Saturday, 16 Oct, 2021
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Use… Less… Words

One summer, I work at a restaurant about thirty minutes outside of Atlantic City, a touristy city on the Jersey coast known for its casinos. I am the ..

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One summer, I work at a restaurant about thirty minutes outside of Atlantic City, a touristy city on the Jersey coast known for its casinos. I am the cashier and part of my job is answering the phone.

Me: “Hello, [Restaurant]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Hi, I’m calling to see if you take reservations?”

Me: “We do, but only for parties of six or more.”

Caller: “Only six or more?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Caller: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. Only parties of six or more.”

Caller: *Sighing* “Well, okay. Um… I’m in Atlantic City and I need directions to where you are.”

Me: “Sure! No problem. You’re going to want to get on the Atlantic City Expressway and go to Exit Sev—”

Caller: “Hold on, hold on, I’m writing this down…” *Softer* “You’re going to want to get on the Atlantic City Expressway and go to… where again?”

Me: “Exit seventeen. Then take a left off the exit and go—”

Caller: “Hold on. I said I was writing this down.” *Softer* “Then take a left off the exit and go… where?”

The directions continue and it’s painfully obvious she’s writing down every word I say instead of short directions like, “Exit seventeen, turn left, go five miles, etc.” A five-minute conversation stretches into ten minutes and then…

Caller: “Okay, I got it. Do you take reservations?”

Me: *Deadpan* “Only for parties of six or more.”

Caller: “Oh… oh… Okay, bye.”