Saturday, August 30, 2008

    Presenting excuses. Mistakes.

    I plan on writing about all the small stupid social mistakes I commit, to keep track of them and to learn from it.

    At this moment there is a birthday party going on to which I am not assisting. I was invited but I didn't know if I could go (most likely not) because it is in a different town and I would have to find somewhere to sleep and I still had to much work to do for my university.

    So I said: "No, most likely I'm not going because I have nowhere to sleep and I still have much work to do."

    Some days later i received a message: "At the end I found a place for you to sleep, are you coming?"

    Since I didn't finish my work I had to say no again. I feel a little uncomfortable about it because I made her look for a place to sleep and write me again to ask if I am coming. I also might give the impression that I don't want to go, which is not the case. The problem comes from giving a bad excuse in the first place. It would have been more convenient to say: "I don't think I can come. If I finish the homework I have from the university I will let you know so we can try to find a place to sleep for me".

    Conclusion: Only give one excuse, the one that you have the control over(i "decide" if I did enough work for the university). If you give more than one reason for rejecting an offer, condition the others to the primary one("If I finish...(then)we can try to find a place to sleep for me").

    Although this is a quite irrelevant case, similar situations might occur where the outcome is not so unimportant. Lets say isn't a party but a that a company calls you for potential job Australia, which would start in a couple of days. Imagine the reasons for which you can't confirm that you take it were that you are waiting for the results from some health tests and that you don't have time to get a visa. Well, it should make clear that the main reason for not giving an answer yet are the tests, and not the visa.

    Bad: "I would go but I don't have a visa yet, and I'm waiting for the results of some health tests."
    Better:"If the results from my health test are good i could go, then we would still need a visa. Do you think that would still be possible?"

    In the first case the reasons are enumerated, while in the second the main concern is put first and as a condition for the second to even matter. Otherwise the company might make to effort to get you a visa, and I would have to reject it because the primary problem was not cleared. This would give a bad impression, and probably they wouldn't call you next time. Had you made clear which was the primary objection then you wouldn't have gotten into the trouble.

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