Exponentially Garrulous

I work in a hotel and, as the front desk lady, am bound to deal with people every time I work. In fact, I’d go so far to say that every day I work I encounter at least one person I adore and one person I can’t stand. I just run into that many people– the outliers are bound to be there.

Of course, when dealing with anyone I try to keep it professional. I can’t just tell someone who might be getting on my nerves that what they just said was practically unintelligible and that I wish they’d kindly escort themselves to another establishment that could possibly be of more service to them, you know.

Or, can I? –Even when I’m complaining on my blog I have the customer service speech going.

But, like I said, most people I encounter are just fine and I certainly don’t wish them ill. Or for them to stay elsewhere. Most of time I’m busy at work having really neat, really casual conversations and generally leave happy to have a job, and in particular, this job.

That said, let me state the obvious: For every person of above average intelligence, there will be another who drags that number back to average with their own intelligence.

This has never been more abundantly clear than right now. Right now, when I’m busy studying for the GRE and in my last year of  undergraduate work. Studies have proven that I will never be smarter (on average) than I am right now. I’m daily looking through a stack of words meant to give me an edge on the biggest test I’ve taken since the SATs.  Mendacious, pendantic, harangue, soporific, phlegmatic — these are the kinds of words I now have drilled into my head every day via flashcards. I’ll admit it, I feel a little bit smarter when I use one of those fancy-pants words. I’m not even an English major. I should only need to know that correlation does not mean causation.

Today in particular, it has been glaringly obvious that these words are not a dime a dozen in everyday society. I earlier told a woman that our internet service had been intermittent when she asked for the access codes. She stared at me blankly. I felt like perhaps I would insult her by saying “Meaning it works. Kind of. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it does”, but nope! She seemed far cheerier after I put in really simple terms.

Same thing happened when I asked what I could do to facilitate an easier check-in for a guest. I’m not sure what word they were thinking I had said, but I got a raised eye brow and a “Uhhh, no thanks…”. Looks  of confusion again when I said that my best repair job efforts for the internet were to no avail.

So, since this is a Peace Corps blog, I suppose I should relate it in some way to my upcoming service.

Days like this make me almost look forward to soon communicating in a language so poorly that my only word options are ones basic enough that they could no be mistaken for any other word. When someone asks me why I didn’t cook dinner on the stove I can say, with confidence in my lack of proficiency in my new language, that the “fire box no work good”. They will know precisely the message I’m trying to relay.

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2 thoughts on “Exponentially Garrulous

  1. Oh, the joys of working in customer service. I used to work at a Publix grocery store, and I saw it all. Over 2.5 years there were only a handful of customers that I really hated, as well as there were my regulars that I absolutely LOVED. Working in a customer service field really makes you appreciate what those people have to do – I think everyone should work in customer service at least once!

  2. Ha, I worked at the front desk of the Hotel Orrington in Evanston for a couple of years. I agree, it is good training for patience, communications, situational awareness, and negotiation skills. I recall Cheap Trick stayed there when they were recording “Next Position Please” at Third Coast Studios up there. Only time I ever abused my front-deskly powers to learn a room number – to pass out a copy of the demo tape I worked on with your dad!. Good luck with that big test.

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