Wednesday, July 31, 2013


so a news story got me thinking of what i call 'scales.'

you may call them something different, but i'm betting we're all familiar
with them.

i've even named mine before after the person they get used on.

for example - you know someone named sam.
sam's a fine enough person, but a bit of a social dweeb.
doesn't know when to leave, doesn't know when to pitch in,
doesn't know when to express appreciation.
that kinda thing.

sam comes over one day, eats dinner, puts his dish in the sink, doesn't do anyone else's,
but actually manages to put his in the sink, maybe even washes it, and for the first time ever,
thanks you for the dinner saying it was delicious and he appreciates it, then sits down again
and doesn't move.

someone later asks you how it went with sam.
you say 'wow, sam was incredible.'
and they say 'incredible? incredible for anyone or incredible for sam?'

oh. definitely for sam.

there's a sam scale.
what sam did was the minimum that anyone else would do,
but for sam, it was amazing because he never did that before.

the sam scale.

sound familiar?

so i read a news story, and rolled my eyes.
there was definitely a different scale for this person.
they did something that was getting praised.
what they did was the minimum of minimum, but it was unusual, so it was taken as great.
if my girlfriend did the same thing, which she has a million times,
i wouldn't think twice about it.
but this guy had a different scale.

i brought this up over dinner with my guy.
he didn't blink and instead of saying scales he said 'expectations'

i stopped chewing and thought about that.
'you think it's the same thing?' i asked.

yep, he did.

and then he went on to show me how we all had different expectations with
different people. he pointed out how i wouldn't go to this one and expect the
same kinda conversation i had with this one here. if this one treated me the
same way as this one over there, i'd never go visit her again, but it's okay
coming from that one. that kinda thing.

hmmmm....this got me thinking.

i'm still not completely convinced they're the same thing.
but then again....they absolutely could be.
it's close enough that i'm not sure i care.
i think what i care about is the idea that i'm lookin' at each different person
with different scales/expectations.

we talked about that for a bit and how that limited our truly seeing.
cause we kinda go in with a view already. we go in expecting certain things.
when you do that, you put on filters.

not sure what to do with that.
but i'm gonna start by looking at the different scales i have all around me.
and maybe figure out why they're different and if i'm okay with that......

i knew i used scales for some people.
i don't think i ever stopped to see i use them for everyone.
maybe it's something you have to do to interact.
maybe it's a necessary thing.
but then, i should at least know i do this.
and i'm thinking kinda keeping an eye on them would be a good idea.

should be an interesting day ahead...


Diane in AR said...

You're so right - we do use specific scales for specific persons and Bob's right too - it is also about expectations - we're shocked when a slacker does more than we expected they'd do. . .but that really shouldn't be seen as overwhelmingly awesome. . .something to think about for sure - thanks Ter for keeping my mind going, guiding me to think beyond my box. . .

Merry ME said...

You mean scales as in 1-10, right?
For most of this post I was thinking of scales like on a fish or lizard!

terri st. cloud said...

you made me laugh, mar...yeah...those kinda scales! :) and thanks diane.....