Details and a Pool Table

In the DiSC profile, I am an “I-d” style. That means I prioritize results, action and enthusiasm. One of the common challenges associated with this style is the tendency to gloss over details.  Hmmm…that’s pretty darn accurate.

Over Thanksgiving break, my wife and I decided to buy our son a pool table for Christmas. We have a budget for our gift giving and we have three kids, so a typical pool table would not usually fall within budget. But Ebay has come through before…and it did once again. We saw a table that looked pretty good and at a remarkable price. So, while my kids and I were playing Monopoly, my wife was on the couch bidding on the pool table. As she won the bid, she just subtly looked over at me…we got it – for its original price – no one else bid against her. It was a steal.

Now the part I don’t like. Details. Where is this table? How do we transport it? How do we lift it? How do we get it to our home without Mitchell knowing? How do we get it upstairs into his room? Details! We fire first, then see what comes next.

So, with that train of thought leading the way, I proceeded to gather up my daughter’s boyfriend, borrow a minivan and make the 2 hour trip. This is, of course, without knowing the size of the table or the weight. Smart. But my mindset is always…we’ll find a way. Nice optimistic perspective, but not always smart. By the way, the buyer did say something in the email about this being a really heavy table. No worries though – that’s why we have two guys!

We showed up. The guy walked out, looked at all two of us, and said, “Ah…You’re going to need eight guys.” Not to be deterred, we spent an hour trying to figure out how to lift this (700+ pounds) table up the stairs out of the basement. The owner, by the way, was scheduled for hip surgery in a few weeks – no help was coming from him!

Needless to say, we left without the pool table. 

Eventually, we did come back… with more guys. We did get it home.  And it is upstairs, in his room. No damage to the table and, more important, no damage to any of us!

It was a lot more work than was necessary. Why? Because I glossed over the details. While I like my we’ll-make-it-work attitude, I need to remember to be much more thoughtful in the beginning.  We were pretty fortunate this time around – great table, fit in the van, did get it home – without damage and no one got hurt. Whew!

Next time I’ll slow down and do it right up front. Probably.