This is going to sound intrusive. For my job I visit the bank everyday. I've been making this trek between four and five in the afternoon regularly for more than three years. I take the same road, to the same branch, and generally deal with the same teller. A few months ago the women who I always spoke with at the bank left. Her replacement was a guy that there was something unique about. Each day I marveled at how he stood out, yet I could not fully put my finger on what his distinct feature was. At some point curiosity got the best of me.
I always changed pleasantries with Roman as I handed over our deposits for the day. He frequently smiled and asked how my day was going. I wanted to know more about him and began asking questions about how he was liking his new position, where he was from, and how busy the branch was. What I really wanted to know was what brand of cologne he wore and how he was blessed with such perfect skin.
In any event, one day while going through our routine I noticed something in Roman that I had not seen before. It appeared like he might be wearing some sort of communication device in his left ear. Maybe it was a way for bank employees to get information from the boss, or had some sort of blue tooth technology to communicate? Because I am inquisitive – that's what I'm calling it, others might say it is rude – I asked him. He told me it was his hearing aid. I was astonished. Did he always wear it? I just noticed now?
In the following days I visited Roman indeed he did have the hearing aid. Had I not noticed once, I'm not so sure I would ever have realized he was one. What is so crazy about that is I remember when my grandma got her hearing aid and what an event it was.
Grandma had always been fiercely independent. When grandpa died, she continued living life to the fullest. She traveled, spent time with friends, cooked, and would not let age pull her down. When doctor's said she needed a hearing aid she resisted. When we finally convinced her to get one it was a big to-do. She did not like how it felt, or looked, or sounded. Now, twenty years later, it seemed that the technology had advanced so far that I did not even notice Roman was wearing one.
As my daily banking continued I invited Roman for being a professional, and a charmer, constantly dealing with something that can be a mental drain. As I got to know him something better I learned that he never considered himself any less fortunate than others. His hearing aid was part of him.