Sunday, March 12, 2023

If people don't want to come, you can't stop them

Several decades ago, back when the local news reported local news and before GPS was readily available, you would occasionally see a story about some hapless geezer driving around Toldedo until his vehicle ran out of gas. Rendering aid, the Ohio State Troopers would ask his wife if she was OK based on the fact that her eyes were rolling back in her head.

"Yeah. No problem" she would say, her voice dripping sarcasm. "Don't suppose you can tell us which exit leads to downtown Grand Rapids?"

Yep. You read that right. They were supposed to be going to Grand Rapids, 180 miles away from where they ran out of gas.

We chuckle, but....

Sunk costs fallacy

It is a real thing. The old geezer took the wrong exit onto the freeway and went east out of Lansing instead of west. After driving for approximately the correct amount of time, he started looping around the freeway that circled the perimeter of the metropolitan area looking for the exit to "Downtown Grand Rapids".

Suggestions by his wife were brushed off. It is not in a man's DNA to stop and ask for directions. That is why we produce billions of sperm for every egg produced by a women. Our sperm refuse to ask for directions, too.

It is biting me

I volunteer at an organization that takes donations of baby cribs (among other things).

I was asked to assemble the cribs to ensure that all of the parts (especially the fasteners) were there...and then to disassemble them so it will fit in the trunk of the needy family's vehicle.

I couldn't do it. It feels like I am throwing away a half-hour of my life.

I offered to DELIVER the assembled cribs. I have a truck. My thinking is that a mom is more likely to accept a second-hand crib if she can see it in all of its glory and if she doesn't need to assemble it herself (or find somebody who will assemble it). That offer was rejected for reasons I don't understand.

And now I find myself not-motivated to volunteer. I rationalize, thinking that even if all of the parts are there when I assemble it doesn't mean that small, critical parts will not disappear before the recipient completes assembling it.

I suspect that the person who was giving me direction is baffled by my sudden lack of motivation.


  1. My kids are at that age where they are starting to experience the joys that are 'people'....

  2. The person who assigned you a task was almost certainly female...the gender not always associated with logical thinking.
    And these days that gender is even less inclined to listen to reason.

    1. There is a fifty percent chance you are right. (Notice how deftly I avoided confirming or not-confirming your speculation)

      I think there are a couple of dynamics involved. The person directing me has never done "furniture assembly" before and cannot visualize how easy it is to misplace/lose fasteners. And since the fasteners are not common commodities (6mm barrel nuts of various lengths) then you cannot just pick them up in the hardware section at Walmart.

      If you lose one half of one fastener the crib is not usable and if asked, the person who picked up the crib will swear on a stack of Bibles that it was missing the part when she picked it up.

      The best way to guarantee that a crib is shipped with all fasteners is to ship it assembled.

      The other dynamic may be that assembled cribs take up a lot of floor space. And since the person directing me does not see the value in leaving the cribs assembled, it is perceived as a gross misuse of floorspace.

      It is hard to get excited about assembling something so I can disassemble it knowing that half of the time the person who receives the crib will get no value out of it (lost barrel nut) and I will get blamed for the shortfall.

  3. I think it's a question of liability and safety.

    1. I believe Michigan now has a "Good Samaritan" law where a slight degree of indemnification is extended to charities. That resulted in grocery stores being far more willing to donate near-end-of-shelf-life products to food pantries.

      G.S. does not provide indemnification for gross negligence or pretending to have qualifications you don't have. That is, I could not perform surgery if I am not a doctor.

  4. I found out a long time ago that if someone wants me to accomplish some end result, the quickest way for me to lose interest is for them to tell me HOW to do it. Tell me what you want in the end, and leave me alone to figure out what works best for me to accomplish that, and we'll be fine. If you want to micromanage me, do it yourself.

    1. A LOT of people are wired in this way. The military has a process of “leading by intent”. Give a soldier an objective then get out of their way.

  5. This is a situation that one needs to JUST DO IT, and ask for forgiveness later. I am guessing that the "director" is NOT an engineer, so they won't understand the value of the assembler's time. If you can drop off fully assembled cribs without the "director" just do it'; if not quit in protest.

  6. Your answer makes sense. And I don't blame you...

  7. "The person who assigned you a task was almost certainly female...the gender not always associated with logical thinking.
    And these days that gender is even less inclined to listen to reason.

    "....the gender always associated with not logical thinking."


  8. We, females, understand the need for correct parts. In today's litigious society you are a male wanting to go into a female house or apartment. You could be as pure as the driven snow and yet someone will file a complaint because you smiled and said hello. The next thing you know you are talking to attorney's about all the events there. Real or imagined. A friend and I went shopping about 4 years ago accompanied by her 23 year old daughter. She complained about a man who had a "funny" look and had smiled at her! She was sure she was going to be assaulted.

    1. Thank-you for that insight. That possibility did not occur to me but it makes sense.

  9. I get paid more than $120 to $350 per hour for working online. I heard about this job 3 months ago and after joining this I have earned easily $24000 from this without having online working skills .

    Here is I started.…………>>

  10. last real poster... I hope you had a discussion with the delirious girl of her sure to be attacked issue// or just never hung out further. crazy is as crazy does.
    --ERJ-- no- I refuse to buy into the litiginous problem. your reasoning IS SOLID.
    Yes- TWO people (guy/gal) deliver and solve that wack problemo "possibility". catering to the rediculousness of all other "whys" is where everything is currently falling apart.
    BTW-- Yes- unfortunately- move on~ dedicate your time and efforts to your food and education endeavors(and personal PT etc ;)-
    Its worth SO much more to MANY more ppl than futzing with twidlly fastenenrs :)


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