“I’m sorry for the delay, Mr Edwards, but your job card doesn’t have a docket number and I can’t clear it off.’

I was astounded.

“Do you want me to phone my Mrs and ask her to collect me and take me to A&E?”, I replied.

“How do you mean?” she asked.

“Well it sounds serious. Do I need to go and lie down or something?”

“No, not at all,’ she went on. ‘It’s just that the workflow here demands…”

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I stopped her right there. If I wanted to hear about workflow demands, then I would still be working.

Happily I kicked that habit a few years ago.

This was a modest contretemps in a garage the other day, but it got me thinking about communication.

I once got on a train to Manchester, and we had hardly left the station when the girl came on the public address system to apologise for the train being “short-formed”.

The train looked perfectly normal to me. Would we terminate at Bolton instead? Would we even get that far if we were short-formed?

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It sounded serious. It sounded even more serious when she said it whenever she announced something else, like where the buffet car was.

It turns out there were three coaches on the train, instead of six.

Many moons ago, I worked as a cub reporter on a radio station in a town where the only radio broadcasts belonged to BBC Highland.

It was pedestrian in the extreme, and most of it was in Gaelic. So when commercial radio came along, it was a breath of fresh air, and would give me my the biggest break of my career.

But we had one DJ who unnecessarily bamboozled the audience with technology.

"That cart hasn't recued," he'd tell listeners to explain a missing jingle. It used to grind my gears, to say the least.

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The consumer doesn’t want to hear jargon, they want what they want, there and then, uninterrupted.

This was a concept I came across down many years as a TV reporter interviewing police and army officers, who liked to speak in TLAs – otherwise known as three letter acronyms – or code.

If a detective said he was looking for ‘a green motor vehicle driven by a male which approached the locus from a northerly direction,’ it simply didn’t get broadcast.

Similarly, if a soldier said he had conducted a CTR using NVGs while driving a CVRT on the MSR to support ISAF, he hit the cutting room floor.

(For the civilians amongst you, that’s close target reconnaissance, night vision goggles, a combat vehicle reconnaissance (tracked), main supply route, and International Security Assistance Force.)

Less is more. Always.

READ MORE: Catch up with all the latest news headlines from around Helensburgh and Lomond here