Naga Chokkanathan

Brain is (sometimes) blind

Posted on: November 10, 2011

Tomorrow, I am attending a training program and it starts at 9 AM.

So, I called our office car driver and asked him to pick me at 8:15 AM. He agreed.

After few hours, I learnt that the training program is cancelled. So I called the car driver to cancel the pick-up.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t reach his mobile number. So, I wrote a mail to our Admin person:

Hello ,

I asked to pick me in my house tomorrow 8:15 AM for a training, But it is getting cancelled, hence please inform him about that, he need not pick me tomorrow morning,

Best Regards,


Few minutes later, I got this mail response from this admin person:


I have informed to pick you up at 8:15am tomorrow. He will be there on time.

Thanks and Regards,

Oops. I went back and re-read my mail, it said clearly ‘he need not pick me tomorrow morning’, but still, the admin person read it as ‘he has to pick me tomorrow morning’.

When I mentioned this story to a colleague, he was not surprised at all and told me that it is very natural. He explained that the admin people are used to getting lot of Emails about ‘car bookings’, and not many ‘cancellation’ mails. So when there is a mail with words like car – booking – pick – morning – 8:15 AM etc., by default they assume the mail is about someone wanting a car and make the arrangements automatically.

Of course, this is wrong and He / she should have read the mail properly before taking an action, But the brain is sometimes blind. We only see what we want to see, and make assumptions to fill the gaps, even if they are already filled with contradictory data.

We all do this mistake at some level or other, don’t we?


N. Chokkan …

10 11 2011


2 Responses to "Brain is (sometimes) blind"

It happens. When I was working in a spinning mill dispatch section at Erode, got a order by fax saying “3 Box, 30’s vsf” with delivery address, transport details etc., 30’s means 30 Count Viscose stable fiber.

I read the order clearly and dispatched the goods.

Later I got call from customer (from kerala). Simply they asked “Why 30 Box were sent instead of 3”

Brain is (sometimes) blind.

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