Monday, 30 January 2012
Say what you mean or mean what you say?
In most situations I try to measure my words because I wouldn't like to say anything for which I would have to apologise later. I also try my best not to hurt with words. In particular, one has to make allowances for people who seem to misunderstand and derive insult or hurt where none was intended. I have to be particularly careful with one friend for whom I have to spell things out or I know she will take my words up the wrong way. I have to try to anticipate the way she will react. Which is often difficult - but not impossible. The other day, I was asked by someone else to investigate the costs of a medical procedure for her as she does not have medical aid and has to come from out of town for it to be done. After several phone calls I had gathered the information and phoned her back. After some minutes of hedging, I finally discovered that actually cost is not the main criterion here, rather it is that she wants the procedure to be done in theatre under full anaesthetic and not in the specialist's rooms with just painkillers and a light sedative. She already had an appointment and a quote for the theatre option.
As the procedure is quite a simple one and the price either very costly or much less, I was somewhat perplexed. There was a hiatus in the conversation after which she suddenly said, "There's an Afrikaans or an English way of doing these things..", after which she thanked me and said she would call back if she wanted me to make the appointment. She hasn't. I was left wondering what she meant? It could be that the English doctors are thought to be cheapskate or not thorough enough or is it that the Afrikaans ones are topnotch and not shy to charge. Or is it that all her friends advise her to choose the first option? I suppose I could have asked, but I couldn't think how to phrase the question at the time. Luckily, for me, being English, I wouldn't take offence either way. Oops - now someone will take exception to that !