Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Parse This!

Nothing to be learned here today... No updates. No news. Nothing of any real use. Just a rant. You've been warned.

A friend of mine recently had a run-in with her bank. The establishment, due to the inexperience and / or incompetence of one of its tellers, accessed her account and drained some rather vital funds from it long before those funds were supposed to be anywhere but safe in their little vault with her name on it, earning her interest. Of course this resulted in nasty overdrawn notices and no end of headaches.

So she called and began unraveling the tangled web of credits and debits trying to figure out What Happened?! She worked her way up the ladder, speaking to first one supervisor, and then another. Finally she landed Miss Congeniality.

Miss C. informed her that perhaps she just didn't know the first thing about Finance, and maybe she should just accept the bank's all-knowing, omnipotent word for how things work.

My friend declined to follow that road. Miss C. then told her that she was being unprofessional. Which caused my friend to point out that she was the client. She was not a professional, and she had no desire to be one.

They got into a rather tangled bit of rhetoric, which resulted in the woman calling my friend's intelligence into question. Finally, after the woman had uttered yet another self-important, convoluted phrase of business-speak, my friend asked her, "Am I going to have to parse your sentences?"

To which the woman replied, "Mind your language!"


The mind reels. My friend asked her, "What word do you object to? Parse?"

We've had a field day with this. Things she could have / should have said:

No need to get parsimonious...

Blow it out your parse!

Now you're getting parsonal...

Hang on a few parsecs...

Parse this!

Honestly -- what has the world come to when we end up verbally sparring with someone who has us by the financial neck, but who doesn't have a basic grasp of the language she's using to berate us?

I'm thinking the woman just needed a good parsing. And I don't care who hears me say it.

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