Last night I got home and was immediately hit with “Can I borrow the car?” from the Senior Teenager In Residence (STIR). I really didn’t mind, as the only plans I had for the care was to run it through a car wash to get some of the winter grime off now that it is a bit warmer out (I can’t seem to get it out of the garage each morning without brushing up against grunge). “Sure, as long as you get it washed before you come home. I’ll even give you money.” A win-win solution, I thought, as he could drive to his basketball game, and I could stay home and focus on work while still getting the task accomplished.
Fast forward to this morning. I get dressed, grab my stuff, and have a happy mental moment of joy as I walk around my clean car in the garage, all ready for a full day. (Yes, folks, it’s
the simple things.) On time and ready for work. Right?
I glance down and notice the gas tank is below empty. Oh, for Pete’s sake. Didn’t he realize I wanted the car to be taken care of and ready to go for the morning? What’s wrong with this picture? Wouldn’t it be obvious that if there was no gas in the car, perhaps he should put some in?? Worse, he didn’t even tell me about it so that I could leave early to get gas on my way into work! Apparently, however, my obvious is not necessarily so obvious to the person on the other end of the conversation.
Then I thought about it. How often do I think I have communicated my assumptions in a conversation? Or worse, I haven’t really heard the message that someone else was trying to send me? I always thought I was good at reading between the lines, but you know what? Mind reading is not a strength of mine. Being clear and direct in your communications is key in getting things done, whether it’s in the workplace or in everyday life. Just because I’m used to checking the gas gauge doesn’t mean the new driver is. A good reminder for how I communicate with everyone throughout the day. So I drove to the closest gas station and filled the tank before heading the rest of the way into work.
Next time, I hope it’s Communication FTW! I’m just sayin’.