“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
― Isaac Asimov
“If others tell us something we make assumptions, and if they don’t tell us something we make assumptions to fulfill our need to know and to replace the need to communicate. Even if we hear something and we don’t understand we make assumptions about what it means and then believe the assumptions. We make all sorts of assumptions because we don’t have the courage to ask questions.”
― Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
I’ve written a few previous blogs about “human error” and how when things go wrong, i.e., ships collide, planes crash, monkey viruses go rogue, or people freeze to death on Mt Everest, it’s usually due to many different reasons with human factors often occupying the primary explanation. It’s difficult to overcome ones cognitive biases, unbridled ego and limited perspective. Most of the time we proceed in life believing that we are “right”. However, personal blinders when combined with a refusal to solicit adequate objective feedback/input from others leave us vulnerable to making false assumptions, inaccurate conclusions and expensive mistakes. Luckily, not every error we make is of the size, cost or consequence of a Challenger Space Shuttle disaster. For that matter, the majority of our human “boo-boos” pale in comparison to monster mistakes like the sinking of the Titanic or George Bush’s decision to get us embroiled in a trillion dollar war on the basis of non-existent WMDs. In light of this topic and introduction I’d like to illustrate the concept of “human folly” by sharing a very small but pertinent example I just read about in the Atlanta Jewish Times.
I heard that both restaurant locations (Sandy Springs and Decatur) of Seven Hens the Chicken schnitzel eatery are closing. Honestly, I was surprised they lasted more than a year given that I counted only three paying customers there in over 2 years and their festive theme was “Come Enjoy Chicken Schnitzel around the World”, not exactly a culinary concept I’d pay an ad agency a lot of dough to think up. However, given Seven Hens longevity I began to wonder if the place was really a front for the Ukrainian Mafia who were selling kilos of cocaine and young girls out the back door. I developed this theory partially because the one guy I did see there more than once (besides the cook) was a tall gentleman who looked a lot like Liam Neeson in the “Taken” movie series. However, I was wrong. Apparently so was the Israeli owner/founder Michael Gurevich who according to the AJT article “lacked restaurant experience” but fervently hoped that the South would “embrace schnitzel and enable me to franchise it”. Riiiight…. He would have been better off franchising sweet tea and Nascar decals. Let this be a lesson to all of us. Even Israelis, the supreme innovators and entrepreneurs on planet Earth are capable of being misled by their own cultural blinders and flawed logic. The good news is that the Decatur location will be replaced by a Korean street food emporium and the Sandy Springs space has already become the Poke Bar, a Los Angeles “casual seafood/raw fish concept”. I look forward to trying them both out before they close as well. As for Donald Trump, I feel semi-confident his “goose is cooked” and like his licensed brand of “commercial quality” steaks which no longer exist, he should probably pack up his presidential snake oil products and declare bankruptcy , which is the same as saying he “lost” but is far easier on his forked tongue.
Post Election Addendum: It seems I was wrong about that one too. My bad….