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07 February 2012

I've been getting so mad when people don't hear a word I've said [More:]that I just said to a clerk on the phone, "What I just said was..." or something like that. It seems so rude, I don't want to keep doing it, but it seems like every single time I say something important no one hears it the first time. I assume they don't register it, maybe they don't even hear it, but why can't they just ask me to repeat myself or something instead of responding to something imaginary that I never said, or not hearing it at all. It's like: "I decided I am going to get a new car." "Well, why don't you get a new car?" Man, I hate that. Especially when talking about something serious or important, or something that's frustrating already.
You know what else I hate? When people don't hear a word I've said the first time!

I couldn't resist. Forgive me.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 07 February | 16:05
I have this exchange on the phone a lot, and it is teeth-gnashworthy:

Me: Mathematics department, this is [my full name].
Other Party: Uh... is this [somebody else entirely] ?
Me: No, I think you have the wrong number.
Other Party: Who is this?

That last part doesn't happen except in my fantasy, though.
posted by Wolfdog 07 February | 16:46
Yes, it's very frustrating. My SO does this all the time - responds to what she thinks I said rather than what I actually said, because she's (I think) already forming a response in her head before I've finished speaking, so doesn't listen to most of what I actually said. People that tend to interrupt others all the time are the worst at it, I think, because they don't have the patience to let you finish speaking before they jump in.
posted by dg 07 February | 16:50
I'm bad about not "hearing" things the first time they're said*. The mister agrees that he has the bad habit of starting to talk out of the blue. We're working on training him to make sure he has my attention if it's something he really needs me to hear. It doesn't always work, but we know we both have these issues so neither one of us gets angry at the other over missed messages. This, of course, works better in a face-to-face situation.

*In my defence I learned in childhood to really tune stuff out. It was a self-defense mechanism and I doubt I'll ever lose it. Also, I'm usually reading a book or something on the internet.
posted by deborah 07 February | 16:55
People are terrible listeners, by and large. (Drives me crazy too. Oh, how I hate to repeatedly repeat myself.)

On the other hand, the Bear is an empath and there are many times he hears what I am intentionally NOT saying. That can be tough too. It's impressive, but I don't think my internal thoughts are truly safe from him.
posted by bearwife 07 February | 17:00
Serena, it is a sad thing but sometimes people just won't respond unless you snap at them. It used to make me upset (having to snap at people), and I'm still uncomfortable every time I do it, but I've been learning to do it more, especially with customer service over the phone. And somehow I feel it's actually been improving the customer service that I receive.
posted by halonine 07 February | 18:17
You would not like being a teacher. I can say the page number a thousand times and write it in big red numerals on the board and at least three students will still ask, What page?
posted by Pips 07 February | 18:54
Thanks TPS, that made me laugh. I needed that.

How bout, "I'm sorry I (didn't do the vacuuming), but this is why I did it, and I'll never do it again."

"I understand perfectly. But what I really want to know is, why didn't you do the vacuuming?"

Me: You don't understand. This may cost me thousands of dollars.

Them: Well, I think you should do it. After all, it's not like it's gonna cost you thousands of dollars.

posted by serena 07 February | 19:51
posted by Doohickie 07 February | 20:52
bearwife, I have the same problem your Bear has. It is frustrating on my end, because I'm not trying to startle people and the folks that I pick up on things, I have to be very very cautious with. And it leads me to interrupt in a terrible way. It sucks. I'm working on it.

My partner gets really frustrated with it because he is with serena and I've watched that happen over and over - it makes him super pissed off. He makes all the right moves conversationally but inevitably gets the same response. It's baffling, serena, because I've watched it happen before and there's not a frickin' thing off so I don't know what it is.
posted by Sil 07 February | 23:34
When people mispronounce my last name 30 seconds after I've told them what it was.
posted by brujita 08 February | 01:06
My wife does this often. Turns out with a long career as a hospital food services supervisor/manager she has a hearing deficit brought about by years in loud environments. Not enough for hearing aids to help but she often hears really odd things you did not say.

A friend spent a long time in military artillery. He has tinnitus. Hearing aids don't help with that.

Sometimes it IS about other people. Maybe not in your case but it is out there.
posted by arse_hat 08 February | 01:39
Maybe you are getting ahead of things, giving people information before they're ready for it. Slow down and use more connective tissue. OTOH people are idiots and it won't help.
posted by fleacircus 08 February | 01:41
You know what I hate? I really hate when people rush on through a statement and I can't make it out, so I ask them to clarify what they've said, and they get pissy at me.

This happens most of the time with people answering a phone. The phone doesn't even pick up what they're saying until they're halfway through the spiel, and they have no idea. Further, they say it thirty thousand times a day, so it's less of a series of words, and more a rushed set of indistinct syllables. You may *think* you've just told me where I called, but all I heard was gibberish.

"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!" "I'm sorry, where did I reach?" "Ph'nGLUI mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl FHTAGN FHTAGN!!"
posted by galadriel 08 February | 09:07
A new euphamism! || Speech Debelle - Freedom Of Speech (album stream)