You know those days, when you just want to curl up into a little ball and close your eyes until the dumb people surrounding you disappear? Well, these people do. Here, people share moments when they thought, “Yep. I’m surrounded by idiots.”
Thanks to everyone who contributed. If you would like to read more stories like these, be sure to check out the source link at the end of this article. Comments have been edited for clarity.
This isnt a case of being surrounded by but simply a recounting of one of the dumbest thing Ive ever overheard.
When I was in high school, all of the students taking the academic curriculum, (meaning college bound, instead of business or vocational), had to take a year of Middle Eastern and Oriental history in 11th grade. One of my fellow students was a young lady who clearly shouldnt have been on the academic track, but she was from an educated and successful family that undoubtedly couldnt bear the idea that their little girl hadnt inherited the smart genes, (to put it nicely).
We happened to be in history class together. After getting back yet another bad test score, this student was upset. However, she was convinced that she had answered a question correctly, which was erroneously marked as incorrect by the teacher. She approached the teacher to point out the error, and the exchange went something like this:
Student: I think I got this answer correct but you marked it wrong…
Teacher: Which one was that?
S: The question was Which continent is Egypt part of, and I answered Africa-North America…
T: Well, the correct answer is Africa.
S: Yes, but Africa is part of North America right? I mean, after all isnt that how the African-Americans got here?
I literally just face palmed after writing this; even after 30 years its a reflex action when I think about this.
This happened recently.
I have a colleague who is a non English speaker, (let that person be X), and that person is regularly pressured to practice some of it.
X: I decided to read the English news to improve my language.
Me: Oh! Thats great! What kind of news you are into?
(I know that this person isnt interested in any category of news).
X: You know that there was a Victorias Secret fashion show in Shanghai and some model tripped and later behaved in an unprofessional way.
Me: Whats unprofessional about tripping?
X: She got up, smiled, waved to the audience and then left without continuing her walk.
Me: (Mind blown) Oh my! I am sure that she was embarrassed in front of thousands of people. It was an accident and what else she could have done?
X: She should be terminated as a model. Lots of people supported her morally on social media, which is not correct.
I still dont get it. Was the conversation for improving English or debating over some model who tripped on the runway? There are better ways to improve English as far as I know.
Let me share with you a conversation between a colleague and me on my first day at my brand new job as a coordinator at a skatepark in my hometown. The numbers were looking kind of grey, as they had very few visitors and the skate/bmx/kick bike clubs connected to the place had run out of enthusiasts to pull the strings. I was tracked down and got offered a job marketing the place.
Me: Could we maybe launch a youtube series to draw some attention? Thatd be really cool!
Colleague: Weve discussed it, but it doesnt really seem to be a good idea. That might attract folks who arent already skaters, and we dont want that kind of people around here…
They didnt want new customers and the old ones got old.
I found myself another job pretty quickly. I did, however, learn how to do an ollie!
My idiot friends don’t know how to spell hot tub.
I’m taking you back on a day when one a couple of my friends decided to make a club. To get in, you must go into Bob’s hot tub and talk about your crushes. Bob was the leader, I suppose. Now, me and my other friends who have not gotten in yet decided to dub it the Hot Tub Club.
My buddy, Grant, was making a sign for the club, and asked me Is there two t’s in hot tub?
But it gets worse. I looked over and saw that he had wrote hotube.
Then my friend to my right asked, Whats going on?
He does not know how spell hot tub.
Oh! Ha! Idiot! You spell it Hottub!’
So, you know, I was thinking, like, holy crap. But then he wanted to bet me 2$ that it was spelled hottub, he was so confident.
Well, we looked it up, aaand…
Wahoo! A free 2$!
In my ninth grade accelerated English class, we were talking about Edgar Allen Poe. One of the questions was: In which country did he die? This one girl, well call her Jan, was chosen to answer the question. She said, I know its Baltimore but what country is that? New York? No I think its Pennsylvania. Wait, oh it says country. Thats easy. South America. She lives in the United States.
I worked for a pest control company in Wichita, and I did a lot of grocery stores. One morning, I was getting a signature from a manager at the help desk when a cashier comes over and tells the MIC, Ms. whoever brought me a 10% coupon, can I use it? They look over the coupon together and decide yup, this is valid. Then comes the facepalm:
Teller: Whats 10% of 86?
They both grab a calculator, and cant get it right the first time… I lean over and say, Its $8.60
Both: Are you sure?
Yup really sure.
Yearly, a local restaurant offers a meal for the price of $1 for their anniversary. They offer a fried chicken with sides or meatloaf with sides. I decided to go, only to find a line stretching around the block. I hop in line, wait an hour and a half before I was pretty close. The employee walks out to say, “Sorry, we ran out of Chicken. We only have meatloaf.”
The crapshow that erupted after that was astounding. One lady in particular I remember for the amazing quote, “That’s effing bull[crap]! Me and my dog have been for two hours and we both wanted chicken!”. Further up, I hear a bigger commotion. Apparently, one guy got upset about there being no chicken, his friend tried to calm him down, someone else in line made a comment, and an all out brawl ensues. The line scatters. Two cops nearby subdue the situation to the best of their ability. Restaurant shuts down for the day. No longer does $1 anniversary special.
That was a nice thing for a while. I miss $1 Fried Chicken day.
I was at a small social at my parent’s house and mentioned something about the National Space Center in Leicester. A girl pipes up and says:
“Oh I love taking my son there, he loves it, I just find it amusing because I don’t believe in space.”
I looked at her dumbfounded and asked if she meant she didn’t believe in investing money in space exploration. No, she did not believe in space. She simply did not believe that anything existed above the sky, that pictures and videos were all fake and that all space agencies and anyone who claimed to have been to space was lying.
The other girls in the group started nodding in agreement saying things like, “Now that you mention it, I’ve never really seen space”.
I just went home.
I was a TA in high school for a regular High School, I think it was World History course.
Anyways, I get to class and the power is out, so of course everyone is going wild cause… it’s dark, I guess? So the teacher still wants to lecture and the kids all groan. That is until one yells out, “Let’s watch TV!”
Everyone starts chanting, “TV! TV! TV!” I’ll never forget the teacher’s face as he looked at me. His eyes filled with disappointment about the future of our country. They were unable to realize that no electricity also meant no television.
One time, when I was about 15, I was out with a group of my mates, and somehow the conversation got onto the Royal Family, (I’m from England). I said something, (I can’t remember what), about the Queen, and then my best friend says to me: “Didn’t the Queen die?” and then someone else says “Yeah, she did.”
Uh… No, she’s still alive.
I explain this to them, and then my best friends sister says: “No, she’s dead, I know she is.” So we’re all stood there for like 10 minutes arguing over whether the Queen is dead or not, when I eventually say: “Ok, if she’s dead, when did she die?” To which my best friend replies: “In 1997, in a car crash I think.” I just stare at her and say: “That wasn’t the Queen, that was Princess Diana.” And then another girl says: “Oh, so it was the Queen’s daughter that died?” And after that I just gave up.
Grew up in the UK and moved to the US and had the following conversation.
Her: What language do you speak where you come from?
Her: No, I mean what actual language did you speak as you grew up?
Me: I grew up in England and they speak English there.
Her: You don’t understand. We speak English in America, what language did you speak before moving here?
I was on a job site and we had to pump out a dam to do some maintenance on some pipework. The supervisor gets a pump organized, it gets dropped off, we are good to go.
So the guys get all the poly line in place, fire up the pump aaaaandd… no water is moving. The supervisor declares the pump to be a piece of crap. I ask if anybody primed it. I get a blank look. After explaining to him that it would need to be primed, he decides to humour me. I tip a bucket of water in the wet end. And another. And another. This thing is not filling up. I enquired as to whether there was a gate valve fitted to the intake pipe. More blank looks. And this time they refused to believe anything more that I said.
They ran that pump for a good 3rs, expecting it to build pressure somehow. I sat in the truck and smoked cigarettes while they proceeded to burn out the wet end of a very expensive pump.
Biggest bunch of idiots I’ve ever had to work with.
I’m in America, on a train.
Woman: “Are you British?”
Woman: “Do you know Prince Harry and that lot?”
Do you know Barack Obama?
I told this story to a bunch of Americans recently, and countless people started replying with “No American said “that lot”.” Have you guys ever heard of paraphrasing? I really am surrounded by idiots.
I was at the store with my friend, who I know isn’t that great at math. We were buying meat, and discussing the price. Since we were students at the time, we obviously didn’t want to buy the most expensive cuts available. He was adamant that buying the meat in 250g packages at 1,50 each would be the way to go, since “those each cost less” than buying 300g packages at 1,75. It turned out he didn’t get the consept of /kg. He refused to believe the 300g packages would be the cheaper choice EVEN when the prices per kilo were printed on the price tags, 6/kg for the 250g packages and 5,833/kg for the 300g. Now the difference is insignificant if we are just talking about the price of one meal, but that a 20-something guy cannot get the concept of /kg never ceases to amaze me.
I used to work at Walmart as a cashier. During tax free weekend, the place was wild. The lines were long and the customers are non-stop. That being said, I can say that at least 80 percent of customers would point out to me, quite angrily, that their total was still including the tax. For example, if their purchase was 148.67 they would wonder why the tax of .67 was on there and why it wasn’t an even total, like 148.00 even. I had to repeatedly explain that’s not what tax is.
In the span of two days, TWO ladies asked where Addis and Asmara were. They talked about how they were different from Ethiopia and Eritrea. They didn’t even know where they were on the map. We live in Sudan. These two countries are right next to us. So I had to calmly explain that Addis is a city in Ethiopia and Asmara is a city in Eritrea. I was baffled. They are teachers. When I told them this is basic geography and something they should know, one answered me, “No, not really.”
Second thing happened today, some Christian and Muslim ladies talking about gay marriage in France and one says,”Not even animals do that.” I explained that many animals were in fact ‘gay’. They thought I made it up.
Third lady says she explained what gay meant to her daughter but not her son, because her daughter can’t ‘turn’ gay.
I’m still in disbelief. These are grown women who are TEACHERS. I ran out of work after that exchange.
I do classroom tech support at a state university. I’m near the top of a fairly tall ladder of operators who each do their own troubleshooting to try to fix an issue, before passing it on to the next level.
I got a call the other day for a ‘projector not turning on’ most common service call by far. It was for a private department at the law school on campus, meaning that their own IT/tech support had given up before setting up a service ticket, (costs money), to have us check it out. All levels of support beneath me passed it on up, until it was my problem.
I showed up in the room – professor and around 20 young, intelligent-looking law students. The projector was powered on. I pointed that out to the professor. She replied, ‘But it won’t show my desktop.’ I walked over to her computer and saw that IT WAS POWERED OFF. I turned on her computer for her, watched the projector screen light up with her desktop, looked her in the eye and said ‘Should work now.’ Then I turned and looked at all the students, and left.
A whole room full of academic millennials, and who I assume is a very intelligent professor, and nobody thought maybe she should turn on her laptop? To say nothing of the half-dozen technicians who all gave up on the issue before I got involved.
In seventh grade, I had this chemistry teacher, Mr. Peevy, a pretty decent teacher when he stuck to chemistry. One day, for no reason apparent to me, he asked the class, “How many of you believe in evolution?” Without stopping to consider the consequences, I raise my hand. This is seventh grade chemistry, effectively an AP class, you have to be a smart kid to even get in. I was the only kid who raised my hand. The other kids had a good laugh at the only kid in class stupid enough to believe in this evolution nonsense — and Mr. Peevy joined in with a good chuckle.