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Thinking Out Loud

Judging People By First Impressions

I learned a valuable lesson today.
Changing my morning routine to catch a later bus than usual, I dawdled in my preparation which meant the bus actually passed me as I was walking to the bus stop. Its a small community so the bus drivers do know most of the regular passengers and their routines. I was pleasantly surprised to see the bus waiting for me until I reached the bus stop but even more surprised when I saw the driver.
There are half a dozen regular drivers on this route. I always speak to them and thank them at the end of the journey with varied reactions from them. The reactions and their driving style has me place them in certain categories ….in other words I make a judgement of their character based on these limited interactions.
This morning’s driver, the one who waited patiently for me to get to the bus, is one I had categorised in the lower end of the pleasant scale. He never acknowledges my greetings or thanks and drives too fast for my comfort.
How often do we judge another person or situation based on extremely limited data?
This morning I learned my lesson. Here was an individual who does his job in a certain way but given a situation out of the normal course of events, showed another characteristic I had not given him credit for. He is still a very uncommunicative person but that is not how I should judge him…and I wont from now on.

Perhaps there is some truth to the adage of “giving the benefit of the doubt” in these situations.