The Answer is Always “YES”
I threw my bedroom slipper at the TV as the politician answered Mike Duffy’s question: “Well, you see, Mike, we have to remember that ...”
Drone, drone, drone, push agenda, evade the issues.
The question required a simple answer, “Yes” or “No”, but the question was dismissed and a self-serving statement took its place.
The next morning, facing a class of end-users for a course in Advanced Excel I found myself droning, pushing my own agenda (“I’m really great, you see!”) and avoiding the issue.
I decided to be better than any politician, by listening to the question (Now there’s a concept!), and answering the question; elaborating only if the enquirer asked for elaboration.
Two weeks later I confided to Bess King that I’d discovered a shocking fact:-
I’d answered every question in class with “Yes”.
In two weeks, 5 days a week. Intelligent business types, Windows desktop applications.
How Could this Be?
It turned out that the ONLY question students asked were of the nature “Can I bold this?”, “Can I copy this?”, “Can I paste this?”, “Can I rotate this?”, and so on.
So at the start of the next class, 9 a.m., I announced that I was going to answer every question with “Yes”.
Stunned silence for ten seconds, and then “Really?”
“No matter what the question is?”
Why is this?
It turns out that people attend classes to get answers, and the questions they pose are realistic, and all boil down to one type:
“Will this computer system help me get my job done?”
Now if the answer to that form of question is ever given as “No”, then the next question has to be “Then what is this lump of metal-and-plastic doing on my desk?”
We had a few interesting questions. Like the petite brunette who smiled at me from the front row and asked cheekily “Will you marry me?”.
And why not? I could do worse than marry a woman who has courage to ask cheeky questions, who thinks outside the box, who enjoys mental tugs-of-war.
That September I ate in the Al Lago with Rick and made the comment that I’d driven in every mainland state of the United States except for Alaska.
“So, are you going to drive to Alaska?”.
(Astonished) “When did you decide that?”.
And the next May I drove my little Hyundai Excel to Prince Rupert, then through Terrace, Whitehorse, Fairbanks and Anchorage, back through Whitehorse, Terrace to Prince Rupert, and then back home to Toronto.
23,000 kilometers in 29 days.
Was it The Trip of a Lifetime?
Toronto and Mississauga, Sunday, December 11, 2011 4:07 PM
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