If You Don't Know.......Just Ask
When it comes to acquiring knowledge, I turn into the proverbial little "WHY," kid. I'm a firm believer that if you don't know something ask. Except for directions. When it come to asking for directions, I turn into a man. My ex-husband would ask for directions to the corner store. But me, I wouldn't ask for direction from California to New York. I don't know why that is, I guess I just wanted to figure it out for myself.
On a related note, we had a very funny experience once on a road trip we took cross country. You have to picture this to make it funny. We were sightseeing in New York City, and we wanted to know where Central Park was. Now, you must know all I ever knew about New York was what I saw on television, all bad, which turned out not to be true, but I believed it then. Getting back to the story. Being afraid, we were riding down the street, (no air conditioner, heat of summer), with all of our windows closed except for a slight crack in one. Around and around we went looking for Central Park, so here goes my husband, "roll down your window Freta, and ask that man if he knows where it is." Reluctantly I rolled down my window halfway, and called out to the man. He came over, and I, with great hesitation beckoned the man closer and proceeded to ask for directions. On my lap was a map, so the man reached into the window, (to point to the map, but I didn't know that). I jumped back and grabbed my throat, and everybody in the car jumped back. He put his hand on the map, seemingly oblivious to our reactions, and proceeded to point out Central Park on the map. Oh,I forgot to mention that we had our two small children with us? Needless to say nobody paid any attention, we were all so scared. Poor man. Anyway, my inclination was to roll up my window and say to my husband "Baby drive off," of course I didn't, I was frozen, as we all were. As I sat holding my throat, the man was pointing to something on the map, he could have been speaking Greek for all I knew. When he finally left we all laughed so hard my husband couldn't drive. All I could think about was either he was going to kill us or he was going to be minus one arm. Neither of which happened, thank goodness. So this experience made me all the more determined not to ask for directions.
What To Ask
To make this brief, I'll just highlight a few of my favorite things to ask.
- Directions, contrary to my aversion to asking directions, it is a good idea, let me tell you why I say that. Even, with the new directional equipment, there is still need for the human element. Some of us don't have these gadgets. So as not to get in harms way, by going into an area that could prove harmful, ask. Also fuel is so costly, that driving around and around directionless is counter productive.
- A favorite of mine is when you're in conversation with someone that uses words that you don't know, and they're doing it to impress, stop the show and ask. This can serve one or two purposes, if they do know, you're the smarter for asking. If they don't know they've been exposed for trying to be someone they are not. When we were young, my husband and I were friends of a couple, where the husband would just look in the dictionary and choose words that looked good to him and he'd use them totally at the wrong place and time. He looked ridiculous, but no one had the nerve to tell him, what a shame. Of course he wouldn't have accepted the correction anyway.
- What about asking for discounts and deals, at your favorite department, discount, or all purpose store. You'd be surprised to learn, most of these stores have hidden discounts that's not advertised to the public. Just ask.
- When you have someone repairing something for you, your car, your appliance, your home, etc. If you don't know what they are doing or why they're doing it, just ask. For instance, just standing around asking why, you could avoid being taken advantage of. Of course you could be annoying, but me, I'd rather annoy at times than to be taken advantage of. (Fine line here). I actually learned how to do a lot of minor repairs from asking in those instances. My ex-husband used to do a lot of minor repairs around the house and I always stood around and, well yes aggravated, but I asked. The result, I don't pay for a lot of minor repairs. As a matter of fact I can do certain minor home improvements, like installing toilets in my bathroom, minor floor repair, (replacing broken tiles), and lots more. I also can preform minor auto repairs, I won't go into that now. There was this one time I had a repairman in for the igniter on my gas stove, I watched, and asked questions, and the next time it happened I just ordered the part and installed it myself. Now to be sure, I'm not recommending this approach to repairs, I'm just saying that is what I've done.
- Here's a really good one. When someone you know stops speaking to you or begins treating you coolly, and you don't know why. Just ask! Sometimes it's something you said, but didn't mean to offend, or it could have been something you didn't say, but was attributed to you. If you care, don't let it go unattended. Approach the person cautiously, humbly and just ask. If you said it, explain yourself, if you didn't say it, tell them. People have gone for years not speaking, all over a misunderstanding. So if this has happened to you, now is the time to take action.
- On the job, suppose you're given an assignment, and it's been assumed that you already know how to do, but you don't know, or you're not quite sure of the correct procedure. If you don't know, just ask. After all, isn't it better to get the job done right, than to appear to know and possibly risk adverse consequences.
- Parents, if you don't know what's going on in your young ones lives, what's on their minds, why they act the way they do, what they expect of you etc. Don't wonder, Just ask. Don't let a bad situation get out of hand, ignoring an obvious problem, by sweeping it under the rug won't make it go away, it will only get worse. Face it, and ask sincere questions, you might be surprised.
- Last on my list. Suppose you're in a relationship with someone, and you don't know how they really feel about you, why not just ask. However, caution is in order here, if you really don't want to know, in this case, Don't Ask.
In whatever situation you find yourself in and don't know, JUST ASK. If I left any out, feel free to add them in your comments.