Working

Christine O'Mahony: Office Phones

Christine O’Mahony was born in 1952 in Northampton. As a young child Christine spent time in Nazareth House children’s homes with her two sisters, before returning to family life in Camden, London aged five. Christine attended local C of E and Catholic primary schools and a local Catholic Secondary School, also spending time in hospital aged seven.

Here Christine remembers working in an office environment without accessible equipment.

  • Christine O'Mahony
  • Christine O'Mahony
  • Christine O'Mahony
http://howwasschool.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/office-phones.mp3

Transcript

I became known as a very efficient temp. But I couldn’t hear on the phone so it was really difficult for me, I couldn’t hear on the phone at all. I didn’t tell the agency, they wouldn’t have given me any work and I didn’t tell any employers, you know, so it was really, really difficult and I used to do everything I could to avoid answering the phone. So they didn’t have amplified phones and I didn’t have a hearing aid and it really was a struggle and, you know, it was really difficult and I was, you know, kind of paranoid about the phones in those days. And I knew I wouldn’t get any work if I said I was deaf, you know, that’s out of the question, you know, there was no reasonable adjustments made for anything, and I did audio typing. I didn’t have a hearing aid then, I would have to ram the earphones right into my ears and I would turn it up full volume and it would be so loud that all the other girls in the office could hear what I was typing and I just, you know, blanked them out.