I didn’t want this to happen. I mean, I don’t think anybody wants this to happen. I remember hearing that your IQ peaks somewhere around 6th grade, which I believe was also the last time I handed in my math homework on time.
But I had always thought that as I got older it would be an upward climb to a feeling of confidence, security, and wisdom.
Not so much.
I appear to be on the road to confusion, disarray, and… dumbness.
The more I strive for wisdom the closer I feel myself getting closer to the time when I was a kid and I got a bead stuck in my nose.
I don’t know if my own stupidity is rubbing off on other people, or if theirs has rubbed off on me. But the more I think about it, the more I worry about it, and the more likely I am to make stupid mistakes. As with most problems in my life, it started when I made fun of somebody else.
After I moved out of my parents’ house I had to change my address on all of my bank statements, credit cards, etc. Well shortly after I did so I received a letter in the mail from my bank. It said:
Dear Valued Customer,
The security of your personal information is very important to us. This letter confirms receipt of your recent address change.
We have updated our records with your new information. If you had not requested an address change, please contact our customer service department.
We value your relationship with us and look forward to being of service to you for many years to come.
This letter had to be forwarded to me at my new address because the bank sent it to my house.
The house I moved out of.
The house I told them I no longer lived in.
I can’t even wrap my brain around the logic that did not go into sending this letter. Shouldn’t they be organized? You are a BANK! I give you people my money because you are SUPPOSED to know what you are doing!
Looking back now I think that should have been my first clue that banks weren’t as on top of their stuff as they should have been, but that is neither here nor there.
As I was ranting against the bank I was thinking about how they should keep better track of the important information like I do.
Well, kind of.
I did my taxes recently. Well, I mean, I didn’t really do them I just did what Turbo Tax told me to do like I did last year. And after being fortunate enough to get money back AND not go to jail last year, I thought I would be more diligent this year to ensure I could get even more money back.
But when I went into my drawer of files I found out something.
I had not done that. In fact I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I completely took for granted that I would remember how to do my taxes. In my drawer of pay stubs, credit card statements, and 1098 forms I found… Magazine articles, script pages, and a takeout menu.
Not exactly tax material. Somehow my “Tax and Important Document” drawer had turned into my “Shove crap in this drawer because somebody is coming over and you don’t want to look like a slob” drawer.
And then I realized I wasn’t the only one who appeared to be disorganized.
I take the train at least 2 different times a day. And since the NY subway system is so old there is construction, all the time, always, ever. They will usually post the change for a particular train on an orange sign and hang it on the walls of that station. But some times, like this weekend, it gets out of hand.
Just because there is a giant orange F on the outside of the train does not make it an F train. It could be an E train, or a Volkswagen, or a rocket ship. Even though he sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher, you really have to pay attention to the announcement from the conductor on the train.
So one of those crazy construction weekends, a train pulled into the Herald square station with an F on the side of it and I asked the conductor, “Is this an F train?”
He looked at me as if I had asked him what kind of Camembert would go well with a ’97
Beaujolais. So I leveled with him and said “Hey man, I know it says F on the side but it wouldn’t be the first time the letter didn’t mean anything.”
The conductor laughed and bowed his head as if to acknowledge my point. He said, “That’s a good one man.” He even gave me a little wave as he pulled away on the train that was apparently exactly what it claimed to be.
I thought the same kind of logic would endear me to a city bus driver on a recent weekend.
Not so much.
He had parked his bus and was getting off and I was worried I had missed the bus I wanted, the bus that went to the train station. I wanted to ask him if this bus went to this train station, but in my haste I walked up to him and said, “Where does this bus stop?”
He looked at me without a trace of emotion pointed to the ground, said, “Right here.”
Perhaps if I just took the time to think out my questions, and maybe organize my life a little bit, I wouldn’t make myself look like such a goof.
After all, they say there are no stupid questions, only stupid people. So does that make ME a stupid people? And if a stupid person asks a stupid question, does that make it smart?
Never mind, my brain just exploded.