Sunday, May 13, 2007

Stupid Is as Stupid Does

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Since my previous post where I mentioned the challenges and frustrations of having a high IQ, several people have written to me privately about this same issue. I get particularly frustrated when someone won't just say what they mean.

I recently had Sears Home Improvement install new vinyl siding on the front of my home. About 400 square feet of my house had lots of wood trim... a rarity in California. As this side of the house gets a lovely Southern exposure (and plenty of sunshine), the wood was rotten, which is why I opted for vinyl.

Sears did a great job. If I have one complaint, it is the number of follow up surveys they send to see how happy I am with the job. "Uh - I would be a lot happier if I didn't have to fill out any more surveys..."

The other day, the Sears office lady (SOL) called and asked if I had received my permit from the city in the mail.

CH: I really wouldn't know. I don't open my mail for months on end.

SOL: You're kidding!

CH: No. I have my bills emailed and if I doesn't look like a birthday card or something really important, it goes in a pile and I deal with in January when I start posting last year's bills.

SOL: You're serious?

CH: So, if you really need to know, you're about seven months too early. (chuckle)

SOL: Oh, well, I was wondering about the permit cause I need to schedule your final inspection with the city.

CH: OK.

SILENCE

CH:.... And you need me to....

SOL: I need to schedule your final inspection with the city.

CH: And you need me to???

SOL: I need to schedule your final inspection with the city.

CH: How can I help you with that?

SOL: I need to schedule your final inspection with the city.

CH: (Frustrated) Ma'am, is it not clear to you that I don't understand what action you want me to take? Repeating yourself word for word when someone does not understand what you want does not help the situation. Now, again, what do you need from me?

SOL: I need to schedule your final inspection with the city.

CH: (Very frustrated) OK then, you go right ahead.

SOL: But I need to schedule it.

CH: It's on the front of my house.

SOL: But I need to schedule it.

CH: R i g h t... schedule it for any time you like. It's on the front of my house on a very busy, very public street and my house is pretty much here 24 /7. Try as it might, the poor girl never leaves home. So whenever you want to schedule that, the house is right here.

SOL: (Very frustrated)Ugh... OK thank you. Goodbye.

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Just WHAT did this poor girl want from me?? After she had repeated herself, I decided I really wanted her to spell it out. I was NOT going to offer up anything.

She could've said:

-I really need you to find that permit.

-I need you to be home in case the inspector has question. Can you give a few choices of times?

-I need you to schedule your own inspection.

Something, anything direct would have been nice.

Looking down on this girl from my lofty IQ, I can chalk this experience up to dealing with an idiot. But then, I'm reminded of a conversation I had with one of the ladies who designs cookie bouquets for me.

She is a psychiatric social worker and we were once talking about dealing with the intelligence impaired. She said the funniest thing: "You know, you can stop the next 100 people you see and ask them what they would change about their body and they will each give you a list as long as your arm. But ask them if they think they are smart, and every single one will tell you yes."

I am certain that poor girl at Sears turned around and said to her co-workers, "You won't believe the idiot I just had on the phone!"

3 comments:

Ordinary Janet said...

I bet she said that to her co-worker, too! Why is it that some things make perfect sense to some people and they can't understand why they don't make sense to you?

I can't believe you let your mail pile up like that!!

CreekHiker said...

Janet, In my defense, I WORK a lot of hours. I do everything for my business from web design, ad layouts, manufacturing, processing and shipping orders, and educating customers. By the time I call it a day and try to do paperwork, I just don't have anything left. I keep it all organized and make (very feeble) attempts at entering it into the computer every Monday. I also sort and recycle entire envelopes to make the volume less.

Really to keep better control, I would have to give up some of my free time...which would mean either blogging, hiking or gardening.

Ordinary Janet said...

oh, well, in that case I think blogging is more important than opening the mail. But I hope you watch out for stuff like jury duty notices!