Full episode
224: Middlemen


Host Ira Glass talks with Chris, who worked for a company that helped deaf people talk over the phone with hearing people. The deaf person would type what they wanted Chris to say, and Chris would say it, then type back the response from the hearing person on the line. As the man in the middle, Chris was privy to intimate moments in people's lives. He was the middleman on drug deals, breakups. Occasionally, desperate mothers would appeal to him directly to talk sense to their stubborn deaf children with words that they themselves did not possess. As the job wore on, Chris found it more and more impossible to just be a neutral go-between. (7 minutes)