Distinguishing Between Facts and Inferences Jean Shields Everest University Online SPC2300-39 Distinguishing Between Facts and Inferences During my weekly bowling league, I had the opportunity to observe and participate in numerous conversations. I have been bowling for over 40 years, and I have witnessed and been a part of some of the most interesting conversations of my entire life. As one of the bowlers on my team returned from the approach after picking up his spare, I heard another team member say “this is the big one,” and “he picked up a spare, I can’t believe it! ” and then began to clutch her chest, mocking Fred Sanford.
The fact is that he did pick up his spare in that particular frame. In fact, her comment was not only an inference, it was not true. She later confirmed that it was not true because she began to look up at the scores and noticed his previous frames. She then immediately stated, “I see a spare and a one in one frame and a spare and a four in another frame,” which is clearly an indication that he does not miss all of his spares, even though the amount of pins picked up on the following ball was low. Here, the focus should not be on how many was picked up on the following ball but instead on the fact that he did not miss all of his spares.
Instead of hinting and even stating that he never picks up his spares, the team member could have easily stated, “it is rare, but at least he picked up his spare,” or something to that effect. Personally, as a long-time bowler, I have found that bowlers in general, especially the newer bowlers, respond better when you try to give them pointers that will help them versus sarcastically criticizing what they do, no matter how little it may be, which is why he is in a handicap league and not a scratch league that have more experienced bowlers.
Earlier in the week, I had a conversation with a co-worker about how some of the full-time employees reacted to a situation compared to the numerous of temps that are frequently called in to assist. The co-worker informed me that on one particular day, the data entry supervisor did not get any temps called in to help this particular day and the people responsible for opening the mail to get the information into the system for the data entry department to key did not get any temps called in either.
She further informed me that one of the mail supervisors asked the full-time employees (who were the only ones there as previously mentioned) to hold off on opening the mail because there was enough information already in the system that needed to be keyed out so opening the mail could be put off for a while. Ironically enough, this co-worked told me that none of the full-time people went to assist the data entry supervisor and in fact refused to go to data entry.
Once I heard that, my immediate response was “they are being real selfish and unfair and needed to help the data entry supervisor out and that what they did was not right. ” Based on the information I was given in the conversation, the only fact is that the full-time mail employees did not go and refused to the data entry supervisor. When I stated that the mail personnel were selfish, unfair, and wrong goes beyond the fact that they did not go to help and does not acknowledge that they possibly could have wanted to go help out in data entry but did not go for reasons that I did not have any knowledge about.
Knowing the various supervisors in the mail area, even with one of the mail supervisors asking her people to help data entry, another supervisor could have told them something entirely different. I even went on to mention that the mail personnel have no problem asking the data entry personnel for help so it would only be fair that they help data entry when asked. Both of these situations are a clear indication that without all the facts, many incorrect conclusions could be asserted to either situation.
Both of the examples discussed clearly defined each situation incorrectly. The bowler did not always miss his spares and the mail personnel are not selfish, unfair, nor were they wrong. The bowler occasionally misses spares and the mail personnel occasionally help data entry. It is also possible that the information I received from the co-worker was completely inaccurate, which would also cause my comments to be just as untrue. It definitely would not make my comments facts, as they involved an interpretation by me that went beyond the facts.