Posted by: thebylog | December 11, 2006

Verizon and Basic Math

This is funny. It’s a little long, but it’s a classic case of … what did we call it back in pre-engineering … unit analysis or something. Verizon doesn’t seem to get the difference between 0.002 cents and 0.002 dollars.

And this underlines something that I find troubling about some (not all) business-types that I’ve encountered: they seem to have this overarching sense of confidence and bravado that accompanies them all the time, even in the face of ignorance. This ignorance can be subtle (like trying to answer a question that they really don’t know the answer to) or obvious (like this Verizon episode), or they might even know what they’re talking about. It doesn’t matter, they present this same cocksure attitude regardless.

I mean, be confident, but be smart and humble enough to know when you don’t know what you’re talking about.



  1. Well, Byran, regarding sounding confident in the face of ignorance: one of the (relatively few) things that drives me crazy about your fine Uncle Paul is that he sounds utterly and completely sure of himself no matter what he’s talking about. I mean, I will grant that he knows a lot, but he will for example hold forth at a family get-together on what I am and am not including in my next book, sounding like he’s the resident expert, and I’m horrified because it’s simply not true. Meanwhile I can know more about a subject than anyone else in the room, and I still sound hesitant and questioning. No wonder our dog and lots of other people listen to him more than me.

  2. Perhaps we should all meet in the middle somewhere.

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