Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Mind if I ASK?

Small incidents in life teach you lessons, and remind you of some that were constantly drilled onto you as a kid.

Remember how teachers always opened their study lessons with 'Students do not hesitate to ask'. However silly, however stupid the question. Ask! You will come to know a lot of things you did not. And they went on, that one should ask whenever in doubt. This was not restricted to studies but applied to every aspect in life.

All those lessons came bombarding into my head after the little experience I had yesterday. I live at Borivali and always take my railway pass from the station. I’ve taken it early in the morning on way to office or on my way back and never encountered the long queues. At Andheri station yesterday I went to issue my train pass. I then managed to locate the ‘Season Ticket Window’, which was in a secluded place away from the rest of the station, how convenient a location!

I saw three windows for season ticket issue and all had long queues. The window carried an instruction 'Queue for Ist Class and IInd Class'. As a sincere citizen I stood in the line. I ASSUMED that the queue was combined. I did not bother to ASK even though the doubt did creep into my mind. I waited for 20 odd minutes. Patiently without any complaints, wondering why can’t they have separate queues or separate windows for the same, it would save everyone a lot of time.

As my turn came I asked her for my monthly pass and said Ist class please. The issuer gave me a grin while the polite lady behind me says, 'Dear if you needed a first class you don’t need to wait in this long queue. There are separate queues she said pointing towards the very same instruction I had read. There is no one for the first class queue, you could’ve just come in, this one is only for the second class pass.' ( I thank her for the precious advice, I'll never forget it.)

I looked at her in surprise, and saw an amused look on the other passengers in the queue, all the eyes saying all you needed to do was ASK!

I hope I learn my lesson now! ASK and never ASSUME. It just helps you in little ways in life!

15 comments:

Gaurav said...

I faced an identical situation last year at Bandra. I stood in the queue....but then something inside me told me to "ask ask ask", so I asked the people around if there's a separate line for first class. And I was informed that i should go straight to the window. :)

Minal said...

Gaurav:
Ask and it Shall be Given! How could I forget the golden principle taught in school. And we had a song on it too! Never mind now, I've truly learnt my lesson:-))
Thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

As some great soul said in some great movie..

"Assumption, my dear friend, is the mother of all f**kups!" :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh i forgot to all my name...

Who else but..
Mangesh*

Tugga said...

Yeah I had a similar experience 3 years ago at Dadar station when I wanted to buy a "pass" to Ambernath. Luckily for me, I was only 2 mins into the wait when some dude who obviously knew more about these things than I did, went straight to the top of the line and asked for the season ticket. I almost shouted, but then some guy behind me explained, " Firsht cilass ka pass hoega". So since mujhe bhi firsht cilass ka hi pass lena tha.....

gawker said...

correction anonymous it goes : "Assume and you will make an ass out of Uma Thurman"

Minal said...

@Tugga a.k.a. Saurabh
I almost was going to do that when one eprson walked up, but i didn't give it that much a thought!
Guess everyone has been through this experience:-)

@Anon a.k.a Mangi: My dearfriend, I'm honoured to have ur comment;-)And I couldn't agree with u more;-)

Sujatha said...

Minal,

Thank you for popping in and leaving a comment. He is a cool kid.

Agree with you totally about not asking but assuming. My prof. in my MS class used to say, "never assume anything in my class. If you assume, you make an ass of u and me!"

Good advice, eh?

Michael Higgins said...

Hi Minal
Yes, sometimes you do need to ask.

But in school I remember one guy who kept asking the stupidest questions. I would just cringe. "Why doesn't he think before he asks," I would think. Once he said to me and some friends, "You know, the only stupid question is the one you don't ask." This was the one time in my life I had the perfect retort: "Yes, but you ask it anyway."

@mit said...

I fall into this over confidnet trap of not asking as well.... I have driven 200 miles in the wrong direction due to that one time :-(

Ash said...

When in doubt, always speak up.
Drilled into our heads by cane-wielding schoolmarms.

But a valuable lesson indeed !

I actually made the same mistake as you a few time, but soon wisened up...

arZan said...

Nice post

When it comes to things like the railway lines etc, my policy has always been to first find the shortcut out. Then pursue that. If it is something not allowed, the people will let you know in very LOUD terms. No problem if u look a fool, u anyways wont see the people again in your life....:):):)

Minal said...

@Gawker: Interesting observation;-)

@Sujatha: Excellent advice dear, how often we don't follow it:-)

@Michael: Your retort had me in splits, btw I hope the guy got it;-)

@ @mit: Ouch, a lot of fuel,money, energy and time down the drain?? We learn our lessons the hard way don't we:-)

@Ash: Ya we better wisen up fast, after all time and tide wait for no man/woman!

@Arzan: Nice idea, will try it the next time. Never gave that bit a thought!

All of you thanks for dropping by!:-)

Raghu said...

I just don't understand why people, even the wisest of them, do it often - not asking for things they don't know.

They think that you are stupid if you ask for something. I keep telling my friend, call up the person before calling on him, he won't budge. He goes there anyway and feels bitter that the person had left 5 minutes prior. I feel like laughin and telling him on the face and dancing like Grace singing, 'I told you so'. But then I refrain.

Hi Minal, nice blog. I saw you endorsing my comment on Megha's blog, so I dropped by your blog.

Come and visit my blog sometimes.

Bye,

Raghu.

Minal said...

@Raghu:
I think what prevents most of us from asking is the embarassment that might follow asking a stupid question:-)
But the wisest thing to do is "ASK"
Thanks for dropping by:-)