Monday, July 25, 2011


Do you ever make snap judgements?  Of course you do, you're a human being.  

(HaHA!  See what I did there?  HA!  You see, I asked you whether you made snap judgements, and then I made a snap judgement about you and whether or not, heh.  mmm.  heh-heh.  Alright.)

Let's say you hired a handyman to come to your house to do several handytasks.  Let's say you talked to him a couple of times on the phone before he came, and he was friendly and thoughtful.  You noted that he seemed like a good communicator, and that he actually seemed to be listening to you and what you'd like to have done.  You checked out his website, and you felt confident that this person would show up and provide competent service for a reasonable price.

Let's say the day comes, and Handyman shows up wearing something like this:

Ed Hardy is my Handyman.

Where are you, my snap judgers?  I kind of paused, but didn't think about it too much at first.  Huh, I thought.  Ed Hardy is my Handyman.  Alright, well whatever, if Ed Hardy can install things, I don't care what he wears.  Come on in Ed, here's project 1, project 2, and project 3.  You're here for 3 hours-- have at it.

Ed smiled!  A big friendly gladhandy smile!  Great, he said!  Sounds Perfect!  OK!  Let me just go and grab my guy out of the truck, and you'll have two! people! workinn! for ya!  Sound Good?  Sounds Good!  OK!

He dashed off.

UM, I thought.  I would not mind if we turned down the gladhand volume a bit.  A lot, actually.  I've never had so!much!forced!friendly! from a contractor, so it just seemed strange.  And-- 'grab your guy out of the truck?'  Like he's one of your tools or something?  Why not just come to the door together, introduce him?  But, alright, whatever.  You're here, Gladhand Ed, so get this party started.

Gladhand Ed returned with ESL Sidekick.    This is my guy!  He's just gonna be helpinn me work for ya!  OK?  OK!

WOW, I thought.  'This is my guy?'  Not a name, just his guy.  Gladhand Ed, losing points by the minute.

They got to work and I could hear Gladhand Ed giving ESL Sidekick instructions-- commands, really-- in bad, sad Spanish.   They divided the labor at one point, with Gladhand Ed working inside and ESL Sidekick working outside.   As he finished outside, ESL Sidekick came in and asked me where the power was for something, and I pointed behind him.  Gladhand Ed seemed mortified by this-- he looked up, hurried over, and forced a laugh.   Hah-a-a! Oh, buddy!  Oh, my man, it's right behind you!  Oh, he's my buddy, he's my guy!  He slapped ESL Sidekick's back and rubebd his shoulders, literally gladhanding him.

WHAT, I thought. IS THIS?

They did get several things done, which was great.  But after they left, I realized-- I was so anxious for them to leave that I had neglected to talk to them about coming back for a couple of other handytasks.  It wasn't terrible, but I'm not sure I want a repeat of the Gladhand Ed experience.  

The Ed Hardy shirt was a dead giveaway, wasn't it?  I should have known.


  1. So this topic about judgments...

    I think we can get a little more nuanced here with the topic. I mean, there are so many types of ways you can respond to something you feel about another....
    Instead of judgement I like the word, discernment. I also like the word inferring... for instance, in your opening statement you said that we all make snap judgments because we're human and then you said that was a snap judgement but I would argue that you are using your powers of deduction and rationality. One of the functions of our brain to is organize information in such a way so that we don't have to meet every human to know what human's are like. Yes?

    And I'd say that it's only a judgement in any detrimental sense if there is a condemnation accompanying it...

    I just deleted like five paragraphs of rambling about this topic that doesn't actually have anything to do with the topic you posted... which is your cheesy handyman.


    Now I'm judging myself for being a rambler but it's not a snap judgement, it's the same judgement I've had for decades.

  2. I do tend to snap judge/discern about people. Is it judgement if I saw his Ed Hardy shirt, and thought-- douchebag? That's discernment + condemnation, so judgement? But then what if I snap judge, and I'm RIGHT, and then I want to do it again because I feel like I can correctly snap judge?

    Or, worse-- what if I snap judge, but then for the sake of expediency, I ignore my own snap judgement? That's kind of what happened. I saw his shirt, thought to myself-- oh no, douchebag. But then I just thought-- well, I don't care as long as he can get this done. Maybe it's worse to sell out one's discernments like that. Well, depending on the context, I guess.

    You can ramble anytime! I (clearly) have no condemnation for rambling.