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One of the most dangerous things to do while at work is to assume.

Some months ago a little nephew of our's came to spend his holidays with us. He brought along with him a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. The image is of hundreds of cartoon dragons overrunning a comical map of America. Looking at him being so engrossed, I tried my hand at it. When I find a piece with a dragon's hand, it should be easy, right? Just find a piece with a dragon's arm and stick it on.

Well, it's not so easy. Each dragon is slightly different. Each piece is slightly different. Even the background for each is slightly different.

People are like that, too. We can easily assume what somebody is thinking or feeling, or what their intentions are, based on how we feel or how we have observed other people acting. But we can just as easily err.

We must be careful not to assume how people fit into our puzzle.

See? The puzzle isn't just a toy; I'm using it for work, too.

I see recruitment in IT just as much amusing or difficult as the jig- saw puzzle.

Back to the jigsaw puzzle of cartoon dragons overrunning a comical map of America, I noticed how many different pieces there are and how different they all look.

Take a piece of rock, for example. If I look at it, I would assume the puzzle is about waves crashing into rocks. Take a piece of white columns. If I look at it, I would assume the puzzle is about the White House in Washington.

How often we look around us and assume that the world looks like our own neighborhood. How often we forget that the reality we take for granted might be eclipsed by technology, just as they were created by technology that eclipsed past realities.

The world is a bigger place than our own piece of the puzzle. Take the time to look around, to understand different places and times, and see how your piece of the puzzle fits into the greater plan.

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