Bad assumptions and delayed schedules

I have a better story than this one about making bad assumptions, but it involves the HP-EDS merger and that information is confidential.   I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you and I might get fired regardless.  So, I’ll save that for another time.

It’s relevant, though, because I made an assumption at work that almost got me into trouble when that assumption was wrong and then two days later discovered that another one did get me into trouble in my personal life.  In both situations, I was slammed in the face with the fact that assumptions can be bad, bad things when they are incorrect.

In order to conduct our multi-month interstate move this summer, we used PODS.  They drop empty containers on your driveway, you fill them, they pick them up, they train them to wherever you want, you call them when you’re ready, they put them on the new driveway.  No truck rentals, no storage rentals.  Given that we had a section of time between getting out of our old place and getting into the new one, it made good sense.

We orginially ordered 2 large containers (8x8x16) to pack our stuff in, but as the packing was going along in Washington last month, it became clear we’d need a 3rd.  I called PODS customer service and had a third one delivered the next day.  This would form the basis of my incorrect assumption.

Despite knowing our move in date for our new place a month ago, I intentionally held off calling PODS for a container delivery date in case something changed.  When I called them yesterday, after having received next day service earlier, they informed me the day I wanted was completely booked.  All drivers were operating at capacity and no more deliveries could be scheduled.  Doh!

What happened here?  I assumed that since I got 24 hour response time a month ago in suburban Portland, I’d get the same thing in late August in suburban Los Angeles.  Because that assumption was wrong, I’ll be sleeping on an air mattress that first night and have a justifiably angry family.  If we had a couch, I’d undoubtedly be sleeping on it, as I well should.  The PODS delivery is coming the next day, so the impact isn’t huge, but it still puts an unnecessary cramp in what has already been a long ordeal.

The morale: double check your assumptions to make sure they are valid for your situation.

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2 Responses to “Bad assumptions and delayed schedules”

  1. Liz Says:

    Hi Pete

    I didn’t know you were moving. Good luck!!!


  2. Luis Garcia Says:

    I guess you’ve heard what the acronym for ASSUME is. One of the golden funny rules I’ve learned, specially to be forwarded to someone who’s supposed to provide information

    Whenever you ASSUME, you make an ASS of U and ME”


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