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Friday, December 30, 2011

New Years Nonsense

It is nearing the end of one year and beginning a new one. Many people decide to make resolutions.

The problem many people encounter with resolutions is the overwhelming change of lifestyle goals. They're trying to change too much too fast. Sure it would be great if you lost 60 pounds while you learn Polish, become more confident and quit smoking. Oh, and don't forget to send out good karma while you learn to keep a budget. That is the accomplishments for January.

New Year's resolutions are a good thing when used properly. It will give you motivation to better yourself and to carry out your goals. The key is to be realistic. If you want to lose weight your goal should be to lose 10 lbs by the end of January.

Don't expect to change who you are and become something totally different. It's good to better yourself but whether or not you accomplish your goal, you're still going to be you.
If you want to exercise, try riding a bike to work. You might like it.

Have a happy new year and don't be stupid!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Crazy!

When Thanksgiving ends and the Christmas season begins many people go on a spending spree. Not out of fun, but out of a perceived expectation.

Consumers raid the malls looking for a gift for everyone they know. Their family, their friends, their co-workers, their co-worker's dog... you get the picture. One thing these people have in common, they're likely spending money on a gift that doesn't necessarily equal the appreciation the person receiving it should have.

We've all experienced this: you get a present from your good friend who thinks they know you better than they do and it's a music CD of some band you've never heard of. You politely accept the CD and you never end up listening to it.

Instead of wasting your time on buying things that end up being unappreciated, give them something from the heart. If you aren't the creative type, making a gift may be out of the question. What you can do is tell someone how much they mean to you. It doesn't have to be creative, it just has to be honest. It won't cost a thing and the person receiving the message will appreciate it a lot.

If you must buy someone something likely you're going to the mall to buy it. When you go to a mall, beware! Entering a retail environment can be stressful and overwhelming. This is especially true during the holiday season. Many people spend all day shopping to spend what money they don't have. This makes people irritable and not "in the holiday spirit". This creates many less than ideal situations amongst the shoppers. People need to remember that everyone is there for the same purpose. Keeping this in mind helps put things into perspective.

However, if people focused on the true meaning of Christmas, then when you get just a card from someone you will appreciate it rather than wonder where the rest of it is. Then the need for a mega shopping trip won't be necessary.

Merry Christmas!

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Shout Out!

I want to shout out to all of you who read my blog! Thank you!

Shout out to Russia, The Netherlands, Germany, Canada and the USA!

New blog post coming soon! One more before Christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Logo!

Here is a picture of the new official logo. It was time to have something original.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Customer Service Silliness

The customer is always right--false! If that were true you could be caught red-handed stealing an item in a store and as long as you say you already paid for it you will be let go without any penalty. You may even get a small gift on the way out for your trouble.

That line that customers use to manipulate is seen as a trump card in their eyes. The problem is, when ever I've seen a customer play that card it's always rejected. Why? The only people stupid enough to use that line are the people who know they're trying to work the system. Just when they think they can't win, they think they found a way to back the business they're up against into a corner. However the business has every right to tell them no!

It's more of a sign of weakness on the customer's part. They're basically saying, this is the last chance I'm giving you. They say it like they have some sort of pull when in fact the employee dealing with them would love for the customer to leave.

I worked for a fast food company a while back. During orientation they tell you there are two rules to customer service: First, the customer is always right. Second, if the customer is wrong, see the first rule. This is all fine and dandy in the training room where the trainers have their own world where everything is perfect and clear-cut. But outside of these doors lies the real world where most of the time situations fall into a grey area.

For example, I was working the drive-thru and this big order was on the screen. We had an automated drink dispenser that took care of the sodas for you. You just put a lid on the drink and hand it to the customer. There were about five drinks for this order. When the car arrived at my window I handed this lady the drinks and left to get the food. It wasn't ready yet so I got the drinks for the next order. The lady handed me a drink and insisted she didn't order it. I told her all the drinks she ordered and she still insisted she had an extra drink. Because "the customer is always right", I took the drink from her and I left to get her food. I came back with the food and she told me that in fact the drink she would not accept is actually something she is finally willing to admit that she did order. Because "the customer is always right" I was able to get her the drink.

If this philosophy is correct, was she right the first time, the second time or was she right at all? There are major flaws in what I see in this magical phrase. First, in my experience the customer is hardly right.

And getting back to the training, I don't believe anyone followed that rule. Well, maybe they did if someone wealthy was complaining, or if they were a mystery shopper.

Working in banking offers plenty of interesting situations. I haven't heard that "trump-card" phrase there... ever. That doesn't mean the customer isn't thinking in that frame of mind. If something doesn't go their way they say something like, "well, can't you...". Usually that phrase ends with something that would break the rules set up by corporate, or even the government. Sometimes I would love to tell a customer, if you want that to happen you can write a letter to the leader of our country and when he says it's okay, I would be more than happy to help you with that.

The other phrase you hear in banking from the customer is, "...or I'm taking my money from your bank." Usually when I hear that it is something we can't help them with. Either our hands are tied by rules or regulations or what they're demanding is just not possible.

I have more banking stories to tell in the future! There's some good ones!

There are customers who are never satisfied. Even if we did follow that first rule in customer service, it wouldn't be good enough. I've seen situations where the business bent over backwards to help the customer and the customer says that the business is being greedy or mean. Those are the customers you are glad to see leave!

I choose not to follow the rule, but that doesn't mean I don't give the customer the benefit of the doubt. I just choose to follow the rules and regulations of the company rather than follow a rule that could get me in trouble, or worse, the company in trouble! Besides, losing your job over a philosophy is lame!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Coffee Craziness

I just have to talk about my most recent encounter with someone who did something stupid. A few days ago I was at a coffee shop and I ordered an egg nog latte ('tis the season). I love egg nog and when I don't get it I get a little sad.

Order was paid for and maybe two or three other people were waiting for their drinks by the pick up area. One by one the drinks are called out. At last I hear the wonderful words, "tall egg nog latte"! I start to get my beloved drink when a man steps in and takes this drink. He was in front of us in the line so maybe he ordered the same drink. He sat down at a table not too far from that drink pick up area.

Another drink came out and then one more after that. "Tall non-fat 190 degree egg nog latte!" The barista had called out the drink but no one was claiming it. My friend that was with us noticed this and told the barista that it belonged to the man who took my drink.

So the barista yelled out the drink again in the direction of where the man was sitting. He half turned around in his chair for a second and then turned back to the conversation at his table. Thankfully the barista was able to make me a new drink!

In thinking about the whole situation I have so many questions I would love to ask that man. First of all, if you're such a coffee snob ordering a drink with more syllables than the Declaration of Independence, don't you think you could taste the difference between your drink and one that didn't have all the specifications your drink has?

What about this: if you know you have the wrong drink, why not be a man and fess up? I guess your 14-syllable drink wasn't that important to you after all!

It's a classic case of acting before thinking. You do something and after some thought you realize you did something wrong. If people would take their mind off autopilot once in a while and use their brain then people would be more inclined to make better decisions.

To that man at the coffee shop: I hope you enjoyed your fattening cold coffee!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Check out

At the checkout line there is a small writing surface for you to use to write checks, maybe set your wallet on it to search for money or a place to count out your money. There is another place in the check out line that people tend to use to count out their money. It's the conveyor belt where you put your purchases.

Although to some it may seem like a brilliant idea, to others it's seen as a really bad idea. I believe these are the people who are, shall we say, very in the moment. They don't look into the future to see what could happen. Like the conveyor belt stealing their money!

Even while the conveyor belt is moving some people choose to set down their coins and their bills so they can count it out on this magic moving counter. And if the money would get captured by the conveyor belt the customer blames the checker for not catching the money. Although the checker should try to be accommodating to the customer, it is not in their job description to be the common sense police.

The job position of common sense used to be held by the conscience. The conscience used to tell one if what they were doing made sense. However, the conscience was given the boot and for some reason the position is still open. Anyone looking for a job? I know the conscience is. Maybe we should give it its old job back. It has a lot of experience, it proved to be very useful back in the day and everyone benefitted from it. So what's the downside?

To the people who put their money on the conveyor belt: congratulations, you found a new way to throw away money!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Confused Caller

When you are looking for a number for a business in the phone book you see the number, you dial it and then have a conversation when someone answers. I've experienced it on several occasions and heard from others that when you answer the phone at work you say the name of the business and the person on the other end asks a question like, "Is this Frank's Fast Food?" when you literally just said that this is Frank's Fast Food. Don't you know that when you dial a number it connects you directly to that business? And if the restaurant has "buffet" in the title then there will be a buffet! You don't have to ask.

What's even weirder is that I used to work at a restaurant. A couple walk in with their children. The guy asks me, "Is this a restaurant?" How do you respond to that? I should have said, No, this is my house! Get out!

Clearly it was a restaurant. Was it different than they imagined it? Maybe the two young children they had sucked all their energy and combine that with low blood sugar and you will be unable to identify basic buildings and businesses. At least that's what I gathered from the situation.

What is this world coming to when people go out of their way to ask stupid questions? If people stopped to think once in a while we could save all these shenanigans from happening! Are you with me people? (Don't stop to think about that one, just say yes!)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Push or Pull?

Have you every noticed someone trying to open a door the wrong way? I've seen people look at the door and do the opposite of what it says to do. They pull when they are supposed to push.

Is this because people are determined not to be told what to do? I'm not going to have some door tell me what to do. The funny thing is in the end the door gets its way. Maybe this would be a good lesson on how not to be pushed around (great for doors that say "pull" on them).

Is it perhaps confusing to know the difference between push and pull? People confuse left and right all the time. (I didn't get it right until I learnt to drive).

Some people have anxiety when they take a test. Maybe this is a pop quiz they didn't study for and in a wave of self-doubt they choose the wrong answer.

One thing that is confusing is when the door has the handles on the wrong side of the door. The flatter handle you typically push you now are supposed to use for pull and vice versa. I guess some people are too cheap to get a door that makes sense.

What about when you're trying to get to a store and you can only find exit doors? Later you find out the entering doors are located around the corner and downstairs. (True story!)

What else is there to know about doors? Anyone?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Did I Do That?

I have some fresh stupid! I've been out of town the past week and I've got a humdinger!

Stupid things happen all the time. But what's really stupid is when you catch yourself doing something stupid! Something you thought you would never do. I speak from experience. Here is my story...

We were staying at a hotel some place where I don't know the language. (It's okay, most people there speak English.) We had left our room to get snacks from the vending machine. All was good and well. We had our beverages and our junk food for the evening. We got back in the elevator, pressed a few buttons and started our way up!

The elevator doors opened and we went to our door and tried to open it but it wasn't working. We had trouble with our key cards when we checked in. So naturally I thought something happened again and the card wasn't working. I tried a few more times and it wouldn't work. So my wife tried hers and it still didn't work.

At about this time the door handle started moving by itself. We were both confused. I looked up at the door and saw the number identifying it: 1009. WRONG FLOOR! We were 1109. We ran to the elevators and got in before the person got their door open.

I blame three things: major sleep deprivation, jet lag and the fact that the tenth floor looked just like our floor.

I do want to say sorry to those people who's room we tried to break into thinking it was our own. Hopefully somehow through a cosmic message you will receive this apology. Either that or through Google!

The next evening we were on the other side of the door, quite literally! We were watching a movie on TV when we heard an attempted entry. The door was locked and that latch was able to catch the door if it opened. We were fine. I was waiting to see how quickly they realized they're at the wrong place. Let's just say they caught on quicker than I did! I think they were from a few doors over and possibly may have been a little (or a lot) tipsy.

This situation is not new to me. When my wife and I went to Hawaii someone was determined to believe that our room was their room. I heard a knock on the door. Then there was that moment of who could that possibly be??? I looked through the peephole and saw some lady trying to open the door by the handle. And she wasn't quitting. I decided to open the door (it seemed safe enough). She took about a half step forward and realized it wasn't her room. Without words she looked down to avoid eye contact, turned and continued down the hallway and around the corner. So there I was standing at the open door looking into an empty hallway confused. What are you supposed to do with that?

Can anyone else relate to this?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Silly Signs

Found this website called Human Stupidity and they have some actual signs made by people who's first language is not English. Quite entertaining!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Crazy Stupid Stupid on Twitter!

Good news! Crazy Stupid Stupid is now on Twitter! Follow there for updates and other interesting articles!

Follow on Twitter at @CrazyStupidBlog!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Drive-Thru Dummy

I used to work in fast food. Not the most glamorous of professions but it paid the bills.
I was in an environment that causes the idiots to flock. The people would pull their cars into the parking lot and leave all traces of common sense in their vehicle. I personally feel that people are more picky about their fast food than they are about their religion. Or maybe fast food was their religion and that's why they were so upset when order a $50 meal in the drive-thru and complained why it took so long to get their food (aha!).
Anyway, one day I was taking orders in drive-thru and one of my customers was a very excited man who had never been in a drive-thru before. I went along with it since it seemed like fun. He ordered his food and then pulled around to the window to pay. One quick swipe of his debit card and he was off to the next window to pick up his food. I yelled to the people at the next window, "this is his first time in a drive-thru!" Once I said that I hear them yell back, "he drove off! He forgot to pick up his food!" Rookie mistake. Why was I not surprised?
A few minutes later he did come back. But only after his stomach said to him, "where's the food, air head?"
How can someone totally miss the reason for their food run? It's like going to the library to check out a book and leaving that book with the librarian at the check out counter. Why?
I have a million stories from fast food. I am likely to share more of them in the future!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Parking Putters

Parking lots are very tricky places. You have to maneuver your vehicle down several rows before deciding to choose a space. Once chosen, the driver must put their car in that space. It's harder than it sounds.

People sometimes use this opportunity to be creative. I suggest to use something else as a creative outlet. However, many people think otherwise.

Some people choose to position their car so it takes two spaces (1 point, not very creative and can be messy). If you park far enough over the line you magically have plenty of room to open your door. But you also run the risk of someone being ornery and parking really close to you to salvage what's left of that missing parking spot (2 points for those people for taking back the space!).

People who drive with trailers or just have long vehicles sometimes park so they take up about ten spaces (3 points for how many spaces are taken up). There are places where extra long vehicles seem to not be welcomed due to lack of appropriate parking spaces. But those places underestimate how determined people can be. Fortunately, most people that use those parking methods park in the back of the lot away from the people that choose to park the traditional way. This style of parking is unlikely to happen during the Christmas shopping season.

My favorite is backing into an angled parking spot (Five points, creative but not too messy). Clearly you're suppose to pull in forward. If you back into the angled parking space and then leave it's like going the wrong way down a one way street. Trouble happens when oncoming traffic comes your way.

It's been a few years since I learned to drive, but I don't remember learning to park like that. What driving school did these people go to? Maybe it is a driving school from the arts academy (people who color outside the lines)? Who can know?

And what are we supposed to do with all these points?

Banking On Stupidity

At a bank there are a lot of complicated procedures that the layman doesn't understand. Compound interest, adjustable rate mortgages or maybe even banking fees. But I've come across more than a few people that admit they don't know how to fill out a deposit slip.

When I got my first job and started depositing my paychecks, I didn't ask anyone how to fill out a deposit slip. I did something that I don't think many people have figured how to do: read! It told me to list how much cash I wanted, my checks I'm putting in, how much cash I want back and how much to put in the account. It seems so simple!

Is it that there are still so many people out there that are illiterate? Is it that people are lazy and would rather the teller coddle them and fill everything out? Is it that these people are just stupid?

The marketing industry spends vast amounts of money trying to find out what way is the most user-friendly way to do things. Focus groups, surveys, brainstorming -- should we blame marketing for doing such a lousy job at making a simple deposit slip? Maybe the people in marketing have higher than average IQs causing what they produce to be simple for them but complicated for us common people.

I honestly want to know why some people don't know how to fill out a deposit slip! This is a chance for the other side to prove me wrong!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Same Stupid, Different Day

I've decided to start a blog about how stupid people are. It's a great way to put my frustrations to use and possibly find out if there is an explanation for what people do (maybe see their side of things). I feel like it would give the other side a chance to explain themselves. Maybe I don't have all the information and I'm missing something.

I generally feel that people are stupid. I'm hoping this will change my mind. I want to hear it from the other side. Please prove to me you are not stupid!

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