I’m sure, like me, other people are getting fed up with having to keep repeating themselves to try to draw attention to what they want. I have always been a listener; I had to listen to people in my career; it was my job, and people had the right to be heard and be able to ask questions with a truthful reply from me, the listener.
Our politicians are leading by example by not answering what is being asked, then complaining, “You have asked me that four times”. Then who responds with, “The reason I’ve asked you four times is because you haven’t answered the question”? A presenter did say that to Cruella Braverman in a recent interview; Braverman’s response was to ignore the presenter.
But it’s not just politicians, it’s call centres. Who phones you back when you leave a message? Who replies to your texts or emails. When you go to the hospital, as I did recently, and the triage nurse insists on saying something to you that isn’t correct because her main role in this exchange is to make sure that, whilst I’m explaining my reason for being there, she has to record information on her computer. Correct or not, it’s her job to write every word, including in my case the assumptions she has made about my situation. When she realised I wasn’t accepting her analysis because she had made some incorrect statements about me, she wanted proof and a clear explanation that a five-year-old could understand. So I gave a five-year-old response. She had not really listened in the first place.
Later, when I was having blood taken, the nurse came into the room and told the nurse who was taking blood what was going to happen to this woman called…….. I said, ‘That’s me’, but she carried on talking, ignoring me, and the blood nurse had to point out that it was me she was talking about. So, even though I had spent 15 minutes in her company, she didn’t remember me because she was busy with her computer. An example of not being listened to.
When you call someone to come and quote for a task you need them to do, do you think they don’t quote or come back to you in a week because you aren’t important? No they aren’t listening to you. By the time they go out of your door, they are thinking of something else, and you become collateral damage. These situations happen all the time; when I make a comment to people about my experiences, people always give me numerous examples about theirs.
I hope I’m making it clear that we have a right to be heard, and people should be honest enough to respond. We have lost the art of communicating; we expect everyone to communicate via phones, internet, or texts. People have lost the ability to really listen; this causes incredible frustration when you have repeatedly to correct the narrative and still often get a response that doesn’t fit the conversation. Let’s be honest with each other; if you can’t mend my tap or it’s too small a job, say so – don’t pretend, then leave and ignore me.
Our politicians are such poor role models in so many ways; communication with others and communication in general is not a gold standard in Westminster. What have they learnt from their time as children in education other than how to avoid questions and the ability to repeat a narrative that means nothing? The computer has enabled many people to avoid the social norms. Where do we go from here?