When short is best

TextingCase study 1

My friend Hilary* used to work at a exceptionally busy medical centre. Part of her job was to make appointments for the doctors. She used to email them considerate messages saying something like:

“Sorry to interrupt, but just to let you know I’ve booked Mrs Bonzo for 20 minutes from 2pm on Monday as it looks as though you have a gap in your diary then. I hope that’s OK with you?”

She thought she was passing on the request wrapped around with respect and politeness. But when she had her annual appraisal, she was reprimanded for wasting time.

“We don’t need all that guff,” she was told. “Just tell us the name, time and date of the appointment, with no fancy fluffy verbiage”.

Hilary was perturbed. She did what she was told, but it made her feel uncomfortable to be so abrupt. (more…)

What you can learn from a pink supermarket

supermarketI’ve been lucky enough to go scuba diving in Belize, on the world’s second biggest coral reef. I’ve even dived the famous Blue Hole – one of Jacques Cousteau’s top ten sites.

I stayed in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, where there is just one supermarket. You can’t miss it. As you can see, the building is painted a noticeable shade of pink.

They’re on a small island, so almost everything they sell is imported. You have to be careful to check ‘use by’ dates, as you can’t assume they will be valid. You also have to check the prices, because – according to Trip Advisor reports – they can be randomly adjusted at the till.

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