Blind Spots

Posted by jlubans on December 04, 2020

(For ESL readers, many American dogs are named Spot.)

I like to think that these stories, drawn from personal experience, are isolated examples of our very human blind spots, those moments when we cannot see what others can.
I was going to say that these are examples of jerky behavior but jerk may be too harsh a term since it implies a complete character flaw.
Hal, Emma and Fredo would have done well to remember their lessons from kindergarten: share, do not take other people’s things, practice the golden rule, etc.

Hal, the Petulant.
I worked with Hal. In his thirties, he held a responsible professional position and was regarded, in spite of a pugnacious aspect, by his peers as a competent member of the staff.
One day Hal told me what happened to him after a late-night sporting event in a distant city.
Following the game, Hal went to his parked car to find that someone had stolen his battery.
Now, what would you do in this case?
Probably what most of us would do.
But not Hal. He noticed the car parked behind him was of the same make, and he proceeded to filch that car’s battery.
I assume he drove contentedly home.
Maybe, since he told me what he had done, he was not all that certain he’d done the right thing.
But, when I expressed astonishment (You did what?), he denied he had done anything wrong. He assumed – most cynically - that everyone else would do the same.

Emma, the Self Centered.
Emma owned an unfinished condominium (apartment). One is not allowed for numerous safety and liability reasons to occupy an unfinished condo.
This rule, Emma was convinced, did not apply to her. She proceeded to use her condo almost on a daily basis, filling the space with a variety of furniture.
The Home Owners Association (other owners in the building) told her more than once to stop.
Ultimately, the city building inspectors ordered her to cease and desist under penalty of law and gave her two weeks to move out all of her things.
Presumably, there would be serious consequences if she flaunted the city inspector’s finding.
When someone moves and ties up the elevator they are to post notes on each of the 8 floors with a phone number so that others in the 8-story building would have a way to reach Emma and ask her to release the elevator.
On the day of the move, Emma posted nothing.
The next day she assured the head of the HOA that “No one was inconvenienced!”
And she added that she had prepared the contact information notes but had left them at home.
In other words, preparing the notes but leaving them at home was just about as good as posting the notes.
So, I wrote a note to the HOA president – who had long endured Emma’s mercurial ways - telling him I had bought a bottle of whiskey to give him in appreciation but I drank it.
Emma’s Edict: Intention to do something is the same as doing it.

Fredo, the Audacious.
I was once a part of loosely organized guy’s group made up of work colleagues and other friends.
Fredo was in the latter group.
One day, after work, we gathered in a city park for a volleyball game.
Fredo, brought along a beer cooler. The city has a posted policy prohibiting alcohol in its parks – there was a sign next to where we had set up the net. Fredo drank a beer and one or two others may have joined in. I did not.
A policeman, driving past, noted the beer cooler and stopped. He asked, “Who’s beer?”
When Fredo admitted it was his, he got a ticket for violating the city’s policy.
The next day each of us heard from Fredo asking us to pay his ticket.
I did not chip in.

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© Copyright all text John Lubans 2020

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