Week 18: A New Challenge

This weeks something new came as a surprise at work.  There was one day where there was an unexpectedly large number of sick calls and there were not enough people in each department to cover the necessary positions.  I was called upon to cover a position in another department.  I have trained in the is position before, and I am very familiar with the programs used because I use them in my regular position, just not for the same purposes.  The hard part was that I haven’t covered this position once in over two years and I had to do it during a live show.

The reason I stopped training in this position oh so long ago is because some of the duties involved require listening to several people at once while working very fast to get something on air during a live show.  The working fast I can handle, I might need practice to get the speed down, but I’m often told I do things very quickly in my regular position.  The problem was the listening to several people at once.  Some of the people are in the same room, others are talking to you over headset, but they are not just talking to you, they are talking to lots of people, so you have to be able to do your work while also listening for when you are the one receiving instructions.  This is a big challenge for someone who is hard of hearing.  I can’t speak for everyone, but one of the results of my hearing loss is that I have learned to naturally tune out noise, especially when I am focused on something.  In this case that meant I was inadvertently tuning out some of the people who were talking to me when I was focused on the task at hand, which resulted in some challenges and the mutual decision that this was not the right position for me.

However, on this particular day, I was really the only one able to cover the position so I stepped up to the challenge.  Thankfully, by the time I stepped in, the portion of the job where the operator had to listen while working quickly was finished, so I mainly had to listen and occasionally push a button.  It doesn’t sound like much, but my heart rate always goes up when I’m in a live TV environment.  Thankfully, despite my racing pulse, I did the job flawlessly.  My boss even went out of his way to thank me for stepping up and tell me I did a fantastic job.  Feedback like that is always appreciated, and once the show was over and I was able to take a deep breath, I felt very proud of myself for stepping up even though I wasn’t 100% confident. I was also happy I remembered what needed to be done, and relieved that I didn’t miss any instructions.

It felt good to prove to myself that I could get the job done, and also made me feel that perhaps now with my new hearing aids, as I retrain my brain how to listen and work at the same time, I might be able to step up and do that position again with greater success.  I know it won’t happen immediately, but people have noticed differences in my hearing, and now that it’s not such a struggle to hear, maybe I can work on not tuning out so much…

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