Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mama On: Thinking Before You Speak

"It's better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

I had to make a service call today because the cable bill had errors on it. The young man I spoke to was rude, arrogant, and (yes...) foolish. Without checking the computerized record, he gave erroneous information and accused me of lying about my account, thereby pissing me off (Royally!) and neccesitating a call to his supervisor ...

Someone I work with accused me of failing to follow up on a project (that I had already completed). Her language was abusive and rude, and in her arrogance, she failed to note that I had also corrected and completed her portion of the project (that she was at a total loss about, but needed to complete in order to justify the raise in pay she wants)...

My dad is in a nursing home. One of the nurses felt that it was appropriate to, "put me in my place," with regard to his smoking. Her language was critically brusque and assaultive, neccesitating comments from me and a call to facility administrators...

The applied Mamaknology here is to simply think before speaking. Do your job and extend the courtesy you would like to recieve. Be a decent human being. As a Mamaknologist, I realize that all three of these folks had options and chose the one that they thought best under the circumstances -- and I have to shake my head. Didn't any of them see the problem with those choices? Even if I had started out thinking that they were fools and approached them that way, did they HAVE to confirm the suspicion? Did they have to reduce themselves to their lowest level in order to feel better?

The Mamaknologist in my soul says, "no, they didn't." And yet, they did. Now, I not only think that these people are fools, but they have moved to prove me right -- not smart. In each of these cases, they've put their jobs in jeopardy. In each of these cases, they've lost both public and peer respect and put themselves in less that positive positions. Worse, they've proven themselves untrustworthy, unprofessional, and undignified.

My mother also used to say, "think twice and act once." Would have made sense in all these cases.

No comments: