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kleinbl00  ·  94 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: WSJ's Monday Morning #nottheonion 2fer

    ... You don't actually work in that office, do you Terri?


Most of Hitchhiker's Guide struck me as trite and not particularly insightful. It was fun, yeah, but it's typical snarky British nonsense. The Golgafrinchans, though...

The whole idea of gathering leaves and then setting fire to the forests rung true for me at the ripe old age of ten. That was the first glimpse of economics I ever had. Fast forward 30 years and I learned that "telephone sanitizers" were the maids you called in to clean your new water closet, since you could brag about having a telephone in british society but an indoor toilet was an unmentionable but desirable luxury.

    A notation in the Guide about Golgafrincham after the departure of the B Ark states that the entire remaining population subsequently died from a virulent disease contracted from a dirty telephone.

I guess I've lived most of my life thinking of Golgafrincham Ark B, the "waste people" who don't do anything but are nonetheless generally nice folx that we need to nerf out society so that they don't die of an over-microwaved McDonald's hand pie. They're the people who you wave to as they walk their dogs every morning but can't for the life of them print a PDF or make a cup of coffee.

I've got an employee. She's got a doctorate. She's smarter than me. She works impossibly fast. And she has been unable to print to one of our printers for a year and a half because I can't get her to sit still enough to actually make her computer recognize an IP printer on the network. She's got her workarounds and she's not impacting anyone else so I let it roll?

But I will say that "learned helplessness" is definitely going up with age. Not everyone - DEFINITELY not everyone - but there are otherwise intelligent people who are absolutely gobsmacked by really weird shit. The phrase we use around the office is "tyrannosaurus arms". We have a chat emoji for it and everything. We have any number of clients who get t-rex arms about the dumbest shit. Yet I have an office full of masters' degrees and doctorates and not a one of them could figure out how to plunge a toilet. They stood there stupid, staring at the betraying idol, until my wife did a demo.

A meme-before-the-meme joke of the '80s was everyone's constantly-blinking VCR clock. It was assumed that nobody knew how to set the clock on their VCR, so comedians joked about it, it was in shows, the Simpsons ran with it, etc. If you were actually capable of doing a timed recording of a TV show you were some kind of sexual deviant. Never mind that you set VCR clocks the same way you set alarm clocks, never mind that alarm clocks haven't changed since the late '70s, never mind that if you can't set an alarm clock you are considered an abject moron. Same process on a VCR was only ever executed by deviants, so say we all, this is our plight, and before VCRs died they all had "tune your fucking VCR to PBS and give it a day and shut the fuck up" in the instructions and everyone's VCR still flashed midnight because it was custom.

Printers are things cool people don't know how to work and have been since 2008.