Tag Archives: choose words carefully

May I have some change for the bus?


It happened so quickly.change via leadchangegroup

I did not feel like walking down the subway steps to take the train and the bus stop was right there. I also did not want to waste money on a taxi.

I walked into the yogurt shop and said, “Do you have change for the bus?”
I then saw the smile fade from his face.

At first I was confused…but then I realized what he was thinking.
So I quickly said, “Oh, do you think I am begging for bus fare?”
He nodded his head and I said, “No, I would like to trade you dollars for quarters.”

He was visibly relieved.
I knew I had a blog post.
What a gift to have seen on his face what he was thinking.

Here are some of the possible thoughts:
Oh no, not another pan handler!
Lady, get outta here!
I don’t have time for this!

It really made me realize that we humans open our mouth and speak…but we have NO CLUE what the listener hears.
THIS time, I was able to SEE it plain and simple.
I was able to address his concern and speak different words so he understood what I was saying.
I traded the dollars for quarters and left the shop.

The next time you say something and someone responds in a way that you don’t understand, take a step back and look for signs that something is already awry. It may be that the conversation just began but there is already miscommunication and nothing good can happen there.

It is best to try to get to the heart as soon as possible.

It is best to try to get back on track as soon as possible.

Is it easy?
There is no formula to fix it, but a simple “What did you understand from what I said?” may help.

Know what I can’t shake though?
The fact that there are thousands of folks out there who really need bus fare but they are faced with more rejection than they can handle.
But that’s another post isn’t it?
Love and light,