Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Done Communicating with Men

I have noticed a pattern recently in my life - I am constantly misquoted, misunderstood, misconstrued, misrepresented or simply blown off by the men in my life. And I'm done. It seems the harder I try, whether it's being more precise (and using shorter sentences) in emails, or speaking slowly and clearly, what I am saying or trying to achieve is so clouded as to be incomprehensible.

Yes I admit that sometimes I am not the clearest communicator, despite doing it for a living. But it's just getting ridiculous. For example (just in the last 3 days):

1) Email to Ex telling him that although Son wanted to go to Possible Future College for a visit this weekend, I couldn't take him until March 31. So Ex, FYI, I'm taking Son out of school March 31 and going to PFC. Ex's response? "You can't go with Son this weekend - I need him for X,Y.Z" HUH? I'M NOT TAKING HIM THIS WEEKEND.

2) Email to Ex telling him that Son was complaining about teeth and thought there was an infection so we stopped by Pediatrician who said check with Dentist re: wisdom teeth and they might need to come out. So I made appointment with Dentist for Son. (despite being with Ex this week, I got the complaints and made the Dr visits etc). Ex writes back: "Circle back with Dr. X [the dentist] first as I would value his opinion more than the Pediatrician." HUH? I SAID SON HAS AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE DENTIST - THE ONLY DENTIST WE'VE HAD THEIR ENTIRE 17 YEARS.

3) Partner tells me client said, "I'll call you in 20 minutes" but never did. I say, "Gee, I had the same thing happen about something else with same client. He never called me. And, honestly, it's difficult to get a hold of him which is essential if I'm going to help him." Partner says, "Why are you getting annoyed? What do you need to do right now?" [Partner is not litigator but it's His client, so although I am running case, I am forced to try to communicate my very different job with a non-litigator.] Conversation goes on for 13.76 grueling minutes in which no matter what I say I am misconstrued. We circle back to the reason Partner called - to inform me Client hasn't ponied up the extra $$$ for impending litigation. I was the one who told Partner we needed more money b/c "just filing suit" wasn't going to be enough and Client wanted War. Partner apparently totally forgot that - despite the fact that I had previously emailed it AND told him that over the phone. [typically we don't ask for big $$$ unless there's a good reason - like you want me to fly all over the country and take depositions and pummel them with discovery requests, etc.]. Eventually I just stopped talking, agreed with the Partner on whatever point he was trying to make, thanked him, and hung up. Aggravated.

3) Client emails me random "urgent" notice and asks if we can talk about it tomorrow. I immediately respond "Yes" with times. It's now tomorrow afternoon and client has not responded in any manner.

4) I email Other Partner to ask for advice on issue. Included in email was the "holy grail" of a lawyer's life, the client number to which he could charge his time for his advice - so if you get an email with one, you notice it. usually. After 4 or 6 exchanges (very enlightening and helpful, as this Other Partner always is), he asks me for the Client Number to charge his time. Oh you mean the one I gave to you in the initial email when I asked for help?

To be fair to these men, I have been on lots of cold medicine, antibiotics, steroids, and codeine trying to get healthy. And I also have lots of trouble communicating with my assistant who is a woman. So There is a Very Good Chance the problem is mine, not theirs. But just in case? I'm done talking to Men.

Oh except the Captain, who has the amazing ability to listen, remember, respond appropriately, and generally be an excellent communicator, friend and confidante. Good thing. Otherwise? My head would explode.


TAG said...

I feel your pain.

Far too often the people I try to work with fail to appreciate that a precise use of language to communicate your exact meaning is important. For your profession (and mine) getting things just right is even more important.

The worst was always my Ex. when she would take plain language and interpret it into a meaning that couldn't possibly be right.

Me: They said to come see them.

Her: No. They didn't really mean to visit they were just saying that to be polite. What they meant was stay away we don't want to see you.

Me: Silly me. I thought "come see me" meant someone wanted you to visit.

Glad thats over.


Bumpkin on a Swing said...

So glad it's just not me, Captain is in court yesterday, and I tell 6 times to introduce the most important evidence we had, he waited till the last witness, and I was about to have a heart attack, then he says I almost forgot to introduce said evidence and why the hell didn't you tell me with more conviction? It wasn't like I could yell, I wrote it down six times, so why do I even pass notes during litigation if he doesn't stop to read them?

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I have no advice.

My husband was shocked to find that we have a boy from Brazil staying at our house for 6 months. Perhaps if he'd listened . . .

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

So what you're saying is that you belong exclusively to katydidnot and me. Also, you didn't say something captain something la la la la whatever.

J.G. said...

Is it possible your e-mail isn't working right? When I have this kind of trouble sometimes it's the technology. I know everyone says that, but sometimes it's true.

Also, I note that the Captain obviously wasn't listening when you said you didn't want to see/date/hang out/whatever with him anymore. Which is a good thing!!! Never discount the value of a man who truly understands you. :-)

Busy Bee Suz said...

Ugghhh.Not good.
I say, work for AND with the Captain. Nothing will get lost in translation.
I hope you are feeling better.

Feisty Irish Wench said...

Thank you Captain for keeping her head from getting all 'splodey on us ;)

Together We Save said...

It's men... they just don't listen.

katydidnot said...

You know what? I think my son might grow up to be like the Captain. Because I've taken to saying this prior to each interaction: listen to what I say, consider it and respond genuinely.

And he? Totally does it.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I get a LOT of that at work. From both sexes! No wonder I have migraines....

~annie said...

I am becoming a hermit because of the same affliction.