A Lesson In Communication

Here’s something that not everyone seems to know about communication. It goes two ways. While one person talks, the other person is supposed to be receiving those strings of words and processing them inside their brain so that they can form a response that matches what they just heard. The listener isn’t supposed to just stand there and wait for a break in the auditory barrage to say something completely unrelated to the message received, or act as if the message wasn’t received at all. If both people speak clearly and listen properly when it is their time to do so, it works. But when one person decides not to hold up their end of the bargain, it can become quite frustrating. I’m noticing a lot of people lately who want to talk and not listen.

Just yesterday, while Trixie was out doing her duty, A mailman came to the big mailbox by the road to put something in it. Of course, since he’s the mailman, Trixie decided to go see him. I didn’t mind, since he was talking to her and she was off harness. He started talking to her. Then I heard the dreaded words, “Want a cookie?”

Since she’s a lab, and labs love food, I don’t want her running to other people to get food from them. So, I said no, I don’t want her to have a cookie because I don’t want her soliciting food from others. I was just about to say, “if you want to give her a cookie, give it to me and I’ll give it to her. but he said, “Oh it’s just a diabetic cookie. Sit?” he had his hand out towards her. I pulled her back and said no! Then he filled the mailbox with the biggest pout on. I don’t have to see to notice it.

I beg your fucking pardon! I said no! And, how does he know that a diabetic cookie wouldn’t do something to her? I mean, I just read about xylitol in sugar-free gum being dangerous to dogs. How do I know what’s in that cookie? But more importantly, I said no! If I said no, it means no cookie. It doesn’t mean continue with your plans. It means no! Even 2-year-olds understand “no”.

I had this happen at the vet’s office too. WhenI brought Trixie in for her constipation issues, they took her over to the scale and weighed her. They asked me, “Can she have a treat?” I said, uh, she’s here for digestive problems. I don’t think that’s agood idea. too late! I heard the old familiar crunch crunch crunch. I was so mad that all words ceased to exit the mouth. I just stared at them in disbelief. If it’s not a question, don’t ask it as such. My good god.

then, I get people who ask me a question that requires a complicated answer like “How long does it take to train a dog like that?” I start to go through how training starts with socialization and then they get formal training. But before I’m done, they’re commenting on some passing squirrle. Ok, why bother talking? If you weren’t truly interested, don’t ask the question. It appears you have less ability to focus than my dog does. Remind me never to let you guide me anywhere. You might smack my nose into a pole while tracking the flight of a sparrow.

Oh, and to the asshole who decided that because he didn’t get permission to pet Trixie while we were stopped and thought he’d sneak a pet while we were moving, not gonna work. I told him once, twice, not to pet the dog, and when he did it while we were moving, I stepped on him because he got right in our path. I asked him why that happened, and he sheepishly told me that he tried to pet the dog. I told him next time he tries that, I will stomp on his foot so hard, he’ll think twice about trying that. I told him that I nicely asked him not to pet the dog, and explained the reason for my request, so since reason doesn’t seem to work, maybe a stomped toe will be a more memorable experience. He seemed to take me seriously. Good!

People people people! Am I really that hard to understand? is it really that difficult to listen to a sentence, process it, and respond appropriately? It seems to be.

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