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Thursday, July 8, 2010

The “My Spin Don’t Stink” Syndrome

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Today I had to apply some spin.  Earlier in the week, I had told three people at NorthShore Aquatic Complex that a new touch screen monitor was on order for them (their old one had suffered a power surge from lightening several weeks ago).  Well, it turns out that we never ordered a new monitor; we repaired the old monitor by replacing a bad transformer—saving over $800.  So when I brought in the repaired monitor this morning and hooked it up, they were expecting a new monitor.  I told them that, after all, we didn’t order a new monitor because of the expense; we instead repaired the old one.  I told them with as much positive spin and cheerful tone as possible to cloud my earlier false assurances.  But I could see in their eyes a little evaluation of me and my earlier statements.  The fact is self-generated spin always looks better to us than it does to others.  We too easily fall for the “my spin don’t stink” syndrome.  Credibility is often only eroded further by manufacturing several takes on spin.  It’s best to keep it simple, and as near as possible to the bare truth.  A saying comes to mind: “When you’re on thin ice, skate fast.”  It is best not to dwell on the explanation, just get the system up and running and hope that performance and time will recast those once offended memories.

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