The other day I was talking with a friend about his work. He works at a water reclamation facility, where they clean contaminated water to be able to put it back into the environment. When I asked him how work went today, a frown came across his face.
“What’s that look for”? I asked.
He then began to tell me of a conversation he had with a college intern working at the same facility. “You know the college is running a hydroponics project here at the plant, right”?
“Ya, so what happened”?
“It’s that early 20 something intern, she drove me crazy with her questions today”. He replied.
My first thought, this is not good, especially with Billy turning red in the face already. He continued, “They started having problems with getting water from the sump pump feeding the plants. So, she came and found me, demanding I fix the sump pump right away. I told her I would get to it in about 30 minutes because I was working on a failed piece of equipment that is related to our state permit.”
“I need that water now”. Was her answer to my statement.
“I understand, but this takes priority”. I said.
She retorted, “Let me say it this way, I must have that water now for the plants”.
“I am aware of that, but this takes priority”.
“Maybe I am not saying it right, the plants need the water now”. She said raising her voice.
“I know your plants need water, but this piece of equipment takes priority”.
As Billy was telling me the story his face got redder and redder, like he was going to blow a gasket. “And for the next 15 minutes she rephrased her statement thinking I didn’t understand what she was saying. When she rephrased the statement for the 25 time, I had it. I turned and walked away. She didn’t even realize she had just added 15 minutes to when I could get to her problem and fix it, as if I wanted to at this point”.
Just as Billy was about to explode, I stopped him, “Wow, that sounds like a conversation I just had yesterday”.
Instantly Billy’s demeanor changed, and with a slight smile he said, “Do tell”.
“Well Billy, you know my wife and I are putting wood flooring down in our master bedroom and bath. Well, we started in the bedroom and worked our way to the bath”. I could see Billy was beginning to relax a bit. “When we got to the bath, the wood flooring came to the middle of the room. I knew I needed to back track the boards some and start against a solid surface which in this case was the tub”.
“So what happened”, he asked.
“The first statement, that’s what”. I began. “My wife said, ’Why don’t we do it this way’, and she explained how she would do it without having a solid surface to start against. I said, ‘No this is the way I am going to start the rows, against a solid surface’”.
My wife then said, “Maybe I’m not making myself clear, let me say it this way”.
“For the next 30 minutes she would rephrase her idea and I would tell her no I was going to start against a solid surface”, I told Billy. At this point Billy was grinning from ear to ear, with an occasional chuckle.
That night at dinner I relayed the story to my wife, complete with what I told Billy. I was a little afraid she would be upset with me, but she too began to laugh. Once the story was complete, with a grin on her beautiful face she told me, “I guess it’s something hardwired into us women. We will say it as many ways as possible just to be understood by men”. By the end of dinner we both had side aches from laughing so hard. I guess I should do my best to understand sooner.
Until Next Time…