Opinion

Tech still fails speech, hearing impaired

Much like Facebook friends that sincerely don’t care about whatever it is you post, I tend not to care about whether or not they care.

Let’s face it.

If there was an “I don’t care” button to click on, I think it’d be the most wildly popular ever.

But how would Facebook ever get you to share, let alone care, if you thought someone would click on the “I don’t care” emoji as a reaction to your first post of the day?

There has to be a certain amount of permissible snark to the Internet in order for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media to thrive; this is sad.

I’ve come to the conclusion that in addition to catering to our incessant need for attention, social media is only as good as however deep one is willing to mine it.

And the best stories are actually outside of your feed and whatever is trending while you’re logged on.

In fact, the really good stories may not be available on your phone or computer at all.

He returned from breakfast to find his hotel room still not made up. Unlike the day before, it was not already buffed, ready and prepared to his liking when he wandered in right after eating his spinach, bacon and cheese omelet at the breakfast joint around the corner.

While slightly annoyed at the lack of consistency in cleaning times (he was an important person after all and did not enjoy being inconvenienced), he thought better of reporting his disappointment to the hotel front lobby staff. He figured he’d get on with his morning activities and would return after lunch. Surely the room would be cleaned by then.

He had the start of really bad sunburn by the time his little kayaking adventure was finished. Undeterred, he ventured off of the river and out in search of a lunch spot.

A place featuring Mexican food and margaritas jumped out at him as he walked three blocks past the hotel. It was so good he couldn’t remember exactly what he ate for lunch. Maybe it was because the margaritas were more memorable.

He soon was back at the hotel, caught the elevator up to his floor and felt confident he’d find the room cleaned up. He was ready for a nap before his busy evening featuring no set plans.

Sliding his key across the sensor, he turned the handle, pushed open the door and entered the room.

Still not done!

He was now pissed off and thought they would not be cleaning the room at all. He stupidly wondered if by virtue of the fact it was Saturday, that perhaps the hotel cleaning staff was off.

He decided otherwise, went to the bathroom and washed his face before lying down.

The do not disturb sign went on the outside door handle before napping. He knew by doing so that even if maid service were available, they would not be accommodating him. He figured he’d call housekeeping later to get what he needed.

Opening the door and poking his head down the hall, he saw the cart. In lieu of his find, he was going to forsake calling housekeeping, catch the maid and ask for what he needed.

He was soon even with the cart parked in front of the room three doors down.

He peered in and saw a young man, back facing him, moving towards an upright vacuum cleaner.

“Hello!”

Nothing.

“Excuse me!”

Still nothing.

The man reached for the vacuum’s electric cord to plug it in. The esteemed hotel guest hastened to grab the man’s attention one more time before the noise of the vacuum drowned him out for good.

“Young MAN!!”

No acknowledgement whatsoever.

What game was being played here thought the now irascible rewards club gold-member-in-standing of every airline and hotel chain in America.

He was tempted to take what he needed from the cart. But the thought of being caught in the act embarrassed him and gave him pause.

Gold club boy watched the vacuum master sweep his tool of the trade first towards the left and then right—all the while his back remaining turned.

Finally, the master of the vacuum made eye contact.

“Hello!” shouted gold club.

Perhaps a slight grunt but nothing more from the young man as he walked towards gold club.

Gold club did not feel threatened, merely awkward as the guy lumbered closer.

He was practically upon him when he lightly grunted once more before reaching underneath the cleaning cart on the floor of its base level for a writing pad and pen.

He gave gold club the pad, pen and nodded.

Gold club began to write. He only needed a few things, but thought quickly about what he would write before opting for one line at a time:

1 big towel.

Vacuum guy reached underneath and behind the smaller hand towels and washcloths, plucked a large bath towel out and handed it to gold club.

2 regular coffees.

Just as quickly as the bath towel, the items were snatched up off the cart and handed to gold club.

1 coffee cup.

Gold club underlined cup for emphasis, before handing over the pen and pad as the coffee cup arrived simultaneously.

He mouthed thank you to the cleaning guy and walked quietly away.

I think there are at least a couple of issues which hinder benevolent advancement of technology including:

  • The ubiquity of malware, ransomware and the like; and
  • The proliferative risks of Identity theft

While these are relevant concerns, I would also suggest a prime consideration for tech mavens should be designing kit for use by those without voice or hearing (so they might just as easily leverage its benefits as those who take their ability to speak and hear for granted).

Until then, whether you’re trending or not is insignificant to me.

And I don’t care.

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