Mar 1, 2005

the devil is in the details

I am not a detail oriented person.
This might come as a surprise to some of you, especially those of you who understand my means of employment, but it's true. Really.
I mean, it's not the sort of thing you put on a resume. Infact, it's really the kind of thing people generally disguise in phrases like "big picture person" and "good with the abstract."
But I can call a spade a spade. I don't like details.
I might not even care about them.
Ofcourse, I can understand the merit of paying attention to them and I can gage which details are important to take pains with. I even understand that sometimes details can be fascinating.
Like in crime labs. Wow. You can find the perp with a single hair. cool.

But as a general rule, in my personal life, things, people and issues with too many details exhaust me. In fact, they will often stop me from pursuing a course of action.
This can be seen mostly in my choice of purchases, and my lack thereof. I fully understand there are things you should know about a purchase bigger than say...oh...a stick of butter. Digital cameras and computers and cars have important details to note. It's overwhelming.
And I am willing to prioritize, I am not fully dysfunctional. I have managed multimillion dollar budgets and balanced perfectly. I am not incapable of noting specifics.
But as a rule, and not an exception, if you wish to keep my interest and best utilize my intellect, it's best not to start with a grocery list of the fine points. And, to be fair, this can be an asset as well: I am often good at getting people back to the big picture, of generating context in important moments, regaining perspective.
But when given a bevy of choices and a variety of things to prioritize occasionally I will walk away and not even bother.
This is why I like to make friends with experts, researchers and people who enjoy understanding the details. And then just ask for their opinion.
This is also why my digital camera and my car were a gift and why I let a friend of mine, basically, find my new bike for me.
I just can't be bothered to do the research. Hell, I do too much of that at work.

Ofcourse, The irony of this is that I am storehouse for trivia...useless details that pertain to nothing of merit.
But that's another story.


Bjetsey said...

you know, I never noticed that you are a details-shmetails type of person. I mean, I know you're not a detail-fixated person (I'm married to one), but it never occured to me that you were the opposite. I think am going to try and be less detail-fixated. I like the idea that I just trust someone else to make the best choice for me.

daff0dil said...

yeah, well, I mean: I am willing to consider details, and I do things like bothering to get directions and arrive on time and such...these are details I consider relevant

I just, in the end, suspect others have the expertise and enjoy gathering it on a variety of subjects I prefer to not really know well