Saturday, February 16, 2013

OPINION: Jumping To Conclusions

"It's been 2 weeks and I haven't received my card....I'm sure the guy has no intention of sending it."

"I can't believe how much this guy has his cards listed for....he's holding them hostage."

"I haven't heard from this guy in a month....obviously he's ignoring me".

"This guy is asking for a refund on a damaged card....I doubt it's damaged."

With the world of online purchasing, ebay and "faceless" trading, the card collecting hobby has experienced a huge transformation over the past 10-15 years.

Gone are the days of only being able to trade or buy cards in person.  Now, many of us pick up a lot of items without ever knowing who they are coming from.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, but can definitely lead to a person jumping to conclusions.

The online hobby world creates forced level of trust.  If I buy something from a guy in Toronto or Florida or Sweden, I am forced to trust that the person on the other end of the transaction will do their best to make sure the exchange happens as smooth as possible.

Unfortunately....that doesn't always happen.  (Believe me - I know).

But I feel that there are two ways to handle situations like this.  One is to try and work with the other party in hopes of coming to an agreed solution.  Sometimes it's just a matter of patience while waiting for a bubble mailer to arrive.  Other times it involves modifying the deal to compensate for the bump in the road.

In any instance though I think that two things are paramount....

1. Try to maintain honest and open communication.  Being respectful and listening to the other person while presenting your side of the situation.  Putting all the cards on the table is key.

2. Don't jump to conclusions.  While there are people out there who have the agenda of ripping people off, there are way more - WAY MORE good, honest collectors out there.  To take the brush and paint them as one thing or another isn't fair until you have all the details.

It's frustrating when I see people jump to conclusions.  Building the stories in their head.  And while it might make sense to them (and who could be true), to brand a person as a "liar", "thief", "rip-off artist" (you get my drift) without first getting all the facts is just unethical.

I can appreciate that people get frustrated when things don't go the way they expect, but I can only think of two things when that happens.  Either you had unrealistic expectations to begin with or you didn't think of that specific scenario ahead of time.  Being able to take that frustration and turning it into positive energy often times makes the difficult situation much more tolerable.

Not everybody is wired the same way.  You have to respect that.

Not everybody has the same hobby habits as you.  You have to respect that.

Not everybody is out to "get you".

Jumping to conclusions does nothing but magnify and intensify the situation...and quite often in a negative way.  It serves no purpose.

And it's one thing to jump to a conclusion in your head.  I think we all do that.  When things go bad, we flip through the various scenarios. But it's another to take the time to sit in front of the computer, type these conclusions out and hit "send".

That can create a slippery slope.  Putting a label on a person who might be innocent of the accusation is just flat out not cool.

I think what's most frustrating about jumping to conclusions is that people gravitate towards these situations.  Heck, I'll admit I'm guilty of it myself.  It's like a car wreck or a police bust....we all slow down and take a look.  In addition to putting the spotlight on one more "negative" in this hobby, it can lead to even more people jumping to conclusions.

Sorry for putting the spotlight on it.  Now I'm going to think up a positive post.

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