Sunday, July 10, 2005

The consequences of assuming the obvious

So my new student champion of unnecessary complications called a couple minutes ago. I knew where this was going before he started talking.

I received a phone call last night around 9:30. I wasn't able to answer because I live in a basement, and don't get very good reception down there. But I checked the message this morning. We had had a discussion of airplane headsets yesterday, mainly addressing the following key points:

  • Flying an airplane will require a headset.
  • A headset consists of earpieces, a microphone, plugs, and sometimes automatic noise reduction capabilities.
  • All of those first three components are necessary.
  • An airplane headset can be purchased either through me, or some other aviation store, such as Sporty's.

I showed him the options. I had two headsets handy, and I told him he could either buy one of those or I would give him a catalogue which would show him the other possibilities. I did not feel it necessary to explain much of anything further. Perhaps next time, I will rethink that stance.

So when I finished listening to the message this morning, I began to shake my head. He had gone to Circuit City and bought a headset. Personally, I am ambivalent about Circuit City. Sometimes they might have what I want, sometimes they don't. But I am willing to guarantee that they have never stocked any items that are aviation-specific. I knew that our next conversation would include explanation of things that I had thought were obvious. (Hint: if the comparative prices are vastly different, there may be a functional difference also).

Since he had already flown with me twice, both times using my spare personal set, I mistakenly assumed that he might either 1) ask if the headset plugs were specific to airplanes (they are), or 2) notice what the plugs look like and how many of them there are. My fault for assuming too much.

Since the purchase had already been made, I figured there was no point in calling him back right that moment to explain. It would wait until this afternoon, when we were scheduled to meet. Then, just a few minutes ago, he called. He immediately commented that he just now noticed that the headset does not, in fact, have a microphone. Personally, I might have checked for that before purchasing. I took that moment to explain why I had not listed Circuit City as an option for headset shopping.

So this afternoon, when we meet, I will go back to explaining what his options are, but express additionally, that those are the only options. Somehow, I imagine I will have similar conversations with him in the future.


At 8:26 AM, Blogger adr said...

So do the complicated students receive a badge, certificate, duncehat, or some other physical manifestation of their hard-won title?

At 3:30 PM, Blogger also-known-as said...

It will likely be set up as a deathmatch, saving me the trouble of giving out a plaque.


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