June 1, 2009

Communicating can be difficult

Little light bulbsThese are the same. Not!

Communicating, even in English, can be difficult.

The other day, El Jefe picked up some takeout from a Mexican restaurant. I asked him to get me chicken burritos. When I opened the bags, I saw that both containers were burritos. I hollered to him (he had gone to another room), "Are these both the same?" not wanting to take his food by mistake. He hollered back, "Yes, they are the same blah-blah-blah." The last part I couldn't hear.

So I take one container, smother it in jalapeños, and start eating. Meanwhile, he came back and I mentioned that I heard him say yes but I couldn't hear the rest of what he said. "They are both the same except one is chicken and one is pork." Jeeesh!

That is Honduran logic for you. OBVIOUSLY, they were both burritos. Give me a little credit. I wouldn't have needed to ask that. Same size. Same color. Same shape. Same side dishes. To get the answer that I needed, I should have asked, "Are these both the same on the inside" or "Do these both have the same ingredients inside."

Other times I have asked a question and he's answered 'no', but gone on with further explanation which makes it clear that the true answer to my question was 'yes.' And vice versa: He'll agree 'yes' but then go on with details which show the answer really was 'no'. This type of beat-around-the-bush, never-give-a-clear-answer form of communication can be very confusing and annoying.

Similarly, I can ask an either/or question such as "Do you want tacos or spaghetti for dinner?" and the answer will be 'yes'. I always have to ask, "Yes to the first option, or yes to the second option?"

Just today, El Jefe was working on one of the ceiling fans. It has lights below and above the fan, both hidden from view. He had removed the three burnt out lower lights, which were small based but longish 40 watt bulbs. Great! Another hard to find bulb. Just what we need.

I then asked if the upper part took the same bulbs or different. He said, "Yes, the same." Then he pulled out the burnt out bulbs and they are small based like the others, but only nightlight sized bulbs. I asked "Why did you say they were the same when they OBVIOUSLY are not the same?!" There is no answer to these questions.

BTW, the small bulbs are 10-watt and we need six of them. Great, because there is no such thing! I've already checked.

Pet peeve #347: What genius makes a fan with 9 weird light bulbs? The light bulbs are hidden anyway so it's not like it is a decorative thing. They could have popped in one ordinary light bulb below and one above and no one would be the wiser.

Answer: Hampton Bay! We are having so many problems with our Home Depot Hampton Bay fans and parts cannot be found. Capacitors have gone out in four of our fans so far and neither Home Depot or the manufacturer will get them for me. I've scoured the internet to no avail. What a disappointment. I mistakenly thought that was a good brand.

Related article: ?? I thought I wrote an article about how to ask a question in Honduras, but I can't seem to find it. I'll do one soon. Obviously, I need a refresher on this myself.

Newer posts Older posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...