I’m a developer of android application programs. A client came to me asking for help solving problems in an application program for iPhone family terminals, which I’m not familiar with. I tried to explain to him why I couldn’t help him with the project. “Let’s say you’re asking me to write something in a specific language,” I began. In retrospect, I was too brief in explaining this.
I continued, “Now, I’m fluent in English and Spanish, but your project is in Chinese. Since I don’t understand Chinese, I’m not your best option. You need someone who is fluent in this specific language. See?”
He was satisfied with this explanation, and thanked me before he left.
The next morning, however, I got a call from another developer. According to him, they had a client who seemed to have come to me on the day before, and the client kept asking them if they were fluent in Chinese, explaining that I had told him that he needed someone fluent in Chinese. The fellow developer wanted to know what it was all about.
The client had clearly missed the beginning part of my explanation, while had he perfectly understood the rest of it. As a result, he was convinced that he needed someone fluent in Chinese to take care of his project. Therefore, the first thing he did when he visited another developer was to ask them if they were fluent in Chinese.