Whilst working on a painting job in Palmerston North motels we met an electrician who seemed quite attracted to the crew: At every opportunity he would come across and talk to us. Trouble was he had the habit of swearing and none of us painters did, so it tended to grate a bit.
One lunchtime we were sitting in a unit when this chap came in and started a conversation, or should I say a monologue, about beer. “I think the !#@*ing price of !#@*ing beer is too !#@*ing dear! I went down to the !#@*ing pub the other !#@*ing night and they !#@*ing charged me . . . etc.”
We were all sitting there cringing at the assault on our senses so I silently asked, “How can I get rid of this man?” The answer that came back was, “He wants to feel important, but doesn’t know how to communicate so he is using the only words he knows to fill in the gaps. Inject something good into the conversation.”
So I said to him, “If beer is so dear, why don’t you drink water. It’s clean, it’s cheap and it doesn’t give you a hangover!”
A Miracle! The whole conversation turned around to something positive and we talked as a group for the whole lunch time. He became the centre of attention and didn’t utter another swear-word the whole time!