In the late 1970s the fbi hired sue thomas, along with eight other deaf individuals, to analyze fingerprint patterns. Deaf people, the agency reasoned, might have an easier time staying focused during the notoriously meticulous task. From the first day, however, Thomas found the job unbearably monotonous. She complained to her superiors so often that she was prepared to walk away unemployed when her boss summoned her to a meeting with other agents in his office.