Wednesday, 4 September 2013

As a rough estimate, I'd say I don't have a clue

Woman in a swimsuit waving while standing on a large rock on a beach, probably Washington State

This person is between twelve and sixty.

Group of nurses, Base Hospital #45

 There are between six and thirty people in this photo.

It's somewhere between two and fifteen kilometres from home to where I'm working at the moment, the cereal left in the box will last another day or maybe a fortnight, and I absolutely certainly have enough clean smalls for the rest of the week unless I don't.  Don't ask me.  I have no idea.

I really suck at estimation.  Whether it's distance, time, volume, how old someone is, how many pancakes I'll get out of a bottle of batter or how far I can drive when the needle has almost but not quite reached the bottom of the 'empty' stripe on the fuel gauge, the only consistency in my educated guesses is that they're consistently wrong.

This can be a bit of a pain in everyday life.  Bags of rice are always full until one day they're suddenly and unexpectedly empty.  My undies drawer is the same.  So is the balance on my phone.  I'm still using the same prepaid account I've had since I got my first mobile at uni, because if I had a call-now-pay-later arrangement I'd be ruined because how do you know how big a bill you're racking up?  Probably the same way you know how long it takes to get to the shops, how much pasta to cook for four people or how far it is to Monto.  Estimation.

The problem, I think, is that if I ask my brain to make a call when it doesn't have enough information to make an accurate judgement, it just gives up, panics and replies with the first bullshit answer it pulls out of the air.

It doesn't help that I'm often not paying attention properly, either, because I've got so much crap going on in my head at any one time.  So, for instance, I just meander through breakfast on autopilot day after day, not noticing that the cereal's getting low until suddenly (not really) it's empty.

I'd better go and do some laundry.  I've been sitting here writing this for somewhere between ten minutes and three hours.


  1. Estimating is, I think, a sort of decision-making. Do you have any other decision making issues, I wonder?

    I can estimate confidently, but I have issues with big decisions--the kind where you should spend time diligently gathering information and seeking advice. I don't do the work, and then just go with the path of least resistance/last suggestion/whatever....

    1. Ha! Yes - I have HUGE problems with data inertia, where there's so much information and so many choices I just freeze. I tend to either go with something that 'feels' right, or pick something randomly, or do nothing and the choice ends up making itself for me. That usually doesn't end well for me, though!