Communication error

Went to Subway today. That fast food joint. For the first time in my life. Saw that they offered Vegan Teriyaki. Had to try it.

I so wish to blame masks for miscommunications. Can’t do that. The only person I can blame is myself. Lack of practice and such.

It’s alright. Communication still got through. But there are a lesson to learn.

I’ve never been to subway before. Of course, it is similar to Turkish food joints with one slight difference. They have bread options.

As I went in I scanned the place. Got the placement of most things.

This part is the most annoying for me. I hear my words in my head. I know their meaning. When I speak them, meaning can be lost in translation. It is the pronunciation thing. That’s what I think. Oh yeah, it is German I’m talking about.

Sometimes it goes nicely out. Other times errors happen. Talking with others is instant feedback loop. You can see if the meaning and words are understandable.

Since I was the in the Subway for the first time I didn’t know the order of things. The only reference I had was Turkish food joints.

I asked for The Holy Vegan Teriyaki. The girl who worked there asked me, what kind of bread I want. This is where miscommunication began. It’s partly a mask problem. Other part was new experience. And one other part was that I didn’t understand her clearly.

We got it sorted out.

Next was the filling. She put in the ‘Meat’. Real one. I can only speculate here. She either didn’t heard that I asked for Vegan Teriyaki (tho, in my head I think I said it clearly), or our first miscommunication made her forget it.

Her gesture when she threw the bread with meat in the bin, said she wasn’t pleased with it.

Rest of it went smoothly. She warmed the bread with soy meat thingy and vegan cheese. Added veggies and sauce. Done.

I tend to analyze failed interactions. Thus this post.

I’m not a great communicator. In any language. I’m excellent in silent speech. That’s the only language I speak fluently.

The logical action would be to focus on the positive facts. I got the Vegan Teriyaki. That’s it. Success. But since it wasn’t a smooth interaction it was a failure too.

One thing I could’ve done differently would be more open. Which is to open the conversation more. To tell them straight away that I’m in the Subway for the first time. Next I could ask them to simply tell me what should I do. In theory it should create more friendly conversations. Smaller chance for miscommunications. It would me more pleasant experience for both parties.

I suppose it would fall in the small talk bucket, however it feels like a small talk with a goal. To learn how Subway works. Once you go through once it is pretty straight forward.

Next would be to talk more clearly. It is simple as that. I’m not blaming masks, however they make it harder to understand other people. I would say it’s because masks muffle sound waves. And if someone like me say pronunciations wrong it makes it worse.

One other time I bought Turkish food. That time also miscommunication happened. Also with a mask. I didn’t correct it. It was the same filling in different bread. No big deal.

Who can I blame but me. It is my responsibility to convey my thoughts clearly. If I can’t do that, I must practice more. And more.

Miscommunications can happen at any moment. You can’t take them back. Learn from them to improve communications in the future.