Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Speed-hearing as Discrimination?

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I had an epiphany this morning.

You know how when you really like or respect someone you hang on their every word, notice their every blogpost/tweet etc? I do. Or at least in phases. What those people say has more weight than other people. Sometimes it is not someone i particularly like but whose ideas i respect so their writing has an impact on me.

Now the epiphany is this: I think when we either dislike someone immensely or feel they are unimportant, we may be listening to them less closely. Speed reading their emails. Speed hearing their phone calls.

How did I reach this conclusion? I have a communication issue with someone at my uni. I know I write well, or else I would not have this (relatively) immense online professional presence in such a short time. I know I communicate well orally – have for as long as I can remember. I know I command attention, have so all my life. It is just the way I am.

But this guy, he continually ignores some of my accomplishments at work, referring to them as the work of someone else (that someone else led this work before I joined but we did the stuff he refers to together. We remind him we did it together. He refers to it as someone else’s work). Moreover he constantly makes me question whether I wrote something clearly because his responses indicate he does not know what I just told him. He summarizes what I write (his one sentence for my 3 paragraphs) completely inaccurately and drops a lot of important info I have written or said.

So I am concluding he is speed-reading and Speed-hearing me. I can’t find another explanation for it

And I think it must be a form of discrimination because I am so not used to being looked over (as in almost ignored) this way. Except the occasional male teacher who pretended not to hear my answers, you know, when i said the right answer and the teacher looked away from me abd asked, “does anyone know the answer?” and the smartass boys would just repeat what i said and get the praise?

It is not exactly like that. I keep questioning my professionalism because of this person but it makes no sense. So there must be something about me that makes him not listen. I keep wondering if it’s me, but i have a feeling it is him. Racism, sexism, ageism, something or other. An “I don’t know you so you don’t matter” even though most people, when they know me, feel I matter. How self-centered is that? But who likes to be ignored so frequently and made to question everything they do?

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