Faulty Perception

It’s often strange how we perceive the world around us. Most people, I think, would like to believe that they are completely unbiased when they look at most any situation. But it seems that the more I look at it, the more I realize just how one person’s perception can be completely subjective.

Today I was driving. Not an unusual condition, by any means. But for whatever reason, the planets have aligned to make this an exceptionally annoying driving day. There is roadwork to be found about everywhere, accidents on many roads, and just a general sense of road rage waiting to happen.

A left turn lane was closed for repairs. I pulled up in the lane next to the left turn lane to wait on the turn arrow. Naturally, this meant that I was blocking a lane of traffic. But I needed to turn. Plus, there were five other cars behind me doing the same thing. So this moron pulls up in the lane next to me making all sorts of hand and head motions, and honking his horn, trying to figure out why we weren’t moving. The light changed and we all moved.

I was in the DMV the other day. There are two lines. One is direct, and wraps around the outside of the room. The other is more indirect, and wraps back on itself, so it’s roughly twice as long as the direct line. It looks something like this when both lines are full:


The asterisk indicates the ending position of the left hand, or inner, line. As you can tell, this is about the same place as the end of the right hand, or outer, line (which was full). Yet a lady came in and stood at the end of the right line. Just after me, in fact. She was relieved to find out she was in the wrong line and got to go stand in the other line. But she didn’t actually make her wait any shorter. If anything, it got longer as the inner line moved more slowly as it was for processing lengthier transactions.

I just don’t understand how people can miss things that are so obvious. Has it become such an issue that we can’t be bothered to assess the entire environment, and not just that which is two feet in front of us?

2 Replies to “Faulty Perception”

  1. Primarily because I try and be law-abiding when I can help it. There are a series of signs saying “no U-turn” for about a mile down the road ahead. Plus, the traffic coming back from that direction really wasn’t good. As to the rights, the traffic was pretty backed up, so two rights weren’t really feasible either. So I sat and forumulated a blog entry. 🙂

  2. So, why didn’t you just go through the intersection with the closed off left lane and either make a U-turn or make a couple of rights? I know I live in the land of fruits and nuts but that’s what I do out here 🙂

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