I consider myself pretty effective at communication. It is a skill that is required in my field. I send messages in a corporate environment and even teach some classes. I believe that clear communication is somewhat important.
I pulled into the drive-through of a local fried fish fast-food establishment for lunch today. I was in a bit of a rush. A product of today's budget crunching environment is the typical question "would you like some condiments." I was lucky enough to be asked this time and I replied "one of each." I received a simple nod and the window closed. Now, my usual request is: one cocktail sauce packet, one tartar sauce packet, one ketchup packet and one malt vinegar packet.
The employee handed me my bag of food with a smile and I drove away. When I arrived back at work and began pulling my lunch and condiments from the bag, I issued an audible laugh which garnered looks of concern or confusion from some co-workers (I couldn't really tell which).
My meal was simply a piece of fish, a piece of chicken, a few shrimp and a smattering of french fries.
From the bag containing my lunch, I extracted:
1 ketchup packet, check
1 tartar sauce packet, check
1 malt vinegar packet, check
1 cocktail sauce packet, check
1 hot sauce packet
1 lemon juice packet
1 buffalo wing sauce tub
1 spicy thai dipping sauce tub
1 ranch sauce tub
1 condiment cup filled with barbecue sauce
1 condiment cup filled with honey-mustard
Literally, one of each and every condiment in the establishment as I had requested. Touche, drive-through employee, touche. I had no idea they even had some of these sauces. Words mean things and I failed the test. Thanks for the humorous reminder and I'll be more specific next time.