Who benefits from nonsensical advice?

9 Nov

Twice in the last week I’ve encountered strangers offering advice… that seems to serve no useful purpose. Perhaps you can offer comments to help me make sense of the motivation if I share the experiences with you?

1. An overzealous student from one of my project management classes called me to tell me that his company had chosen another instructor from my company to teach their classes (he is not involved with the decision) and belabored the fact that the chosen instructor was male and an excellent instructor (as am I). After a few minutes of listening to his meandering comments, I asked him what could I do about the situation ( a corporate preference for another instructor) and he had no answer.  I thanked him for his “insights” and told him that I was terminating the call because there was no point to the conversation.  Aside from knowing that this person had a personal interest to talk to me, I do not understand the motivation to tell me something I already knew and can do nothing to change.  What do you think?

2. Aboard a United airlines flight home today, I asked for a tomato juice, and received a surprising response from the flight attendant. He said “Are you serious?  Do you know how much sodium is in tomato juice? I had a passenger have a heart attack after drinking 3 tomato juices last week.”  I was taken aback and returned to my seat with the “poisonous” drink in hand.  Again, I don’t understand the motivation behind such a comment coming from a non-clinically trained stranger.

Do you think that more people are dispensing unsolicited advice today?  It sure seems like it to me. What’s been your experience?

Happy Tuesday.



2 Responses to “Who benefits from nonsensical advice?”

  1. Saad Abrar Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 4:47 am #

    Hello Carol

    Good to hear/read from you. Interesting points you make, well my theory is that since people are absorbing a lot of information these days (media, internet etc) they do have to pass on all this information to other people (otherwise their heads will grow very large to store all that information without using it 🙂 ), hence the habbit of passing on advice/information, come to think about it, this is precisely why fields like data mining are comming into the focus these days, to find out “valuable information” only out of an “information dump” .

    take Care



    • Carol Dekkers Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 9:49 am #

      Saad, good points! Thanks for commenting. Carol


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