Communication mishaps

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Communication mishapsCommunication plays a very important role in our everyday life.

In one of the Friends-episodes there is the incident where 2 of the friends have the misunderstanding when one asked “got the keys?”, but the message was understood as “got the keys”; and they were locked outside the apartment, both thinking the other one got the keys.

The following story is a true story. It didn’t happen to me but to a friend and colleague of my sister.

One morning at work he was very excited about a letter he received from his medical aid. He announced to everyone that his medical aid is paying for cancer screening and he can go for the following test… (drumroll)… cervical cancer screen test!

My sister started to laugh.
“Do you know what is cervical cancer?” she asked.
“No” he replied seriously.
“Do you know what is a cervix.”
“No”.
“Don’t worry,” she reassured him, “as long as you don’t have women parts you won’t need this test.”

He had no idea that he didn’t have a cervix and that the letter implied the test is for his wife and not him. I wonder how the doctor would react if he arrived for a papsmear.

The laughter and jokes continued for a few days, but maybe communication from the medical aid was not clear enough?

Another story is when fire alarms were installed in a building. The instructions were given to one lady that, if the glass on the device is broken the alarm will go off. After the alarm went off you need to put in a code in order to switch it off.

So when the alarm went off one day they took the cryptic instructions she wrote down, understanding that they should break the glass in order to turn it off, so they broke the other fire alarms’s glass… but the alarm didn’t switch off.

It is so easy to be misunderstood, and just as easy to react on a misunderstanding. Maybe we should give one another some grace while we learn the art of proper communication.communication mishaps

Did you ever end up in an unfortunate situation due to the lack of clear instructions

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3 thoughts on “Communication mishaps

  1. This reminds me of a few years back when a young adult (female) family member very genuinely and innocently wanted to know where her prostate is located.

  2. Pingback: Communication

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