Around the world, about 70 million people are deaf, and over 1.5 billion people have hearing loss in at least one ear.
Despite the commonness of this issue, deaf people and those with some form of hearing loss can face considerable discrimination. Only 48% of deaf people are employed, compared to 72% of hearing people. For those who are employed, one survey found that 56% of them claimed they faced discrimination on the job.
TikTok user Lo (@llosoncy) is deaf and frequently makes videos on the topic of deafness and being hard of hearing. In a recent video, she detailed an interaction she had at work.
In the video, she replays an interaction she says happened with customers at a restaurant in which she is a server. According to Lo, she had asked the customers to face her when they were ordering so she could read their lips. The customers agreed, then looked down while ordering.
Lo again asked if they could look at her while ordering, to which they agreed. Despite this, they proceeded to order again while looking down.
Lo asked a third time if they could look at her while ordering, even offering them a notepad to detail their order. They accepted the notepad and wrote Lo a message.
“Can we get a different server please? I’m uncomfy with being lip-read, it’s weird,” the message allegedly read.
@llosoncy I dont get people like this often but for the record: being deaf doesnt stop me from doing my job and getting paid (; #deaf #serverlife #toxiccustomers #fyp ♬ Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show
In the comments section, Lo noted that she, like many deaf people, is usually able to perform her job with relative ease. As she puts it, “If I had a hard time every time I worked, I wouldn’t keep working there.”
“I dont get people like this often but for the record: being deaf doesn’t stop me from doing my job and getting paid,” Lo explained in the caption of the video.
Commenters were supportive of Lo, with many saying that the customers’ behavior was out of line.
“They could even point it out for you on the menu,” a user stated. “There are so many ways to help this situation.”
“Some people make it seem like it’s such an impossible task,” another shared.
“As the manager I would’ve denied their request and told them go to another restaurant,” a third added.
“It’s literally not that hard to be respectful at the minimum,” wrote another TikToker.
We’ve reached out to Lo via email.