… when someone had a question, they would. Just. Ask. It. This is a much better approach than making a series of statements and forcing me to guess what the question is. Like this:
A: So there’s this guy.
A: And he’s got a girlfriend.
A: But he asked me out for drinks anyway.
A: (expectant pause)
Me: … So far I have several key elements in what might make a great story, but I don’t know what happens next! What happens next?
A: I wanted you to tell me if I should go out to drinks with him! Should I?
Me: No. And why didn’t you just ASK me that?!
… When someone wanted me to fix something, they’d GIVE me the thing they want me to fix, so I can fix it. As an example:
B: I have this thing. It is broken.
Me: I’m sorry.
B: I want you to fix it.
Me: Can you give it to me?
B: Oh, do you need it?
Me: Only if you want me to fix it.
… people would take the time to think about what they were saying.
C: You know how, when you don’t cancel your dentist appointment without 24 hour notice, they charge you $100?
C: I had to cancel today’s dentist appointment. Like, 10 minutes ago.
Me: Oh, that stinks.
C: So you think they’re going to charge me $100?
Me: Um. Yes?
… people would answer ALL of the questions you have asked them.
Me: I have two questions for you. First, is your blood type A positive, B positive, or O negative? Second, are you still a registered organ donor?
… people would read their emails
E: Hey, I emailed you about the thing with the stuff.
Me: Yes, I replied to you.
E: Yeah, I didn’t read your reply.
… and I would be in possession of infinitely more patience than I have at right this moment.