Stupid People

I used to refer to Fridays as “Stupid People Day”, based on traffic and driving habits alone; seems everyone lost a few IQ points that day, anticipating the weekend perhaps.

Lately, it seems like stupidity is even more rampant, sad to say.

Of course, we’re all familiar with the driver who continues for miles with his turn signal on; or one who stops in the middle of the road because he’s lost or missed his turn, instead of pulling over or turning around. These are, unfortunately, normal occurrences.

A couple days ago, waiting in Blockbuster for the clerk to see if a game had come in since my son had called earlier, I mentioned that the game had been due back the previous day. Another clerk remarked, in all seriousness, “Well, people don’t always return things on the due date.”

Really? I thought everyone was prompt about returning movies and games – I know I am (wink, wink). Maybe her comment was just so irritating because she used the tone one would employ with a six-year-old. And she was about half my age.

Earlier this week I called the mechanic who was working on my daughter’s car; the estimate had jumped from $300 to $700, and back down again to $200, so I was curious as to the problem. Turns out, he quoted her $200 or more for a $50 part. Now, it seems as though if I can look up the cost, so could he, right?

Then he said: “Seems to me that I’ve talked to one too many people about this car.” Huh? Let’s say my husband and I had brought a car in for work – might not either or both of us call to see if it was ready, or ask the cost? Two people asking questions is too many? Really? Is that in the mechanics’ rules of operation or something?

In the grocery check-out line last week, the lady in front of me waited until the total was rung up to dig our her checkbook, and a pen, and start laboriously writing out a check. Hello? Ever heard of a debit card? Or even, gasp, filling out most of the check before the total is displayed? And she talked. And talked. And the cashier responded. Pretty soon, we had five people in line, behind me, and my groceries were still sitting there, waiting to be scanned.

And no rant on stupidity would be complete without mentioning telemarketers and bill collectors. In the past year, we’ve paid off almost every old debt, which is certainly an accomplishment, but of course,the collectors don’t care unless it’s THEIR debt. But I digress.

The phone rings. I say, “Hello”, just like a normal person. I hear people in the background, talking, laughing, hootin’ and hollerin’, and so forth; but I get no response. “Hello?” Nothing. Click.

Or, like this morning: ring, ring. “Hello?” “Hi, is this Robin?” “Maybe. Who is this? You called me, after all.” “Oh, this is Tracy.” Hmmm. I don’t know a Tracy.

“Tracy who? From where?”

“I can’t give you any information until I verify that this is Robin. Is _______ your birthdate? What is your social security number?”

Um, how dumb do these people think we are?? How many public service announcements have we all heard saying not to give out private information?

Turns out, it was a company from whom we had just received a bill the day before; they were calling to, what, ask if we’d gotten it? Inquire about our health? Nope, they wanted to know if we were going to pay it. Excuse me, but I just got the bill – can you give me, oh, I don’t know, five minutes to actually read it?

People in general just don’t think – and I suppose those of who do, should probably gear up for more as the dumbing down of America continues.


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