Everyone knows it’s seldom good when the phone rings at 2:00 am. Most likely, it’s not going to be Publisher’s Clearing House telling you that, “Yes! We finally have a winner! And it’s you!”
Other types of communication can also strike fear into one’s heart. Thankfully, there are no longer telegrams from the War Department, but seeing a uniformed military officer together with a garbed priest coming up the walk while your son or daughter is in combat isn’t going to make you feel warm and fuzzy.
And then there are those types of communication that are simply annoying. We’ve all experienced them – the dinner-time telemarketers, the overly friendly co-worker you managed to brush off during the workday.
Here’s a short list (in no particular order) of beginning sentences that are sure to get your heart rate up and your head pounding. Feel free to add your own.
“Mo-om? I just got in an accident. Can you come?” (sounds of approaching sirens in the background)
“911. Please hold.”
“Good evening. This is Detective Smith from the Town Police Department.” (Do you know where all your kids are tonight?)
“Mrs. Peters? This is Dr. Jones. I just got your test results.”
“Good morning, this is Miz Jones from the Internal Revenue Service.”
“Hello, I’m calling about your loan application …” (seldom good when they need “just a little more information”).
“Hi, this is Tiffany’s room mother, calling about tomorrow’s bake sale …” (darn, got the note, ignored it)
“Hello, this is the School Administration Office” (oh lordy, what has she done now?)
“Hello, I’m calling about the warranty on your car ...” (said car being one you turned in approximately 10 years ago)
And let’s not forget communication by signage:
Open During Construction
We’ve Moved! (If it’s on the door of the emergency vet clinic, that’s a very bad thing at 2:00 a.m. Trust me, I know)
Exact Change Only (many people only carry credit cards)
ATM Out of Service (see above)
Open Other End (oops)
Produced With Genetic Engineering (Say what? I just ate the whole thing!)
Best When Used By … (Wow, that was in the cupboard a really long time – does botulism trump genetic engineering? [I just ate the whole thing!])
Do Not Enter (anyone else ever been tempted to try just to see what would happen?)
Jump right in, folks. Terrifying or just annoying – I’m sure you all have a miss-communication to share.
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Image by Cordelia’s Mom