There was a time when the Dear Abbys of the world were unique and few in numbers. Of course, there have always been busybodies. There are always those in the neighborhood that know or got to know everything that is going on and on top of which they then need to provide advice on what is going on. The same is true of the workplace.
One thing that is super amusing to me is that situation when someone gives you advice that is obvious, ridiculous, or plain old wrong. Sometimes, individuals manage to give you advice that falls into all three of those categories. It is quite a feat, mind you. There should be a summer Olympics category just for that.
I was recently reminded of such silly advice situations, while watching the movie Sherlock Gnomes. An animated kids film taking on Sherlock Holmes. It was cute. Nothing special but not abhorrent. That sounds bad. I should note that it was tolerable. But back to the topic of advice. Or rather, silly advice.
At one point in the movie, a Gargoyle advises a gnome “Never trust a gargoyle.” I sat up and took note. Those are silly yet wise words. Let me explain.
On one hand, indeed it is good to pass on the wisdom that gargoyles should never be trusted. Some people need such a warning. They may see a gargoyle and be fascinated by its mysterious and perhaps, at times grotesque nature. They can reel you in and mesmerize you. If you are not careful, you can very well fall under their spell and end up being used and abused. No need to trust such a creature.
On the other hand, gargoyles show you their true face. Thus, it is silly to have to warn someone that they shouldn’t trust a gargoyle. You do so at your own avoidable peril.
Am I really just talking about gargoyles? Well, obviously not. They are not real. But there are many gargoyle-like people out there. You know who they are. And you know that you shouldn’t trust them. If you do, its on you. If you need to advise me so, shame on me.