On Communication and Language
by Sally Kingston
House Management spent much of the first two years in this role waiting for you to be able to clearly express your feedback so that Management could more easily meet your needs. For some reason, Management failed to anticipate two things.
- Your needs are insane.
- You have no idea what you are saying half the time.
To help management better meet your needs, please follow these guidelines regarding communication and use of language.
- Timing of your own requests: Requests are best addressed BEFORE an offending event happens. If you really, truly, MUST remove your socks yourself, the best time to express that need is before Management takes your socks off. Not while Management is in the process of removing them. Not immediately after Management has removed them. Absolutely not two hours later when you are supposed to be sleeping, Management is supposed to be drinking and watching an SVU marathon, and the socks in question are half way through a spin cycle.
- Responding to Management’s requests: You have passed hearing tests with flying colors. You can hear the words “cookie” and “playground” from across the house, no matter how quietly they are whispered. No one believes that you didn’t hear Management ask you to put your pants on.
- Asking questions: Questions are for when you DON’T know something. Let’s explain this one with a few counter examples:
- Management: “Please put your socks in the laundry basket.” You: “Should I put my socks in the laundry basket?” Management: “Yes. This laundry basket. Right here.” You: “Where should I put my socks?” Managment: “IN. THE. LAUNDRY. BASKET.” You: “What should I put in the laundry basket?”
- Child 1: “Can I have a cookie?” Management: “No, sorry, we don’t have any cookies.” Child 2, standing directly between Child 1 and Management: “Do we have any cookies?”
- Preparation is the key to success: If you’re going to spend three solid minutes yelling “MOMMY” from the next room while I am trying to open a
bottlebox of wine, you better have something more important to say than “umm….” when I show up.