Idiot of the Week: Think Before You Reply (All)

A belated congratulations to Jen and Gabi for their stellar additions to the Idiot of the Week Blog Hop. I can’t seem to keep up with the demands of a weekly blog hop, so for now I am returning to the old-fashioned approach of complaining about idiots at my leisure.

The most recent idiots to catch my eye did so literally, by sending 13 emails within one minute of each other. Reply All strikes again. It is a great invention, but in the wrong hands, it can only spell disaster. I’m not talking about the accidental use of reply all, where you send that, “Can you believe this guy, what a jackass” email to your whole office. That’s hilarious. (Unless it happens to you, in which case it is a total gut punch.)

No, I’m talking about the nitwits who intentionally reply all for the dumbest and most irrelevant shit imaginable. Have some discretion, for the love of God! Just ask yourself, “Is there any reason whatsoever that I need to share this with my entire office, or is it really only applicable to one person?” It’s that simple.

In my office, if someone will be out sick, a manager will email the whole team with this information. But then every Tom, Dick, and Harry feels the need to reply all with their well wishes.
“Get better soon, Frank!”
“Drink lots of fluids!”
“Aww, no fun! Feel better!”

Why does this call for reply all? I’m not the one who is sick, so why do I need to know what Bob’s advice for Frank is? Why do I need to see if Tom wants Frank to get better or not? I don’t! Leave my inbox alone! It’s not like we all need to be updated on what advice has already been dispensed. Hmm, well, Bob already told Frank to drink water, so maybe I’ll suggest tea specifically, or I could remind him not to play outside in the cold…

I was starting to wonder if I was the only person in the world who understood how to use reply all correctly when something happened that restored my faith in humanity.

I received a mass email from a woman I did not know asking if the meeting was still on for today. I was about to reply to her (just her) to let her know she had the wrong person when someone beat me to it. And someone else. And someone else. Eventually people stopped explaining and would just say ‘ditto.’ I think she gets it by now! No need for us ALL to do a roll call and confirm that she included not a single correct email. She probably just typed in the wrong group name and is now realizing it. I doubt she hand-entered 30 emails for a phantom meeting we all had nothing to do with. Use your heads!

One minute and thirteen reply all emails later, I was ready to throw my computer out the window when the 14th reply all said, “There is no need to reply all.” Then a 15th person replied all, one of the higher ups, saying, “Everyone—please STOP replying to all. Just delete the message.” Based on the font size and color, I really took this last email to say, “You are all so fucking stupid it makes me want to die. Please, STOP replying all like a pack of raging morons, just delete the message and get on with your lives. UGH!”

I was so excited I wanted to run down to his office and scream and pull my hair like he was one of the Beatles.

American screaming Beatles fansI almost replied all saying, “THANK YOU! You are my hero!” but I thought that would undermine the point. So out of solidarity, I said nothing.

Then a 16th person replied all, with the final word on the issue. “Will there be donuts at this meeting?”

And there you have it. My palm was restored to my face, and my faith in humanity…

Announcing the Idiot of the Week Winner!

Thank you to everyone who participated in and supported this week’s Idiot of the Week Blog Hop! It is reassuring to know I am not the only one who thinks other people are idiots. I know there are more of you out there, and I hope to see you join the IOTW Blog Hop next week.

Now, a special congratulations to (drum roll)….Arden, at Musings of a Dancing Wino, for her winning post about her idiot coworker. Her prize is the satisfaction of knowing that out of all the idiots this week, her idiot was the most idiotic, based on the number of Likes her post received. I highly recommend checking it out here – I am positive you can relate to some or all of what she says if you have ever felt like this:

And a very honorable mention goes to Jill at Universal Musings for her post on idiots who misuse words. This is also extremely relatable, so go read her post now so you can either commiserate or make sure you aren’t one of these idiots. This topic is near and dear to my heart and I can’t believe I haven’t written about it yet. In high school I had a teacher who liked to say ‘for all intensive purposes’ instead of ‘for all intents and purposes’ and it drove me crazy. In our lessons on Charlemagne, he liked to refer to him as Charmaine. Um, this is what I think of when I hear the name ‘Charlemagne’:

(Actually, to be honest, this is what I think of when I hear the name ‘Charlemagne’:




because I’m like, Uh, who the f is that?)

And this is what I think of when I hear the name ‘Charmaine’:

(my apologies if your name is Charmaine and you are not a stripper, I do not wish to insult)

Even for the Charmaines who aren’t strippers, there is still a big difference between them and Charlemagne. The least of which being the number of syllables in their name. Just sound it out. It’s not that hard. I love when people see my last name (4 syllables, 11 letters), panic, and just blurt something out that has half the syllables and but new letters and sounds added. Yeah, that’s it. You had a one in a million shot that the word you made up happens to be my name and you got it. Well done.

But I digress.

Thanks again for being a part of the first Idiot of the Week Blog Hop and I hope to see you back next week!

Idiot of the Week: Reason #341 Not to Go out in Public

People: one of the many reasons I don’t like going out in public. More specifically, people whose voices carry their moronic conversations over to my ears and make me want to perform a chopstick lobotomy. If I’m not part of your conversation, but can still hear every word of it, you are too loud. If I am responding to your rhetorical questions a table away, you are too loud. As fun as it is to make sarcastic commentary that you can’t hear because I know what an “inside voice” is, I would still prefer that you have your conversation and I have mine. I didn’t come out to a restaurant to be inundated with stupid from every table around me.

This weekend I was sitting a table away from a particularly loud-mouthed 20-something. She had just graduated college, so naturally she knew everything about everything. She was in the process of explaining the ways of the world to her mother and younger brother when she came upon the subject of the metro. The metro really isn’t that bad, she explained, but you do have to deal with the occasional creep who tries to hit on you, or worse, cop a feel on a crowded train. As an expert on the topic, she took a moment to explain to her mother and brother just how annoying it is to be hit on by strangers, because nobody really understands it quite as well as she does. “It’s not just that you are getting hit on,” she explained further, “it’s that it is always by these ‘gross’ people, like working class, blue-collar people, like people who are in a lower social class — I know that sounds bad,” she acknowledged, “but you know what I mean,” she defended.

You know what a good thing to do is when something sounds bad out loud? Don’t say it! Especially when your voice is a shout and 20 people are going to hear you. Or, even better, take a second to think about why it sounds bad (because there is probably a very good reason!) and then maybe think about what you really mean and rephrase your elitist, ignorant comment before it comes tumbling out of the loudspeaker that is your mouth.

Being in the ‘working class’ does not make you gross, nor does it make you a womanizer. Don’t stereotype every working class guy into your image of the construction worker who cat calls women as they pass. Working class men aren’t inmates in a men’s prison, starved of regular exposure to the female population. They have wives and girlfriends just like everyone else. They are not automatically interested in you because they perform manual labor. Grabbing a girl’s ass on the metro makes you gross. Leering down someone’s blouse makes you a creep. It doesn’t matter if you are wearing coveralls or an $800 suit.

Would she prefer that only CEOs and college professors ogle and grope her on the metro? Yes, that is so flattering and romantic! *Swoon* Who gives a shit what he does for a living – a creep is a creep! Here is an idea for you – repeat what you just said next time you are on the metro – you might get hit, but I promise you won’t get hit on. Problem solved!

Glad I got that off my chest! Now it’s your turn! Vent about the biggest idiot you encountered this week in a post, then share the link in the link-up below anytime between now and Sunday. Don’t forget to include this badge in the post! (Get the badge code on the Idiot of the Week tab). Check back at the end of the day on Monday to see who had the most likes!

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Idiot of the Week: I Can Do Anything You Can Do Better

I am no stranger to the saying, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” Just look at the title of this site; of course I think I can do everything better myself! Group projects? Pass! Screw you guys, I’d rather do the whole thing alone. Subway sandwiches? Move over, I’ll show you how to make a sandwich. (I mean, yes, I did ask for onions but did you honestly think I wanted two handfuls? And nobody needs so much lettuce that their sandwich can’t close. And who puts the mayo on last? You are supposed to spread it on the bread! I don’t want to take a bite of sandwich and have it just be lettuce and mayo!)

yumBut people forget that this adage has its limits, and few seem aware of the contrary and less popular saying, “If you want to fuck something up royally, by all means, do it yourself.” Like cutting your own bangs – even though it seems like you would just cut across in a straight line…you can’t. Or tailoring your own clothes. Or anything involving car maintenance. If you have some knowledge in these areas, then sure, maybe you can do it yourself. But if not…consider that there is a reason that people do this for a living, and that they may have honed a skill that you haven’t.

Even I will admit that not everyone is an idiot and that some people are better than me at doing their own job. One instance where this is true is at the grocery store. Ever since the introduction of the Self Check-Out, people have flocked to those kiosks to scan and bag their own items because they assume it will be faster. If it’s new and it’s technology, it must be better! And sometimes it is. When I have one or two items, and they both have a bar code, and there is no line for the Self Check-Out, I agree that it is just as fast for me to check out myself and enjoy the added bonus of not having to talk to anyone.

But beyond that, I’m sticking to my tried-and-true human check-out person. If I have a cart full of groceries to scan and bag, why would I want to do all that work when I could be standing there watching someone else do it at a much faster rate? These people bag groceries all day long. They already have the codes for avocados and Gala apples memorized. They sort cans away from eggs and bread without even thinking. If they double scan something they can just delete it and don’t have to clench their fists and teeth while an automated voice tells them there seems to be a problem and wait for the attendant to come help. There is no way I could be faster at checking out than this person.

So why is it that every time I want to go to the Self Check-Out to scan one freaking bag of tortilla chips so I can go home and enjoy my fresh guacamole, there is a line four people deep of idiots with a cart full of groceries? What are you people doing? Did you honestly think this would be faster? These kiosks were not designed for more than a handful of items. There isn’t even enough room at the kiosk to unload all your groceries, nor is there enough room to bag them. But if you remove one of your bags to make room for another, the machine freaks out and stops everything to accuse you of stealing. “Please do not remove items from the bag. No really, put that back, where do you think you are going with that jar of pickles? Did you think I wouldn’t notice? I am a machine, I know everything!”

How could this possibly be faster than someone flinging your items down a conveyor belt and bagging them like a human-octopus hybrid? I mean these people are fast. What makes you think you can waltz in there and magically do a better job than someone who does this 20-40 hours a week? Especially when you are in fact slow as shit. I am going to write a book called, The Audacity of Confidence, where I complain about people who have way more faith in themselves than they should. I’m sorry, but we aren’t all incredibly talented and competent. Ask Darwin. These delusional slowpokes need to face facts and just get out of the way so those of us with three items or less can get in, get out, and get on with our lives…or guacamole…whatever!

What do you think – are your local cashiers competent enough to earn your trust or do you feel better off alone? Take the poll!