When you read something or listen for that matter are you digesting the information as its presented? Seems a straight forward enough question does it not?

Recently on a episode of the podcast Don’t trust anything we say™ AKA LinuxOutlaws the lads had a two minute throw-away-discussion on the most famous bald headed person in the Linux community. It was decided my friend and all round super guy Adrian Bradshaw was the most famous baldy, my name cropped up as second choice for most well known which as you can imagine was quite flattering this prompted me to post a micro blog message on identi.ca with regards to my coming second.

rabbleWithin five minutes the villagers was at the castle gates pitch forks at the ready! Howls of “So and so is more famous than you!” “What about him? he is balder than you!” my first mistake was trying to explain that it was not me who said I should be 2nd but Fab and Dan on their show, this was a pointless exercise given that evidently not only had the ability to read escaped them but also the ability to digest what they had read.

This reminded me of a few years ago when I worked in recruitment one of my duties was to place an advert in the local newspaper every week for temporary and permanent placements we had on our books but really in truth it was to swell the ‘body bank’ of workers we could draw on in an emergency. I wrote and advert for the local paper something along the lines of;

“Work to get to America, Australia, Japan! Yes you too could be in the location of your dreams by working for us”. Nowhere in that statement does is say “You will be working in blah blah blah” it clearly says “Work to get to”. Now I was warned by my area manager “Pete you’re asking for trouble with that advert I promise you, they’ll all think its working abroad”

Of course I took no notice of the advice and fair play to him he let me run the add, you can guess what happened? The phones rang red hot for two and a half days, I kid you not, we had hundreds and hundreds of people “Ello, I’m ringing about them jobs in America“.

Depressing isn’t it? But what I find even more depressing is it never improves its still the same year in year out people still ‘only read or hear what they want to read or hear’ I’ve blogged about this on numerous occasions its one of my pet hates to be honest most of the confrontations I’ve been involved in have been because people honestly believe they have read or heard their view of my comment.

Please do us all a favour “think before you leap”.

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