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Hearing Test

Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.
Hearing Test

This morning I had to complete my annual physical at work and I had to retake the hearing test. I had failed it a few weeks ago, which is not unusual since it's tricky test. I'll explain. They sit you in this sound proof booth. It's almost like a vertical coffin with a seat. A tall person would probably hit his head at the top. It's kind of like you're in a box. They put these head phones on and they shut the door. Your breathing and your movement is the only sound in the room. They send these series of beeps through the head phones, varying pitches and loudness, sometimes in the left ear, sometimes in the right. Every time there is a beep you are supposed to click a button that acknowledges you heard it.

Ok, I'm in there, they shut the door and the beeps are coming through. When the loudness of the pitches get really low you have to hold your breath or it will over power the sound of the beep. That's why this test is so tricky. So Im clicking away. I always feel insecure about this. First I have failed this a few times, but Ive always passed on retakes. Second my wife insists Im losing my hearing. She drills this into me every day like a jack hammer. Youre losing your hearing. Youre deaf. Cant you hear me? Why is the TV that loud, cant you hear? Lower that, you deaf person. Its no wonder Im nervous every time I cant quite hear something. But then again other people dont hear things sometimes, including my wife. Objectively I dont see a difference between my hearing and the next persons, and its only that I enjoy the radio and TV volume louder than others, and much louder than my wife. I swear its a volume comfort level, not deafness. Anyway thats what I tell my wife or anyone that wants to listen. But inside I do wonder if Im losing my hearing.

Im clicking away and its the usual, did I really hear that, did I imagine that beep (that starts to happen after a few minutes of straining), did my breath just over power that. Last year I started clicking away like a mad man at every imagined beep. Finally the tester opened the door and asked what I was doing, hallucinating? So I knew I couldnt just click without being sure. So Im clicking. I think Im doing ok but every so often it feels like I missed one. Darn I say to myself, Im gonna really fail this. My wife will be so satisfied that finally theres proof of my deafness. And the test is going on. And it feels so much longer than other years. It usually takes ten minutes but I must now be up to fifteen or twenty. And its cycling through. So Im now thinking, I must be failing this and they want to recycle the test to really be sure. And Im getting more nervous. I got to get this right, and the more nervous I get, the faster my breathing. In fact Im hearing my breath now faster and louder and Im sure Im screwing up even more. I start gambling, clicking when I only suspect a beep. What the heck at this point.

And the test is going on. Its now cycling through for the fourth time I think. God its over a half hour. I must really be screwing up. And now Im beginning to doze off, those quick sudden shut of the eyes for a fraction of a second and where the brain just shuts itself off and as you then tip forward you quickly snap out of it. Ive now done that a few times and Im thinking, oh sh*t, now Im missing them for sure. My results will really suck. And Im forcing myself to stay awake. What the heck is going on here? This is way over a half hour now, and I bet Im slowly getting asphyxiated. Is air even getting into this thing. So I decide I better just get out of this if I can. And before I check for the handle, they open the door.

Im ready to be chastised, and then I decide if theyre going to complain Im just going to have to get angry. But the technician who opens the door is not the one that put me inside and was running the test. And she looks at me strange. And theres another person who apparently is to be tested behind her.

Oh, she says. Youre still in here.
Huh I mutter back.
Oh, you must have been left in here.
Oh, there was a little emergency and that other person had to leave.
You're kidding?"
"It was an emergency."
"So how did I do?
Let me see. And she looks at the computer screen. "Oh, you passed.



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  1. motherhubbard's Avatar
    So funny. My husband has hearing loss from his time in the air force and he uses it to his advantage.
  2. Shalot's Avatar
    I had to take that same test for the job I had now. I passed as far as I know but it was a weird experience. I pushed the button everytime i thought I heard something...and then I started thinking about my dad who will up and go "huh??" when no one has said anything. I know what he's hearing is in his head for sure so who's to say I wasn't imagining those barely audible noises.
  3. mtpspur's Avatar
    This was great--I remember the Air Force had those very same boxes and the beeps drove me crazy too--I swear I was imagining most of them.
  4. TheFifthElement's Avatar
    Thanks a funny story poor Virgil. It's a good job you woke up before they found you or it could have been really embarrassing.
  5. 1n50mn14's Avatar
    Virgil, you've got it all wrong! The trick is to pretend you ARE dear and fail the test on purpose, so that you can pretend not to hear your wife...

    I can't see those little booths being a fun place to be stuck... o_O
  6. PrinceMyshkin's Avatar
    A man was driving along the highway when a cop pulled him over.

    Didnt you realize that your wife fell out of the car five miles back? the cop asked.

    Oh, thank God! the man said. I thought Id gone deaf.

    Congratulations, Dude! But do we ever get through being subjected to tests?
  7. Scheherazade's Avatar
    Hey, this sounds like a psychological assessment more than a hearing test.

    Still, it is good that they didn't said, "You had past at the first cycle but failed at the second!"
  8. Virgil's Avatar
    Thanks all.

    Fifth - You're right. That would have been very embaressing, for everyone.

    Becca - I do that anyway.

    Prince - No. The older we get, the more they prick and prod us. I bet you know.

    Scher - You're right, it could have been a psche test. So would my actions prove I'm sane or crazy?
  9. Buh4Bee's Avatar
    Maybe you are a little deaf. I listen to the radio way too loud and get yelled at too.
  10. Maryd.'s Avatar
    Absolutely faaarrrnnny.

    I fell off the chair laughing Virg.
  11. samercury's Avatar
    Haha- this just made my day Virg. But in a darkroom listening for small sounds? I would have freaked out (and it does sound like some form of torture)- can't believe they forgot you in there though D:
  12. Janine's Avatar
    This is truly funny and your wrote it up well. I would start to have an anxiety attack. These tests sound strange...first being couped up and then having to deal with a clicker. My mother would surely fail the clicking part and she is very deaf. She drives me bonkers since she wears these very expensive hearing aids but I swore to her she is wearing them wrong. She doen't have them behind that little bit of fleshy cartilege on the ear. If you push that in on your normal ears you can't hear as well. She insists they are in correctly, so I have given's either that or she is always needing a new battery...those things eat up batteries. Anyway, if I were you Virgil, I would try to get used to lower volumes because it is proven that that can cause hearing loss. Hearing loss is a real problem. I hope I don't get it. I think I actually have very keen hearing.
  13. Niamh's Avatar
    They left you in there?
  14. AuntShecky's Avatar
    If your employer requires you to take an
    annual physical, I hope it (he, she) gives you free comprehensive health insurance.
    I heard that nobody can get health insurance if he has a "pre-existing condition." What would that be -- life?

    Incidentally, speaking of hearing, why are
    TV commercials so much louder than the
  15. papayahed's Avatar
    Those booths are quite claustrophobic. When I was in Jr. High I had some hearing problems, my Mom took me to the Dr. for some tests and they put me in one of those booths, except this booth had way more stuff then the regular booths. And this booth had a window. I was sitting there for what seemed like a long time before the test started. I remember looking at all the wires and stuff then looking up and seeing my mom cracking up. I was like "huh?" Apparently I was singing and talking to myself and My mom and the nurse could hear everything I was saying.
  16. Dori's Avatar
    especially the part about hallucinating...
  17. Virgil's Avatar
    Thank you all for your comments.
  18. qimissung's Avatar
    They LEFT you? I think I would have felt exactly the same way-"OMG, I've failed!" The incipient paranoia and panic would have set in, big time!

    You handled it very gracefully, I think. And I'm sure your wife must be wrong about your hearing.
  19. Pendragon's Avatar
    I know I used to hate those tests. Since they were given in a tractor-trailer outside the factory, all I could hear at time was the wind going by. I clicked at random. You didn't do anything that anyone else wouldn't have done. An amusing little story there, old friend!
  20. bazarov's Avatar
    Good your hart is still OK.
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