Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

General Stupidity

This post is prompted by my experiences of today.

I will preface the core of the post by stating, unequivocally, that I am a smart person. Like every person I can do dumb things. Like every person there are things I do not understand. Regardless of that, I am a smart person. I took the honors-level classes in high school and scored well in most of them without trying. I went to a difficult university and graduated with a high GPA (I also did extra curricular activities, was a double major and worked retail part-time). I know I am not the smartest person in the world. I know there are LOTS of people smarter than me. But I also know I am well above average.

Because of this stupidity bothers me. A lot.

Today was a day of excessive stupidity.

In one of my schools today marked the day of some standardized testing. All of the work-related stupidity centers around that process.

The first incidence of stupidity today involved a general inability to count and relay a number to my staff.
This is a very simple process consisting of TWO steps:
1. Count the number of people needing an item who do not have one of that item.
2. Relay the number in 1 to the people who have extras of the item so they may bring you how many you need.

In theory this SHOULD have resulting in myself and the remainder of my staff loading a cart and delivering the correct number of units to all of the people in need in a single pass. We had to make at least 6 trips. The worst destination had to receive units THREE times because they were unable to count the number of people without a unit accurately. (Side note: the destination that required the largest number of units required 6. That means that the highest anyone needed to count to was 6).

Incident number two involved a singular staff member who was responsible for two units being
used in the testing. This staff member successfully, and without ANY intervention from anyone in my staff, got the first of the two units up and running. The stupidity comes in where the staff member was unable to follow the same process on the second unit. I would completely understand if they had required assistance to get the first one going but to have the first one running and then mess up the second baffles me.

The next incidence of stupidity involved 12-14 year old people who were unable/unwilling to follow SIMPLE instructions. In order to accomplish a standardized task I wrote a script. That script is named in a self-descriptive way and EASY to find. So easy, in fact, that it is the TOP item in the list of applications. The students had SIMPLE instructions:
1. Open the Applications folder.
2. Go to the TOP item
3. Drag it to your desktop
4. Double-click the version on your desktop.
5. Touch NOTHING else until you are told to do so.

I had a variety of students who failed at each of the above SIMPLE steps. Some, despite having used the equipment for 3 years already, failed to locate the Applications folder. Others failed to go to the top of the list. Others failed to drag the correct item (or ANY item) to their desktop. A few failed to double-click the item after dragging it. Several failed task #5.

So my morning brought a great deal of frustration to me.

When the time finally came for me to get my mid-day escape I went to lunch. While at lunch I encountered the following:

1. In a nearly empty venue I took an out of the way table in a quiet, unoccupied room. Almost immediately two noisy and obnoxious women took the table nearest to me.
2. This venue has two soda fountains. Each soda fountain has two halves and both halves have nearly identical selections. This means there are, essentially, 4 drink stations for customers to get drinks. While waiting for my turn at the drink dispenser I watched the 6 people in front of me each select a drink and proceed to block two drink stations to fill their drink.
3. Just after I sat down, but before the women in the next point showed up,  I witnessed a discussion between two men about which exit they should take. One of them was suggesting that they should go out the exit closest to them and the other suggested the front door. If this had been a 15 second conversation with two legitimate exits I wouldn't have bothered to notice. First: it was a nearly five minute discussion. Second: the closest door is clearly marked, in LARGE, RED letters right on the door that it is an EMERGENCY EXIT ONLY - ALARM WILL SOUND. The door nearest them was clearly not an option.
4. The women mentioned in point 1 proceeded to complain about their bill (it is a order, pay, get food, sit down, eat place) and how expensive their lunch was and how they didn't think it would be that much and how offended they were that it was as expensive as it was. I MUST point out here that the menu, with pricing, covers the ENTIRE WALL behind the cashiers. In order for you to order you have to face this menu. If you don't like what you see you should GO SOMEWHERE ELSE before you order. These women then proceeded to complain loudly and stupidly about many other things. I ended up moving to a different table where a different group of loud people came and sat at the table nearest to me in a mostly empty venue.

So, now that I have relayed the obnoxious and complaintive background that makes the core of the post relevant I will move into that thought.

I often wonder how different the world would be if I were, at my current level of intelligence, the stupidest person alive.

Would it lead t a better world where great marvels of science and technology were wrought into existence by the most average of people? Would it be a world where unimaginable technologies (to us) were everyday, average equipment? Would we have left this planet and found new homes around other stars?
Would that world be filled with the problems that society has now or would the people there have found a solution to all of the problems in their society? What new problems would they discover?

Would those people be happier than people are today?

Most importantly (to me) would being in that position make me happier to NOT be exposed to such general stupidity on a daily basis or would I be thoroughly miserable being the stupidest person on the world and knowing it?

Anyone have any thoughts on this one?

No comments:

Post a Comment