Learn Not Only to Speak Correctly But to
Listen as Well
received a phone call on Friday from a representative of Amtrak
informing her that they had received her resume. They asked if she
would be interested in testing for the position she had applied
for. She quickly jotted down the address and phone number of
where the testing would be held.
was very excited when she arrived for the test. She was
surprised at the number of people who were also testing that
day. Before the test began, a Regional Manager began to
explain general policies of the company. The manager then opened
the floor for questions.
As Joy sat there and listened, she
became more and more amazed by the questions that were being
asked…….or should I say she was amazed by the way the questions
were being asked.
A woman who was about 40 years of age
raised her hand and said “Is we supposed to dress up for work
everyday or can we wear jeans?” The manager, clearly taken
back by the way she had asked the question quickly collected
himself as he explained that jeans and all casual clothing were
acceptable during work hours.
A young man raised
his hand next. “Yo, um I’m sayin like, what happens if we
fail this here test, I mean for real yo, ….I aint been in the
classroom for awhile, know what I mean?
Again, the manager tried to compose
himself as he answered the question. Those who do not pass
the test today are not eligible for employment now, however you
are welcome to take the test again at another time.
Another hand went up….. Where the
Joy wanted to sink deeper and deeper
into her chair as she listened to the people speak.
Finally the manager announced that he
would begin to talk about what would happen with those who pass
“Those who pass the test will attend a
six week mandatory classroom training program. I must stress
to all of you that you will only be allowed to miss one day during
the course of this classroom training. After the six week program
is completed absences are slightly more acceptable.”
A woman in the far
right of the room raised her hand. “But I’m sayin’ what if we got
kids, How we supposed to do that?” The manager almost
laughed out loud as he answered the unnecessary questions.
“Unfortunately the rules don’t bend for individuals who have
children. I have been working for this company for twenty years
and I raised two kids. It was not always easy, but company
rules are company rules. I guess you need to ask yourself if this
is the right position for you. Any other questions?”
A man in the front row raised his hand.
“ Hi, how are you doing today? I recently booked a seven day
cruise which is non-refundable. Will I be excused from class
This time the manager did laugh.
Joy could not believe his question!
This man had impeccable grammar skills, but what good did it do
when he asked such an unnecessary question? A question which
the manager had just answered!
proceeded “Again, if you want to successfully complete this
program you are only allowed one full day off. No matter
what the situation, no matter what the circumstances. LET’S
TAKE A TEN MINUTE BREAK!”