The sign on the front door says, “Open at Noon on weekdays.” You would not believe how that inspires the wise cracks. Folks who would never think about telling the unemployed man who lies abed until noon daily how lazy he is, say the words to me without apology. “I wish I could sleep until noon.” “Banker’s Hours? We have to work for a living!” “When are you going to get a real job?”
“Banker’s hours? Real job?” How is this possible? Can they not see how hard I work? Do I not complain about overwork loudly enough? But no…they believe if the door is locked, I’m not working. They think I’m sitting at home with my toe in the air, doing nothing. What’s that, you say? Oh, the toe in the air thing. It’s a family joke, but it fits the situation, so I’ll let you in on it.
A few years ago, my brother-in-law was adding on to his house. Family members helped him some, but he did the lion’s share of the work. Until one painful day, that is…the day he shot a nail from the nail-gun into the joint of his big toe. The pain was excruciating and he couldn’t walk for a few days. Work would have ground to a halt, but his father-in-law offered to help if he would tell him what to do. So the brother-in-law sat with his foot elevated to ease the pain and gave instructions to the willing worker. Unfortunately, one of his father-in-law’s cronies happened past about this time and, seeing the home-owner sitting while his father-in-law worked, went home with the story. “That lazy so-and-so…He’s just sitting there with his toe in the air while his father-in-law builds his house for him.”
“Don’t jump to conclusions.”
“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
“Still waters run deep.”
We all do it…Think that we understand a situation simply because we take a glance as we drive by…Believe that because we can’t see activity, nothing is being accomplished. How do we get to the point where we assume that the person we’re talking to is not as hard-working, not as intelligent, not as knowledgeable about their area of expertise as they should be? What drives us to accuse someone of laziness simply because we don’t see what they accomplish when we’re not there?
So, learn the facts and cut those you find yourself critical of some slack. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t require excellence, nor even that we should lower the bar for performance. Just do your homework before showing your ignorance. And cut me some slack about opening at noon. I’ll be sitting here with my toe in the air waiting for you…
What do you call it if you jump out of an airplane without a parachute?
Jumping to a concussion!
Sometimes a conclusion is simply the point at which we stop thinking…