software when the Oticons were set up.
Never mind, I said to myself, I’ll just sit in a different carriage when the train arrives and all will be well. I kept a close eye on the teenagers’ erratic herd movements as the train approached, and headed swiftly in the opposite direction. Unfortunately, I was so focussed on the teenagers’ movements, that I failed to notice the occupants of the next carriage along until it was too late.
The train doors snapped shut behind me and, for once, I didn’t hear the sound of them bleeping. In a horror scenario, the beeps were being drowned out by the unbelievable noise of a full carriage of hyped-up 7 year-olds on their way to the seaside with their battle weary teachers.
To everyone who works with large groups of little people in a confined space on a daily basis:
The NHS Oticon Spirit Zest instruction manual can be found here