For our Fonthill Hearing Instrument Specialist Anita So, it’s the interesting and unique people that bring her the most joy.
“What interests me most about my job is that I’m always meeting new people,” says So, who has been a hearing-health specialist for four years and has worked at Connect Hearing for five. “Everyone has their own story to tell. I am always learning something new from them.”
So explained that Connect Hearing has helped reinforce the importance of hearing safety, and that’s a message that she tries to communicate to all her clients.
“By conducting hearing health checks at pharmacies, libraries and health shows, it shows that getting your hearing checked is not a scary thing,” says So. “Also by offering our two week trial it gives our clients a worry-free option without being pressured into making a decision right away.”
We sat down with So and spoke to her about working at Connect Hearing, the client she helped that brought her to tears, and the town she calls home – Fonthill, Ontario.
Connect Hearing: (CH) Since you've been with Connect Hearing, what has been the most rewarding or inspiring interaction you've had with a client?
Anita So: (AS) The most inspiring interaction that I had was with a client who I had the pleasure of meeting last year. This client suffered from severe tinnitus for more than six months and experienced a major setback in his life. He was told there was nothing they could do to help him with the tinnitus and he just had to live with the ringing. The tinnitus caused crucial difficulties in his life. I met and performed a hearing test on him. We discussed hearing aids with a tinnitus masker on a trial bases. The client was really worried about what would happen but was willing to try anything. As soon as I set up the hearing aids and turned on the masker he started crying. He looked at me and said ‘Where were you six months ago?’
I am not one to cry, but I could not believe the look of peace that came over his face. Now every time I see this person or his family I can't believe the impact that it has made in their lives. They have been an inspiration to me as I have watched them overcome so many obstacles and grow. The client has shown me that with faith, I can do anything and overcome my obstacles.
CH: It must be frustrating to see people abusing their ears.
AS: Yes, I hate to just see people walking around the street with their earphones and radios blasting, they don’t realize the effect it can have. Sometimes I can hear the music blasting through the office windows and I just shudder.
I do wish people were more aware of it, but most of the time when I try and talk to these people outside the office they give me a weird look and I can see them wondering ‘why is this woman talking to me?’
CH: Interesting, which ties into the next question. What’s your advice for people who have a loved one going through hearing loss?
AS: I do have a father who has hearing loss. All I can say is you have to have that patience. It’s frustrating, I know - I get frustrated. But have that patience to repeat the message, in different ways, as often as you can the importance of getting help. Ask yourself what you would feel if you were in that situation.
CH: Connect Hearing has been named one of Canada's greatest places to work. What makes it such a stand out, in your opinion?
AS: The people at Connect Hearing are what make this organization stand out. It sounds very cliché, but it’s true. Everyone who works at Connect Hearing is always positive and excited about what they do. I think we really feel like we are making a difference.
CH: What recent innovation in hearing health most excites you and why?
AS: One of the recent innovations excites me are hearing aids that connect to the Apple iPhone and iPad. It allows our baby boomers and the younger generations to connect even more with their hearing aids. They can stream music, video chat and make phone calls without anything other than their hearing aids and their iPad/iPhone. This innovation is allowing hearing aids users to link to the newest technologies out there.
CH: Similarly, what product do you most recommend to Connect Hearing clients and why?
AS: There are many products out there and it really depends on the client. Each client is very different from the next. It all depends on their needs and lifestyle.
CH: What do you like to do in your spare time?
AS: I love spending time with my family. I have three very active nieces who never stop and a nephew due in July this year. We love spending time at the beach, hiking or just staying at home. If I am not with my family they usually can find me tucked away somewhere with a book.
CH: For people who haven't been to your community, what can you tell them about it? And what are your favourite things to do and places to go in your community?
AS: One thing people may or may not know about Fonthill is that we have a Farmers Market on Thursdays. The market is right behind our office and runs from May to October. It opens at 4:30 pm, which means right after work I am able to get fresh fruit and vegetables.
Another thing for me about Fonthill is not really “a thing to do” but more of something that just happens. The residents of Fonthill come together and decorate all over downtown with garland and lights for the winter holidays. It is always nice to see the decorations that brighten up the winter season.
To book an appointment at our Fonthill clinic click here.