Why couldn’t they just have explained it to me?

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hollowmoon
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15 Jun 2019, 1:12 pm

I had a job in college at a cafe. They’d ask me to do something like “can you chop the avocado?” And then I’d say yes. However, they never explained to me that they meant “immeadately” so I’d keep standing there thinking I could do it an hour or so. They kept screaming at me and I kept getting in trouble and didn’t know why... eventually I got fired.
Fast forward a few years later I had another cafe job and got in trouble again... but the manager finally explained to me what was going on. Why didn’t people just explain to me they meant “right now?” Instead of getting angry?



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15 Jun 2019, 1:25 pm

It is one of the problems I get on occasions where I don't get hints. Open ended instructions can be difficult. Oh, how in the past I have messed things like this up! Hahaha!


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Trogluddite
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15 Jun 2019, 2:57 pm

Such things have got me into bother at work more times than I could count. The boss in my last job was a swine for starting his sentences with; "Could you think about..." or "It would be useful if..."!


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Dear_one
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15 Jun 2019, 3:06 pm

hollowmoon wrote:
I had a job in college at a cafe. They’d ask me to do something like “can you chop the avocado?” And then I’d say yes. However, they never explained to me that they meant “immeadately” so I’d keep standing there thinking I could do it an hour or so. They kept screaming at me and I kept getting in trouble and didn’t know why... eventually I got fired.
Fast forward a few years later I had another cafe job and got in trouble again... but the manager finally explained to me what was going on. Why didn’t people just explain to me they meant “right now?” Instead of getting angry?


For most people, adding "now" would be condescending. If one is getting paid and doing nothing, a polite suggestion should be enough to direct action. It lets people feel like part of a team, instead of a machine.



hurtloam
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15 Jun 2019, 4:19 pm

Most people just know it means now, I'm sorry, but it's true. They wouldve asked in a in hours time if they needed it in an hour.

Never mind, we all learn from experience.



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15 Jun 2019, 5:01 pm

hurtloam wrote:
Never mind, we all learn from experience.

In a rational, explicit-knowledge sense I learned the meaning and intended purpose of it decades ago. But it has never become my habitual, reflexive response - my first instinct is still the more literal one. Most of the time I catch it; but if I'm sufficiently distracted that my brain files the request under "non-urgent, worry about it later" before I've paused to reflect, I can still fall prey to it. Attention and executive function seem involved as well as the pragmatics of language.


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SaveFerris
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15 Jun 2019, 5:29 pm

hollowmoon wrote:
“can you chop the avocado?”.....................Why didn’t people just explain to me they meant “right now?” Instead of getting angry?



As most people don't even realise that someone might take that direction as a question. Like Trog said a literal person can become habituated to understand and infer what most see as ‘common sense’ however it is not our our natural way of thinking.

I also think that the years of habituation can be forgotten after a burnout - well I hope that's why I became more literal


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shortfatbalduglyman
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15 Jun 2019, 8:18 pm

Because they assumed you knew what they meant

In that situation, "can you" means, chop an avocado

It does not mean "do you know how to chop an avocado"

Literal misinterpretation

A high school teacher asked me "can you do number five"


And I thought he meant, do you know how




:D


Slang.



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15 Jun 2019, 8:22 pm

SaveFerris wrote:
I also think that the years of habituation can be forgotten after a burnout - well I hope that's why I became more literal

Yes, I recognise that as well. My brain just gets too worn out to keep on second-guessing myself all the time.


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shortfatbalduglyman
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15 Jun 2019, 8:27 pm

Dear_one wrote:
hollowmoon wrote:
I had a job in college at a cafe. They’d ask me to do something like “can you chop the avocado?” And then I’d say yes. However, they never explained to me that they meant “immeadately” so I’d keep standing there thinking I could do it an hour or so. They kept screaming at me and I kept getting in trouble and didn’t know why... eventually I got fired.
Fast forward a few years later I had another cafe job and got in trouble again... but the manager finally explained to me what was going on. Why didn’t people just explain to me they meant “right now?” Instead of getting angry?


For most people, adding "now" would be condescending. If one is getting paid and doing nothing, a polite suggestion should be enough to direct action. It lets people feel like part of a team, instead of a machine.






Your statement is correct

But maybe the original posters would rather be condescended to, than fired

But I am not telepathic

And not everyone has the same priority as me


:mrgreen:


It's a "miscommunication"



The boss told me to do something

And I did it

Next day she told me that she said something else


f**k UCSF :roll:


Maybe I should have video tape :o :ninja: :mrgreen:








Then the b***h had the nerve to fire me


It's a "miscommunication" to her


"It's your last day" for me




:mrgreen:



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15 Jun 2019, 11:13 pm

Vague instructions and lack of timeframes still drive me nuts, even after decades of experience.
There's one guy at work who asks me to do something but will never give me a deadline. It's just "when you have time".
Well, I have plenty of other work to do, all of which have deadlines, so of course his job never gets done.
Duh :roll:



shortfatbalduglyman
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15 Jun 2019, 11:19 pm

They could have explained

They choose not to

Because they thought you knew what they meant

But you are not telepathic



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15 Jun 2019, 11:32 pm

I absolutely would have taken that literally as well. "Can you chop an avocado?".

It's a restaurant setting with food prep.

Can you peel an egg (without making a mess of it and having the egg intact when you're done)?
Can you core a cabbage?
Can you prepare/slice a pineapple?
Can you peel an apple?
Can you mince some garlic?

My point is, there are many different types of food items and not all of them are cut, chopped or prepared the same way. I would have taken that question to mean: "Do you know how to chop an avocado?" To which I would have said "yes" and I would have stood there as well. "Can you go chop and avocado?" THAT I would understand to mean now.

Or, if the person I was with was preparing a salad or other item in which avocado was a key ingredient and it was understood that I was helping them complete that task at that moment and they said: "Can you chop and avocado?", I would understand that. Context.


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shortfatbalduglyman
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15 Jun 2019, 11:39 pm

"can you" could mean

Will you
Do you know how
Is it possible to


It is not wrong, your misinterpretation

They should have been more specific


Then they act like :evil: insubordination

:cry:

And fired


But "miscommunication"



Dear_one
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15 Jun 2019, 11:51 pm

Another clue: If they already know that you can do a task, they are probably asking for a repetition, not an update on your fitness.
BTW, I just noticed a comedian taking an instruction literally and getting a big laugh.



SaveFerris
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16 Jun 2019, 6:49 am

Dear_one wrote:
Another clue: If they already know that you can do a task, they are probably asking for a repetition, not an update on your fitness.
.


Yep.

If you have problems with visual cues and interpreting intonation in comments you need as many clues as possible.

Language has got lazy which doesn't help matters.


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