As I stood at the base of the driveway admiring my work someone came up to me and said ‘It looks like you didn’t plan that out very well!’ I asked what he meant, and he pointed out that I had shoveled the right side of the driveway, but (as displayed) my car was parked in the garage on the left side.
I looked… and from where he was standing I could understand his criticism. I reached into my pocket and clicked the remote control which opened the right side garage door, exposing our main family vehicle. The gentleman was a bit embarrassed, and apologized for the remark, complimented the job, and continued on his way.
The encounter made me think of so many discussions I have had in the past; some people are quick to criticize accomplishments without having all the facts. It is important to remember that we may see what is in front of us, but not necessarily all of the relevant facts.
A client called me frantically several months ago following a conversation that she had with a colleague. She wanted to know why it was that I had not implemented a backup solution for their desktop PCs and Outlook PST files; her colleague had criticized me for my short-sightedness and recommended that she speak with ‘her IT guy’ who would do a much better job for her. Of course because that colleague did not know that I had implemented a complete backup solution on the server and redirected all desktop folders to Network Shares she could not know that backing up the actual workstations would be redundant. She did not have all of the facts, and that is an easy way to come to the wrong conclusions.
Someone once said that the more someone talks the less they know; I do not know if that is true, but it is certainly easier to learn by listening than by talking… the more facts you have the better informed you will be when you do speak.