How unthinking people can make – or break – your day.

Posted by on October 22, 2009 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

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In a business environment where everyone wants to streamline their business, cut costs, reduce the headcount but still remain in business, I often find that those decisions – fiscally astute as they might be – backfire.

Yesterday I called the SABC about my TV license. (For my international readers: All South Africans are required by law to be in possession of a license in order to own a TV. This has to be paid annually in order to fund the public broadcaster. They are in dire financial straits due to mismanagement and have cancelled virtually all new programming placing many actors, producers and thousands of related jobs in jeopardy. They’re only broadcasting re-runs on all three their channels. Most, if not all, affluent people here watch satellite TV from a private supplier similar to cable for which we pay a monthly fee.)

I spoke with the lowest common denominator – a call centre agent. The conversation went something like this: (I might even call them again, record it and podcast it…)

Me:      I’d like to ask about my TV license that is due for payment.

Her:     Yes?

Me:      Since the SABC has said that they have no money to produce or buy new shows and only show reruns, could I pay with last year’s check?

Her:     (without missing a beat) Sir, what is your reference number?

I almost fell over laughing. She wasn’t listening to the conversation AT ALL. I did eventually get her to admit that even if the SABC were to cease broadcasting, I’d still have to pay the damn license fee. This is insane!

Here are some more examples of how unthinking people can make or break your day.


Recently, when I went to McDonald’s I saw on the menu that you could have an order of 6, 9 or 12 Chicken McNuggets. 
I asked for a half dozen nuggets. 
‘We don’t have half dozen nuggets,’ said the teenager at the counter. 
‘You don’t?’ I replied. 
‘We only have six, nine, or twelve,’ was the reply. 
‘So I can’t order a half dozen nuggets, but I can order six?’ 
‘That’s right.’ 
So I shook my head and ordered six McNuggets 
(Unbelievable but sadly true…) 

I was checking out at the local Woolworths with just a few items and the lady behind me put her things on the belt close to mine. I picked up one of those ‘dividers’ that they keep by the cash register and placed it between our things so they wouldn’t get mixed. 
After the girl had scanned all of my items, she picked up the ‘divider’, looking it all over for the bar code so she could scan it. 
Not finding the bar code, she said to me, ‘Do you know how much this is?’ 
I said to her ‘I’ve changed my mind; I don’t think I’ll buy that today.’ 
She said ‘OK,’ and I paid her for the things and left. 
She had no clue to what had just happened. 


A woman at work was seen putting a credit card into her floppy drive and pulling it out very quickly. 
When I inquired as to what she was doing, she said she was shopping on the Internet and they kept asking for a credit card number, so she was using the ATM ‘thingy.’ 
(keep shuddering!!)


I recently saw a distraught young lady weeping beside her car. ‘Do you need some help?’ I asked. 
She replied, ‘I knew I should have replaced the battery to this remote door unlocker. Now I can’t get into my car. Do you think they (pointing to a distant convenience store) would have a battery to fit this?’ 
‘Hmmm, I don’t know. Do you have an alarm, too?’ I asked. 
‘No, just this remote thingy,’ she answered, handing it and the car keys to me.  As I took the key and manually unlocked the door, I replied, ‘Why don’t you drive over there and check about the batteries. It’s a long walk….’ 
  PLEASE just lay down before you hurt yourself !!!


Several years ago, we had an Intern who was none too swift. One day she was typing and turned to a secretary and said, ‘I’m almost out of typing paper. What do I do?’ ‘Just use paper from the photocopier’, the secretary told her. With that, the intern took her last remaining blank piece of paper, put it on the photocopier and proceeded to make five ‘blank’ copies. 
Brunette, by the way!! 


A mother calls 911 very worried asking the dispatcher if she needs to take her kid to the emergency room, the kid had eaten ants. The dispatcher tells her to give the kid some Benadryl and he should be fine, the mother says, ‘I just gave him some ant killer……’ 
Dispatcher: ‘Rush him in to emergency!’ 

Life is tough. It’s even tougher if you’re stupid!!!!

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