I have become that which I used to dread.
Just a few weeks ago, I muttered the words that used to make me roll my eyes and stick my tongue out behind the back of the person saying them.
I said, and I quote - "That's not how I was taught to do it."
I said it before I caught myself. And as the words fell out of my mouth, I was horrified.
I could remember one of the first times I had heard those words.
It was a very similar situation, actually, working at a makeup counter.
I had just gotten back from training in Atlanta and ready to prove myself.
I was young and full of just enough chutzpah to where I thought I knew everything.
And unfortunately, I was in a position over someone much, much, older.
This fact did not sit well with the older woman.
We battled royally, the first war cry coming with her words of, "That's not how I was taught to do it."
I remember I didn't even flinch and had continued on with my makeover as if I had not heard her.
She repeated it several more times as she stood behind me, watching over my shoulder.
When I finally finished and the client was gone, I made sure to tell the woman that perhaps things had changed since dinosaurs had roamed the earth.
"If the dinosaurs had done it the way I had been taught, they wouldn't be extinct, sweetie," the older lady stated drolly.
The eye rolling commenced and I haughtily ignored her commentary.
Her words irritated me - admittedly, the initial irritation was from the fact that I was young and stupid enough to think I knew everything.
Boy, did I have a lot to learn.
I may have learned a few new techniques during a couple of days of training but she had years - decades really - of experience that cannot be taught in a classroom.
Her education had come not just from classes but from making mistakes and fixing them on the spot that only happens with real-world experiences.
There I was, thinking I knew it all but I didn't really have a clue.
As I got a bit older and albeit wiser, I realized how much she actually did know and appreciated what she had to teach me.
After realizing how much I had learned from her over the years, I swore I would never let my ego get in the way again.
Education and training are great but so is experience.
Here I was, assisting with makeup at the first bridal makeover I had done in years and what did I say?
"That's not how I was taught to do it."
Didn't mean that my way was the right way; it just meant back when I started, we used different techniques. It was the post-dinosaur age after all.
But I realized how obnoxious those words were, not necessarily to the person I said them to, but to myself.
Boy, I was dating myself and making myself sound obsolete, too.
I felt like a horses' behind. Even Einstein had defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different response. Maybe new and better methods had evolved over the years.
Instead of being so dead set on thinking the way I learned it was the best, maybe I could grow by seeing how someone else did it.
I realized two things. Nope, it wasn't the way I learned it - didn't mean my way was right.
But the second one was the most important and it was the realization I had still had a lot to learn.
It's amazing how much we can learn when we realize we don't know it all.
Sudie Crouch is an award winning humor columnist and author of the novel, "The Dahlman Files: A Tony Dahlman Paranormal Mystery."