One of the issues about appearing competent is that … well … people tend to think you are competent. And odd phenomenon related to this seeming to be good at things is that people will often assume that you are good at everything. Let’s face it, the appearance of competence is just asking for trouble. Worse yet if you actually happen to BE competent at things. Show yourself capable of doing one thing well and bosses everywhere will automatically assume there is nothing you can’t do, and the next thing you know you are doing the work of three people yet still only being paid for half a person.
If you happen to speak like you know what the hell you are talking about, a side effect of appearing competent, another odd assumption is made. Suddenly folk think that you are the ultimate in wisdom, that you have all the answers and can give advice on just about anything. Despite possible evidence to the contrary. Asking a bald man advice on what shampoo to buy seems counter-intuitive, yet I have actually been asked that before.
Now I am not actually saying I am a competent person. But I do often fake it well. As a result I am often the guy people ask for advice on things. The true irony about such questions is that the chances of someone actually following any advice I might be tempted to give is higher when I don’t actually know what the hell I am talking about. If I am sure of my answer, it is pretty much guaranteed I will be ignored. Bald man/shampoo again.
For instance being pretty much a confirmed bachelor (and not necessarily completely by choice) it seems rather odd that many ask me what they should do about their relationship issues. Or the occasional how should I deal with my children. Granted I might have some expertise there, since I do have the emotional equivalence of a fifteen year old. But still not seeing that I am really the guy to ask.
So I have managed to condense all my advice into one sentence, and it works for all occasions. It’s a very simple phrase and seems to answer all well. I will share this bit of expertise now. Other’s might find it very handy:
“Don’t ask me!”
That said, I recently came across and advice column that is most definitely a font of … I am not sure wisdom is the word. But I will gladly point any one foolish enough to think I have anything useful to say towards this answerer of questions. As far as I can tell he fears no question, and will definitely have an answer for you.
So whatever question may be stumping you, I will gladly help you find the answer by pointing you to:
As far as I can tell Dear Jeremy is even better than The Magic Eight Ball!!