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What we have here is a failure to communicate
  #1  
Old 07-20-2019, 02:59 PM
SpyOne SpyOne is offline
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Default What we have here is a failure to communicate

My mother taught English, my father taught Communication.
So I understand far better than most that the point of "correct" grammar is to make communication clear.

For example, "Give me two packs of BC powders" and "Give me a two pack of BC powders" mean different things. "Give me two pack of BC powders" could mean either of them. You need to consistently use the article and/or pluralize "pack" into "packs" or you are being unclear.
Most of my customers, however, seem to be fine with being unclear.

Some others from the hit parade:
"Can I still buy liquor?"
Correct answer: "Not here. We are only licensed to sell beer and wine. And malt liquor, which the law says is beer."
But you didn't actually mean "liquor", you meant "alcoholic beverages". It would be so nice if you said that.

"What time do you stop serving beer?"
"We never serve beer. Consuming beer on our premises is a crime. We sell beer."

And number one on my current list of grievances:
"What pump is the grey car at?"
My complaint here relates to how my father used to say "Ask the question you want the answer to." By which he meant that one should ask "If you are near a store later could you pick me up some popsicles" instead of asking "Are you going to the grocery store today?"
Because among other things the answer to the first might be yes when the answer to the second would be no. Don't try to lead someone down a path of questions, get the whole concept out there for them to agree or disagree.

See, you have no use for the number of that pump other than to say it right back to me. You aren't going to remember it, you aren't trying to figure out how we number the pumps (it isn't complicated: most chimps and some parrots could figure it out but it seems to elude most of you).
So instead of making it two questions, make it one: "Could I please get $10 in gas on whatever pump that grey car is at?" Otherwise you are just rudely wasting time.


Oh, one more thing: it is night time, the windows are tinted, and the lights are blue. Cars come in two colors: light, and dark. I honestly can't say whether that car is red or green, and the only reason you know is you've seen it in daylight. Figure out some other way to identify your car, because half the cars out there might be "blue" so that doesn't help me.
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  #2  
Old 07-20-2019, 03:32 PM
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TheWolfEmperor TheWolfEmperor is offline
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I get this all too often. Customers like to use "house terms" for everyday items. They'll ask for coffee mugs when what they want are travel mugs, which are actually two different things believe it or not.
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Old 07-20-2019, 11:23 PM
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EricKei EricKei is offline
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Quote:
But you didn't actually mean "liquor", you meant "alcoholic beverages". It would be so nice if you said that.
Fair enough -- And while it may be a regional thing, I think this could be because I've almost always heard of store that specialize in alcohol as "liquor stores" or "package stores," and grocery departments that sell the stuff as "liquor departments."
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:48 PM
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gerund gerund is offline
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In the computer world that is rife.

"I can't do the weekly report" is followed by a long investigation where the user is finally found to be unable to log in because of an expired password and thus unable to do the weekly report.

There is nothing wrong with the report (or the database) - something we have just spent an hour on. We are supposed to read the users mind and somehow know that his password has expired. Then we are supposed to fix it with no effort on his behalf, so he can push one button and kick off the report.

How much better would "I can't login, because the system says my password is expired."?

Even better - the user notices the error message and resets his own damn password like he is supposed to do and continues on to run the report with no involvement from us at all.

</RANT>
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  #5  
Old 07-22-2019, 12:54 AM
Buzzard Buzzard is offline
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The ones I just LOATHE are when I write a clear, concise report on a problem. There is no doubt that this item is the problem as the normal debugging has been DONE, and/or does not apply to smoke emitting from the unit. "Gee, have you tried rebooting?"
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Old 07-22-2019, 04:16 AM
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Quote:
Quoth TheWolfEmperor View Post
I get this all too often. Customers like to use "house terms" for everyday items. They'll ask for coffee mugs when what they want are travel mugs, which are actually two different things believe it or not.
Relevant YouTube sketch.
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  #7  
Old 07-23-2019, 11:14 AM
SpyOne SpyOne is offline
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Quote:
Quoth EricKei View Post
Fair enough -- And while it may be a regional thing, I think this could be because I've almost always heard of store that specialize in alcohol as "liquor stores" or "package stores," and grocery departments that sell the stuff as "liquor departments."
While I grant some regional variation, this seems to be a very local phenomenon: I didn't have people saying that when I worked on the other side of town. Or rather, it was rare, now it is common.

I grew up in the northeast, and there were "package stores" that were sometimes called liquor stores. While they also sold wine and beer, the distinction was they also sold hard liquor and spirits, which for example grocery stores do not.
"Liquor" is stuff like Jack Daniels. Bourbon, whiskey, scotch. I have never heard someone refer to a "liquor department" because where I grew up those products were only available in stores that sold nothing else (except the aforementioned beer and wine).

Here in Virginia, liquor is only sold in stores that are owned by the State and sell nothing else. Bars have to buy from such stores. They are run by the bureau of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and are called ABC Stores.

I am reasonably sure the problem with misusing the term is a large concentration of people whose only experience with "liquor" is malt liquor, which as I said the law calls "beer".
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  #8  
Old 07-23-2019, 11:25 AM
SpyOne SpyOne is offline
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Quote:
Quoth Smapti View Post
We get those too.
I mean, besides the people who think the word "jank" is a clearly communicative all-purpose noun. Like in sentences like, "Give me one of those beef janks," while gesturing vaguely towards a grill that holds hot dogs, beef sausages, and taquitos.

But my pet peeve is the people who just refuse (or are unable) to speak clearly.

"Do you sell pankars?"
"I'm sorry, I missed that."
"Pankars."
"Um, I don't know what that is."
"Pankars. PANKARS!"
"I guess not."
After a few minutes looking around,
"What's that behind you?"
"These?" as I pick a package up off the shelf.
"PANKARS!"
"Oh, playing cards. Yes, we sell those."
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  #9  
Old 07-24-2019, 12:00 AM
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Try deciphering someone with a hard accent to understand coupled with a really crappy cell phone connection. IT's all gibberish at that point.

But yes the people who insist on calling things by the wrong name, or won't say things clearly, annoy me to NO end. My mother did that constantly, just made up stupid names for every day items. That no one else used. That was embarrassing, and I grew to have zero tolerance for it.

To be honest I"m getting really sick and tired of two things: the constant shortening of words:
merch (merchandise dammit)
usz (usual, just the first part is said)
and others I can't think of right now but you get the idea.

Also calling businesses by the wrong name. When the hell did everyone start calling restaurants and banks stores? they are NOT stores. A store is like a grocery store, convenience store, furniture store, music store etc. A place that has hot food, that you order and eat on the premises (or delivers or whatever) is not a store. And a bank, that is a branch NOT a store.
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  #10  
Old 07-25-2019, 01:04 AM
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A guy I used to know told me about how he accidentally pissed off a customer once when he was working at a job, simply because he misheard/misunderstood her.

I lady drove up to the front of the garage and asked him if they had a vacuum. He told her, "No, I don't, but if you bring it around back, I'll blow it out with an airhose."

The lady started yelling at him, and he had no idea why. Turned out she had asked if they had a bathroom, not a vacuum. Oops.
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