Thursday, July 03, 2014

Idiocy begins here

There are some days when I feel like I should attach a sign like that to my phone. How about you?
And is it just me, or are there cycles of complete dumbfuckery?

Bad things supposedly happen in threes. Based on yesterday, I'd say stupid things (and people) do, too. I resent this not only because it takes time away from us helping people who legitimately need it, but also because I can't fix stupid.
Again - all of this is completely true! I'm not creative enough to make this shit up.

Call A  - From someone wanting an internship. Call this one "three minutes and three strikes and you're an idiot." He 1) didn't go to the right website when he researched "our" organization, 2) insulted another nonprofit while he was on the phone with me, and 3) then said he wasn't sure if he had made the deadline to even *do* an internship for school.

Me: "Then why are we on the phone?"
Him: "I called a week and a half ago."
Me: "No, you called Friday."
Him: "Oh, really?"

Yes, really.
Call B - From someone who just found out that they have a long-lost relative in our area who happens to have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Did we have a database or registry of people with mental illness so I could look her up, and give this person her contact information?

I'm not kidding!!!

It was all I could do not to spit into the phone. Instead, I said, "Not going into the vast civil rights implications that might have, no, there is not a database of people living with mental health diagnoses. Just like there's no database of people living with diabetes, or cancer."

Call C - From someone who wanted to know if we could explain HIPAA law for her. I told her we didn't have anyone on staff with legal training.

Her: "Well they're just basic questions. Such as..." (Not basic questions.)

I gave her a webpage with frequently asked questions about HIPAA law, and links to more legalese.

Her: "Isn't there a hotline?"
Me: "For the US Department of Health & Human Services?"
Her: "Isn't there a department like that in Oregon?"
Me: "Yes, but this is a federal law, so the offices are in Washington, DC."
Her: "There should be a federal office here in Oregon, and a hotline to answer my questions!"

Honestly, I don't know how the hell I got her off the phone.

How do you handle stupid?


lotta joy said...

It AMAZES me that the really stupid people manage to made a telephone call at all! Which leads me to another sore spot: WHY do people call in to place their opinion when their opinion is not "yes", it's not "no", it's the third option: "no opinion".

I'll call you tomorrow and ask.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

You handled all three stupidos well but I particularly like your answer to Call B!

Elephant's Child said...

I just can't get over how unreasonable you are.
These people were all expressing an interest in your field and you didn't bend over backwards, lie down and beg them to walk on you. Which makes you my hero.
In another life I once spoke to a woman who wanted the impossible. When I (politely) explained that she said 'You are a public servant. I am a member of the public. Therefore you are MY servant and you WILL do what I want!'
I think the bruise on my jaw from where it hit the floor lasted for weeks. And no, I still didn't do what she wanted.

middle child said...

Well no wonder I haven't been getting any calls lately. Apparently they are all being routed to your number. Sorry about that.
Why, I have missed these calls so much that I have been going out in public to get my daily dose of stupid.

Birdie said...
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Birdie said...
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Anonymous said...

Lately it seems I spend more time fixing problems created by others than just taking care of what needs to be done. For instance, I tried to submit a claim for my health care. Instead of taking 5 minutes it took about an hour and half because Blue Cross changed everyone's claim numbers. So, in order to access the service online I needed the new claim number but I can't log on because I don't have the new claim number. And to get the new claim number I need to go online and access my account but I can't get on because I don't have the claim number. And around it went with the people that work there. It has now been over a month and they just sent me paperwork to get a new claim number. What is the first question? What is your claim number? It states that all paperwork will be sent back if the claim number is missing.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Because I have no patience anymore, I would probably say..."No Speak English" or...."I have no idea what you are talking about" or....I might just hang up on them. I know that's not helpful, at all.....I think you handled ALL three calls like a Champ! You amaze me!!!
Happy 4th to you and Mr. RK.....Hope you are doing something fun!

Rock Chef said...

Wonderful - I hope that sharing these stories helps you deal with them. A problem shared, etc... :-)

Betty Manousos said...

happy 4th of july!!


Abby said...

Maybe you should start a database of stupid callers, and give out the numbers when one calls looking for the federal office of something stupid.

Charles Gramlich said...

I usually just whine.

G. B. Miller said...

How do I deal with stupid?

Very, very carefully, since my special kind of stupid can and does get me into a world of shit.

However, for immediate gratification, I compose my e-mail replies with a snarl and speaking what I want to say while typing what I need to say.

Then I mock them to my co-workers.

Oh and, speaking from personal experience, HIPAA is a farce.

Furry Bottoms said...

I don't know how I deal with stupid, but you do it pretty well. Sometimes I am just stunned into shocked silence. Everyone does do stupid though, so if they repeat this stupidity over and over again, I lost my point. Nevermind. You're good at your job!! :)

Anonymous said...

Lyrics from the song, Flagpole Sitta;
"Been around the world and found
That only stupid people are breeding
The cretins cloning and feeding
And I don't even own a TV"

Seems appropriate.

Granny Annie said...

I am almost certain you are supposed to refer those calls to Larry The Cable Guy.

Lee said...

We are surrounded by stupid people; sadly and disturbingly, they're multiplying faster than rabbits it seems.

I'm very often pleased people can't read my mind when they're talking to me...if you know what I mean! ;)

My Girl Murphy said...

Have I not told you about the prevalence of stupidity? Rampant, baby! Usually co-morbid with entitlement. You're welcome.

Anil P said...

Ignorance is bliss!

Riot Kitty said...

And EC, you leave me so curious: what did she want??

Blue Grumpster said...

You ARE creative enough to make this shit up, but I believe your every word. There might be a database of the ignorant, though. Have Mr. Computer install the list in your phone so you will not be bothered ever again. How's that for saving your life? You're welcome.

Dexter Klemperer said...

That's why I don't answer the phone, respond to emails or attend meetings. Hmmm, better go check and see if I'm still getting paid.

A Beer For The Shower said...

Isn't it scary that stupid people always want help over the phone because they can't find answers on the Internet? Those are the same type of people who try to Google Google.

Lynn said...

I don't know how you take it!

LL Cool Joe said...

Actually I don't really ever deal with stupid people, irritating people, but not stupid. In fact sometimes I wish they were stupid so I could feel superior for a change. :D

CraveCute said...

I love reading about your encounters with the chronically stupid.