Ten Things Not to Expect from Others



This list is inspired by a study of the results of expecting others to react in a certain way and being totally fooled. As a reminder, this list is intended for humor only and is not the output of a detailed study on the subject. Universities and corporations should be cautious about asking me to take up residence based on a misconceived opinion that I have some unique qualifications in predicting human behavior. (Hello Harvard. I’m talking to you.)

Top Ten Thing Not to Expect From Others

10 If you are pulled over by a police officer, do not expect to be excused for the reason you were pulled over. At best, your friendly attitude might be interpreted as something to hide. At worst, your question of “How do we make this go away?” might be construed as a bribe offer. (You sure look funny on the hood of that patrol car especially with your arms handcuffed behind your back)

9 If you answer the grocery clerks, question, “did you find everything today?” with an honest answer about missing items don’t expect a positive response. If you do, at best you won’t like what you hear. At worst, the fact that the clerk shrugs and says “whatever,” causes you to completely lose your cool and are forcibly removed from the store. (Yes, you were right in wondering why they ask if nothing is to be done but sitting in this mud puddle is the last thing you expected to happen.)

8 If you call an appliance repair person, do not expect the machine to be repaired on the initial visit. If you do, at best you will need to rearrange your schedule for another visit. At worst, you will make a fool out of yourself asking the repair person questions for which they have no answer. (You need to know the first visit is diagnostic. The second is repair, and the third is repair of the repair)

7 If you go to an electronics store, do not think there is someone there who can help. If you do, at best you will need to go home and Google your problem more carefully. At worst, you will buy the splitter or whatnot that is supposed to fix the problem only to find you now need a new transformer. (You see most of the employees have a life and can’t be bothered reading about the technology.)

6 If you place a call to customer care, do not believe anyone you talk to is going to disprove the fact that “customer care” is an oxymoron. If you do, at best you are in for a bumpy ride indeed. At worst, you will finally escalate the call to someone of higher rank who will tell you to quit bothering them. (Your feelings got hurt didn’t they? Bunkie)

5 If you spend extra money on a warranty do not expect your problem to be covered. If you do, at best the realization that you wasted your money will set in quickly. At worst, you and the warranty company will get into a battle if wills that could end up in court. (Guess who has more money for lawyers?)

4 If you ask your server which entrée they recommend, do not think the recommendation is about the best dish, If you do, at best you will over expect what will be under delivered. At worst, you will realize you have been had by the server who is in cahoots with the owner to move a dish that even the help wouldn’t eat for dinner, and it was free to them. (Don’t send it back. Right now it is 99% spit-free. It may not come back that way.)

3 If you have a friend in the car business do not expect a good deal on the car you are about to buy. If you do, at best you will probably pay 20% more than the friend’s enemies pay. At worst, your friend will take his commission and buy a car that is bigger and nicer than yours without even a thank you. (You will continue to wonder how he could afford such a car and at some quiet moment it will hit you.)

2 If you arrange for a contractor to do some work, do not expect the final bill to be at or under the bid price. If you do, at best the surprise factor of the overrun will cause you a visit to the ER. At worst, you realize you won’t have the money for the additional costs, and your contractor resembles Marlon Brando in the Godfather when he explains how “we have a problem.” (You should have checked with the Better Business Bureau before taking the lowball bid. Now it looks like you are going on a long ride in a big black car.)

1 If you hire a party planner, do not expect the party to be anything like your original thought. If you do, at best you won’t be able to relax and enjoy yourself. At worst, the theme that you rejected twelve times will be the one for the evening. Although you are trying to keep an open mind, you still are having trouble warming to the zombie apocalypse décor. (Is that the waiter’s arm laying on the floor?)


  1. Do I detect a note of cynicism here, Mr Howell?

    1. Hmmm. Could be a little.

  2. Ah, the warranty. I remember my Home Depot cashier days where the goal was to push those things on everything that was applicable. Success was measured by warranty sales, so anyone in the garden department, self-checkout, and returns (Hello!) was in trouble. Honestly, the things are seen as a joke. You never need them when you have them and they always expire just before things break. The goal is probably to have it last just long enough for the owner to forget about it.

    1. Great observation. I have long suspected this was true. Thanks.

      1. That’s why they have the ‘special’ 3 years too.

    2. My come back to a warranty offer is, “Are you telling me I NEED a warranty on this item?”

      1. My response to that was, “No, but I have a monthly quota. All I really have to do is ask and please don’t tell me that my supervisor is standing behind me.” Yeah. That was a fun day.

  3. I love (and hate) this list, because it speaks the ugly truths. I would add one to the list.

    When asked by a gal pal “Do you want to come over?”, do not say “I’m really tired.” At best she will say ‘poor baby’, and at worst she will hang up on your tired ass. Instead, try . . “I’m really tired babe, but you make an offer I cannot refuse.”

    Works wonders.

    1. I’m sure she could make you forget tired.

      1. And how. Have a great day, Sheriff.

  4. You seem to be on a roll John. I suspect you could have given us 20 things not to expect from others. At least I can say that I’ve never hired a party planner. Have a good Monday

  5. That’s what I love about the customer service at Publix. They always ask that question, but when I say, “No,” they send a runner to go get it…even if they have to go in the back to find it. And they insist on carrying my groceries to the car. No puddles for me. 🙂

    That’s why I almost always cook at home. You know they are always trying to push yesterdays leftovers as “specials of the day”. Then, there’s always something hidden in the server’s recommendation that I can’t eat. Then I’m sitting there drooling over everybody else’s plate while I eat my veggie platter. Notice veggie platter is not something they ever recommend.

    1. I think Veggie platter is an underrated item. I love roasted veggies.

    1. Thank you Kim for the reblog

  6. I can definitely relate to No. 2. We once took the middle bid out of three, and the job wound up costing more than the high bid! Caveat emptor, big time.

  7. These are soooo true, John. Thanks for reminding us that all is not as it seems!

  8. It’s tough world out there!

  9. I love the quote at the start, John! Being a fan of mafia movies, I especially enjoyed #2!

  10. I’ve adopted the ‘don’t expect anything from anyone’ philosophy.

    1. Ha ha ha. The safest way. 🙂

  11. 11. The Spanish Inquisition.

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