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#413415 - 02/21/10 11:32 AM Bizarre stupidities
Machismo Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 1132
Loc: New Jersey
Ever witness bizarre stupidities that stop you in your tracks and make you doubt your own eyes?

I'm not as strong a misanthrope as some, but every once in a while I am baffled by what people will repeatedly do.

Case in point: I get a chicken salad or egg salad sandwich at the cafeteria at work on most days. Usually the same fellow prepares my sandwich, and I delight in watching his efficiency. He obviously thinks ergonomically. But every once in a while this other guy prepares my sandwich, and I get to see a different side of human nature.

It's a little thing, really, but he does it every time, and every time my jaw drops. He puts the two slices of bread down in front of him, then scoops the chicken or egg salad onto the right hand slice, then places the lettuce, tomato, and onion on the left hand slice, and then struggles, always unsuccessfully, to close the two slices in a handclapping motion in front of him without spilling anything. Always he spills and has to stuff the spillage back in between the slices. Again and again, over time, he has done the task exactly the same way, again and again having to deal with the completely unnecessary spillage. I just don't get it.

The other guy, of course, puts the chicken or egg salad, lettuce, tomato, and onion all on the same slice, and then places the other slice on top. Done! Simple!

Doing something clumsily once is very different from doing it clumsily again and again and again.

Any way. Got any anecdotes like that one? Here's a thread where you can shoot them into the ether for the bafflement, amusement, or nausea of others. jack

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#413419 - 02/21/10 11:43 AM Re: Bizarre stupidities [Re: Machismo]
M.D. Roche Offline
Banned

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 513
Loc: Albany, New York
epic fail pictures
see more Epic Fails
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#413423 - 02/21/10 12:42 PM Re: Bizarre stupidities [Re: M.D. Roche]
Zaftig Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 3409
And the phunchline is: "Oh I don't need a cup, just take a sample from Julie's mouth."

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#413426 - 02/21/10 12:49 PM Re: Bizarre stupidities [Re: Zaftig]
M.D. Roche Offline
Banned

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 513
Loc: Albany, New York
It's truly the greatest homework assignment of all time.
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#413427 - 02/21/10 12:51 PM Re: Bizarre stupidities [Re: Machismo]
verszou Offline



Registered: 09/05/07
Posts: 1814
Loc: Denmark
I've found this thing I call "Cargo cult programming" or "Cargo cult computing", which means repeating things you have seen others do and get results from without any real insight. I even catch myself at it sometimes.

In one case I was reviewing a web application that somebody had done and the design seemed overly complex. So I asked him why he had used an Enterprise Java Bean at one point and got the explanation starting with "I found this example code on Google ...", so basically his design choices were mandated by what working code turned up highest when searching.

Another one I get a lot is the refusal to read error messages. I sometimes get asked to help with problems by other programmers (my grumpy attitude mean that they only come to me when nobody else is available).

The first question I ask is "What error message do you get?". Nine out of ten times they cannot remember, and they haven't even gone near Google or any other tool that might give answers.

So I just stand there and watch them go through their strange motions of "I think the problem is in this part of the code ..." and "Perhaps it's a problem with ..." accompanied by a lot of opening and closing of source code editors until they get exhausted and look bewildered at me.

At this point I repeat the question "What error message did you get? And what does it mean?". This normally restarts the cycle of wild guesses. At some point they sense that I'm now gonna walk out on them and ask something like "But what would you do?" to which I reply "Read the error message and find out what that means".

On a good day this makes them look at the actual error, on a bad day this makes them revert to the latest copy from the version control system and try over again.

If they now look at the error it's often something simple "Oh, so 'file not found' meant that I was looking in the wrong directory for the file I'm trying to read".

Of course I could just have told them that in the first place, because I saw that the minute I looked at what they were doing - but then I'd just be giving them a quick fix and asking them to come back to get more quick fixes.
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#413428 - 02/21/10 01:03 PM Re: Bizarre stupidities [Re: verszou]
ROA Offline


Registered: 04/20/06
Posts: 43
Loc: Ohio
I find that often times, people just do not really pay attention to what they are doing. I encounter similar things at the cafeteria at my university. Some of the things that people do are astounding, and they keep doing them day after day without end. One of the things they will do is bake bread in the morning, and then have it sit under a light for hours, causing it to become almost brick like. They do this every single day, and end up wasting probably thousands of dollars worth of bread as time goes on.
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#413429 - 02/21/10 01:25 PM Re: Bizarre stupidities [Re: Machismo]
Shade Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 6135
Loc: A Trailer Park
Chicken Salad Sandwich Man Substitute immediately reminded me of Parking Booth Man. It was a very similar case of watching the weird ways of the world in wild action. I debated not posting this because it's kind of an old one and already part of my chronicles over at Unterkroft. But what the hey, it still makes me laugh. And, besides, I don't have that many friends so the likelihood of it already being read by too many is pretty slim. So here's my story for the collection:

-----

One of the odd joys in my life right now has been chronicling the trials and tribulations of the Parking Booth Man. I have decided to park in a street lot when I venture into civilization and because my OCD habits will not allow me to deviate from a routine once it has been established, this is where I park every day. And every day, Parking Booth Man is having some kind of problem.

I imagine that the Parking Lot Company does not pay him nearly enough for all the stress and agony this job apparently causes him. One day, I drove in and the ticket spitter was broken and Parking Booth Man was attempting to fix it by kicking it repeatedly. And I full well on intended to just sit in my car and watch this fiasco unfold, but I must have made him self-conscious because he turned and looked at my car idling in the turn-in for the lot and started flailing his arms around like an epileptic air traffic controller.

I interpreted his somewhat aggressive arm gestures to mean that I was to drive through without taking a ticket. This does not concern me, because I stay all day and so I would have to pay the full rate regardless but I sooooooooooo wanted to watch the meltdown. The kicking must have worked, by the way, because the ticket spitter was back to spitting out tickets the next morning.

Last week the Parking Booth Man was having issues making change for people. I have deduced from my extremely amazing observation skills, that this is probably because he sits in a claustrophobically small stifling hot poorly constructed ticket booth all day sucking in exhaust fumes. The seat in the booth is too tall and the window is too low, so you can’t really see Parking Booth Man in his booth... you can just hear him mumbling and cursing in his make-believe parking lot language.

In Parking Lot Land, I assume that a twenty dollar bill looks exactly the same as a tenner. I assume this, because on this particular day last week, I handed Parking Booth Man a brand new crisp clean twenty dollar bill spit freshly out of the outrageously priced ATM and after I got a receipt and no change and sat there for about thirty seconds... I realized he must have thought he gave me change. So I asked for change.

This was not some kind of confrontation… don’t worry. And even if it had been a confrontation, I am fairly certain I could annihilate Parking Booth Man with a swift head butt from the massively large round Dutch bobble-noggin. No, there was none of that. There was just Parking Booth Man… confused and turning this way and that on his too tall swivel stool in the booth, making confused grunts and noises and getting increasingly agitated about something until he was wildly flailing his arms around again.

At this point... I am trying... really really hard... not to laugh. I am nervous that my laughter at this point, because it would be uncontrollable, would cause the Parking Booth Man to spontaneously combust. It’s been known to happen, people. And then who oh who I ask you would entertain me everyday? So I suppress the urge to start the jiggledy giggledies. And wait. And wait. And wait… for Parking Booth Man to pull it together. After his loud and angry monologue, none of which I got because again he was speaking in that parking booth language that I don’t understand (and don’t forget he’s sitting like three feet above the car window), after that he takes a deep breath, hands me my change and says in the sweetest voice I have ever heard, “Have a good day”.



Oh, I already have, Parking Booth Man. I already have. Thanks.
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#413444 - 02/21/10 05:09 PM Re: Bizarre stupidities [Re: Shade]
SteelAndStone Offline


Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 40
Loc: California
Thanks for sharing, Shade, I needed the laugh.

I think in most of these cases (Parking Booth Man being excepted, since he has various random malfunctions rather than one consistent), sheer habit is playing a strong role. Stupidity (not realizing the behavior needs changed) and laziness (Verszou's coworkers) are also culprits, of course.
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#413472 - 02/22/10 12:03 AM Re: Bizarre stupidities [Re: Machismo]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10581
Loc: England
>> I am baffled by what people will repeatedly do. <<


He is an extremely unreasonable person. And for this reason projects his unreasonable nature onto everyone else.

He wants you to watch him. And he wants you to think that what you are asking for is unreasonable and is causing difficulty. However, committed to his job as he is - he struggles to complete the task - just for you.

He is better than you. And don't you forget it.

Now go forth into the world and be baffled no longer. Always remember this:

People - they want you to be wrong. just so they can be right.
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#413473 - 02/22/10 12:16 AM Re: Bizarre stupidities [Re: Machismo]
TheAbysmal Offline


Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 1024
Suggest that he switch the slices of bread upon which he places the ingredients, and watch in amazement how it neither helps prevent the spillage, nor helps prevent the preparer from doing it. smile
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#413549 - 02/22/10 07:27 PM Re: Bizarre stupidities [Re: TheAbysmal]
SteelAndStone Offline


Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 40
Loc: California
Or order a double-decker sandwich and watch his brain overheat when a third slice of bread enters the equation.
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#413552 - 02/22/10 07:51 PM Re: Bizarre stupidities [Re: SteelAndStone]
TheAbysmal Offline


Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 1024
smile
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#413629 - 02/23/10 12:19 PM Re: Bizarre stupidities [Re: Machismo]
Old_Pig Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 3969
Loc: The Deep South
I have witnessed what I call “physical stupidity”. It is supposed that any normal living being has an instinctive ability of placing his body and limbs is the right position to maintain balance in different situations. I have seen people who have somehow manage to cancel that intuitive skill.

When working in a warehouse I met this guy who would try to lift heavy boxes while positioning his legs and arms in ways contrary to the most elemental logic. So instead of lifting the box he would propel himself into the air, falling over or under the box every time. His problem was especially evident when a human-chain was formed and the box flawlessly passed from man to man until it reached his hands. There he tried to grab it by a corner or do an absurd, unnecessary arm twist… and box met floor.

It was both amusing and frustrating to watch him try again and again to lift a heavy object while his body’s center or gravity was way off center, giving himself a judo throw in the process.

Fortunately for the company the boxes contained folded blankets, so the constant falling and rolling over didn’t destroy much merchandize.
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#413632 - 02/23/10 12:31 PM Re: Bizarre stupidities [Re: Old_Pig]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10581
Loc: England
>> His problem was especially evident when a human-chain was formed and the box flawlessly passed from man to man until it reached his hands. There he tried to grab it by a corner or do an absurd, unnecessary arm twist… and box met floor.<<


These people are not that stupid.

This kind of thing is a perfect example of what Dr. LaVey called the genesis of the fuck-up.
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"u.v.ray blends the dark street poetry of Nelson Algren with the swagger and style of a young Iggy Pop."

www.uvray.moonfruit.com





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#413646 - 02/23/10 02:57 PM Re: Bizarre stupidities [Re: ]
ArtAche86 Offline


Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 380
Loc: Cthulhu's Bowels,Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Kantor
Oh, I worked at a woodwork store some years ago, and one of my co-workers was known for not being the sharpest tool in the shed, but when I conviced him that I could measure his IQ with a folding rule (measuring his head), I had to redefine my view on stupidity.


lol,Sounds more like gullibility than stupidity really.
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