Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Perils of Communication

I have a pet peeve. If I ask for someone to repeat something, I can guarantee you it’s because I did not hear you. If I ask a question about what someone said, then you can be sure it’s because it wasn’t clear to me or I only heard part of it.

Around here, that happens a lot. Grace doesn’t process what she hears well and is equally poor at communicating. The caregiver does not speak English as her first language and sometimes the accent trips me up. When she says something to either me or Grace, if asked to repeat, she will not.

Caregiver: “Grace, do you want to go to bed?”
Grace: “What?”
Caregiver: “bed.”

If I ask her to repeat anything I get the same treatment.

Caregiver: "I didn't see the mailman yet today."
Me: "What?"
Caregiver: "mail"
Me: "huh?"

I can easily picture this.

Caregiver: "There's a fire in the kitchen!"
Me: "What?"
Caregiver: "kitchen"

Evidently this is a one-time only deal. If you don’t hear it the first time, the repeat is a super abbreviated version of what passed you by in the first place.

I particularly love it when I ask Grace what she said, and the caregiver feels compelled to answer. When she does “interpret” what Grace said, Grace chooses to repeat herself so instead of getting clarification, I get chaos.

“I didn’t hear either of you.”

Another endearing quality of the caregiver is her drive to become a mime. My dog had a spot on his back that bothered him. He was biting at it. Instead of telling me, she felt compelled to act it out. Not once, but several times.

She must be killer at charades.

1 comment:

John said...