The (New) Golden Rule: If It Seems Wrong, It Probably Is

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Nine days ago I installed a plug-in to this site to help keep nonhumans from commenting. Rarely do humans spam, so the result should have been to reduce comment spam.

Apparently, this plug-in is not well versed in identifying humans. So for eight days no comments AT ALL were allowed.

Rewind 9 days

I had a huge peak in traffic for my first video post. There was a nice continuation of that with an audio post and a guest post. More traffic means more possibilities for comments. The result of which should be actual real-live comments.

But there were no comments for eight days.

The famous Tammy, who turned 40 yesterday, emailed me personally to tell me that she tried to make a comment – twice.

Because I am an open-minded and accepting person, I had assumed that the traffic spike consisted of people who were shy and weren’t inclined to comment. I waited until a friend spoke up to learn what was going on!

I should’ve followed the golden rule of blogging:

If it seems wrong, it probably is.

This applies to life as well.

If no one calls you for three days, do you assume your popularity has waned? Maybe your friends simultaneously got too busy to talk to you? Do you wait until someone at the office says, “I tried calling you all night. The toilet in the office above us exploded. Water and turds are falling all over your desk!”

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If people on the freeway keep honking at you when you try to change lanes, do you assume it’s asshole day? Do you wait until you’re in a caravan to Las Vegas when your friend asks you, “Are you pulling our chain? Every time we moved to the right lane you blink to the left!”

If you throw a party and no one shows up do you assume that people have been making fun of you for years? Maybe they have decided you’re not worthy of their friendship? Do you wait until you read online that your web-based invitation service sent out all invites in Swahili?


If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and tastes like a duck, well, it probably is a duck.

Don’t just sit around making assumptions. If it seems wrong, it probably is.

Tell us your stories in the comments. (This part actually works now!)

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6 Responses to The (New) Golden Rule: If It Seems Wrong, It Probably Is
  1. Jodi Kaplan
    October 22, 2010 | 7:16 am

    Another story about assumptions:

    Long ago, I was chatting with a lawyer who told me the following story. She was in a meeting with some clients from Japan. They were speaking Japanese and saying some rather rude things – because they assumed she (a black American woman) wouldn’t understand. Thing is, she’d studied Japanese, had lived in Japan, and understood them perfectly.

    • Idearella
      October 24, 2010 | 9:45 pm

      And you leave us hanging? What happened? Did she tell them? Did she cleverly say in Japanese, “Wow, it is nice that I found that out before we went too far…”?

      It’s a great story, indeed. I just want to know how bad she socked it to them.

      Thanks for sharing it, Jodi!

  2. call HART crazy
    October 22, 2010 | 11:30 am

    Hey! Your comments aren’t working still!! I’ve been trying about 10 times now!!

    okay … don’t panic – I was just kidding! 😀 If you can see this it has worked on the first time. I related my story already in PBC but just wanted to come test and agree that Golden Rules are always good!

    … way better than Silver Rules and those Bronze Rules.

    • Idearella
      October 24, 2010 | 9:47 pm

      Thanks Hart! You are crazy. 😉

      Funny thing – I almost called it a silver rule! Just didn’t have the same ring. So golden it is!

      And I did check with an alias that it was working before writing this. What a disaster, eh?

      And now I’m responding to all comments within the blog (not the admin panel) just so I can keep experiencing what everyone does.

  3. Jonathan Manor
    October 23, 2010 | 12:48 am

    So true. There’s always so many excuses that we try to find to dodge the obvious explanation because then we’d be wrong. I have so many of these moments, and so many work-arounds, but the truth most of the time is sitting right in front of you, smiling at how long it takes you to realize you’ve already failed.

    “Nothing’s sucks more than that moment in an argument when you suddenly realize that you’re wrong.”

    • Idearella
      October 24, 2010 | 9:49 pm

      Thanks, Jonathan.

      Kind of like finding the one item you’ve been looking for, huh? It’s always in the last place you looked.

      Well, I always look in one more place just in case. Plus, then I can say, “It was in the 2nd to last place I looked.”

      Sometimes people do a double take. Often they don’t notice. Makes me realize how many people actually ignore me while looking into my eyes.

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