Thursday, September 20, 2007


I have laryngitis. It hurts to talk. At all. A lot. But I've been through this before. There were times when I went to work with laryngitis. To avoid talking to people, I brought a few index cards on which I pre-printed the few responses I would need to get through the day. I brought a few standards, like Yes, No, and "This too shall pass". I also pre-printed one or two specials, like the card that said: "You MUST implement the remote control package as a dll!"

Now here are the cards I took to the supermarket last night:
Laryngitis, I can't speak.
This too shall pass.
It's a plantain. The PLU code is: 4235

But as soon as I reached checkout, I knew I was going to have to speak. I had forgotten to bring a card that would answer this question:
"Credit or Debit?"

Now you might think I should have brought a card saying "Credit", but I always prefer a card that has more general application. This card would have been fine:
"Um, what was that second choice again?"


Anonymous said...

Another interesting case is how can you handle generic multiple choice questions with the fewest cards. I think the least you can do it with is two. One card which says "What was the first option?" and another card that says "What is the next option?". said...

I actually carried a card for a few days that said: "please repeat those alternatives slowly until I say yes."
- PB