Wednesday Writing Essentials - Challenge: Write in any form you desire about being misunderstood or a misunderstanding.
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Many years ago a colleague of mine was instructing me in the use of a new office machine. He was using words and a tone of voice that I thought was very condescending. I asked him why he was acting as if I were a complete idiot and he apologized and told me the following story of why he always uses way too many words when instructing someone in something new. He just didn’t want any misunderstandings.
Several years before I knew him, he and his wife lived in Mexico. On one occasion they were hosting an outdoor party for several of their friends and were in the final steps of preparation for the party when another trip into town was necessary. Before they left they instructed the maid on several things that needed to be done and one was to take the watermelon out of the refrigerator and put the gin in and to place the necessary bowls and silverware on the picnic table outside.
All went well and it was time for the guests to arrive. My friend went to the refrigerator to get the gin and move it outside when he discovered that the gin was gone. He asked the maid what she had done with the gin and she said she put it in the watermelon as he instructed! Not understanding her answer he asked her to explain. She said that he told her to take the watermelon out of the refrigerator and put the gin in and she did. She cut a small plug out of the watermelon and poured the two bottles of gin in it. ???? He said he made another trip into town for more gin and all turned out okay and the gin filled watermelon didn’t taste too bad … LOL!
Since that incident he has always been very careful when giving instructions to anyone about anything. He feels that even though he might sound condescending he doesn’t want to leave anything to a weird misunderstanding because of his poor choice of words. LOL! He swears it’s a true story.
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