Do people really listen?

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Do people really listen?

Postby Larry Greenly » Wed Sep 06, 2006 11:28 am

I don't know about you, but I have trouble with clerks, cashiers, etc. actually listening to what I'm saying.

For example, yesterday, I happened to be near a store where I occasionally buy a few items. I remembered they had flax seeds on sale, but I didn't have my flyer with a coupon. So I took a chance and popped inside to ask if they had any flyers.

To young cashier: "Do you have any flyers?"

Cashier: "Flyers?"

Me: "Yeah, flyers like the one you mailed me--with the coupon. I left mine at home."

Cashier: "You can sign up on the list over there and we'll send you one."

I left.

*******
At a popular steakhouse in Albuquerque, I always ask to not be seated near the kitchen. Invariably, I'm seated right next to the kitchen. I presume they hear only the one word, "kitchen," and think I want to be nearby.

Amusingly, at the same restaurant several years ago, I spied a huge banner that said, "[Restaurant] is celebrating it's 18th birthday!"

I pointed out to the valley girl type that "it's" was incorrect. "Its" was the possessive and "it's" was a contraction of the words "it is," I said.

She replied, "Well, it is our birthday!"

Do you have any interesting encounters with clerks? And I apologize in advance if any of you are valley girls.[/i]
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby Howie Hart » Wed Sep 06, 2006 11:36 am

Not really to do with valley girls, but one pet peeve of mine is during TV interviews, especially with athletes and some politicians, is the improper use of the word "myself" instead of "me". "He threw the ball to myself". :roll:
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby MtBakerDave » Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:36 pm

Although I've had plenty of experience with poor service people, I've gained a little insight on the problem. I can tell you the not listening thing goes both ways.

I have a temp job right now, clerking at a hardware store, and I wonder sometimes why I try to help at all. It seems like customers hear very little of what I say too. For example, when someone comes in looking for a particular thing, and I have to tell them we don't have it, I'd guess I have to send that message an average of two times before it's heard. A lot of people it takes four or five times, and people are still asking me where the thing is.

I try to give people advice on how to do simple repair jobs (repairing a toilet, or hanging a picture for example,) but much of the advice is rejected out of hand. Either the job doesn't seem so simple to them, or they don't have the proper tool (and they refuse to buy one,) or they just plain refuse to consider that someone else may know better than them - even if they solicited the advice!

For my few months at the hardware store, I've come to a new understanding of why a lot of service people are so surly. I have to struggle to fight it too.

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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby Larry Greenly » Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:19 pm

I'll never forget one exchange in a hardware store several decades ago. I asked the young clerk if they had any semi-penetrating polyurethane stain.

"No, we don't have any," was the answer.

But when she stepped aside and left, I noticed that she had been standing in front of a large display of the very thing I was asking for.

I frequently find that clerks will not admit they don't know something, but will instead say they don't carry it or--the one that always kills me--"there's no such thing," or "they don't make it anymore."
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:38 pm

Was in a winestore and holding a bottle of Mas Amiel up to the light to check the colour. Clerk comes along.....

"It`s red wine sir".

"yup, just checking the colour".

"don`t think we have a white of that one sir".
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby Howie Hart » Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:43 pm

Ahhh...Hardware stores. I'm sure every town had one like this, but now everything is Home Depot or Lowes. The old hardware store I used to get stuff from went out of business about 15 years ago after being in business for over 100 years. I went in there once to get a special tool for installing and removing hoops from barrels. Sure enough, the old guy behind the counter nodded and walked across the street and upstairs to find it in a drawer, the third aisle down. It seemed everything I wanted was always across the street and upstairs. :)
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby Larry Greenly » Thu Sep 07, 2006 1:04 am

I can even smell the old hardware stores, with their wooden floors and all. In fact, the scene in the Harry Potter movie where he buys a magic wand reminded me of the old-time hardware stores, musty and dusty and neat stuff hidden everywhere. I even used to buy powdered asbestos out of a barrel. And some dynamite fuse when I was twelve. Can you imagine that now?
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby ChefCarey » Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:44 am

Howie Hart wrote:Not really to do with valley girls, but one pet peeve of mine is during TV interviews, especially with athletes and some politicians, is the improper use of the word "myself" instead of "me". "He threw the ball to myself". :roll:


Ah, this puts me in mind of my all time favorite by a seemingly educated and articulate former athlete turned commentator. He was asked by an interviewer if he was tempted to use drugs during his tenure as an athlete. (I know these guys go to media school to learn how to appear literate. I think there was a black hole at this guy's school.) He said, "No, I never succame." I swear!
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby Howie Hart » Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:58 am

ChefCarey wrote:...a seemingly educated and articulate former athlete turned commentator.

During the pregame show of the Raiders-Bills AFC championship game in '91 (which the Bills won 51-3), O. J. Simpson said "If the Raiders have any chance to win this game they're going to have to outscore the Bills". :shock:
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Thu Sep 07, 2006 2:07 pm

Walter Peyton doing color commentary during a Super Bowl: "Matt Millen isn't as good as he used to be, but he's playing better than ever."
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby Ian Sutton » Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:10 pm

Plenty of material over here as well, in a genre that's become known as "Coleman-balls" after one of it's stars, David Coleman. Private Eye runs a column of them every issue.

Some old classic's
"For those watching (the snooker) in black and white, the brown ball is behind the green"

"The bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey"

I think there's even been a range of books published.
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby Bob Ross » Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:30 pm

Folks can listen too well at times, though.

My friend Teodoro tells a classic tale. It is common in this area to hire day workers from Home Depots and other locations -- English may well be very limited and people certainly don't know each well (otherwise they would make other arrangements for finding each other).

Some years ago Ted hired a fellow and at a difficult intersection asked the worker to tell him when no cars were coming.

"OK -- no cars."

"No cars?"

"No cars."

Ted proceeded -- and was hit by a pickup truck.

Regards, Bob

PS: Ted has a wry sense of humor, and I've listened to his jokes for years. He has a totally dead pan delivery when he means to be funny. This tale breaks up every time -- I've asked him to tell it several times to try to figure out if he made it up. Seems to be a true story. B.
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby Carl Eppig » Thu Sep 07, 2006 5:22 pm

Getting back to food and wine, there are some who will cling to a concept forever no matter how wrong it is.

Some years ago we went to a restaurant for a family affair that was being run by the employees, and/or had an absent manager. I ordered a Cab with my steak off a short wine list. The waitress brought the bottle, and set it down to go find an opener. I put my hand around the bottle while she was gone and almost burnt it. When she came back I asked her to put the bottle in the fridge while my steak was cooking. She went away with it; and came back with it saying the cook said it should be served at room temperature. I pointed out that the bottle was above room temperature, and please put it into the freezer until the steak was done. She came back with the bottle and the steak almost immediately and repeated that the cook said the bottle should be served at room temperature. So, I asked for an ice bucket. She went away and came back and said that ice buckets were just for white wine. I exchanged my Cab for a Coke.
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby Ian Sutton » Thu Sep 07, 2006 5:34 pm

Carl Eppig (Middleton, NH wrote:Getting back to food and wine, there are some who will cling to a concept forever no matter how wrong it is.

Some years ago we went to a restaurant for a family affair that was being run by the employees, and/or had an absent manager. I ordered a Cab with my steak off a short wine list. The waitress brought the bottle, and set it down to go find an opener. I put my hand around the bottle while she was gone and almost burnt it. When she came back I asked her to put the bottle in the fridge while my steak was cooking. She went away with it; and came back with it saying the cook said it should be served at room temperature. I pointed out that the bottle was above room temperature, and please put it into the freezer until the steak was done. She came back with the bottle and the steak almost immediately and repeated that the cook said the bottle should be served at room temperature. So, I asked for an ice bucket. She went away and came back and said that ice buckets were just for white wine. I exchanged my Cab for a Coke.

Sadly still very commonplace. In fact I think quite a few places seem to think kitchen "room temperature" is perfectly ok. Oh but those bottles do look beautiful next to that real fire :roll:
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Sep 07, 2006 6:50 pm

ChefCarey wrote:(I know these guys go to media school to learn how to appear literate. I think there was a black hole at this guy's school.) He said, "No, I never succame." I swear!


Reminds me of a fellow who used to be an associate superintendent of schools here, who had a Ph. D. in education and wasn't shy about referring to himself as "Doctor."

Once addressing the assembled school board with a formal report, he announced that "I personally authored an appendice to this document."

On another occasion, he remarked that his report "has been bonafied by the Jefferson County Board of Education."

He later went on to become the top superintendent of a smaller-city school system in Mississippi.
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby ChefCarey » Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:23 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
ChefCarey wrote:(I know these guys go to media school to learn how to appear literate. I think there was a black hole at this guy's school.) He said, "No, I never succame." I swear!


Reminds me of a fellow who used to be an associate superintendent of schools here, who had a Ph. D. in education and wasn't shy about referring to himself as "Doctor."

Once addressing the assembled school board with a formal report, he announced that "I personally authored an appendice to this document."

On another occasion, he remarked that his report "has been bonafied by the Jefferson County Board of Education."


Let me see if I have this right - the board was having sex with a report?
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby Larry Greenly » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:01 pm

I was at an upscale restaurant and asked for a Pernod with water on the side.

The server came back empty-handed and told me the bartender said that Pernod was an illegal drink.

I protested and told her to tell the bartender he was thinking of absinthe and that if he looked carefully, chances were good he had a bottle of Pernod.

I finally got my drink.

BTW, fast-forwarding a couple of decades: I've had Absinthe several times from friends who had traveled in Europe or ordered it online.
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby Hoke » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:06 pm

Let me see if I have this right - the board was having sex with a report?


Well, I've heard that some of those good old boys down in Memphis will try to have sex with anything that doesn't move.

Or anything that does. :)
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:00 pm

Hey, Larry, did the absinthe have any effect on you not related to the alcohol? Inspired by a Joe Haldeman novel, I've tried it a few times and it never did anything for me other than taste bad.
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby Larry Greenly » Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:16 am

Nah. Current thought is that absinthe's notorious effects were due to its high alcoholic content. The stuff I drank tasted okay, just like Pernod. It was 110 proof, but some brands are much higher.
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby stevenryals » Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:29 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:I don't know about you, but I have trouble with

I pointed out to the valley girl type that "it's" was incorrect. "Its" was the possessive and "it's" was a contraction of the words "it is," I said.

She replied, "Well, it is our birthday!"



HAHAHAHAHAHA... This is classic...
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Re: Do people really listen?

Postby TimMc » Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:35 pm

Do people really listen?

In my many years experience on a BBS, people "listen" to only what they agree with and woe-be-tide the poster who dosen't comply with their wants and needs.

They will be verbally destroyed by the masses.


My two cents.
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