I was driving home from a meeting last night at about 6:30pm. The gauge showing the outside temperature kept varying between 31 and 33 degrees. (I’m hyper-sensitive when there’s a threat of ice–when things freeze, the hill I live on turns into a luge-run.) The weather report, earlier, had said that the temp was going to stay ABOVE freezing. Yeah right. Most of the traffic seemed to also be aware that we could hit ice. Rather than CAREENING (love that word) down Barbur Blvd, the majority of us were driving way more sedately than normal (although there were a few cars zipping by as if it were July, rather than January.)

In my lane, three cars ahead of me, a Subaru wagon had its left-turn blinker blinking, as if it were planning to move into the open left lane. We all kept going slower than necessary, to allow the Subaru to move over. It didn’t. So, of course, all three of us following the Subaru turned on OUR blinkers to get out from behind him. Then, given that all of us are polite Oregonian drivers (myself an “honorary” Oregonian after being here so long) we all hesitated to see who would jump out into the left lane to get things moving, first. (“After you….oh NO, after YOU!”) (Sometimes Oregonian drivers annoy the hell out of me. Drivers Ed in Oregon clearly needs to add a Module on “Merging” in general.)

Just as the car in front of me was about to swing around the stale-turn-signal-Subaru, the Subaru swerved into the left lane for a bit, then got back in his own. Those of us behind him all engaged in various forms of gesticulations: “Where’s this guy going??”

I was reminded of something a past client said about making decisions in business:
“I noticed that when I avoid making a decision that, for my staff, I’m like a car with its blinker on, that doesn’t turn. They don’t know where I’m going, and they can’t trust what I’m showing them. I’m indicating one thing, but I’m demonstrating something else, I’m hesitating. It leaves the people around me uncertain about where we’re going and what we’re doing.”

I thought that was pretty brilliant. What are you signaling?