Preconceptions and Perceptions

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I have an affinity for tech support humor; I love the tales of woe as two people attempt to solve a problem over the phone. One of my favorites involves a woman whose printer was not printing yellow.

Every color but yellow.

Tech support helped her clean the heads, print test pages, replace the ink cartridge, and finally suggested she get a replacement. That's when the woman asked, "Do you think it would help if didn't use yellow paper?"

...

Brittany may have had a moment like that.

Remember her blue hands? Well, her hands turned a little blue yesterday ...but then so did her fingernails and shirt.

"Luke, I think it may be my new jeans," she admitted sheepishly.

Ah, yes. That would explain it. Which is good. And that also makes sense why the doctor had no clue what was happening. But it still doesn't explain the heart issues.

And Brittany realized that if her heart hadn't been acting up recently, she probably would have figured out the dye thing a lot sooner. But because she had a preconceived notion of heart problems she perceived her problem as circulatory.

Thus, our perception of reality is closely linked to our presuppositions about what is happening.

That's why companies have to be so careful about what they say and do: People can easily misconstrue what you're doing based on their own ideas.

Today, at Sonlight, the topic revolved around "bargain" sites that sell Sonlight books for "less." These site owners use Sonlight's credibility to sell books for themselves.

But what to do?

Sonlight could easily be perceived as the bullies of the market who try to weasel every dollar out of people's pockets when compared to these "great deals." But Sonlight continues to put resources and thought into developing stellar curriculum, offering fantastic support, and building up a recognizable name. Sarita and her team carefully select each book, schedule it with helpful notes, and then package everything together with support and a guarantee like no other. And yet "bargain" sites use all of that to make a few bucks.

The other side of this, of course, is that Sonlight's name gets out there on the internet via these sites. But what happens when people start believing that "Sonlight" is just a bunch of books with a schedule? Then customers stop purchasing from Sonlight which develops, supports, and guarantees your homeschool experience.

And that's the real cost: Customers end up getting much less and the company that did the work to make it possible for you to enjoy this journey also suffers loss.

And then who will you call with your genuine support and curriculum questions?

Just a few musings from a guy who finds support incredibly useful, even if he should have realized the yellow paper issue himself.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

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