Volume 37, Issue 9, September 2002
The Simple Pleasure of Knowing You Were Right
by Dez Farnady
While raising four children I have had many opportunities for them to acknowledge that I had been right about a certain thing or another. However, this was rarely (if ever) done. Your children are long grown and out of the house before they ever admit that, just maybe a couple of times along the road, the old man may have been right. I received a small reward recently when my youngest daughter, who is now over 20 years old, was overheard to say, “Darn it! I hate it when he is right !”
The shortest road to humility is matrimony, because there is always a witness who, while she may say she is on your side, will be the first to remind you not only of when you were wrong but also of the general error of your ways. “A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country.” So, to be right and be recognized for your wisdom, that is indeed a rare treat.
The little pleasures that come when seeing the evidence that proves you were right, without acknowledgment are private ones. Unfortunately it cannot be shared even with the nearest and dearest because they are duty-bound to look for the flaws if only to keep you from getting too cocky.
Well, I like being right. I am sure I am not the only one, but we know-it-alls have to be careful because we are being watched.
Seeing the Lite
The most frequent reminder I have of being right provides only a small personal pleasure because no one else knows or cares. I am a member of a local health club—no cracks, please. The owner of the club is an old acquaintance and during the recent major remodeling I had the occasion to speak with him and the job superintendent about their glass needs. I warned them about a potential heat- gain problem in the lobby and made some suggestions. They thanked me politely and assured me they had everything under control.
They constructed the two-story, entry lobby with full-height, clear glass walls on two sides. Unfortunately, the two sides are east and west. From sun-up till noon the sun blasts in from the east and from 2 p.m. to sundown it blasts in from the west. For six months out of the year the lobby has the air conditioning going full-blast and the upstairs corridor is still a hundred degrees and in the lobby below they could fry eggs.
But what the hell did I know? My initial samples and suggestions were rebuffed and I was not prepared to provide anymore free advice. Now I laugh to myself when I go through the lobby entrance.
They were miserable with the heat for nearly a year before they gave up and had to do something. So they had all of the glass filmed with a bronze tint. The glass plus the tinting cost twice what the evergreen or solar-green glass would have been. Of course, the tint is too light so it still does not work nearly as well as the green glass would have. But that is only part of the joke. The other part is that the film does not take the traffic well. All the door and side lite glass looks like hell because all of the film is scratched from the daily traffic. Every scratch is permanent and uncleanable. The only solution will be to strip the film, re-do it and pay for it again. The project superintendent is long gone and the owner is an absentee collector of money so he is never there anyway. No one but me knows how badly they screwed up and that I told them so.
I am fortunate enough to be able to say that along with the times I have heard, “what the hell were you thinking?” there have been many more opportunities for me to say “I told you so.” And even when there are no witnesses, I still like being right.
And if you think for one moment that I did not get an earful about this cocky article you are greatly mistaken. She even threatened to take my drum away if I did not stop beating on it. See, right again.
Dez Farnady serves as general manager of Royalite Manufacturing Inc., a skylight manufacturer in San Carlos, Calif. His column appears monthly.
© Copyright Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.