Thursday, September 22, 2005

People are stupid

Omar Gosh and his cousin, Oliver SuddenAs you might have ascertained from my profile, I am an aquarium technician. Basically, I clean fish tanks and treat sick fish. Most of the tanks I maintain are at people's homes or Doctors offices. However, for the last year and a half, I've worked primarily inside the fish store owned by my employer. In that time, I've come to a substantial conclusion about our society; people are stupid.

This simple fact is perpetually reinforced everyday I go to work. If you work in sales, retail, human resources, or have a job that requires you to deal with people in any way, then you know exactly what I mean.

Without a doubt, the most commonly asked question in any type of retail store is, "Do you work here?" I have literally been asked this question hundreds of times. Under normal circumstances, this is not necessarily a stupid question. However, I seem to be asked this no matter what I'm doing. On a number of occasions, I've been asked this question while one of my arms is completely submerged into an aquarium, cleaning it:

Moron: "Do you work here?"
Me: "No, I just like to touch other people's fish."

I've even been asked this while catching a fish for another customer:

Other moron: "Do you work here?"
Me: "No, isn't this a self-service pet store?"

Just today, a customer asked me if I "work here" while I was operating the cash register:

Yet another moron: "Do you work here?"
Me: "No, this a robbery, stick 'em up"

One time, after greeting a customer with my standard, "How can I help you?" I was immediately asked if I spoke English. Now, I live in an area (Southern California) where Spanish is quickly becoming the official language, and it has become necessary to sometimes enquire as to the appropriate manner of expression. However, after HAVING JUST SPOKEN ENGLISH, any previous questions about my heritage and language of choice should have been answered. Also, as you might have noticed from any of the pictures on this blog, that I am one of the whitest humans to have ever walked the face of the Earth; there are certain times during the summer that I am unable to go outside. A guy THAT white in Southern California, speaking fluent English with a native accent. It should come as no surprise that English is my primary language. GOSH!

People are stupid.

This simple truth is also consistently validated at the cinema. Have you ever been in a movie theater, and found yourself wanting nothing more than to senselessly beat the person in front of you? I think we all have.

A few weeks ago, I went and saw a special screening of one of my favorite movies, the Blues Brothers. The party in front of me was courteous enough to get themselves intoxicated before being seated, you know, to make the movie more enjoyable for everyone else. These incredibly thoughtful people decided it would be a good idea to break into applause after every musical number, not to mention recite their favorite lines along with the movie.

When I went to see the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, there was a woman present with her son, who was worse than the aforementioned drunks. This mother/son duo, felt it was their duty to stand up during every fight scene and shadow-box the bad guys. Then, after literally any plot development that was even remotely positive, these two mental giants broke into applause. It took every ounce of restraint for me to not huck my cherry Icee® in their direction.

What kind of mental void must a person have to think that is acceptable behavior? Did these people fall, and subsequently suffer some form of head trauma? Had they taken some bad prescription medicine from Canada? Are their parents cousins? Who knows.

The shadow boxing lady's son has an excuse. His mom is flippin' crazy. But what about everyone else?

People are stupid.

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Blogger Theteak said...

I must admit to being a little embarrassed by your post. I will never shadow box during 'Sleepless in Seattle' or 'Steel Magnolias' again. I had no idea I was being so selfish.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 12:47:00 AM  
Blogger Impacted Wisdom Truth said...


Tell us how you really feel, Pec.

Yes, people can be frustrating. Are you sure the guy asking if you spoke English was not just kidding?

If your boss perchance reads that post, he or she might be alarmed that one of their employees is calling their customers "stupid" in a public venue.

Regarding movies, I agree with you. I detest spending so much money only to be annoyed by demonstrative, inconsiderate buffoons.

So if you like a quiet, tranquil movie-going experience, do not ever go see The Rocky Horror Picture Show in a theater. :)

Thursday, September 22, 2005 2:39:00 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

I have never worked with the public, all my jobs have been either labour or technical - the sort where you don't see the light of day because your desk is in a pit somewhere. Social interaction is thus limited to the water cooler, and consists of waiting patiently and perhaps raising your eyebrows if someone looks at you (well - the first time they look at you at least - after that you avoid eye contact for the rest of the day).

Thursday, September 22, 2005 6:48:00 AM  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

I had just read this when our warehouse bell rang and a delivery guy was here picking up some mail. After we load up his truck, he rolls down his door, turns to me, and with utter seriousness in his voice, asks, "Do you have a bathroom in this facility?"

For a brief moment, I was tempted to responed by saying, "Nah, we have to go outside in the back."

Hip and Thigh

Thursday, September 22, 2005 7:47:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I love that photo at the top of the post! :-)

I used to work in a middle school, so I actually counted on stories like this to be a job benefit. We had a boy with really baggy clothes come into the office...

Boy: Have you seen my shoes? I lost them.
School Secretary: Where did you last see them?
Boy: On my feet. I wear them really loose.
School Secretary: Well young man, I suggest you get a belt before you lose your pants too!

I couldn't hardly keep it together. :-) How can you lose your shoes off your feet?!

Thursday, September 22, 2005 8:19:00 AM  
Blogger Jeremy Weaver said...

Seriously though, Do you speak English?
I really want to know.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 8:47:00 AM  
Blogger dumbutdeep said...

Augh, the evil shadow boxing family would have made me blind with rage!
One really bad movie yahoo sat behind me in the 'The Passion'. His cell phone went off , and he ANSWERED it! I wasn't totally changed and moved by that movie like so many, but I must say, that was insensitive.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 8:58:00 AM  
Blogger Chris Freeland said...

We have morons like that where I live too. We call them "Texans."

Thursday, September 22, 2005 9:02:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I can hardly believe how inconsiderate people can be with a cell-phone if given the chance.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 9:02:00 AM  
Blogger Bryan said...

I too work with the public and am in full agreement with you; people are stupid.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Bazooka-Joe said...

You get cherry icees in your theatres?!?! What the heck!


Thursday, September 22, 2005 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Sojourner said...

People are stupid, yes indeed.

One of my many jobs to pay my way through school was working night-shift at a 24 hour Super Wal-Mart. One night whilst I was stocking shelves, some goombah threw a match into a stack of 100% cotton pillows, setting up an immediate blaze to the ceiling.

The Wal-Mart soon filled with smoke. I was one of the last people out of the back to come out the front. On my way out, through the haze, I see a woman bent over a stack of clothing.

Woman: Wow, this is a great sale on these jeans. Do you work here? Could you help me find these in 38 waist?

Me: Ma'am, it's two in the morning and the store is on fire.

Woman: Oh....are the registers closed then?

*See me exit conversation, stage left*

Thursday, September 22, 2005 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger centuri0n said...

I think that asking, "do you work here" is a legimiate question about 90% of the time, but of course it's the other 10% which are memorable and annoying. And, of course, it only stings when it is your boss who is asking you that question.

Here's the question for your blog-audience, Pecadillo: have you ever been asked "Do you work here" while you are merely shopping rather than working?

Thursday, September 22, 2005 1:12:00 PM  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Frank asks:
Here's the question for your blog-audience, Pecadillo: have you ever been asked "Do you work here" while you are merely shopping rather than working?

(Fred) Yep, I sure have. Once while in Macy's (I was there with a friend). The funny thing about the whole ordeal is that Macy employees are required to dress formal. You know, women with the skirts and nice blouse, guys in a suit and tie. Not only that, they wear name tags. Here I am standing in some short pants, tee-shirt and flip flops and this lady askes me, "Do you work here?"

Hip and Thigh

Thursday, September 22, 2005 1:23:00 PM  
Blogger Libbie said...

I've been asked 'Do you work here?' while I was in a nightclub. I was wearing a mini and a bikini top at the time, so I'm really not sure what kind of job this person thought I might be doing....

Thursday, September 22, 2005 1:25:00 PM  
Blogger Joanna Martens said...

This one guy came up to me while I was working in a coffee shop asking if we had water...

Thursday, September 22, 2005 3:28:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Martens said...

Do you blog here?

Thursday, September 22, 2005 4:03:00 PM  
Blogger suzi said...

wow better watch out for my brother during a Lakers game. He's been known to get up and play the sport while watching! He has now passed that trait onto his nephew.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 5:02:00 PM  
Blogger Mikey C said...

When I worked in a supermarket, I had a man ask me if we had any of "those things that come in boxes." Yeah, we stock some of those.

Also, a man asked for Rice Pudding. After much fun in the tinned food aisle, it turns out he wants rice.

Shops would be a lot easier to work in without customers.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 5:04:00 PM  
Blogger uhhuh said...


I am sure the Texas congregation of which you are a "minister" appreciates your immature generalizations, Rev. Freeland.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 6:31:00 PM  
Blogger Phil Johnson said...

Frank Turk wrote a great post today on the concept of humor, for those who may still be unclear on the concept.

And one of the ways "maturity" is usually expressed is by a charitable refusal to take offense when there's no serious reason to think any offense was intended, u-haul.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 11:15:00 PM  
Blogger mrclm said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Friday, September 23, 2005 9:15:00 AM  
Blogger mrclm said...

I've always looked at it this way:

Think of how stupid the average person, then realize that half the population is actually less intelligent than that.

But somehow we manage to survive as a society...

Big Chris
Because I said so blog

Friday, September 23, 2005 9:17:00 AM  
Blogger Bazooka-Joe said...

We don't get ANY icees in our theatres, much less cherry flavored. I'm starting a petition.

Friday, September 23, 2005 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Pecadillo said...

Bazooka, not only do we get cherry icees, we get white cherry icees. If your not familar, it tastes the same as a normal cherry, but since it's white, you don't look like you're wearing lipstick. If I were you, I'd think about moving.

Friday, September 23, 2005 2:52:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Wow, not only do you have a nearby Chipotle for fine Mexican eating, but you also have icees in your movie theaters?! Sounds like an amazing place to live! =)

Friday, September 23, 2005 3:58:00 PM  
Blogger Bazooka-Joe said...

Hah! Pecadillo, this is Portland, around here we don't move, people move to us. We have our own ways of dealing with movie theatres' lack of appropriate frozen treats. Portland likes to picket, riot, and then sue the police for emotional damages incurred due to rubber bullets after we started attacking them. Oh wait...maybe moving isn't such a bad idea afterall?

Friday, September 23, 2005 4:12:00 PM  
Blogger Will said...

As a stupid person, I am offended by this post. Who doesn't love shadow boxing in the theater?

One other thing that I like to do is get onto an elevator before the people getting off can get out.

Friday, September 23, 2005 4:36:00 PM  
Blogger Silens Vox said...

Pica, I was truely curious if you would name Phil among the "stupid" for killing the pet rumblefish you gave him. :) Seeing how Phil hangs around here, I think you have chosen wisely.


Saturday, September 24, 2005 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Matt Brown said...

Be ready to be asked the "do you work here" question if you dare wear a red polo-type shirt to Target.

Saturday, September 24, 2005 5:23:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Moorhead said...

Look like them some good ole’ boys from Texas on yer picture. Reminds me of that movin’ picture show, “Deliverance.”

Sunday, September 25, 2005 7:35:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Matt Brown said, "Be ready to be asked the "do you work here" question if you dare wear a red polo-type shirt to Target."

I've had that experience, but it's ok, I know the store pretty well. People have gotten pretty good service when I've been an accidental imposter employee.

You're going to have to do a sequel to this post someday. Your visitors seem to really connect with stupid people. ;-)

Sunday, September 25, 2005 8:39:00 PM  
Blogger uhhuh said...

"Deliverance" was set and filmed in Georgia.

Monday, September 26, 2005 9:12:00 AM  
Blogger Wes Langdon said...

Pec, you and the equally frustrated Bill Engvall share the same mindset, but by the same token, I'm sure you've been the logically deficient 'Texan' who asked if the guy with the hanger in his car window if he locked his keys in. This lead to my most recent blog, only it is reguarding the Common-Sense Defecit Syndrome of teens. Read it at:

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 7:19:00 PM  
Blogger Wes Langdon said...

oddly enough, i didnt even like deliverance.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005 7:25:00 PM  
Blogger Terry Lange said...

I agree, just spend eight hours making outgoing collection calls or answering incoming calls and you will never doubt again that people are really dumb!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 9:46:00 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

What an hilarious post! Reminds me of the time I was tellig a lady about some twins I know: Joseph and Leah. She wanted to know if they were identical.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Richelle said...

My best friend used to work at a movie theatre. There, the high IQ citizens of the college town the theatre was in would ask brilliant questions like:

What time does the 7PM Matrix start?

But the real humdinger was when she standing at the register in front of the popper, heaped full of golden yellow popcorn exuding that distinct movie popcorn scent. Yes, folks, someone actually approached my friend and asked "Do you sell popcorn?" The lady was serious. She really wanted to know....

Friday, October 21, 2005 2:23:00 AM  
Blogger Don said...

No sh+t. people are stupid & rude. I work at a large hardware chain store we wear bright vests. People have asked me. (do you work here?) No sh&t
lady. Rude people are so abundant it is unbelievable. They have no thought
for anybody but them selfs. at anytime in there lives. I hate most people. I have worked in retail for almost 20 years. I am not the brightest person that ever drew a breath. But, I am nice to others & care for the people I love. DCGJ

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