Meet Mati, Simple Tasks, Not So Simple

Updated: Oct 5, 2020



He just graduated high school and he is funny, friendly, loves sports, didn’t love school and is often late. Putting high school behind him was a relief for him and his parents. A big relief. No more angry mornings and nagging as he is off to school next year at a gap year program. His wake up, school work, and timeliness will be his own to manage in the new found dorm-life routine.


It is time to get supplied and packed for his departure next week and after weeks of encouragement from mom to lay out the items on the packing list provided by the program, there seems to have been no progress. Mom even left a list of toiletries on Mati’s desk and a reminder to head to the drug store to purchase the necessary items. To help the situation mom ordered online a number of clothing items that she knew Mati would need from one of his favorite stores. Go mom…doing her part and more as always!


So, when the clothing order arrived the pants were too small and mom encouraged Mati to go to the store with the pants so he could try them on and exchange them for the appropriate larger size. After a few too many reminders, Mati jumped in the car with the pants and the receipt and what mom thought was an obvious objective…just switch the pants. Simple right?


Well when Mati got to the store he went into the shop, tried on pants, and purchased new pants. He felt accomplished and satisfied. When he entered the car and tossed the bag of new pants on to the passenger seat, he saw the return package on the seat next to him. Shoot! He grabbed the bag, ran in to the store and returned the pants, accepted the store credit and headed home.


Upon arrival at home, he proudly told his mom that the mission was accomplished!


Mom read the situation very differently! What? How could we have ended up with a large credit to a store from which we just purchased new items? Was it not obvious that you need to return the items before or together with the purchase? Ok, you forgot…was it not obvious to take the new items back to the store and ask the sales clerk to make the adjustment so that you will not end up with a credit?

Where was the breakdown?


Welcome to Executive Dysfunction and more specifically elements of planning and problem solving.

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