Sometime the most brilliant people can't do the simplest things. I spent 34 years of my life mopping wrong til a Reddit thread made it glaringly obvious that I don't know how to use a dang mop.
I had to read the comment over about ten times and watch a YouTube a mopping tutorial, fam. I truly did.
And it's not like I had just never mopped, I have lived in a home with not an inch of carpet for like the last 20 years. I mop all the time. I was apparently just doing it wrong all the time.
You'll be pleased to know things are much improved and streak-free floors are now a part of my world, thanks to Reddit.
Thing is, I'm not the only one out here taking an average everyday thing and screwing it up wildly.
And this thread, this thread right here, it SO proves it. Come, join me whilst I dance among my peoples.
But The E-mails
I worked deskside IT support at a Fortune 10 company. There was a Director of some super important division, I think it was involved with the launch of new products. Like all Directors there, he had an assistant. Unlike the rest of the directors' assistants, she had THE biggest printer we supported sitting right next to her, and connected directly to her PC. It wasn't even on the network, so no one could use it but her.
Turns out, it's because EVERY DAY, this woman comes in, prints EVERY email the Director got single-sided, and puts a huge pile on his desk when it's done. He then goes through every one (of course, immediately trashing 99% of them), and hand-writes replies on the back. She then stays late EVERY DAY to type them up and send them. All because this dude found Outlook too challenging.
Had a kid at one of my jobs not know how to use a broom. He swept back and forth as a cartoon would.
My wife is a middle school teacher, and her principal is technologically illiterate. He updates the same Powerpoint (not the same template, but the same literal Powerpoint file) for every single presentation he makes. It's now an illegible mix of fonts, font sizes and formats. His bullet lists switch between unordered and ordered, and different types of sub-bullets (so there would be three "bullet" points, followed by a "4" and an "e").
The worst, though, was when he was giving a presentation about the #MeToo movement, talking about how it might potentially impact their students and staff. Thing was, the guy has no idea what a hashtag is, or how to talk about them in a public setting. His entire presentation, he was talking about the "Pound Me Too Movement".
No actual message was communicated that day.
Turn The Page
I was checking into a hotel and asked if I could get access to the conference room to start setting up for the training I would be conducting all week.
The lady at the desk was adamant we hadn't booked their conference room for a full week. It had only been booked for today. We went back and forth for a little bit until she got out the schedule book to show me.
The schedule book was just a spiral bound book with calendar pages. She points at today the 31st and says "see there's nothing after this."
I screamed internally and just turned the page to show that reality didn't end at midnight and our company name was indeed written in every day that week. She didn't give me any trouble after that.
A Teachable Moment
One of my friends asked me if I would go to the gas station with her and fill up her tire with air because she didn't know how. I gave her the same answer I give most people when they ask me to do something simple that they will need to do again at some point.
"I'm happy to go with you. I won't do it for you BUT I will show you how to do it." She thanked me and said she asked me because she knew I wouldn't make fun of her and was worried people would think she was stupid because she didn't know how to do it.
She was always the first person to call herself stupid. In reality she was just sheltered and underexposed. Our overpopulated public school failed her and let her slip through the cracks (she barely graduated high school). She can be a little slow to grasp a new concept and most people wouldn't take the time to help her so she just figured "she was too stupid to figure anything out"
She really is smarter than she gives herself credit for (and smarter than most of her friends whether she believes it or not). She just lacks confidence in herself. Once something "Clicks" for her, she's got it and can easily build upon that knowledge.
My mom and Gmail.
Quote: „No, I don't need a password to log in. Now get my emails back."
I get older generations are not as tech-savy, not having grown up with computers and internet, but come on, you've had that stupid computer for at least ten bloody years. You must have picked up on the basics by now.
I once saw someone in my office start to climb up the wrong side of a common metal A-frame ladder before being stopped.
So I washed cars at a car dealership as a summer job in high school. Part of my job was to take cars to the gas station if they had less than a 1/4 tank of gas in them to make sure they had enough fuel in case a customer wanted to do a test drive.
One day I take new Chevy to the gas station. I think it was a Malibu. I park at the pump, go around to the gas cap, and see that you can't open it from the outside. "Oh, this must be one of those cars that has a release button on the inside", I think to myself. So I go back to the driver's seat and look around for a button/lever. But there's nothing there. I spend a few minutes looking around but I can't find anything.
So I give up and drive back to the dealership and ask my coworker how to get at the gas tank in these new cars. He walks over to the gas cap, pushes it in with one finger, and it springs open. facepalm.
Served in the army for a brief time with a girl who didn't know you had to rinse clothes after you soaped them while manually doing laundry. We had incidents where our laundry services would be woefully behind schedule, so occasionally, you had to do some sink laundry here and there. She would get hers wet, soap it up, and then just hang it and wonder why hers always came out worse than everyone else's.
A Smug Grin
A housemate of mine once put something in the microwave that was covered in tin-foil (Not a "foil" lid, something she had covered in actual foil to re-heat).
I saw it happen out of the corner of my eye and dived in to open the microwave before anything went wrong. She got very angry and said "what are you doing? I'm trying to cook my lunch, what's your problem?!".
I said something along the lines of "look mate, you can't put tinfoil in a microwave". She told me to f off and I sat down in the corner of the kitchen to eat my food while she tried to do it again. When the microwave sparked and made a fuss like it was going to catch fire, she started screaming and turned the microwave off at the wall, while I sat there with a smug grin on my face.
I wanted to say "see, told you so!" but I felt the smug grin was probably enough.
I was showing a person where I worked once the difference between Office 2003 and 2007 when it first came out. I pointed to a spot on the screen and said "Put your mouse here".
They lifted up the mouse itself and put it on the screen. Maybe I should've been more specific and said mouse cursor but still.
Came in to work one day and a couple of the office staff were huddled around a desk saying that they couldnt turn a computer on.
Now, computers can crash, but they usually turn on, unless they're not plugged in. I go over to where they are and they are trying to turn on a Dell computer by pressing the circular Dell emblem. I showed them the on/off button and explained what the 0 and 1 on the button meant, then started the computer right up.
But, I was curious. They'd worked here for several months (I was new) and i wondered how they turned on their computers in the past. It turns out that they never shut their computers off. I was amazed that people like this existed. I came from the tech world and you always shut off your computer at night due to memory leaks, or to prevent someone from screwing around with your computer.
These people weren't old. They were in their late twenties/early thirties.
There is this person that I work with didn't understand how to use paperclips... This is how she handed a stack of papers to my friend.
I had a girl at my old job ask me to show her how to wring out a towel, like she just didn't understand how to.
My freshman year of college, a guy in the room next to mine blew up his microwave. The dude had wanted to make a pot of soup, and rather than walk 100 ft down the hall to the kitchen, he decided to put the metal pot in the microwave and cook it that way. The fact that this guy now has a PhD in electrical engineering will forever mystify.
I can't use a lighter. I never learned, and I definitely just embarrassed myself at a party for not being able to do it.
As An Old Dude
As an old dude there are some 'simple' things that is surprises me that people don't know how to use and then it surprises me that it surprised me because the younger generation has just never needed to learn how to use it...
- Manual transmission vehicles
- Church keys (bottle and can openers)
- Cassette tapes (respooling them or freeing stuck reels)
It wasn't until... Two years ago that I learned how to copy and paste things into a document. I've been using computers since I was 6.