Friday, October 17, 2008

Is anybody listening to me?

You know who I'm a fan of? Clerks, attendants and the like who ask you questions and then immediately stop listening.

Here's a conversation I had at the Fry's pharmacy recently:

Clerk: "How may I help you?"
Me: "Hi. I'm here to pick up a prescription for Johnson. It's a canine prescription."
(She moves towards the shelves with all the prescriptions and starts to look around.)
Clerk: "What was the name?"
Me: "Johnson."
(She rummages through the prescriptions. Eventually she grabs one and starts to look at it.)
Clerk: "Is it a canine prescription?"
(Double beat.)
Me: "Yyyyyep."


What do I do with that? She asked me 2 questions and 2 questions only. They weren't follow up questions or extra necessary filters to help her. She asked me for the only 2 pieces of information I had already supplied her! Johnson. Canine. Johnson? Canine? Johnson. Canine.

Maybe next time I should say "Hi. How bout you wander over to the prescriptions and guess randomly at my prescription. If you need clues, just ask and I'll answer."

Here's another example that happens probably 80% of the time I go to Chipotle.

Clerk: "What would you like?"
Me: "Chicken burrito with rice and black beans."
(She plops the tortilla in the little warmer do-hickey. Moments later she plops the tortilla back on the counter.)
Clerk: "Rice?"
Me: "Yes, please."
Clerk: "What kind of beans?"
Me: "Black, please."
Clerk: "What kind of meat?"
Me: "Chicken, please."


Once again. I've delivered the exact information the clerk clearly needs. I've been to Chipotle a couple times. I know what they're going to ask. It's not like I'm just firing off random burrito ingredients.

"Yeah, can I get medium salsa, black beans, guacamole, a burrito, cheese, a diet coke, chicken, rice, side order of chips and salsa ... oh and lettuce ... on the burrito that is."

I'm not a Navajo code talker here. I'm giving my order in the most logical way I know how. And still I'm forced to deliver all of it twice. I guess maybe I'm just asking for too much competence in the clerks of the world.

Wait. Let me rephrase.

Me: "Am I asking for too much here?"
Clerk: "You wanted too much?
Me: "Yyyyyyep."


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