Ask Twice

Years ago when I dined at a Capitol Hill eatery under the watchful eyes of the Democrat photos lining the walls, I learned the hard way to, when it matters, always ask twice.

As I started my lovely dining experience I looked at the bread and wondered, “Is this bread topping a mixed grain blend or a pulverized nut?” As I have a severe nut allergy, the later option would be terribly dreadful for me.

Acting on my concern I asked the closest restaurant employee, a bus boy, “Is this nuts on top of the bread?” He shook his head no, so I began eating the bread. Mere moments later a scratchy feeling spread up my throat. I was having an allergic reaction.

As I departed for a local emergency room, the bus boy presented me with a plate covered in crushed walnuts, pointed to it and said, in rough English, “This.”

I can’t remember if I said anything in response or not. By then there was nothing more to say. That night I learned the “Ask twice,” lesson the hard way. You don’t have to.

When someone tells you they’ll come to your meeting, send them a meeting invite to ask them again. You’ll confirm they understand the meeting they committed to attend.

When the hotel website says they have WiFi access in every room, if you really need that WiFi, call and ask again. How else will you find out they plan to upgrade their network the night of your stay?

When someone tells you they know there is a rule against the change you want to make, ask again (preferably asking the person who controls the alleged rule book). Maybe you’ll find there is no rule in your way.

When it matters, ask twice.

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