I have a stupid. Ostensibly, I trained this stupid to do something marginally complicated a few weeks ago. The stupid was hired by my client due to professing knowledge in the technology selected for Project X. At the training hand-off, stupid again reiterated vast expertise. I said “Oh, that’s wonderful. Would you like to do the navigating in the tool while I run through the presentation?” I was thinking “Score, this is going to go so much faster.” Stupid declined, clearly not wanting to show off.
I went through the training exercise, and stupid frequently interjected “OH, that’s not how it used to be when I last used this FIVE YEARS AGO” or “THIS looks DIFFERENT!” Stupid sometimes asked stupid questions. I think my favorite was “Why does the company that sells this technology use proprietary markup?”
At the end of the session, I handed over a quick help document I’d written to cover troubleshooting, the manual to the technology, and all the support numbers for the company that makes the technology. I told stupid that the quickest answers would always be found in the documentation, and I was not available for continuing support per the contract the client had selected.
So far, stupid has called Actual Support several times, each time providing incorrect descriptions of the problem stupid created. Support tells stupid something that would work for what stupid actually described. The solution then doesn’t work, since stupid was wrong in the first place. Stupid then calls me. I screen stupid’s calls. So stupid pecks out an email, usually including a hilarious take on what the problem might be. These have ranged from “Maybe I need to clear my cache” to “Do you think the time change had anything to do with X not working?”
The answer to stupid’s problem is invariably the first thing I wrote in the quick help document, IN BIG CAPITAL LETTERS RIGHT AT THE TOP.
I have another pleading email sitting in front of me right now. Instead of cutting and pasting the section IN BIG CAPITAL LETTERS yet again, I think I am going to cc stupid’s boss and tell her that stupid must have broken the flux capacitor. There is nothing to be done in the case of a busted flux capacitor. They’re going to have to close up shop and go home. Sucks huh.
Once I had a broken flux capacitor and was unable to get back to the future time in which I was born. Then I moved to Baltimore.
Why’d they pick up a stupid? I’ve seen reasonably priced smarts on the market.
David: My stars, I don’t want to send these people to Baltimore. You poor dears have enough trouble.
Mike: This particular stupid also has the talent of making anyone else’s butt look small in comparison. I think this must be good for office morale.
See, the problem is you expected Stupid to read the manual. Nobody reads manuals. Not even me, and I’ve written manuals.
It wasn’t a manual so much as a single piece of paper with one salient instruction. I knew she wouldn’t read the actual manual, but one can pull for the piece of paper. How do stupid people get through life? Going to the DMV is hard. Scan-it-yourself checkouts are hard.
DMV? DMV?!?! No such thing! This ain’t no non-Mass. state. This isn’t even a state! It’s the Commonwealth of Massachusetts! Like the French, we do things differently here! It’s the RMV here.
By the way, have you ever used the self-scan checkouts at Stop & Shop? Unlike the ones at Shaw’s, those are hard. Besides the unusable UI, the barcode scanners are petulant and amazingly uncooperative.