Assumptions are a horrible thing. The whole “making an ass out of you and me” thing is spot on. And I’ll be the first to admit that I make them based on stereotypes. I work hard to be better than that, but it happens. I’m human. This morning, there was a dad who approached me to get his son’s paperwork for court. He had a flat billed baseball cap with the stickers still on it. He wore a black hoodie and sweatpants that were clearly too big. He wasn’t all dressed in what we would consider appropriate court attire, and I made an assumption about how he was going to act and speak to me based on his appearance. We get a lot of, shall we say, “colorful” characters here at the court house and it’s easy to just assume they are all the same. Unfortunately, many of them act and speak the way that stereotypes tell me they will. This man, however, was the nicest person I interacted with today. He spoke very clearly and calmly. He was very polite. He treated me with the respect we rarely get from parents who have to bring their children in. I was surprised and disappointed in myself that I expected something worse. It’s easy to become jaded while working with the general public and with people who are mostly low on the socioeconomic and education scale. It’s much needed to have a little reality check from someone who reminds you not to get to comfortable in your perceptions of people. It’s nice to remember not to judge a book by its cover.