Page 1 of 1 [ 12 posts ] 

shortfatbalduglyman
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 4 Mar 2017
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 9,872

25 Apr 2024, 6:39 am

"precision of language" ("the giver")

At my job at home Depot, all customers and associates phrase requests as "can you".

"Can you" is not specific enough. "Can you" could mean "do you know how", "will you", "are you allowed to" or whatever.

It appears to me that almost nobody says "would you" or "could you" unless they have a masters degree or higher.

"Can you" sounds like the request is so easy to execute, but something could be easy for one person and hard for a different person

For example, when a customer says "can you help me load a toilet", they might think I physically am strong enough to load a toilet but things are not always the way they appear. And I have a doctor's note that I am not allowed to lift over fifty pounds.

I don't like "can you" because it sounds like just because you "can" do something, you have to.

How about "can you please go commit suicide?". (Could mean "do you know how to commit suicide" or it could be a request.) "You can do anything you set your mind to".



MatchboxVagabond
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 26 Mar 2023
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,395

25 Apr 2024, 11:46 am

People do that because they're not always sure if it's possible at all. I find that it's best to just answer the question and ask if they want it done, or if it's a question for future reference. At least that way, I've eliminated the extra mental work of trying to guess what they actually want, rather than what they asked for.



TwilightPrincess
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 23,694
Location: Hell

25 Apr 2024, 6:52 pm

Most people don’t hyper-analyze every word they say before they start talking. Based on context, it’s usually not that hard to figure out what they’re asking.

Often, when someone asks if you “can” do something in the workplace, they mean “would” you do it or please do it.


_________________
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven — Satan and TwilightPrincess


shortfatbalduglyman
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 4 Mar 2017
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 9,872

25 Apr 2024, 8:31 pm

"Please" is not a tongue twister and not hard to pronounce, for me. "Can you" is two syllables and "please" is just one syllable. "please" is short for "if you please", which means "if you want". "Can you" sounds like just b/c you "can", you "have to". And then they have the nerve to claim that they "asked" you to do something by saying "can you"?

Also, I've noticed, that the more academically uneducated someone is, the more likely they are to say "can you" instead of "could you" or "would you". ESL speakers almost always say "can you". They act like "can you" is a grammatically correct polite request.

Also, it gets on my nerves when precious lil "people" have the nerve to say "huh" and "what" instead of "excuse me". That does not sit well with me.



Jakki
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Sep 2019
Gender: Female
Posts: 10,643
Location: Outter Quadrant

25 Apr 2024, 9:42 pm

P,ease always is the best way to phrase a request.. but often individuals have often ,not grown up un a goid manners environment and revert to what they know , growing up .....And gigure its the best they can do , to form a question.
Very Possibly,, Customer service is an education all by itself , very often. Does expand your social education level , if you can stick it out .. It almost requires one to be mind numb ..to dtrangers And .just attempt to interpet, what the Hec' they are getting at ..then translate, how it shoukd apply to your wirk situation... And then hopefully , some patience ,in the interpersonal dept for all paries. And Not take it personally .. In a hour , who us gonba care , if your dealing in numbers of people .. Sometimes explaining you maynot be authorised to pick up or lift things , with out supervisors direct permission, and , , you maybe happy to find someone qualified to move large items.? Or whatever the situation.
(Person from the correct dept. ) whatever ? Always make deferrence to your higher business officials ?? if appropriate?
Just a FYI , from customer service experience. ..Also will keep your multitasking skills .on Edge. or sharp, choose your own adjective.... And perhaps , maje it through another day . :roll:


_________________
Diagnosed hfa
Loves velcro,
Quote:
where ever you go ,there you are


rse92
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 14 Oct 2021
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,125
Location: Buffalo, NY

26 Apr 2024, 8:45 am

You must be a pleasure to work with.



IsabellaLinton
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Nov 2017
Gender: Female
Posts: 70,311
Location: Chez Quis

26 Apr 2024, 9:41 am

I know "can" isn't the right word, but some people ask "can you" because it gives a softer out if the answer is no.


Can you? ----- No, I can't (because I'm busy, because I don't know how, etc.)

Will you / Would you? ----- No, I won't (This sounds much more harsh.)


_________________
And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.


rse92
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 14 Oct 2021
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,125
Location: Buffalo, NY

26 Apr 2024, 10:27 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I know "can" isn't the right word, but some people ask "can you" because it gives a softer out if the answer is no.


Can you? ----- No, I can't (because I'm busy, because I don't know how, etc.)

Will you / Would you? ----- No, I won't (This sounds much more harsh.)


I think the OP knows everything you and the others have advised him and he just doesn't care. Misery loves company and he's here to share his.



shortfatbalduglyman
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 4 Mar 2017
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 9,872

26 Apr 2024, 11:16 am

Rse

I do not go around micromanaging their speech patterns or anything else. However that is not because I don't want to or because I am morally superior to that kind of behavior. Instead it is because home Depot hires convicted felons.

I don't have any method of finding out which particular one has:

Felony convictions
Psychiatric diagnosis
Sex with the boss
Concealed weapon
Gang membership

Or anything else like that

All I know is "at will employer" and everyone has subconscious biases

I am constantly afraid that if a coworker (correctly or wrongly) tells the boss I made a bad or wrong statement or action, the boss will have the nerve to make my worthless corpse redundant. Sometimes coworkers make wrong assumptions.

Besides when I try to say something, usually the recipient doesn't:

Hear
Understand
Believe
Remember
And/ or care

What I said

Also they often misunderstand, and mishear. Instead of "excuse me" they grunt "huh" and "what".

_______________________

Isabella

Your statement is correct but I don't think that that is the reason why they say "can you " instead of. "will you ".

Because they often say "can you " in a tone that sounds (to me) like if you"can" you have to.

"Can you" sounds pretty condescending to me but it is not possible to objectively measure condescension per se



shortfatbalduglyman
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 4 Mar 2017
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 9,872

13 May 2024, 8:08 pm

matchbox

the first sentence in your post might be correct once in a while. however, the vast majority of the time, precious lil "people" have the nerve to say, "can you" in a way that sounds like they are doing me a personal favor by saying "can you", as though they were saying "please". they say "can you" in a tone that sounds like they "know" that i "can" do it. but that's just how *i* interpret their tones. however, i am not telepathic so maybe i misinterpreted



lostonearth35
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 5 Jan 2010
Age: 50
Gender: Female
Posts: 12,085
Location: Lost on Earth, waddya think?

13 May 2024, 8:29 pm

Reminds me of being a kid in school and the teachers would tell us to ask "May I" and not "Can I" if asking permission for something. As if they never said "Can I" themselves.



funeralxempire
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Oct 2014
Age: 39
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 26,549
Location: Right over your left shoulder

14 May 2024, 1:02 pm

lostonearth35 wrote:
Reminds me of being a kid in school and the teachers would tell us to ask "May I" and not "Can I" if asking permission for something. As if they never said "Can I" themselves.


When teachers wanted to play that game I just left and went to the bathroom. If they're that immature I don't need their permission, even as an 8 year old.


_________________
“Anyone who wants to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state has to support bolstering Hamas and transferring money to Hamas, this is part of our strategy” —Netanyahu
戦争ではなく戦争と戦う
GOP Predators