The Case of the Chipped Plates

From last time: how to overcome a bout with stupidity? 

I’ve seen victims moping around, wringing their hands, even snarling in fury. There is no one-size-cures-all way to manage an encounter with a stuper (yes, that’s short for stupid person). One friend told me she sucks on a piece of chocolate whenever she’s the recipient of stupidity. As the piece dissolves, so does her annoyance. Another says she immediately writes a letter to the stuper. Afterward, she thoroughly enjoys ripping the thing to shreds (the letter, not the stuper). This does wonders for scattering stupidity away.

For me, the ridiculous encounter rapidly dissolves when I can call forth my sense of humor. Make no mistake; in case you haven’t noticed, I do get irritated. I think about the absolute inanity of the stupid episode and shake my head ’til I get dizzy. But sharing the story laughingly with an authentic, thinking human helps offset any ill side effects.  

On to the Williams-Sonoma chipped plate incident:

I wandered into my local store and noticed that they had lovely dessert plates on sale for a marvelous price. I bought 8 of them. I’m no Williams-Sonoma (W-S) rookie. I’ve often purchased both regular and sale priced items.

Once home, I noticed that two of the plates had chips/imperfections on the underside. I called the store.

“Why do you think they were on sale?” I was asked by salesperson, Tracy.

“Because the pattern was discontinued?” I dared guess.

“No. Because they were chipped!”

For a moment, I wondered if I’d actually even been in W-S or had accidentally wandered into a yard sale or thrift store instead.

“Williams-Sonoma sells chipped plates?” I asked incredulously.

“Shore!” Tracy cheerfully replied. “But you can bring them in to exchange for good ones.”

First of all, why do some people pronounce sure as shore? They are not one and the same term. Does anyone out there know? Is it the result of a shortcoming in mental word processing? Or was Tracy actually referring to the beach? Maybe she was related to the assistant editor from my previous post?

Second of all, W-S has a stellar reputation. This is not because they sell chipped plates.

Thirdly, not all W-S sale plates were in chipped condition if Tracy had “good ones” to exchange.

Before I continue, let me emphasize that this one encounter in no way negatively reflects on W-S. My experiences before and after have always been exceptional. I knew they would never sell substandard items.

I called W-S corporate headquarters. No, not to tattle-tail on Tracy, but to verify whether they sell, at a discount, less-than-perfect wares. The person whom I spoke to very kindly confirmed that W-S does not sell chipped anything. Ever. Just as I suspected.

Then why did Tracy tell me that W-S sells chipped plates? Maybe because she thought….yikes! I slipped again. That hurt. There was no thought! Tracy merely spoke out loud the very first possible reply that popped into her head. Stupers are adept at thinking out loud….all of the time. There’s plenty of room in the unoccupied mind. There is no malice or intention since both require thought before speech or action. It’s just that the mouth has overtaken the function of the brain.

So what about my chipped plates? My first reaction was to shun Tracy entirely and speak to a manager, but fortunately, since I’ve learned how to recognize and manage stupidity, that was unnecessary. I convinced Tracy that we could partner together to make me a happy W-S customer. I thanked Tracy for her help and told her how wonderful it would be if she’d set aside two “good ones” for me to come in and exchange.

“Shore!” Tracy answered.

And she did.

Keep thinking,


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