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GNO
05-02-2009, 03:55 PM
did you ever catch someone ''[informing/instructing someone'',and they ''know what they are talking about!!!! I watched A guy sell a young man a compound bow,good price, fair deal,but!!! he's telling the guy the sighting pins are for screwing into the front of the arrows!!!!!!!!! I thought about saying something but the guy is whife's distant relation [:( !!!! walked away but could have cried]!!!!

Carld
05-02-2009, 05:36 PM
If I knew the salesman I would pull him aside and inform him of the mistake he made in a kind way.

Astronowanabe
05-02-2009, 05:55 PM
Much the the chagrin of my wife
I do interject myself into others conversations
and as far as I can tell the results are more positive than negative.

Usually (I know from experience) you can't just start out with
"that is stupid" even if that is what it is.
Sometimes you can put yourself in a position of authority
and just straighten things out and everybody is happy.

But a more side long approach of showing interest asking a few
questions and then getting around to
... I heard that ... or ... someone told me ...
will give the person feeding the misinformation room to maneuver
out of the way. Most of the time as long as you are not being an ass or making them look like an ass (directly) it goes pretty well.

Lew Hartswick
05-02-2009, 06:01 PM
The older you get the easier it is to "walk away" from it.
It's just like reading a series of posts here on an electrical subject
loaded with mis-leading or false info and as an electrical engineer
ignoring it. I quit even reading such a few years ago. If a peson
"hasen't a clue" about some subject he also hasen't any idea who
to believe so it dosen't pay to spend the time trying to "educate"
him with all the BS supplied by the "blithering idiots" that think they
are "Gods gift to the internet".
...lew...
{edit} Astronowanabe I don't suffer fools or asses, period.

nheng
05-02-2009, 06:29 PM
Astro, You're not alone, much to the chagrin of my family as well although they now know how to disappear quickly :)

My favorite is listening to a computer sales pitch at a Best Buy, Circuit City (now gone), Staples, etc. I have gently approached a number of such customers as they finished (without purchase), asked them what they wanted to do with the machine, and then described what sort of machine would work well for them, at generally about half the price. Running into some of them months later, they were delighted with what they bought. Likewise (and even worse info being given) for software. I have interrupted salesmen when what they were saying to the customer was utter nonsense.

Lew, I know where you're coming from. We have one somewhat older (ex-military) entry level engineering tech. Great guy but the first time he touches something with a meter or scope, he becomes emboldened to explain the circuit theory to others, even suggesting changes to "improve" operation ... all the while being clueless about the basic principles that made it work in the first place.

Den

Frank Ford
05-02-2009, 07:29 PM
You haven't lived until you see your own well-intentioned employees give out ridiculous answers to technical questions an hour after you lecture them on the importance of handing off to more knowledgeable sales staff.

Some sales people are insecure enough they feel the need to prove themselves, and get into trouble trying to swim in the deep water.

Some simply don't know what they don't know, and of course some are as incurious as certain infamous politicians so they just repeat their mistakes without learning anything.

Some hate their jobs and are on autopilot.

Rustybolt
05-02-2009, 07:49 PM
If they knew what they were talking about, they wouldn't be behind the counter.

GNO
05-02-2009, 09:20 PM
this happened to be a garage sale,his [territory] across the street from his house,and ?, maybe his property,?? or his family's!!

Liger Zero
05-02-2009, 09:24 PM
This has cost me my job a few times, but hey... it takes 30 seconds to look something up and learn something new. But noooooo! Better to hide behind 40 years of ignorance and seniority than to learn something new.

Ah well. The fellow who knows everything has nothing to learn, and I pity him. :)

38_Cal
05-02-2009, 09:33 PM
After a year and a half on the street, I still get calls from former customers to tell me that they wished I was back at my former employer...and to ask me things that my former co-workers should know but don't! Makes me feel good but doesn't put beans rice & tortillas on the table.

David
Montezuma, IA
(Getting closer to the gunsmith shop being opened!)

Evan
05-02-2009, 09:55 PM
Most people have a pretty good BS detector even if they have no knowledge of the subject. When someone who is supposedly explaining how something works or why it is better blah blah and they have no actual knowledge most people can tell that what they are hearing is suspect, at the least.

This especially applies to women when buying computers. Women tend to be the decision makers and the negotiators when buying a computer and they are usually better at detecting BS than men. Women aren't afraid of admitting they don't know something and will ask for an explanation. The sale person had better have their facts straight at that point. A man will often just stand there and nod knowingly even if he doesn't have a clue while a women will immediately switch into "we will think about it" mode if she detects the smallest whiff of bafflegab from the sales rep.

I will still step in if I hear a sales rep dispensing total nonsense especially if that nonsense will have a negative impact on the customer and their buying decision.

One small bit of advice for Liger and others, when you are taking command of a conversation speak slowly and take your breaths at the end of articles, adjectives and adverbs instead of at the end of verbs or nouns. People won't interrupt if you take a breath pause after the word "the" for instance.

example: "So, he opened the <breath> door and saw the enormous <breath> ...". This won't be interrupted.

If you speak it this way: "So he opened the door <breath>" INTERRUPT

Speaking slowly makes people listen to what you are saying and makes you sound more authoritative, knowledgeable and sure of yourself. They will be less likely to dispute or question what you say.

sansbury
05-03-2009, 02:35 PM
On the flip side, there is a great old book named "Lifemanship" (IIRC) by Stephen Potter, which is full of ways to sound authoritative on subjects you know nothing about. My favorite is that anytime you hear someone going on about foreign affairs, you can always interject, "Yes, but not in the south," and throw them right off their horse.

Your Old Dog
05-04-2009, 07:00 AM
My dad and I were following a car going down the street sideways a long time ago. There was a big price sticker on the passenger side of the windshield. My dad pulled up next to the guy at a red light and asked him if he knew he was going down the road sideways. The guy thanked my dad and then looked at the guy sitting next to him, presumably the salesman!

J Tiers
05-04-2009, 08:54 AM
One big clue CAN be the complexity of the explanation. Folks who KNOW usually can make it reasonably simple instantly. Folks who do NOT know , or are not secure in their knowledge, will usually give complex explanations.

This is not a 100% guide...... but is a useful input.


I stay out of it, unless there is dangerous misinformation, or a chance for someone actually getting cheated severely. Like the guy who was selling a "variac" at a flea market, and was pitching it to someone to run model trains with......... off 120V. A bad idea 2 ways, and no, it was NOT the isolated type, which DO exist , but are rare.

lazlo
05-04-2009, 09:10 AM
One big clue CAN be the complexity of the explanation. Folks who KNOW usually can make it reasonably simple instantly. Folks who do NOT know , or are not secure in their knowledge, will usually give complex explanations.

That's a great litmus test Jerry, and applies well to Internet Forums too ;)

pcarpenter
05-04-2009, 12:41 PM
I would hate to apply that litmus test to this forum....

Often, folks here are soliciting advice on how to do something. Leave out some important information in the name of brevity and they could end up making a mess out of something or worse yet, hurt.

I work with someone who does that. You get a one sentence answer on how to do something, only to find out that there were some critical details. You mention those and the guy goes "oh yeah, you gotta do it that way". Why did I bother asking for his help if his answer was only going to include one of 4 critical points? Why did he pick that one part to tell you while carefully selecting the other 3 to leave out?

To me, if you don't want a technical answer, don't ask a techincal question. Corrolary: Simple questions do not guarantee simple answers.

On the flip side, I do see the point that folks who are really familiar with something can generally explain it better than those who are not.

Paul

madman
05-04-2009, 04:55 PM
I spent some time with salesmen trying to sell me there German line of walther inserts promising to come to my sghop to see what i was doing machining. well i never had any type of positive activity EVER IN 30 PLUS years form 99 percent of these lazy uneducated Morons. So i guess you know how i feel about people who know **** about anything and just want your money for doing nothing? I hope this recession weeeds them out and they move onwards. Just MY opinion.

saltmine
05-04-2009, 05:17 PM
Yeah, people who profess to "know-it-all" make it tough on people who do.

I can't count the number of times I've had conversations with people who have incorrect information, and treat it as Gospel...God help us.

My car holds a little over four quarts of oil. I took it in to have it serviced. The kid doing the lube work started putting the oil in. I stopped him. "How much oil are you putting in my engine?" I asked. "Five quarts." was his reply.
"But it only takes four" I said. You could see his attitude go into high gear...
" Alla dese cars hold five quarts!" He said. "Let me talk to your manager." I said. After explaining that the car takes a little over four quarts, and adding the fifth quart causes it to start leaking, plus it foams up the oil if there's too much put in, the manager told the kid to leave it at four quarts. He was quick to tell me, "If you check it later, and it's low...Bring it back and we'll add the extra quart...free." Oh great, now they were going to charge me for a quart of oil I never got...Needless to say, I never returned to that particular service shop.
Funny, I've been driving that car for five years without that "extra quart" and it runs perfectly, and doesn't leak a bit.

You're right Madman. Nothing like a recession to "weed out" the incompetents.
I went by that lube place yesterday, and the place looks like it's abandoned.

Weston Bye
05-04-2009, 08:14 PM
To me, if you don't want a technical answer, don't ask a techincal question. Corrolary: Simple questions do not guarantee simple answers.

Paul


Do you want the simple but misleading answer, or the one you won't understand? -Dilbert

I have this posted conspicuously in my office at work.

gregl
05-04-2009, 10:25 PM
My car holds a little over four quarts of oil. I took it in to have it serviced. The kid doing the lube work started putting the oil in. I stopped him. "How much oil are you putting in my engine?" I asked. ....


I've had the same experience. I drive an F250 Powerstroke. It takes 14 quarts. But there is an oil galley in the top of the engine that fills with oil when running. You are supposed to let it sit for 20 minutes before checking the oil. But the nimrods at the oil changers want to start the engine and then top it off. Wrong, wrong, wrong. They actually wrote on the work order that the customer would not let them top off.

Now I usually do my own oil changes, even though it is a Royal P.I.A.


Another beef is when you pick up a product, take it to the "associate," (when I worked in a store, we were clerks) and you ask a question about the product. The dolt then takes it from your hand and proceeds to read the info on the package. If the package had the answer, I wouldn't be asking you!!

bollie7
05-04-2009, 11:07 PM
What gets me going is when people blindly forward on, to everyone in their address book, the latest internet hoax, etc, without taking a minute to check and see if its legit or not.
The latest one's here in Aus are the hotelicopter ( as if) and the one (on its 2nd outing) about how Mars will be so close to Earth that it will look the same size as the moon, DUH.
Must be true , its on the internet. LOL

bollie7

J Tiers
05-04-2009, 11:11 PM
I would hate to apply that litmus test to this forum....

Often, folks here are soliciting advice on how to do something. Leave out some important information in the name of brevity and they could end up making a mess out of something or worse yet, hurt.

I work with someone who does that. You get a one sentence answer on how to do something, only to find out that there were some critical details. You mention those and the guy goes "oh yeah, you gotta do it that way". Why did I bother asking for his help if his answer was only going to include one of 4 critical points? Why did he pick that one part to tell you while carefully selecting the other 3 to leave out?

To me, if you don't want a technical answer, don't ask a techincal question. Corrolary: Simple questions do not guarantee simple answers.

On the flip side, I do see the point that folks who are really familiar with something can generally explain it better than those who are not.

Paul

You have totally misunderstood...... But good catch with that last line......

I do not refer to "short" explanations, but to very CLEAR explanations...which are suited to the audience. With a very clear "I am simplifying this" as part of it if necessary.

This is because a person who has internalized and completely wrapped their mind around a subject is able to suit the explanation to the audience without losing the level of information they want.

Someone who understands the subject of a question here will give an answer which gives the needed info, not just part of it.

It isn't the number of words used, it is what they convey, and how.