When you have a good process that’s worked for years, it’s always made me wonder why anyone would change it. Often when these processes that have worked for years are improved, they have, in fact, made it far more complicated! This was certainly the case in a recent visit to McDonald’s, ordering a hot apple pie.
In this particular London restaurant, they had implemented a new system: tills on the right-hand side and the collection area on the left-hand side. There was an ‘Argos-like’ number screen where people waited for their orders to be ready.
I queued and placed my order for one hot apple pie, with a number of people with larger orders in front of me. Despite the fact that I had ordered one item, my number still arrived on the screen. I had to wait until all of the other orders in front of me had been fulfilled before mine.
This makes sense on paper. It made me laugh inside when I saw that my hot apple pie was two steps away from where the McDonald’s team member taking the orders was. She has no one else in line waiting to place orders, so she could have stepped back to reach it. That would have been my order taken out of the whole process entirely.
It really made me think about how deaf people’s needs are often perceived as being far more complicated than they really are. When we see something as more complicated than it is, we can easily procrastinate and put things to one side. This can mean that deaf people don’t get dealt with immediately and may have to wait longer than a hearing person does, purely because you don’t know what to do and make things so complex.
In fact, if you approach the deaf person directly and ask them what their needs are, you’d probably be surprised to find out that they were pretty simple indeed.