True story from some years back: we were transferring project documentation to a client and have hit a wall, their point person taking the project over was not able to get through the very first screen of the application. Time went by, and we just could not figure out their issue, as everything was working fine on our end. Finally, a conference call with multiple participants ensued, and the client spoke:
- Well, it says here to “hit any key to continue”, but I do not have a key labeled “any key” on my keyboard.
What does one fee hearing those words - mirth, anger, loss of faith in humanity…? What I learned from this is never to assume. Anything. We spend our days interacting with colleagues who speak the same industry lingo and our communication is basically a corporate shorthand. And then we come across a stranger outside our circle, be it client or vendor, and the conversation has to turn basic, lest questions and mistaken assumptions start to pile up. You'll be lucky if those can be resolved in a phone call, otherwise you might end up with a towering 18" Stonehenge monument on your hands.
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