Why oh why is it that when I ask one question, people answer six or seven questions I did not ask, and maybe incidentally (but not always) the one that I did?
Today I asked a coworker: "Have you heard anything about the ratification vote?"
She said: "The meeting takes place between 4:30 and 8:00 tonight, so we'll all be home by the time it happens. And by the time the votes are counted, it will be around 10:00. It might be on the late news, but I doubt the university will be able to be up and running by the morning, so classes and such will not resume until Wednesday by the earliest. At any rate, we've already decided to change our hours for this week, so you'll still have to come in tomorrow at 9:00 instead of he usual 11:00."
How on earth was that an answer to my question? Either she decided she could read my mind and answer the questions she saw hidden behind the question I did ask, or she just likes to hear the sound of her own voice. I already knew about the ramifications of the vote, so she was not telling me anything I didn't already know. But this happens to me all the time. People answer what they think I am asking, and not what I am actually asking. It is confusing and frustrating. This is one of the reasons I don't talk much to other people.
Let me show you what would have happened had she actually answered my question.
Me:"Have you heard anything about the ratification vote?"
Isn't that much simpler?