BIMBeing: The Journey #26
#26 – Assumed interest…
Photo by Negative Space from Pexels
In my very first post I raised the topic of Assumed Knowledge, an issue that I feel plagues the industry now and will unfortunately continue to do so forevermore. If you missed it, check out Post #1.
Today’s topic is far less harmful to our industry, but it’s definitely just as common; Assumed Interest. I’m certain that anybody with any sort of technical role to play in our industry has some level of culpability in this department, especially if you’re in BIM, IT or anything with a hint of ‘digital’; you’re all undoubtedly guilt stricken right now. Most of us simply cannot deny being easily excited by our work and continuously unable to contain said excitement, leaving us desperate to share it with others. It’s a mild illness that affects many.
Assumed Interest, phrase; An unfounded and often fictitious assumption that the individual(s) you are speaking to are as equally engrossed, excited and/or amused by a particular topic, discovery or result as you are. Usually prevalent when discussing topics in overly specific, trivial and/or technical detail with an excessive use of acronyms and/or code that is often perceived by others as uninterpretable, useless jargon.
Signs and Symptoms
The following are signs and symptoms of either; those that are prone to assume the interest of others or situations in which an incorrect assumption is being made.
- You are at a high risk of assuming the interest of others should you find yourself easily excited by technical detail, particularly where it concerns documents and standards, software coding or any digital platform. Refer also to nerd, geek and BIM team (post #20).
- You are at an equally high risk of assuming the interest of others should you often use endless acronyms in general conversation, particularly where the use of said acronyms completely distorts the meaning of any given sentence. Refer also to nerd, geek and BIM team (post #20).
- You have made an incorrect assumption of an individual’s interest if you are experiencing minimal response or interaction. This may include, but is not limited to, the following: gentle but continuous ‘nodding’, repeated low-level grunting or systematic use of the word ‘yes’ for no apparent reason.
- You have incorrectly assumed an individual’s interest and ignored all previous warning signs should you start to see glazed-eyes, watch checking, injury faking and/or actual fainting of the recipient. At this stage the risk to life is severe and you should almost certainly end your conversation immediately, for the safety of others.
Although there are currently no official methods of diagnosis for Assumed Interest, there are two options to unofficially declare yourself as infected:
- Ask those around you, you will immediately find out if you have been assuming their interest in any current or previous conversation. Responses may be completely honest, subtle denial or laughing; any of these will provide a good indication of your condition.
- Self-diagnose. Sit back for just a few moments and consider some of your recent topics of conversation and the reactions of any recipient. At this point, you’ll know, it’s that simple.
There is a stethoscope pictured at the top of this post. Rest assured that this tool is nothing short of completely useless for diagnosing your condition.
The following may assist in reducing the signs, symptoms and overall impact of your illness to others. Unfortunately, reducing or containing any interest or excitement is simply not an option and therefore other preventative measure are required. Failure to express your interest or excitement may cause severe headaches, violent shaking or actual neurological implosion.
- Know your audience. Should the individual(s) you are speaking to work in the same field as you they will likely share a similar level of interest and/or excitement in a topical conversation – the risks are therefore minimal. Those outside of the industry are unlikely to share any level of interest in such conversation, including; colleagues from other departments, friends, family (highest risk group) or strangers on the bus. These groups of people will rapidly display the symptoms noted above.
- Share the burden with the many, not the few. In order to sufficiently vent your excitement over any particular triumph you should aim to discuss small parts of the achievement with as may people as possible. Keeping each conversation short and light spreads the risk, greatly reducing the impact on each individual.
- Speak to yourself, aloud. This will enable you to vent your interest or excitement whilst omitting the risk of any impact on others (providing you are in seclusion). Refer also to Lunatic.
- Look out for the signs and symptoms. Should any of the previously listed symptoms become apparent in those you are conversing with you must swiftly draw the conversation to a close. Stop talking immediately. Failure to do so may cause awkward avoidance of future encounters, including said individual snooping around corners, running in the opposite direction or hiding under a desk when approached.
- Should you ignore all prior warnings and cause an individual to faint, I’m sorry, but you are too late – you have quite literally bored a person to death. Learn from this mistake to prevent the unnecessary future suffering of others.
Treatment and Cure
There are no known cures for assumed interest. Although preventative measures can and should be taken (see Prevention, above), you unfortunately cannot be cured or treated for an indescribable excitement for technical detail and the desire to share it with anybody that will listen.
Does all of this sound familiar? You’re likely to know many individuals that this applies to and/or you are personally, and tragically, infected by this incurable illness. Don’t shy away from it, embrace thy inner nerd (Post #20), just try not to harm others in the process.