Phoning it in
Friday August 12th 2022, 9:45 pm
Filed under: Life

I didn’t call you but I didn’t call anybody else either yet so don’t feel bad. The one call so far was made by the tech to the company to do that one last step to get me officially registered by having them hear me say yes I’m me and yes I want this.

What I did do was order a 31″ tall foot-square table afterwards (with a drawer! The thing doesn’t need a drawer. Who knows, but still, I got the one with the drawer) to put it on. It’s actually wood and, the kicker, no assembly required (yay!) and under $100. Sold. I’d had no idea I was going to be buying furniture today, but the woman said, You have a table? You’ve got to have a table. She couldn’t imagine me sitting down on the floor every time I got on the phone.

So we set it up on a box for the moment–and I sat down on the floor to try the thing out. I like breaking people’s brains that way.

The box kept trying to flip its lid.


There’s this small tax on your phone bill and mine that we’ve all paid all our lives towards accessibility. And what that means is that if you go to an audiologist and have your hearing loss documented, that audiologist can then call CapTel, who, after verifying that you have internet, will then send a technician out to your house. They will install a machine that does what human transcribers listening in on your calls used to do: it routes your call through their system which automatically transcribes it into captions on a mini iPad-sized screen next to your keypad.

There was about a one second lag time between speech and caption but hey, there were captions. Slow is better than no.

There’s also a volume setting that goes to too loud even for me, and I didn’t know there was such a thing. And one where you can change the voice to lower pitched, or, if you’re a rare case, higher ones so you can follow better.

You can only have one answering machine: it or a regular one, and we have a regular one and Richard was busy working and I wasn’t going to make a unilateral decision and wasn’t sure I wanted to save captions of spammers anyway. Easily deleted, of course, but, so, we didn’t set that part up.

I didn’t use my new gadget yet.

I think I’m a little afraid of being disappointed if it isn’t perfect. The guy on the other end that one time had an accent that the captions bungled and I wasn’t sure of the vocal quality either; I just need to try it out with more voices and get over being new to this.

We are all going to trip over that unfamiliar piece of furniture-to-be in the hallway at one point or another–because the main in the kitchen where we were going to set it up didn’t work (who knew?) and the only other place we could make it work was outside Michelle’s old room. Which means a chair in the hallway, too, oh heck throw in a footrest, right? (Uh…) I told the tech I was glad I’d told the architect during a remodel years ago that I wanted that new space to have room for any future wheelchair to turn around in easily.

I want to be able to hear my mom. And that is what finally got me to blow off the pandemic and get this in motion and welcome what turned out to be a very lovely stranger into our house.

I said to her at the end, It must be wonderful being able to make it so people can communicate again.

Her face lit up as she exclaimed, Yes! And then she begged me to get the word out so more people could have this. “The government doesn’t advertise,” she said and a moment later said it again, but if only people knew! They pay for it anyway and it could do so much more good in so many more lives.

I promised I would pass the good word along.

6 Comments so far
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That handy little drawer can hold notepaper and pens, to take messages or notes. Sounds like a good thing, happy for your new set-up!

Comment by Marian 08.12.22 @ 10:24 pm

This is SOOOO awesome!!!
What a difference it will make for you. Please let us know how it works out as you get used to it.
(Happy dance here in Ontario)

Comment by Chris+S+in+Canada 08.13.22 @ 5:50 am

One ringy dingy, two ringy dingy, “Is this the party to whom I am speaking?” So happy for you!

Comment by DebbieR 08.13.22 @ 7:18 am

Wonderful! I hope it helps you hear your mom!
Facebook does auto transcription on some live streams. It caught my eye one day because it said my friend was talking about a subject he surely was not. He has an Indian accent and the transcription was hillarious.

Comment by Susan 08.13.22 @ 9:07 am

Wow, how excellent! I hope it will be, at the least, better than not having it, and maybe it will be amazing!

Comment by ccr in MA 08.13.22 @ 3:23 pm

Oh!Oh! Ohhhhhhh!!!

I wanna call you!! Memememememe! Me! Pick me! Pick me! Ooh! Oooh! I’ll put the chocolate melange on the line!

Congrats kiddo. That is a great thing and I’m so glad you got one.

Comment by Afton 08.13.22 @ 4:01 pm

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