I was reading Dave Seah‘s story about Ulrick the Bee, and I like this second part of the story where Tiffany appears and she ask a lot of questions!

Once of the best lessons I ever received was, “Ask Early.” When I was working on Wall St., my mentor was a woman who was very accomplished in her department, and a wonderful, kind, great person. I met with her early in my career at the company, and she gave me a great piece of advice. She said:

Ask early. Ask about anything that you don’t know. Because if six months have gone by and then you ask about something that should be simple and clear and easy, then you will seem to be slow and lagging behind. Then the quesiton will be, “Oh, you don’t know that yet?” Ask early. There is great simplicity to that. If you don’t know, ask.

My father also told me many times, three of the most beautiful words in English are “I don’t know.” And then finding out is fascinating.

Posted on 12-15-06 for Wed, 12-13-06.


  1. Dave
    Posted Friday December 15, 2006 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Hey, you’re right…TIffany DOES ask a lot of questions! She just seemed to be that kind of hamster to me…I think she had to ask them for Ulrick.

    Being able to say “I don’t know” with confidence is a good thing to be able to do. Out of curiosity, what are some of the other beautiful words in other languages? And does “I don’t know” not seem so beautiful in those languages? Maybe the concept behind the word “know” has a different flavor!

  2. Posted Sunday December 17, 2006 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    I agree, I’m an asker too. When I was new in my job I asked questions constantly…actually, I still do 1 1/2 years later. I suppose it is also because my boss is a great explainer and never brushes off questions. Hurray to askers & explainers!

  3. Dave
    Posted Sunday December 17, 2006 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    I just had a thought about “I don’t know” and came rushing back here to share it.

    While I’m usually comfortable saying “I don’t know”, I just realized that I add an unvocalized “but I should have” to it, which reflects all kinds of anxious energy that swirls around. So maybe I am not as confident as I thought. Hmm!

  4. Posted Sunday December 17, 2006 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Grim, to askers and explainers!

    Dave, that’s a neat observation about being secure with saying “I don’t know.” “I don’t know” can also be a secure feeling because it leads potentially to such great feelings – “I am curious about” and “I’d love to find out!” (I haven’t thought about other languages… interesting for later thought).

  5. Posted Monday December 18, 2006 at 3:11 pm | Permalink


    Perhaps you could change the “but I should have” to a “yet”?

    I don’t know (yet).

    Just a thought.