Sometimes.. no matter what you say, or how you say it, people will only hear what they want to hear.

There is very little we can do about this .. apart from accept the fact that sometimes you just have to shake your head and think “get on with it”.

However, occassionally, there are genuine mistakes in communication, that not only change completely what you were trying to say but leave you unable to speak for laughing.

Many years ago, when I first came into recruitment, I was working for a company called Three Tees in London.   One day one of my friends rang me up.  She was working for a stockbrokers and was looking for a junior to join their office staff.  They had to be computer literate and also have the “backbone” to work alongside the brokers.

I duly advertised her vacancy and pulled applicants in for an interview.   One of the candidates was a young girl of 18, bright as a button and looking for her second job.    I had been unsure when I spoke to her on the telephone whether she would have the personality to deal with the brokers but thought I would invite her in to meet with me so I could judge her better face to face.

When she came to our offices all my fears disappeared, she was a lovely wee thing, confident, funny and not at all nervous.   During the interview I was explaining the full job description to her and said;

“The company use specialist broking software on Wang computers”

She had a puzzled look on her face and said “why….. do they keep breaking down?”

That stopped me dead in my tracks … I looked at her and tried to take in what she meant.

Then it hit me …. My wee Scottish accent had made it sound like the company were using WANK computers ….

I did try to explain as best I could but I was in fits of laughter .. and so was she when she realised what I had really said!

I immediately rang my friend who had given me the job.. relayed the story and she immediately asked to see her for interview.

Not only did she get the job but 2 years later was promoted to a Junior Broker …

Sometimes miscommunication acts to your advantage but mostly a sense of humour can get you a long way!