GOOGLE BUT VERIFY
Every time I read about this business online, I find false or misleading information. Many posts I see include second or third-hand stories that have been repeated over and over until they are accepted as fact. In truth, information is only as good as the person providing it. Unless you’re getting it direct from the source, you can’t be certain it’s factual.
I’ve personally witnessed countless events that were distorted online by people who were either not there or not involved. A few years back, a guest had a problem with two working girls at a club. When informed, management asked the guest, the girls, and me to step into the back office where we could discuss the issue privately. When it was determined that the girls had cheated the guest, his money was returned and the girls were fired on the spot. When our group left an hour later, the manager shook each guest’s hand and apologized for the incident before they walked out the door.
Later, I found out that someone at the bar had posted about us getting “called into the back office and thrown out.” As he was not present in the room, and had not heard the conversation, he completely misinterpreted the situation. The poster thought the man shaking each guest’s hand was a security person, and assumed they were being thrown out. In truth, if someone is asked to leave, security stands by while he gets dressed and escorts him to the exit. They don’t wait for him at the door or shake his hand when kicking him out—something he’d have known if the poster had ever actually seen someone ejected from a club. Regardless, this is how rumors get started and false information gets spread, which happens all too often.
In the end, don’t believe everything you read online and take everything with a big grain of salt. But don’t just take my word for it. Here are some news stories to illustrate my point:
- Don’t believe everything you search on Google
- Why You Shouldn’t Believe Everything You Read On The Internet — Even If it’s True
- Google, democracy and the truth about internet search
Over the years, I’ve heard people claim “everyone speaks English in Germany.” Most don’t, however, and even those that do have trouble with American slang, regional accents, and people speaking too quickly. Even my German friends who studied English is school don’t always understand what I say.
If you talk with a non-native English speaker long enough you find out they don’t understand as much as you think. Just ask a club bartender how hard it is to understand what someone is ordering. At the bar, you may not discover a communication problem until your drinks arrive, but in the club, you may not discover one until the towels come off.
We’ve asked staff and working girls how much English they understand, and the most common answer was “a little.” We’ve had guests who swore a working girl spoke both English and German, but when checked, she didn’t speak either language and was just nodding her head. There have also been times when a guest thought he had an appointment with a girl only to find out she went home because she did not understand him.
Why the discrepancy? Well, some customers like to chat in the room, which is easy money for the girls, so they let guests talk. It doesn’t really matter if the girl understands or not. She’ll smile and nod, even if she is only catching half of what is being said, because she wants the guest to spend more time with her. Unfortunately, this can create problems and misunderstandings that lead to disappointment
Often, we assume a person understands because they don’t object or say they don’t understand. This is where miscommunications start. Unless someone is a native speaker, don’t assume perfect understanding. The best way to find out how much someone understands is to ask them direct questions that require a specific response, and if you find yourself repeating yourself, slow down and try using simpler language.
The moral of the story is don’t assume someone understands you, especially if you can’t confirm it in his or her native language. However, if you want to minimize misunderstandings, follow these few tips, which are sure to help you both inside and outside the clubs in Germany.
GOOD COMMUNICATION TIPS
- Speak slowly
- Don’t use slang
- Keep sentences short and simple