Monday, June 11, 2007

Stupid People

I was talking about inept managers and childish executives with my Invisible Friends online. Everyone knows the type: the manager who "doesn't know how to run the copier", or the executive who asks how to get letterhead to print on the office printer, when s/he really means "do it for me because I am a grand-high-poobah and these things are beneath me!" Most of the time it's a power play -- they can demand that someone else do something for them.

My standard response to these is to explain it, once, and then jokingly reply, "Well, I know you're not stupid, you can do it!" And sometimes, not so jokingly. Most people can't figure out a way to reply to that without admitting that yes, they are indeed stupid. They either do it themselves, or find someone else to do it.

Now, I do sympathize with people when faced with a new technology -- but everyone can figure these things out once they've been shown how. Refusing to do it after you've been shown is just trying to be purposely helpless or blatantly arrogant.

A couple of excerts from the Invisible People:
That's my boss. She also believes when you fax a document, you lose it, so you
must make a copy of it before faxing. How she thinks the original document is
transported physically from our machine to another machine is something I should
ask her sometime.

And, finally, this absolutely hysterical exchange recounted by one poster:

"Did your boss ever live in Albuquerque, say around 1990? I ask because at that time my then BF, now DH was working in copy shop. This woman came in & really insisted, vehemently, that she needed to fax her daughter the airline ticket she was holding in her hand.

The daughter, who did not have a fax machine on her end, was sitting by the phone waiting for a physical piece of paper to arrive somehow & allow her to catch her plane. The one that left within a couple hours.

He tried to explain it to her, but she was so insistent that he started to lose his temper. I stepped in (I was waiting for him to get off work) and tried, too. She just would.not.believe us.

She and her daughter truly believed that the ticket would be sucked into the machine & spit out into the phone at the daughter's house. Eventually, I suggested calling the airline & seeing if they could reissue the ticket & have it waiting for her when she arrived, but that was declared a 'stupid' idea and she stomped off in search of a copy shop where they could HELP her.


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