Outreach Failure

Off to park for constitutional. Air temperature lower ’40’s degF, so on the lower edge of cardiologist’s permitted range of exercise temperatures. 

This consideration gave me association to reflect on Outreach. I have to admit that I am not a fan of Outreach for its own sake. Gratuitous Outreach is, IMHO, almost always going to fail. Mostly because the most probable targeted individual will be bog and bogs do not willingly nor happily learn. So you will be better off talking to a rock or tree than to a bog. 

They don’t hit back. Bogs have a tendency to violence for the most inconsequential reasons. Look how many participate in meaningless public demonstrations designed to hurt someone else. Nothing constructive is expected or will happen but something destructive always does. So outreaching to bogs is almost assured to cause one pain for no reason. As my great-uncle George said, “don’t poke sleeping bears.”

They aren’t going to be your friend and you may get eaten.

Of course, if your aim is to get eaten that’s another wrinkle.

But sometimes Outreach is necessary or unavoidable. I got to see one of those occasions this week when the cutter who did FD SCP’s surgery was compelled to outreach to me. Yes, compelled and “to me.” The hosting hospital made him do it and I was the family member/responsible adult (sniggers and baldfaced laughter, obviously) present. And he failed miserably. I came away convinced the fellow was an arrogant putz, maybe ferd, and an incompetent poseur. 

What did he do wrong? Several things. First, and most serious, he didn’t understand the need for trust in Outreach. Second, Outreach fails unless the person touched learns something. Cutter – I’ll call him that since that is essentially what his name is – failed on both of these accounts. He didn’t impart any trust to me and all I learned was that FD SCP was out of surgery and alive. 

I already knew what the surgery was for and what the procedure would be and its instrumentality. After all, FD SCP and I have been down this road a half-dozen times already and I had done my research of preparation.

But since Cutter gave me the Speaking-To-Slime-Mold level of Outreach, he went under. He failed in his chance to embody trust in me by getting me to learn something. And he was the one damaged.

No wonder he doesn’t like to do Outreach. He got damaged. All because he wasn’t professional enough to learn how.

Those who refuse to learn run the escalating risk of dooming themselves to ignorant discorporation.

So if you have to do Outreach, make sure you aim for trust and do it by seeking learning. Try to force an engagement with the target. Find a way to make them ask questions. If you can’t do that then learn to live with your incompetence.

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