Miscommunication

When we communicate with others, either in person or electronically, there are numerous opportunities for miscommunication. Sometimes it is simply a matter of a person not knowing what they want. I often have clients tell me they want to go on a fancy vacation. When I quote them a price, I am met with “WHAT???” and I am forced to explain that the Ritz-Carlton, much to their chagrin, costs more than a Holiday Inn Express. Other times miscommunication takes more humorous forms.

This weekend we were having dinner at Blackfin Bistro, which was fantastic, as always. We brought a bottle of wine with us that had been a gift and we had been meaning to try – the 2005 Glaetzer Godolphin, a Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon blend.

Our waiter (who I had never seen before) came over and told us the specials. He also wanted to make sure we knew about the corkage fee, and the following conversation ensued:

Waiter: You know we have a corkage fee, right?

Me: Yes. What is it? (I just could not remember, and was curious as to the amount.)

Waiter: Well, it’s a fee for opening and serving your wine.

Me: (Trying desperately to stifle fits of laughter – and failing) Um, yes, I know that, but was actually asking about the cost.

Waiter: Oh, I don’t know exactly what it is.

It reminded me of the movie Airplane! “This man needs a hospital.” “A hospital? What is it?” “It’s a big building with doctors and nurses, but that’s not important right now.”

FKGuy and I burst into uncontrollable laughter. Is there a way I could have been clearer and avoided the whole Airplane thing? I have no idea. Had I not been misunderstood it would have been significantly less funny, I can tell you that for sure.

On the other hand, there are times when there is no miscommunication

The offending - and delicious - whoopie pies.

at all, and the intended message is heard loud and clear. Like today, as I was enduring day 2 of Crossfit (more on that later in the week) and as I was panting and sweating and generally being miserable, the trainer says to me “I saw the picture of your strawberry whoopie pies on Facebook.” (long pause, while I am still sweating, panting and trying to complete the exercise) “I’m pretty sure that is not on your diet. The nutritionist will have something to say about that…” I get the message. My response? “Do I have to de-friend you?” I was joking. Sort of.

 

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