Jan McInnis – The Work Lady®

Communicating in a Perfect World

A Comedian’s Take On Communications

–By Jan McInnis, Comedian and Keynote Speaker

I just read that the latest tattoo “trend” for baby boomers is medical tattoos. In research for my Baby Boomer Comedy Show I read that Baby Boomers are actually tattooing health instructions on their body, like “DNR” (Do Not Resuscitate) or “No CPR.” This is so that if they drop dead on the sidewalk, the medical personnel will know what to do. I decided I’m going to tattoo PSMBO on my chest – that stands for Put My Shirt Back On! I’m in public! Okay, I probably won’t do that because I don’t like needles, but I bet my tattoo would get some attention (something us comedians love!).

Medical tattoos are just the latest rage in communication, in a time when we are inventing more and more ways to communicate. I texted a friend, but she didn’t return it because she said she hates texting and that I need to email her. I emailed another friend, and she told me to call her because she is never on email. I have yet another friend whom I called and of course got her voicemail, but she never returned the call. In fact, she acted like I was some sort of dinosaur for calling – and she responded to my voicemail through Facebook! I think I’ll just give up and write them all a letter: snail mail would definitely get their attention!

Despite all of these avenues of communication, getting our message across has never been harder, and we still haven’t found a way to perfectly communicate without error. The humor (and irony) is obvious if you think about it!

Take verbal communication. This should be the easiest, simplest way (theoretically) to converse, because you’re speaking directly to someone. And yet, this gets messed up all the time. I recently stopped by the store to pick up some laundry supplies, and I asked the saleswoman where the bleach was. She sent me down the cosmetics aisle! Hey lady, it’s for my whites, not my mustache! Since we’re all communicating from our own point of view, we interpret things through our own lens of experience, which sometimes leads to misinterpretation. And for the record I don’t have a mustache – but I’m guessing she does!

Part Two of Communicating in a Perfect World