This week, instead of allowing them to get the best of me and ruin my day-I embraced them. I allowed their stupidity to make me laugh, and I found myself in a much better humor at the end of the day. Let me say, I don't always leave work angry. Just when the full moon comes around, because that's when THEY come out. That's right-the stupid people. Normally, when THEY come out, my boss has to remind me almost hourly "You can't fix it Paige, you just can't fix stupid." It's a statement that really helps.
First of all, let's start slow. As most of you know, I work for an insurance company where I sell insurance and assist customers that have current policies with us. My entire office takes turns answering the phone. So it's not like the first person to ALWAYS answer is a receptionist.
With that said, I answer the phone in my professional greeting and I get "Paige? Is B or D available? B & D are coworkers that I am keeping names private as they probably don't know I'm blogging this. I respond VERY politely "No ma'am, D has a customer with him currently and B is on another line. May I take a message or try to assist you?" Her response? "Well, do you work there?" Ummm. Nope. I actually was going for a nice walk down a very busy road in our area and heard the phone ring and thought I'd stop in. Can't fix stupid.
My next encounter (shortly after someone questioned my employment) was a guy that was around my age coming in to get a price quote on a vehicle. Bless his heart. He was going through a divorce and was needing insurance on a new vehicle. I asked him what he was currently driving and he said "It's the white car. My wife has it insured here already." Ummm. Sir, we don't have pictures of your cars IN our computer, I need a name of the customer and the type of vehicle. "The white car" just won't cut it. Unfortunately, he couldn't remember anything about his old vehicle except its snowy white exterior. First experience of it. Can't fix stupid.
But oh, how it went on. He brought me a VIN (vehicle identification number) of a new vehicle he was considering. In case you don't know, the VIN is a 17 digit combination of letters and numbers on the title and dashboard of every car that are unique to that vehicle that tell us insurance people about the year, make, model, etc. Anyway, this VIN he brought me was VERY unique. He stated "I don't really know why those two T's were upside down on the VIN, but they were. They may be L's, but I'm pretty sure they are upside down T's. But I don't know how you type those in the computer." SAY WHAT?! Allow me to just flip my keyboard upside down, maybe that will work?? Sad thing is, he kept talking. He said "Miss, I know that is correct. Because if I looked at the VIN the other way, all the other letters and numbers would have been upside down." WHAT?! Surprise surprise, the VIN did NOT validate, and we had to manually attempt to determine exactly the specific model of this vehicle. I'm not sure how close we got. I do know that I had to get up, go to my boss's office and proceed to laugh with tears down my face and snorting (how embarrassing) in order to regain my composure to finish assisting the poor man in my office. Thank goodness for having to "get a second opinion" excuses. You can't fix stupid.
Let's switch gears and move to my Dad. My Dad works for UPS and spends his days delivering to people in several counties. Of course, he has specific guidelines he MUST follow for each individual delivery. One type of delivery that has special rules is called a C.O.D. In case you don't know, that stands for Cash On Delivery-no money, no box. Simple, right?
Dad was attempting to deliver a C.O.D. box when he realized the customers were not home. A friendly neighbor began to shout to my Dad, "HEY! You can just leave that here with me!" My Dad politely told him that it was a C.O.D. box and the guy said "Bring it over anyway!" So my Dad did. When he got there, he told the man the amount of money he needed and who to make the check out too. The man became very perplexed and said "Oh I don't have a check or any money on me. Just leave it with me and they will mail you a check." My Dad told him that he couldn't do that because it was a C.O.D. and that he could not leave the box without money. The man became very angry and said "I SAID they would mail it to you, it's not that big of a deal, just leave the box!!" Needless to say, my Dad did not leave the box. Maybe he just didn't realize what C.O.D. meant. Or maybe the letters were upside down there too and that is why he couldn't quite grasp the concept.
You. Can't. Fix. Stupid.