The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Expert Advice When Nobody Asked

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

Augut 6, 2008

It seems like we all have been there, .....put in charge of a situation, and all at once, you have someone or several someones coming up to you with their "expert advice," even though you didn't ask for it, and even though they don't want to do the job you're doing.

I bet every public servant can relate to this one, and it can even go as far as the person in your home that has been put in charge of fixing the evening meals.

I can remember one lady in particular who was a guest at Christmas sitting at my kitchen bar watching me prepare our annual feast. (Although she came each year, she never offered any food or any help). I was hustling to get everything ready as she nibbled on the goodies. As I poured a flour/milk mixture into the broth to thicken the gravy, she gruffly shouted, "Now you've ruined it! Why did you do that?" She was really mad because she liked her gravy with water and cornstarch. I wanted to throw the ungrateful guest out, but I just kept stirring.

Making gravy is a small thing and there are a lot of ways of preparing it that may seem strange to the next guy who is sitting back with nothing better to do than criticize your method of preparing a meal.

The same way it is in every organization or job, such as flood control. For the most part, I have heard nothing but positives, but once in a while you hear some loud complaints and questions. I think one fellow said it best as we stood along the flooded Carman blacktop when General Walsh came to view the breach.

"In my way of thinking, if they aren't out here helping, then they don't have any right to complain."

I think that is what ticked me off the most about this guest who never helped during a meal. If she had brought some food, or helped with the table or the dishes, or in some way, a critical note might have been a little easier to take.

We all must be a little more tolerate when someone else is doing all the work, and even when we are helping, we need to understand there is more than one way to do it and the end result could end up as good, if not better than your way.