Be bigger than Q*bert. Be Paul Harvey.
…the rest of the story. Right?
It can be extremely difficult not to make snap judgments based on partial information. Once upon a time, I read at least some part of Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus and I remember something about guys being Mr. Fix-It. Our first reaction to a problem is how to fix it. Actually, that first reaction can be “Oh WHAT the @!#?@!” and attempt to blame someone for said problem. That is, of course, the wrong thing to do. It’s wrong for a few reasons. It totally skips past the part of understanding just what the degree of the problem is. It also jumps over any intent that may have gotten you to that point. Here’s an example from this morning.
My oldest son is 14 and has a longish ride to school in the morning followed by a longish ride to swim practice followed by a longer ride home. He listens to music during those rides and at one point last summer was fixated on getting some Beats headphones. I’ve always thought they were expensive plus he carries everything he owns every day so the size wasn’t practical. As a result, he ended up with a good set of earbuds a year or so ago and I thought the Beats were a dead issue.
Fast-forward to this morning when I get a text from my wife. It says that he wants a set of high-end ear phones for Hanukkah. My immediate reaction is to pull a Q*bert. Not only had I had the expensive/bulky talk with him, this is the end of two weeks full of electronics sales. The time to buy clearly was then, not next week. Plus he’s got the buds, right? So here’s my snappy suggestion for high end earphones. Note the pretty flower. I couldn’t find a pair with a unicorn any faster so that was my solution.
The next text says that one ear went out on his buds and he wanted something to replace it. I mentioned the size/cost/sales last week thing and now my wife regrets saying anything. Then I just went straight to the source and talked with my son. It turns out, he’s OK with earbuds. Then I calm down and do some checking on my phone’s Amazon app and find a couple sweet deals on high-end earbuds that are still going on. I text him those, we talk, and an order is placed in a coupe minutes’ time. I even bought an extra set. Then I texted my wife and offered to make breakfast when she got home.
So now we know the rest of the story. I Q*berted over incomplete information then got informed. #1, the situation wasn’t what I thought it was. #2, he was perfectly willing to find a middle ground that was a better answer. Everybody ended up happy including my wife. This is a great example of taking a step back and getting a handle on what’s actually happening. Jumping up and down on blocks until they change color doesn’t solve anything and never really made sense to anyone anyway.