“I told you so.” Arghhhhh!

WIFE:  “Do you think you should take your waterproof trousers?”

HUSBAND:  “Nah, don’t think it’s going to rain today.” (Who cares, even if it does, we’re going for a walk on Dartmoor, not about to make an assault on Mount Everest).

WIFE:  “What about a spare pair of socks?”

HUSBAND:  “Nah, can’t see me needing those today.” (Have you gone barking mad, woman?  You’ll be telling me I need to pack a first aid kit next.  This is a walk, not the Duke  of Edinburgh Award.)

DSCN0291Fast forward 2 hours.  The heavens open, and I am saturated from the feet upwards.  I have gone over my ankles into peat.  She gives me a look, but never says the words she is thinking, thank goodness.  The dreaded phrase “I told you so.”

I whip out my Blackberry to take a photo when the rain stops.  (I forgot the camera, of course.)  Charlotte sees me fumbling to put it back into my coat pocket.

WIFE:  “Have you still got your car keys?”

HUSBAND:  “Give me a break.  Of course.”

Never let it be said that I don’t listen.  I check for the keys (phew), and button up the pocket.  Leave the pocket undone on the other side with my Blackberry in it, I’ll be needing that again for more photos.

(Footnote:  the reason she asked me to check for my keys is that I once lost them on a beach.  All four of us had to scour the whole beach as the tide was coming in and the sun was going down.  We failed, and I had to get someone to take us home so I could break into the house with a crowbar.  Ahem.  Bit embarassing.)

After a stiff 40 minutes’ hike we get to our destination, an ancient and beautiful clapper bridge. Charlotte skips across it to the other side.  I start to fumble for the Blackberry.

Took this one last year.  In case you were wondering.

Took this one last year. In case you were wondering.

WIFE:  “What do you think of it?”


I get another one of those looks.  Same as before, but a bit more intense.  We retrace our steps. trying to work out which route we took through the granite boulders and peaty boggy ground.  We’re looking for a small black object against a background of leaves, peat, dark pools of peaty water.  The heavens open again.  We try ringing it from hers.  There is no signal, of course, we’re in the middle of Dartmoor National Park, durrr.

After twenty minutes and several more over-ankle moments, I find it.  (I, please note. Moi, Yours Truly.  A minor victory in a day of unrelenting failure.)  I didn’t deserve to find it, far less find it working.

What can we learn from this?  We learn, I think, that at a certain level, we learn nothing.  I have a value and belief system that says “planning is boring” (I’m an ENFP, and for those of you who know about Myers Briggs, enough said.)  Even though I know I should plan, I don’t.  I am overly optimistic, never fear the worst, and often come unstuck. And yet I persist.  Despite 33 years of happy marriage to an uber-planner (she’s an ISTJ, 100% my opposite), I still don’t get it.

I don’t know whether to be depressed with my failure to learn from mistakes, or just acceptant that people like me are always going to come unstuck now and then, and we can only pray it is when the stakes aren’t too high.  Marcus Buckingham suggests in his Now, Discover your Strengths book, that we are better off in life playing to our strengths rather than trying to overcome our weaknesses.  In my case that means letting my optimism out to play and shrugging off the setbacks when they do occur.

My boots  are drying out nicely, and I expect I’ll get an extra pair of walking socks for my birthday now.  So all’s well with the world.

About Michael Brown Training

I'm a business skills trainer, facilitator and coach. I've been helping people to learn for 16 years, working all around the world on topics such as Negotiation, Conflict Handling, Sales, Leadership, Consulting and Personal Effectiveness. I'm an ENFP, constantly looking for new and inspiring things to do. I love my job for its variety and the stimulation I get from it, and spend most of my time seeing how far we can go with the subjects we work on in the training room. I've recently started a new venture in making video on how NOT to do things, which you can find at www.hownot2.com
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16 Responses to “I told you so.” Arghhhhh!

  1. Nu er jeg ikke sÃ¥ teknisk anlagt, sÃ¥ IE 9 ???? Men i dag virker det (hurra) og jeg fik set de dejlige billeder af dine muffins, uhm… blev helt lækkersulten 🙂


  2. Srujan says:

    Hilarious one, Micheal thanks for sharing.


  3. Pingback: Book Writing | Meet Book Writing Deadline

  4. Farnoosh says:

    Hilarious post, Michael, and a big lesson for someone mehopes :)! I on the other hand have absolutely no qualms saying “I told you so!” to my sweet husband, but unfortunately, I don’t get the opportunity very often, darn it ;)!


  5. Carolann says:

    So, how was the hike?


  6. Hilariious, Michael, thanks for sharing! And I fully agree with Marcus Buckingham…focus on your strengths! Optimism is a beautiful strength and is essential during tough times such as these. I’d say that if each and every optimist would let out his/her optimism to play to the max, the world would be a better place!


  7. No complaint from me … and I will make sure my wife does not see this post.
    Yes sir, let’s work to our strengths. I am an INFP which is very different in a business office from many of my coworkers. I have learned to play to my strengths while recognizing where others help fill the gap.
    Good luck on your next hike.
    All the best – Michael


    • Love to know what technique you plan to use to “make sure my wife does not see this post”! Can you block my site using parent settings on Goggle or something?!

      I used to have an INFP boss, he was an inspiration (but between us we had to work very hard to ensure we covered off detail and planning.)


  8. Pingback: “I told you so.” Arghhhhh! | People Discovery

  9. I want my husband to read this.


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