Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Value of "I Don't Know"

I know a guy who's in computers. Hey - you might even say I'm related to him. Since the computer I use for occasional work is getting pretty old, I thought I'd get his opinion on the new stuff. There are lots of options.

Bottom line: I'm difficult.
Lesson learned: Don't ask someone's advice if you aren't going to take it.

Right. Well, let's call it a day then. Or maybe you'd be interested in hearing another perspective on it.

Bottom line: The phrase "I don't know" has tremendous value.
Lesson learned: Always feel free to pass up the opportunity to dispense advice, especially when you really don't know.

I swear, I can't even have a conversation with this person anymore. Here's how my last conversation with him went (starting with me):

"My car needs plug wires."
"It sputtered quite a bit when it was starting."
"Yeah, but it was a little flooded."
"I don't think it was flooding. Sounded like some kind of fuel flow problem."
"But you were working the pedal for a while before the thing started, right?"
"Yeah. And when it did start, a big puff of blue smoke came out."
"Right. Because it had been kind of flooded. Once it was running, it was idling perfectly, wasn't it?"
"I worked the pedal quite a bit when I was trying to start it, too. So it got a lot of fuel."
"Do what you want with the car then."

OK. Let's try again.

"What do you think of getting this?"
"That chip isn't fast enough. You should get something else."
"It's actually a dual chip, so it's like two. And it runs like twice as fast on the outside as most others."
"But Windows doesn't see it as two chips, so it's a waste. It's a lot of hype."
"I did some research on it and checked into that. Windows sees it as two. I don't think it's all hype."
"Good luck."

So, at the risk of sounding like a high school English teacher, what exactly is the subtext of the last line in each of those conversations?

How about "Piss off" ?

Or maybe I'm just difficult.

No comments: