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Date: 03/02/12

Missing, Presumed...Included?

Team meeting earlier in the week. Manager required to take us through a report which had come from our Quality Monitoring people regarding the deficiencies in our responses to customer enquiries.

Manager (reading from brief) states that our letters are often inadequate because they "...do not answer all of the customer's questions, or contain missing advice."

I interjected, because I think that clarity of communication is important and I wanted to be sure I had heard what I thought I had just heard.

"Hold on a sec <manager's name>", I asked, "do you mean "contain misleading advice"?"

Manager looks at sheet again. "No, it says "contain missing advice"."

"But how", I ask (because I'm too far into this to retreat now, and too far gone to care anyway),"could anything "contain missing advice"? If it's contained, then it isn't missing; if it's missing, it can't be contained in the letter can it?"

"It'll all become clearer in a minute", says manager.

Guess what? The only thing which became clearer was that the person who wrote the brief had Van Gogh's ear for language.

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