Let’s talk about assumptions

Josh and I have moved to a town (City?  Population is above 50,000 and I never know where the dividing line is)…anyway a city-town where people who live here tend to have grown up here.  Especially the people who work at my job…I’m guessing about 80 to 90 percent of my coworkers went to elementary school through college in town.

There is nothing wrong with that!  However it means that I have had to learn the ‘assumed knowledge’ in a place where it sometimes doesn’t occur to people that there is another way to think about something.  Not out of malice, spite, stupidity or even ignorance, but rather ‘lack of practice’.  By that phrase I mean that it more likely that we encounter people with similar life experience than people with different life experiences.

Here are several examples:

+The local newspaper reported results from local high school football games (Rangers vs. Hilltoppers) but never referred to where the schools were from.

+The local tv news discussed the parade happening Saturday.  They talked about the family friendly portion of the route and that people could not set up their blankets before midnight the night before, but not the roads that would be closed or the parade route.

The longer I thought about it though I realized that it happens everywhere (madisonians:  willy st or east wash) and that I assumed lots of things too.

+Every city recycles paper.
+People like to try new things.

I probably assume more things, but I won’t list them all.

It really bothered me that I might be making assumptions that would confuse other people.  Not sure why.  So, I’m trying to fix it:

I’m working to eliminate jargon from my daily conversation and try to correct my most egregious assumptions.

Are you still here?  Thanks for listening.

What are your thoughts on assumptions? Are they ok all the time? Only in certain situations? 

Should we explain more things? Is there a point where people just need to discover information for themselves?

The longer I think about it the more confused I get.


3 thoughts on “Let’s talk about assumptions

  1. I think 21st century communications contribute to the assumed knowledge approach to things… to get a point across in the 140 characters allowed means you don’t over explain things… so those details that give context and fill in for the newbies don’t make the cut.
    People are in a hurry and they want their info fast so we have gotten out of the habit of explaining things or including those who may need more info.

    1. That’s a good point. I hadn’t thought of that, but it is true. People assume if they sent the information out via email or social networking that everyone read it.

  2. Welcome to “small” town life! If you can make any progress in becoming one of the (albeit small) masses there, congratulate yourself. It isn’t always bad to be an outsider…..

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