Made any assumptions lately?
At first glance did you assume the picture on the left was some kind of browned, ground meat? It may look like it, but it’s not.
What had happened was……
For some strange reason, lack of sleep causes recipe failure, even tested and repeatedly used recipes….at least for me. My cooking/creating aura disappears and “stuff” doesn’t work. That happened on an early Sunday morning when I was preparing a quick batch of “bumpy things” (AKA top of the stove cookies, boiled cookies, no bake cookies) to take to church for refreshments.
After a few days out of town, we had literally weathered a storm making our 5 1/2 hour drive more like a seven hour drive reaching home at 1:00 A.M. Sleep did not come immediately.
The recipe was followed by the letter, as always, but the cookies wouldn’t hold together. Instead of yummy chocolate/oatmeal/peanut butter treats I had a batch of great, crumbly ice cream topping. (Who needs that to go with coffee at fellowship?)
Back to the drawing board….leave early enough to stop by Family Dollar and buy some cookies….which should have been my first choice after no sleep.
I pulled up and checked the hours posted on the door. Awesome, they open at 9:00 and it is 8:58. Two minutes to sit calmly, take a few breaths, pray, just relax. Another car arrived and parked beside me. I checked the clock. 9:02. What? Still not open?
Where is the person who is supposed to open today? Are they late? They just couldn’t get here in time? Slacker! People just don’t take their jobs seriously enough anymore. The barrage of judgments continued as I began staring at the door then at the clock and again at the door.
Also, I began thinking that this store really needs to be open when they say and I should tell someone. Knowledge is power! And that power should be shared, especially if it will help other people, right? I have been a business owner and I know the importance of integrity, doing what you say you will do. One out of every 15 satisfied customers will give a good report. One out of five dissatisfied customers will tell the world. I decided, if the doors ever did open, that I would give feedback to the store, not everyone else.
Boldly I would speak to someone.
At 9:08 the doors were finally unlocked, an eternal wait to someone sitting in the car staring at the entrance and needing to make the coffee by 9:15. It took all of two minutes to collect items for check out. As I placed my purchases on the counter I started to say something but decided to ask the harried woman a question first: “Did you expect a flood of people coming in when you unlocked the door?” (a sideways comment to point out that we had been waiting)
“I was too mad to notice, didn’t even think about it.”
“What are you mad about?”
“I just knew it would happen like this. I just knew that the person closing last night wouldn’t do all that she was supposed to do. I’ve been here since 6:30 AM trying to get the store ready.”
I was so relieved that I started with a question instead of jumping in on her. My assumptions were way off base. Here was a lady trying to work with integrity so much that she had to compensate the lack of integrity of a co-worker. She did want to go above and beyond. I was struck by my judgmental attitude and pride that I had assessed the situation accurately. I was way off base.
Too often what we see is not what is true. Assumptions are quickly made to explain our surroundings. Another recent experience: A child sat slumped over, not straight with good posture. Someone assumed the mother did not stress good posture. The observer, with a caring heart, walked up to the mother, a new acquaintance, and told her she should make her daughter stand up straight. Did she ask any questions? If she had, she would have found out that the child was extremely tired from a late night and just wanted to rest on her mom’s lap. She would have discovered the mother purposely didn’t constantly emphasize poster because of her own back problems caused from constant chiding about her posture. So the mother isn’t stressing good posture and the child might grow up without learning how to walk and sit in a healthy way. Who has the right to speak to the mother? Should someone, anyone?
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care! Even if you are a pediatrician, should you just walk up and speak to a mother about her child’s posture? Would that be the best way to deal with the situation?
Who gives out diagnosis without checking all the symptoms?
Well, that’s what I did as I sat in the car watching the unlocked front entrance. I thought I had it all figured out.
Slacker for a worker is what this is. Nay, not so.
No matter what soap box we strongly want to ascend, perhaps we should find out the real conditions of the listeners. A relationship earns the right to speak openly and honestly to anyone. How do you do that?
Ask questions. Listen first, then speak. You can’t put your foot in your mouth if it is closed. Show you care about others more than you care about being heard.
Have you had an experience of assumption and found that you were off base?
Did you mess up first? How did you fix it? Share in the comments below. Have you been judged by someone without all the facts? How was that?