Thursday, 31 May 2012

The need to know

Whenever there is a question, I need the answer to it. A very cruel thing you can do to me is start a sentence (for example: “You know, I’ve been wondering…”) and then end that sentence with “Nah never mind, it’s not important.”
If you ever do that to me, be prepared to get a very annoyed look, followed by me turning into a little child going ‘Tell me, tell me, tell me!” even though it probably really isn’t important and you don’t need the answer to your question anymore. The question on itself has become irrelevant, only knowing what it was has become important.

This is true for everything in life for me. I’m sure there are more people who have this, but to me it’s frustrating to a point where I won’t stop until I know. This hasn’t grown on me as far as I know, but I’ve always been like this. I remember when the teachers at primary school had a problem they needed fixing. Especially when they had a big event planned and it didn’t really go according to plan. I was usually one of the first students to see the teachers get unsettled and notice things aren’t seeming to go as smooth as it usually goes.
Whenever this happened, I got very uneasy. Why? Didn’t I like things going wrong? Nah. It was simply that I just needed to know.

I’m also a problem solver. When I know of a problem, I can’t let it go, until I have solved it. Now, there was something going on and I didn’t know what and I had to know. HAD to know. So this is a problem. How do I solve it? As easy as possible: Ask. So I would walk up to a teacher and ask what was going on. Of course the teachers have been taught that a student can’t be bothered with your problems. The student has plenty of problems of their own, don’t bother them with that. So the standard answer is always something like: “Don’t you worry about that, we’re having some minor issues, we’ll fix it.”
That’s not the problem. I’m sure you’ll fix it, no doubt. But what is there to fix? What is it? What? What??? Yes, this not knowing is terrible. So I would try and explain to my teachers that I simply don’t like not knowing and just wanted to know what was wrong. Not that I felt like I needed to fix it, but that I simply wanted to know. After some bugging (sorry teachers!) they would usually tell me.

Now we move on to the second part of this. I just told you: I’m a problem solver. Up until now I’ve been very honest. I didn’t care about the problem, I cared about knowing. But now I know the problem and I’m usually so fast in solving a problem, especially when it comes to events (although I didn’t realise this connection yet at that time), that the solution comes to me straight away. And then I see them struggling with something where the solution is so obvious to me… How can I not speak up? How can I just sit back and watch people struggle with something where I’ve already thought up the possible solution? To me this just sounds cruel. Usually people tell me that’s okay, it’s their event, I SHOULD just sit back and watch. But I just can’t get myself to do that. If I was struggling with something and someone knew the answer, I would like to know it.

So was I lying about not being bothered with fixing the problem? No I wasn’t. I truly wasn’t thinking about solving it, until the problem had been told. And I didn’t go through any lengths to solve it when I knew about the problem either. My mind just instantly ran over every possible solution, like a train with broken brakes, just passing every station when it wants to stop. And then I had the solution and everybody thought I just couldn’t let the event in someone else’s hands. Of course I can. The only thing I can’t, is not knowing and not thinking of solutions. These two go hand in hand. And why not speak up, if I can help? I even enjoy helping, it bothers me less than not knowing and not thinking bothers me. Then why not include me?

This is a big part of the reason I ended up helping in anime/manga events a lot. Sometimes I go to an event as a visitor and something goes wrong and I ask what is wrong and I get the sentence ‘we have a technical error’ or ‘we have a logistics problem’ and that just drives me up the wall. These are sentences that seem explaining, but actually don’t say a lot. The first sentence says SOMETHING is wrong with the material. The other one can literally be anything. People use that sentence for problems in anything. Look it up in the dictionary. It’s everything that makes a business run. Yea, if there is a problem making the business not run right, it’ll be a logistics problem. Thanks for the non-explanatory sentence.

When I help at a convention I’ll be the person who’s allowed to know what is going on AND I’ll be allowed to come up with a solution. Two problems fixed at once.

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