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Don't Ask
by Bob Valleau
11/22/09
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One morning the only occupants inside a local restaurant were me, the cook, a waitress and a truck driver who sat a few booths over from where I sat. Most of the time the trucker had with his head down, sipping a cup of coffee. Suddenly the waitress, being polite, asked the man a general question that really needed only a short reply. But what followed was a long discourse on his over-the-road journeys. I avoided eye contact with him, and the waitress continued with her duties as the man rambled on.

This incident made me think: Who, in life, would we most likely not want to ask a general question less we are prepared for a long dissertation about their life history or experiences?

I can think of some professions immediately: a talk show host, a salesperson, and, of course, lonely truck drivers.

I wouldn't mind asking a general question of people with these professions if I had the time to listen because I'm sure that would be all it would take to get them to start talking. However, knowing me, I would probably encounter someone who had a profession in psychology. Only then, my greatest fear of asking them a question would be in their reply: "Well, what do you think?"


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