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Thread: Assumption is the Mother of all

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Assumption is the Mother of all

    Assumption IS the mother of all f- ups. Certainly when it comes to social graces. It can be pretty amusing when it happens to someone else, but feels mortifying when you're the one who is making the faulty assumptions. Some popular assumptions that often gone awry:
    - serve pork chops at dinner....for your jewish or muslim acquaintences (hey man, the topic of religion never came up! )
    - congratulate the expecting mother....on what turns out to be her potbelly (hey, I swear it looked like she swallowed a bowling ball! )
    - remark how very much a child resembles.....his/her adopted parents (hey, I just thought the baby was squinting! )
    - complain about how awful your parents treat you.....to someone who recently lost theirs (yeah, well I bet he could be a real jackass when he was alive! )

    I'm sure no one here has ever committed a major faux pas like the ones above but please tell us about that 'friend' of yours who has . Are there any other commonly made assumptions that go awry that I haven't mentioned (seems like the world of dating, for example, should offer lots of possibilities for this sort of thing)?
    Last edited by Maister; 11 Dec 2006 at 11:44 AM.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Assuming that the guy in the next cubicle over shared the same political beliefs as me when I commented on how much of a joke the 2004 DNC was.
    You get what you give.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Mine - I take ownership - I told a woman how good she looked during her pregnancy, to find out she had recently miscarried.

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    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    wished a "Merry Christmas" to a jewish kid in high school. i got a "yeah, well thanks and all but i don't celebrate christmas." whoops!
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  5. #5
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    I think some of the above are certainly forgiveable and shouldn't be an issue, especially in the situation where your comment/action is to/about someone you don't know or don't know well.

    Now, if you served pork to your devotely observant Muslim friend you've known for 10 years, then yes, you f***ked up.

    But kms's comment shouldn't be an issue, because how the heck would you have known.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    A fellow Cyburbian was at a holiday party a couple years ago and met a fellow county employee who said she worked in the finance dept. Said Cyburbian says "Oh, you work for that b*tch, Ms. -----!". The other woman says "No, I AM that bitch!". Whoops.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Double whammy.

    I was talking to a prospective colleague. He knew someone I had worked with previously. I mentioned how I thought at his previous shop they had "wasted his time". Guess who had ran the shop? Bingo.

    Abotu 5 min. later, we're talking specialized research and I mention how one of the industry standards is not really very good; just very long and boring and using outdated metrics. Guess who founded that publication. Bingo again.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

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    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    My brother always says "when you assume you make an ASS out of U and ME."

    I always seem to make the mistake of assuming that everybody I come in contact with thinks Bush is an idiot, but an old boss thought he was wonderful.

    I also once assumed that the son of a different boss was the boss's ex husband. I referred to her ex-husband as her son's dad a number of times, saying things like "Does you son get to spend time with your ex-husband very much?" etc., until she set me straight. Turns out her son was a product of a quickie relationship, after her marriage ended.

  9. #9
    First day of work in elevator - through small talk had just learned the other gentleman in the elevator had been off for 3 months - to which I replied wow that's a nice long break - to which he replied it would have been if not for the open heart surgery I was recovering from......

  10. #10
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    scene: young Maister is in the car with a group of fellow high school students. The rowdy young hellions are whistling at women they drive past. Wishing to 'fit it' young Maister spots a callipigious young lady on a bike quite some distance ahead travelling in the direction of traffic and announces "there's a fine looking piece if I ever saw one". As the vehicle approaches it becomes increasingly obvious that the young lady is in fact a guy. As if that were not embarassing enough the guy turns out to be young Maister's brother!
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  11. #11
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Not a bad assumption… but I ran into a guy who lived down the hall from be (when I was in college) at a bar with this very attractive woman. I remembered how he had just mentioned that he got engaged to his HS sweetheart named Anna. Well he stopped by to say hi but suddenly was distracted by the bartender. So I started to talk to his lady friend and said, “You must be Anna, congratulations on the engagement.” She responded by explaining that her Name was Beth and they had met last week.

    Lest just say he was pissed after he came back and she poured her drink onto his lap.

    He looked at me and I just said, hey, you have got to keep me posted on S*$@ like this.
    You get what you give.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    AIB Michaelskis

    My cousin and I once congratulated a guy we knew on his recent engagement....in front of some gal he was trying to pick up for the night.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Ugh, I put my foot it in just yesterday. I was taking Santa photos of co-workers kids at our annual Christmas party, and I asked a little east indian boy where his sister was. His mum piped in that she thought I was thinking of another co-workers kids. Oops... their kids are the same age with the same haircut, so I got them mixed up. I felt like a heel.

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    When I was 8.5 months pregnant and was on the way to my baby shower a friend and I had to stop by the store to get something. We were in the checkout line and the cashier asked my friend when she was due. My friend tersely replied "I'm not the one who is pregnant, she is!" Made me feel good, but I felt bad for my friend.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  15. #15
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    My foot has been so deeply imbedded into my throat over the years, that I’ve completely stopped talking to and about people and should probably stop posting, too.

    Okay, JNA I’m waiting for your SAW comment.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    My foot has been so deeply imbedded into my throat over the years, that I’ve completely stopped talking to and about people and should probably stop posting, too.

    Okay, JNA I’m waiting for your SAW comment.
    I will leave that to certain a Cyburbian to comment,
    and I am not talking about RT or TO either.
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    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    I got home last night and my wife told me this little tidbit: She was at the gym and ran into an old acquaitance from high school. They were making small talk and the topic of children came up. Her freind has a 7 year old boy and my wife asked her and her husband were planning on having more children. turns out that a few years ago her husband was diagnosed with brain cancer and died within weeks of the diagnosis. They both started bawling.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    I've made the mistake of commenting on someone's "phantom" pregnancy, only to have it thrown back at me several months later. Never again....

    On that same token, I really hate when people badger you about when you're going to have kids assuming that:
    1. You're ready for them.
    2. You're physically able to have them.
    3. You really want them.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  19. #19
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planderella View post

    On that same token, I really hate when people badger you about when you're going to have kids assuming that:
    1. You're ready for them.
    2. You're physically able to have them.
    3. You really want them.
    As a frequent victim of this, I have to say that it infuriates me to no end!

    I also hate it when people assume things about your politics based on religious affiliation. I had somebody at church go off on a rant with me about how abortion and gay marriage are the biggest threats to our society and that they will result in God's wrath on America... Those of you that know me know my feelings on these issues. My only comment to him when he said it was "I don't believe the Constitution should be used to force religious views on others" and walked away.

    I once asked a co-worker if the lady he was with was his wife (I had never met his wife and wanted to introduce myself). As it turns out, it was his mistress and she had no clue he was married.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  20. #20
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planderella View post
    On that same token, I really hate when people badger you about when you're going to have kids assuming that:
    1. You're ready for them.
    2. You're physically able to have them.
    3. You really want them.
    Oh don't get me started! Now that we've adopted we don't get it anymore, but back when we were both in our late 30's and without children Mrs. Maister and I used to hear this kinda presumptious crap on average about once a week! ...."What's wrong with you two, you need to 'get busy'?" "Have you seen a doctor yet to figure out who's got the problem?" AAAAHH! These phrases came from the mouths of (what I have to believe were) well-intentioned folks usually in their 60's - 70's.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  21. #21
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    I once asked a co-worker if the lady he was with was his wife (I had never met his wife and wanted to introduce myself). As it turns out, it was his mistress and she had no clue he was married.
    Same kinda thing happened to me and my boss. We went to a promotion party for her boss on a dinner cruise and one of the other mid-level managers we knew introduced us to a man that we thought was her husband since we knew for certain she was married.

    About a month later we were at the holiday party and the same lady is making the rounds with another man, comes near to us and introduces the man as her husband to a group of other people when my fboss blurts out "That's not the same man she said was her husband last month!" I grabbed my boss and we started walking the other direction before we saw the sparks fly.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  22. #22
          Downtown's avatar
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    As a young, college aged Downtown was working the cafeteria line in the dining hall, one of her acquaintances came through the line and picked up a Snapple. I commented "Hey - don't drink Snapple - they give a ton of money to wacko pro-life groups!" to which I received a terse: "I AM pro-life."

    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Oh don't get me started! Now that we've adopted we don't get it anymore, but back when we were both in our late 30's and without children Mrs. Maister and I used to hear this kinda presumptious crap on average about once a week! ...."What's wrong with you two, you need to 'get busy'?" "Have you seen a doctor yet to figure out who's got the problem?" AAAAHH! These phrases came from the mouths of (what I have to believe were) well-intentioned folks usually in their 60's - 70's.
    Yep - We struggled with infertility for two years before we conceived my eldest son. It just sucks.

    Another one - don't ever ask a pregnant lady if she isn't sure there aren't twins in there, or if she does have twins, if she's sure there aren't triplets in there. You never, ever know what's going on - ie: selective reduction, or something happened with a twin fetus early in the pregnancy.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    - remark how very much a child resembles.....his/her adopted parents (hey, I just thought the baby was squinting! )
    I was guilty of this one. I was at one of the childs high school graduation and made a comment on how she looks and acts like her father. Both kids were adopted. In my defense my wife never told me but I should have figured it out since the kid barely graduated high school and both mom and dad had advanced degrees.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    People who assume you are related to someone who happens to share the last name as you.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  25. #25
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post
    I was guilty of this one. I was at one of the childs high school graduation and made a comment on how she looks and acts like her father. Both kids were adopted. In my defense my wife never told me but I should have figured it out since the kid barely graduated high school and both mom and dad had advanced degrees.
    If it makes you feel any better there is a 99.9999% probability that the adoptive parents themselves took no offense whatsoever, but for some reason if the people making the assumptive statement are made aware of the adoptive parent's status afterwards they feel embarassed. Not really sure why...
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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