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Topic: Accidental offense - a lesson in PM interpretation

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Subject: Accidental offense - a lesson in PM interpretation
Date Posted: 12/9/2009 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,127
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OK, so I realized again this morning how you can write one thing to a member and they can read something totally different into it.

I received a Wish List book yesterday that I had been waiting a while for, and as I was marking it received, I added a short note to the "Thanks" that I usually write. What I wrote:

Thanks so much for the book. I was waiting a while for this one!

And this is the PM I got back:

The USPS keeps it a secret how they move the media mail around. We're at their mercy. I did send it out as soon as I got the order. I would say you waited patiently.

So, I was confused by her answer for a minute until I realized that she thought I was being sarcastic or something about waiting for it in the mail. Which is totally and completely not what I meant at all!

So, I sent her back another message hopefully clarifying what I meant, which was to sincerely thank her for the book in the first place:

Oh ... I totally meant that it was on my Wish List for a long time .... not that you took too long to mail it. (Sorry!!!!!) I'm just so happy when I get a Wish List book offered .... I don't care how long it takes to actually mail it out! I was trying to express how happy I was to get it at all ... not say it took too long from you!!!!

So, just so you know, I have been looking forward to reading it for a while cause it's been on my Wish List. So, Thanks for mailing it!
So, lesson learned ... even when you think you are writing a short but nice note .... maybe you aren't!!!!!
Date Posted: 12/9/2009 10:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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Date Posted: 12/9/2009 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2008
Posts: 9,884
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That made me smile.

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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I've had the same thing happen to me! I too have learned to be very specific that I am delighted to have a book that has been on my wishlist for years/months. Lesson learned!

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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OMG, that is really funny.

I've written similar things in PMs.  I guess I'll be more careful!

But - don't you kind of wonder about people who read a nice message as being sarcastic? 

Subject: ss
Date Posted: 12/10/2009 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 4/10/2008
Posts: 169
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In life, I have noticed that some people tend to interpret things negatively, while other people tend to interpret things with a more positive spin. I don't feel too badly when someone takes a kind, innocent remark and somehow turns it into something negative. I can apologize, re-word and re-peat myself to make it more clear (UGGH!), but THEY are still going to keep on interpreting things negatively.

If a person continues to take everything I say and twist it into something negative (and I KNOW people like this!), then I limit all interaction with them, if possible. I don't need people like that in my life.


And yeah... emails make things worse.

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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The story of my life *sighs* as well as using different terms for things, alot of what I say gets taken the wrong way.
Oh well.

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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And I interpreted her message completely differently that you did!

The USPS keeps it a secret how they move the media mail around. We're at their mercy. I did send it out as soon as I got the order. I would say you waited patiently."

To me, she is sympathizing with you and saying that while she mailed the book on time, you just can never figure out what the USPS will do.  AND she complimented you by saying you waited patiently.  I saw it as a very postive response to your PM. 

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 12:15 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,127
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Cozette, the funny thing is that I requested it on Nov 29 and I had it in my hand on the 8th. So, it was pretty fast mailing in terms of PBS time. The USPS wasn't slow at all! She must have thought I was nuts to be complaining about a 9 day turnaround time from book request to book-in-hand.

If only they were all that fast.

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 2:26 AM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2006
Posts: 1,760
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People do misinterpret things. I sent a buddy a PM saying I saw she had a book on her wish list and that the sequal was coming up next year so she might want to put it on her wish list also ( I check wish lists of buddies sometimes to see if any of them want a book I am reading or if they might want a couple of books I have that are on their wish list). She responded with Ohhhh, okay. I assumed from this that she thought it was weird I looked at her wish list. I didn't pm back because I didn't want to make it worse but I will try to be more carefult next time!