Stupidity has always irked me, which is probably why I wrote a soon-to-be-published book called Stupid Humans. It’s not just that stupidity exists, it’s that you see so much of it on display when you work in hell, otherwise known as retail. It’s almost like people leave their brains at home when they decide to go shopping.
One couple came into the store looking for an ink cartridge. (Sidebar here—at least half of all people who own printers call them “ink cartilages.” CARTILAGE IS SOMETHING YOU HAVE IN YOUR EARLOBES, KNEES, AND OTHER JOINTS, NOT SOMETHING YOU USE IN YOUR PRINTER, OKAY?????) Anyway, they were looking for a “cartilage” for their printer.
“Do you know the number of your cartridge?” I asked.
“No, we don’t know what kind of ink it takes,” the man said.
“Okay, what brand is the printer?”
“We don’t know,” the woman said.
“It’s supposed to be wireless, but it didn’t come with a battery. We’re very disappointed,” the man added. “We always have to use it plugged in.”
“Any chance you recall the model number of your printer?”
At that point, the woman got really frustrated and started yelling. “No, we don’t know the model number of our printer and we don’t know what kind of ink cartilage it takes, that’s why we’re asking you!”
At that point, I had to wonder if they’d stealthily changed the sign over the door to say “Psychics R’ Us” or something. I might be able to look up what cartridge a printer takes, but there’s no fucking way I know what cartridge you need if I don’t know what printer you have. That’s like going to an auto parts store and saying, “I need to buy tires for my car but I don’t know the make and model, what kind should I buy?”
Of course, I needed that stupid job at the time, so I couldn’t tell the morons that I wasn’t psychic. Instead, I politely explained that without knowing what kind of printer they had, I couldn’t possibly determine the right kind of ink.
“Well, this store’s ads are misleading,” the woman said snippily as they walked out the door. “It says their staff is knowledgeable, and she can’t even help us find the right cartilage.”
W. T. Fallon is the author of Fail to the Chief, a political satire in which the presidential election is carried out via reality show, which is almost as bizarre and far-fetched as our current reality.