I don’t deal with stupid people very well, I never have. Many have tried to cure me of this particular impatience but they haven’t succeeded very well. My wife, my mother, friends from church, colleagues at work, they all say things that are reminiscent of something my mother said to me once, “If it weren’t for all the idiots in the world, you wouldn’t look so smart, now would you?” I repeated this mantra this morning at the bagel shop when the girl behind the counter took a bagel from the hopper and found that it was too wide to fit into the chute that feeds the slicer. With no less than EIGHT knives hanging from a magnetic rack behind her, she looked at me and said, “I’m sorry, I can’t slice this one.” -sigh- Perhaps her manager won’t allow her to touch the knives, and that’s probably an excellent idea in this case; but if you ran a bagel shop, wouldn’t you hire people who could cut bread with a knife?
There are two places in the world that are magnets for stupid people. Boat ramps and airline ticket counters. Next year, I am going to take my video camera to the boat dock when fishing season opens. Look for me to win the grand prize on Funniest Home Videos. Until that day, I’ll be endlessly entertained by the people who walk up to the gate agent and ask their questions. Honestly, if you haven’t purposefully taken a seat near the counter, do it. It’s better than a TV sitcom. Last week I watched as an attractive long-legged blond lady in a micro mini-skirt sat in the middle of the waiting area and chose that place and time to take her bottle of lotion out of her purse and rub down her legs. I thought the people in line were going to topple each other like dominos.
See how many people ask questions that have obvious answers posted in plane sight like, “Has this plane left yet?” or “Has first class checked in full?” when the big screen is scrolling “First class has checked in full…” over and over. My favorite is when big groups come, “We’re a family of six and somehow the computer didn’t put us all together in one row.” Or, “My 7 friends and I all want a window seat; could you rearrange everyone else on the plane to suit our needs, please?”
We’re pretty spoiled over here, and it’s probably a good idea to remember that once in awhile. Especially as you help yourself to feel smarter while you watch (and smile) at the poor sots around you…
EXTRA: If you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc, please send an email! Your questions will be recorded and Ken will answer the best ones in his Ask the Expert podcast show.