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Why You Can’t Talk To An Expert

March 8, 2019

My father is a professional concert conductor.

It must be great to attend concerts with him.

No, it’s terrible. He hates to go.

I like talking to people. I like to think I’m not too bad at it.The key to talking to people is to ask interesting questions and then just listen and let them talk. It’s a weird thing, but if you meet people and you let them talk, afterward, they will think you are a very smart person.

Honestly, everyone is an interesting person. Every personal has an interesting story. Everyone has a favorite movie, a favorite vacation, kids, pets, hobbies. Everyone has something they like to talk about.

But, there are some people that you just can’t talk to. There are some people that if you get them talking, it’s terrible. They won’t shut up. And talking constantly isn’t a bad thing. It’s the subject.

You cannot talk to an expert. Not unless you are also an expert.

I hope you enjoy the festivities. There’s talk of a blizzard.

Well, we may catch a break and that blizzard’s gonna blow right by us. All of this moisture coming up out of the south by midday is probably gonna push on to the east of us. And at high altitudes it’s gonna crystallize and give us what we call snow. Probably be some accumulation. But, here in Punxsutawney, our high’s gonn get up to about 30 today, teens tonight.Chance of precipitation, about 20% today, 20% tomorrow. . .Did you want to talk about the weather or were you just making chitchat?

-Groundhog Day

Experts are boring. Experts have their own language. And most experts love to talk about their expertise. My friend’s father really is a professional conductor. And she hates going with him to a concert. He cannot enjoy a concert. He is too busy critiquing the conductor.

John Williams is one of the most famous composers in Hollywood. He’s done the music for dozens of films. He’s the one who wrote the Star Wars “da-da-da dut-da-da dut-da-da.” John Williams has never watched one of the movies he wrote the music for. Johnny Depp has a similar aversion to seeing his work. Maybe it’s because they are professionals.

I’m an IT guy. I understand computers. I don’t know everything about computers. When I started 30 years ago, that was possible. But, having lived and breathed this industry for three decades, I have stories, and I have experience. The two often go together.

Hey, Doc, how are you doing? Haven’t seen you since high school.

Yeah, I’m consulting now. Doing IPv4 to IPv6 migrations.

Really? Are the two going to be able coexist? I mean can you have IPv6 addressed devices and IPv4 addressed devices on the same network?

You know what? Let’s just focus on the reunion.

Watch for it the next time you are talking to someone. Or better yet, when they hear other people talking. Pay attention to the experts. They can teach you a lot. But, only if they are not allowed to talk to each other.

Oh, and if you are an expert, realize that you need to be careful how you talk to people. Don’t be too smart.

The end

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2018 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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