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Monday, April 27, 2009

Just What Do You Think You're Doing, Charlie?

Here's an email I received from my friend "Charlie 9000" (yes, that is an inside joke that involves me being able to hold a Pub Quiz answer over him for all eternity) who bought a new house that he and his fiancee have been fixing up. I am including it here because it is both funny and there is a good lesson to pull out of it.

"So when we first found out we were going to have to replace the stove, someone mentioned to me that I should call the township about disposal protocol. Reason being: The township handles trash collection and likely has rules about discarding things like the stove that may involve getting a permit. Stupid? Yes. Pain in the ass? Yes. Sounds like something NJ would do? Absolutely.

So when I ordered the new appliances and saw that there was a "haul away" option for the old unit, I paid the extra fee and went for it, keeping the old stove in the main foyer behind the door so the appliance people could get it out the door easily. So today the appliances were delivered. Lynn's Dad was kind enough to be there to receive them and called to tell me that the deliveryman knew nothing about the haul away option and even said they don't do that.

I think yes...even over the phone, he actually felt the heat pulsing off my face.

BUT I kept my cool, asked about his day, thanked him and then went to the township’s website ready to deal with an apocalypse of red tape. The page directed me to call the trash company. I did. A lady picked up. I said, "I need to throw out a stove." She replied, "So?" Some minor confusion followed. Then I learned that apparently they have no special rules for throwing out appliances, Avish. No. All you have to do is put it out by the curb with your normal trash on any normal trash day.

So...every day...for the past 8+ weeks...I...have come home...walked in my front door...shut it...and let that greasy, wrecked son of a bitch stare at me like the money I could be saving with GEICO...for no...good...reason.

I really do need to get my hair cut. Right now it’s long and all too easy and tempting to pull it out in fistfuls"

Great story. Here's what we can learn from it:

Be Wary of the First Advice You Get

The Law of Primacy states that "the side of an issue presented first will have greater effectiveness than the side presented subsequently." This means that the first thing we hear we will put more weight on, whether it's true or not. So you hear someone tell you that there are rules about discarding, and you believe it. Someone tells you that using 2.5 lb weights in the gym is weenie and you believe it. ONE MORE BLOG POST. It's a good idea to question all of your assumptions, but pay particular attention to the first one; you may be giving it undue weight.

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