Warning: Whinge follows
At the start of April I had my 5th anniversary of when I moved to Germany. In some ways it's hard to believe I've been here this long. I've lived longer in Germany than in any other country other than South Africa (I've also lived in Australia and England).
When I arrived in Germany I didn't speak any german (I hated languages in school-always my worst marks) but I found there is nothing like living in a country to help learn a language. It helped that my boyfriend, now husband helped me by not laughing at my attempts to speak german and encouraged me as soon as possible to get a job where I was forced to speak/practice (highly recommend the "deep end" method of learning a language). I feel sorry for the first few patients I had as I really battled to communicate but after the first 3 weeks my german came on in leaps and bounds.
Now 5 years later I still don't like talking too much but don't (often) hesitate if I need to phone /speak to strangers. My german is by no means perfect (can one learn a second language as an adult so thoroughly, that one could be mistaken for a native speaker?) but I can usually can communicate my thoughts. Why then do some people not take the time to listen?
Case in point I needed to order new SaO2 sensors for Enya's monitor, the old ones only go to 3 kg and she weighs 5kg now (Yup we cracked 5kg on Monday ;-)). First phone call, they listened and sent a sensor that goes from 5kg, unfortunately it didn't have the correct connection to fit our monitor. Second phone call the guy wouldn't listen- I tried repeatedly to explain that we wanted sensors that fit a child who weighs over 5 kg but he kept interrupting and talking over me. I thought he had however understood as he did repeat back to me "for over 5kg" but when the sensors arrived they were the old type ie under 3kg. Now we can still use them, as they still read overnight when she is still, but really is it such an effort to listen to what was being said and not immediately jump to the conclusion you know what I wanted to say?
Okay whinge over.