Yeah, I won’t be going there.

I just got back from Vegas.  It was amazing and one of the craziest weekends of my life.  However, I hurt my back — I wish I could say what happened, but it’s NOT meant to be repeated on the Internet — and I need to see a chiropractor.

My chiropractor is wonderful, but he’s up in the suburbs and I no longer have a car, so I had to find a new one.  I did a bit of research and found one right around the corner from my office.  Perfect!  I called to make an appointment.

“–‘s office,” the girl answered.

“Hi,” I said.  “I would be a new patient.  I’m looking to see if you’re taking new patients, and if so, to see–“

“Was you in a accident?”

Whoa.  Whoa.

Was you in a accident?

I kid you not — those were her exact words.

I quickly glossed over the details of the debauchery-induced injury, and she then informed me that I needed a referral.

I called my regular doctor and the receptionist informed me that my health insurance carrier (one of the most common in Massachusetts) doesn’t do referrals for chiropractors — they’re unnecessary.

Well, do you think I called that chiropractor back?  No way.

I was so put off by the girl who answered the phone that I found an entirely new chiropractor.  This one is also right by my office.  I’ll be seeing him tomorrow.

First impressions are everything.  Keep that in mind when you hire someone to answer the phone.

And, just for fun…

We met the glamorous Coco and the awesome Ice-T at XS Nightclub at the Encore!

We met the glamorous Coco and the awesome Ice-T at XS Nightclub at the Encore!

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34 responses to “Yeah, I won’t be going there.

  1. WAS YOU IN AN ACCIDENT? It scares me that people who speak this way have jobs when so many are unemployed.

  2. Worse than that. Was you in *a* accident. I couldn’t believe it.

    I was looking through Facebook tonight and came across a friend’s profile that used “your” instead of “you’re” throughout it. She is a teacher. A TEACHER. The number of qualified teachers out there searching for jobs is huge, especially in English and social studies, and this one HAS a job…

  3. and that person will probably be SHOCKED when she gets canned.

    (I worked with someone like that and it drove me bonkers)

    And Kate, what is it with grammar and teachers?!

  4. Using “a” where it should be “an” is almost as annoying as people who “axe” questions.

  5. Wow, look at the size of those… sunglasses he’s wearing in that photo.

    I’m sorry, was this post supposed to be about grammar? I must have gotten distracted. By all the debauchery, you understand.

  6. Do you think Sam Waterston invites over for dinner often Ice T and his wife?

  7. I agree that it’s important that people learn to speak and write well, really I do. But don’t you think you’re severely limiting yourself by being such a language snob? You might have missed a really great chiropractor/boyfriend/whatever by being so rigid about rules. People speak in different ways and not everyone has had the educational opportunities you’ve had. Just a thought.

  8. Educational opportunities? Basic grammar and language are learned in elementary school.

    Speaking to a customer in this manner – in a place of professional business – is a disgrace and completely unacceptable. I don’t blame Kate.

  9. (not to be nitpicky and love your site, but check the spelling ofthe second “Chiropractor” )

    Keep up the fight!

  10. I agree with Really?. By hiring someone who speaks to patients like this, the office doesn’t value professionalism much. This could carry over into other areas.

  11. Really? If basic language and grammar are learned to such perfection in elementary school, then why do we need to go to beyond 5th grade?

    I agree that first impressions are important for a business, but it’s treading a fine line to judge the professionalism of a phone receptionist by her grammar. Was she pleasant? Polite? Accurate? Maybe that’s why the chiropractor hired her. She’s not an editor or a teacher, she answers the phones.

    It just seems a little harsh to come down so hard on someone you don’t even know, and that context is important when we judge people’s skills relative to our own.

  12. While being vigilant about how others speak, you may want to review the way that you use the written word. We often modify a nun tht we didn';t intend to modify, and the result can end up being confusing, or sometime simply very funny. Was it a new chiropractor you were seeking, or a new car? (actually, even the word “new” doesn’t fit, does it.? Wouldn’t you rather have an experinced chiropractor than a new one?
    Read your “Yeah, I won’t be going there” post again, and you’ll understand why I wrote this. :)

    See, we can all be guilty!

  13. See, my own mispellings are funny, too!!!! I should wear my eyeglasses while blogging!

    We often modify a “nun”??????

  14. Catholic school grammarian

    Discovered your blog today and I love it. Just one tiny thing about this post, though… This sentence…

    “My chiropractor is wonderful, but he’s up in the suburbs and I no longer have a car, so I had to find a new one.”

    … actually means that you had to find a new car, since the clause is referring back to the car and not the chiropractor.

    Will visit often — this blog and others like it remind me of some rules I learned a long time ago and am guilty of forgetting!

  15. There is a lady in our call center who asks “Where was you born?”

    aaarrrggghhhh

  16. I just want more details on the debauchery!!!

    Fun sight!

  17. Actually, my grammar vandal friend, your grammar is a bit off as well. One doesn’t inquire “if” there are appointments, but “whether” there are appointments, as ‘if’ requires a condition and you’ve stated none. You could say, “If there are appointments, I’d like one, please.” There, the condition is clear. But you are asking for information, and in that case, ‘whether’ is correct. You are using it to introduce a single alternative, the other being implied or understood, that is, the availability of appointments. A better inquiry would go like this: ” I’d like to know whether you have any available appointments. If you do, may I please have one?”

    Lover your blog.

  18. I overlook obvious typos, but when it comes to basic grammatical errors, I simply can’t. I will cast aside a resume if the cover letter or the resume has any errors at all. I would not want to go to a doctor who can’t hire capable and accurate staff. We continue to go to school past 5th grade because there are other subjects to learn, and works of literature to study for content and meaning, not just grammar.

    I teach my daughter to speak correctly – one day it might mean she is selected over other candidates when getting a job.

    My biggest pet peeve is the use of good and well. “How are you?” “I’m well, thank you.” “How is your steak?” “It’s very good, thank you!”

  19. What’s a chiopractor? :)

  20. I would not hire anyone with such poor grammar and I would be turned off from going to that chiropractor as well. That does not make me a snob. “Was you in a accident” goes well beyond what is correct or even acceptable. I want the best person for the job when dealing with medical issues of any kind, and the person answering the phone directly reflects the operation, the office and the doctors. That is just how it is. (There is a pre-school near me that spells school as “skool” with a backwards k. Anyone else find this absurd?)

  21. “one of the most common in Massachusetts”
    I believe there can be only one most common.

  22. I see grammar and spelling mistakes all over the place.

    I think language will continue to *evolve* as long as we do.

  23. To the commenter above, it would have been better to say “I’m inquiring” rather than “I’m looking.”

  24. DON’T see the chiropractor! My daughter (in her early 30s) had a stroke as a result of a neck manipulation by a chiropractor. It is more common than you would think. A massage therapist or physical therapist is much safer.

  25. I found your blog today and I love it!

    How do I correct my coworker without sounding like a snob, when she answers her cell phone, “this is her’

  26. Hi there.

    Love the site!

    I’ve walked away from similar situations by a Receptionist that was a poor communicator. She answered the call, ‘Hullo?’

    Not, ‘Hello, this is Business X.’
    Not, ‘Hello, this is my name, how can I help you?’
    But, ‘Hullo?’

    My response was (while laughing) ‘Did you really just answer the phone that way?’

    Weird…she hung up. Guess I wont be calling there again!

  27. As some have pointed out, there exists a danger in forming snap judgments about people based on a superficial examination of their qualities. Everyone has deficiencies. The question is where they lie. Some deficiencies are more readily apparent than others. Discounting a person because of an unnecessarily pedantic focus on their English usage can ultimately be self limiting.

    I sometimes find myself becoming snobbish about grammar and English usage, but I also consider it a personal hindrance at times. What is a person’s cultural background? What is their educational background? What is their economic background? Are they forgetful? Are they stressed out? Was this an aberration from their normal style? We do not give ourselves an opportunity to ask these questions when we form snap judgments about someone from their grammar and usage, and these questions may be very important to an explanation of a person’s situation and why they speak or write the way they do.

    I realize that I am not perfect (my grammar skills are not even that good compared to many folks), so I make an effort not to hold others to an unreasonable personal standard. Linguistic skill is merely one possible quality of many (and not really a very important quality, in a broader sense). This particular judgment may ultimately have resulted in a professional judgment (the decision not to utilize this particular chiropractor), but it was necessary to first form a personal judgment (about the receptionist). Unless the receptionist was blatantly unprofessional, I see no reason why one word (!) should necessitate a negative personal judgment. The receptionist would probably say she is not getting paid enough to be expected to use proper grammar every second of the day (and she would probably have a point).

    I still laugh out loud at grammar fail as much as the average reader of this blog, but I think we should be careful when making personal judgments, lest we exclude people not very similar to ourselves and further narrow our focus.

    Also, I find chiropratic to be highly dubious. It seems to delve into psuedoscience at times. But of course I have never really had any back problems, so it is easy for me to criticize.

  28. I found a spelling mistake.
    ‘chiopractor’

  29. I love this site. It’s like a guilty pleasure. I’m glad to know that I am not the only one who hears ‘was you’ and other grammar fouls and wants to correct the person immediately. My mom was a language arts teacher and proper grammar was vital in our house. I probably have an error or too (there, just gave you one) in this emal and need to be corrected. And please do, cause that is how I learn.

  30. And just exactly how do you modify a nun? That had to have warranted a few lashes.

  31. The obvious response to the receptionist would be “Yes, I were.”

    And to all of these grammar critics, I say blah blah blah.
    Are you really defending the right to be ignorant? Should I really take a poll of someone who is taking words out of their mouths and stomping on them?

    What is a person’s cultural background? What is their educational background? What is their economic background? Are they forgetful? Are they stressed out? Was this an aberration from their normal style?

    Who cares? If it is a customer, I will gently work in the correction to my own speech. If it is a family member, I have no problem correcting.

  32. i think you need to chill out. People use English in different ways depending on where they’re from and how they grew up. Who are you to criticize? It’s a relief to not talk white people’s Enlglish…something you’d never understand. You may not know it… but what you’re doing is racist.

  33. Pheaky, I was wondering if someone was going to bring in the race element. “Was you in a accident?” sounds like Ebonics. But if the woman was white then she doesn’t have that excuse.

  34. Pheaky, get a grip. Here’s an odd thought – in an English speaking country people speak English. I couldn’t go to a non English speaking country and expect not to be judged on my lack of linguistic skill. Take your political correctness elsewhere or grow up.

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