When I was a kid, I didn’t completely understand the rules of American football. I got on the football team, hoping to learn the rules more than actually play football, but everyone seemed to know them (but me). They were never taught, and out of shame, I never asked. I sucked on my high school football team, msstly because I never knew what I was doing. To this day, I am still aware of rules I don’t know in American Football.
Not so many years later, I had been a lifeguard at a swimming pool for a couple of years. I took a pool managers course to learn about taking care of the pool itself. I think it was in the evenings at a local college. In the course, everyone (except me, apparently) already was a pool manager. They discussed flushing the filters, adding the chemicals. Everyone in the class was much older than me and already knew what I came to learn. In the class, we never flushed a filter, or even went to a pool! I never knew precisely what anyone was talking about, didn’t understand the terminology, and again, kept my mouth shut, because I didn’t want to be the sole idiot. I flunked the test, and was so angry, I wrote a scathing letter.
Both times, I didn’t know what was going on, I couldn’t see it until it was over, and I looked back with 20/20 hindsight. Both still cause me anger and resentment and shame today.
I don’t really know the point of this post. Something happened recently that reminded me of it, but now I can’t remember what that was.
I guess my point is, when in doubt, speak up.