everyone, inspiration, intelligence, life, universal

No Patience for Dumbidity

What’s that, you say? “Dumbidity” isn’t a word. Well, I know this, but I had to give that title to this blog because that is the way I feel about the levels of intelligence I encounter sometimes: it’s so low that you have to make up a new word to describe it. Seriously. Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to Archie Bunker all day, and I expect to hear them end the conversation by saying, “Well, I gotta go. My wife is late for an appointment with the groinocologist.”

At my day job, one of my duties is to answer questions people have about civil service tests and jobs. Believe me: I understand that these exams and jobs and civil service rules can be confusing. I’m not saying these people are idiots for not understanding all of that, because NO ONE would grasp it all unless they worked behind the scenes like I do. However, there are certain aspects that you should grasp even if you are just a “layperson,” and yet I am still astounded by the things I hear.

Here is one example.

CALLER #1: I’m calling because I took the test.

ME: Which test?

CALLER #1: The civil service test.

ME: (taking a deep breath to calm down) Well, ALL state tests are civil service tests. I need to know the title of the exam.

CALLER #1: Oh…I don’t know that.

This blows my mind because in order to take a state exam, you have to:

  • Go to the website.
  • Find the exam.
  • Go through a lengthy application process.
  • PAY for the exam, and then…
  • Go sit in a high school classroom for several hours on a Saturday to take it.

And yet despite all that, they can’t remember what test they took?

Another example.

CALLER #2: I interviewed for a job two weeks ago, and I was just wondering if they made any decisions yet.

ME: Unless you interviewed for a job with our agency, we wouldn’t have records of that, but I can still help you out because I can get you the phone number for the appropriate human resources office. Where did you interview?

CALLER #2: Oh, uh…I don’t remember.

ME: (rubs eyes in disbelief) You don’t remember where you interviewed for a job?

At this point, I’m thinking, “My God, I HOPE this person showed the same amount of intelligence at the interview that they are showing on this phone call, because that would tip off the agency to rule him out.” I mean, can you imagine someone like that in a position of any major responsibility, like a Correction Officer or something? That’s the kind of person who would neglect to lock some gate, and the next thing you know, all the prisoners would be out running rampant in the street!

Let me restate what I said earlier: I don’t expect everyone to know the rules like I do, but I think these two examples illustrate what I mean. The average IQ of the world is either (1) dropping sharply, or (2) lower than I ever thought it was.

Now it might seem like I am an intellectual snob, and I’ll be honest: for a long time, I was. However, lately I’ve been rethinking this. I don’t know what it was, but something just clicked in my mind recently, and I realized that my snobbery makes me no better than skinny people who mock fat people, or pretty people who mock ugly people, or tall people who mock short people.

What I’m saying here is: no one asks to be fat, ugly, short…or less intelligent. Therefore, I have no damn right to look down my nose at them for it. I mean, it’s the equivalent of all those bastards that I hear mocking people for being “retards.” It sickens me, and I’m sad that a part of me was like that.

But now, that part is gone. I used to get very irritated when faced with these things, but I’m learning to be patient. If people can’t understand something, and someone else does, then I think it is a moral obligation to HELP them understand instead of mock. Like the guy who played Dr. Octopus in SPIDER-MAN 2 said, “Intelligence isn’t a privilege, it’s a gift, and you use it for the betterment of mankind.”

Well, going forward, that is what I’m going to do. If you don’t understand something that I do, I’m not going to be looking down my nose at you. I’m going to be looking right at you, eye to eye, and I’m going to say, “Well, this is how that works…”

Intelligence can be used not just for the betterment of mankind, but for the betterment of yourself as well.

3 thoughts on “No Patience for Dumbidity”

  1. I love this post! ha! I’ve had a similar and interesting experience. I applaud you for coming to the understanding that it may be best to not be too snobby towards other people. I may also suggest — because I was where you were at one point — that HOW we ask a question is just as important. Surely asking someone where they interviewed should be an easy one — however, what they may have heard was: what’s the address and/or street. What you may have meant, which seems reasonable, is what department or for whom or which agency? But they heard a very different question than you intended. The reason why I bring this up is because I have a friend who is “Einstein” level genius. And he has incredible social skills as well — but sometimes when he’d ask ME a question I’d be perplexed because I’d have NO IDEA what he was talking about. Our friendship actually grew from these moments. I now “get” him — I understand how he speaks and what he means — he’s just so intellectually “above me” that sometimes he just speaks way over my head. But now we have such a great friendship. All this to say: We can’t control how people receive information, but we can get better at understanding how we deliver information to each other, especially when we realize some people just aren’t “getting it”.

    Like

    1. Thanks for the comment!

      Now that I think about it, I do recall phrasing my question as you suggested, asking them, “What agency did you interview for?” I actually learned to rephrase it that way pretty quickly!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s too funny right? Some people just…not too bright? Or, maybe having a bad day? Eeehh, either way, I hear you, been there and totally get it! Great post, has me thinking. Thank you Steve! Have a great day!

        Like

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