Defying Stupidity

Periodically, I engage in a song & dance routine. I get out my black, patent leather shoes, pink bow tie and glittery cane. I’ve performed this little tap at four branches of a local bank in order to obtain necessary paperwork for a loan.

My husband occasionally buys and sells real estate. Hence, the need for loans. To borrow money from a lender, we must prove that we don’t really need the money (excuse me while I go and grind my teeth for the next eight minutes).

My energetic little jig is usually followed by polite, staccato applause from my small, subdued audience; afterwards, I am handed the requested piece of paper to show the lender. I typically begin my journey to the exit, but rarely make it out the double glass doors. Along the way, I notice that the paper, which summarizes the balance of my accounts, provides no evidence whatsoever that it originated from a bank. I could have typed it up myself.

“Where the hell does it say which freaking bank this is from?” is what I’d love to shout (years of maintaining an angelic demeanor for the sake of the kids has taken its toll on me). Instead I say,

“Would you kindly open a drawer and locate the impressive, elucidating, official-looking stamp that says ‘Los Pueblos Bank’ and illuminate this little sheet?”

So begins a mad dash, zig zag from drawer to drawer by the employee in search of the elusive stamp. This occurs each and every time and can last anywhere from four to twelve minutes, depending on the I.Q. of the person assisting me. (That was mean. I’m sorry. I.Q. has no bearing whatsoever on stupidity. Highly educated people can be impossibly stupid).

Yesterday, Husband and I entered the branch closest to our home to add his name to an account that I have. Doesn’t that sound delightfully simple? Nancy assisted us. We obtained proper signatures and left to get my mother’s signature as she was also on this account. We did so. Husband returned the signature card to the bank (I didn’t have my tap shoes on me). It was his turn to secure the little piece of paper.

Here’s what happened:

When Husband entered the bank, Nancy was nowhere to be found. He overheard some one say, “She’s in the lunch room, doing her nails.” Husband was advised that no other person, out of the 15 employees present, could add the signature and print out the paper he required. He asked to see the manager.

Unbeknownst to Husband, the manager had declared Tuesdays to be “Don’t-help-customers-no-matter-what-day.”

When he asked how long Nancy would be, Manager replied, “Ten minutes.”

Husband said, “No problem. I’ll wait. I really need to deliver this paperwork to the lender today.” Husband showed Manager a sample copy of what he needed.

Manager carefully scrutinized it, then announced, “That’s a cute little paper, but you’re not getting anything today. It’s going to take at least twenty-four hours to update the account.”

Husband, realizing them’s fightin’ words, said, “Are you sure? I’ve done this before and it’s instant.”

She restated, “It can’t be done.”

Husband left. He filled up the gas tank, stopped to get coffee, then drove five miles to the next branch of the same bank. This time he met a perspicacious (i.e., very smart) teller who printed what he needed in less than ten seconds. Unfortunately, it took another four minutes to find the infamous official bank stamp.

Why? Why must we jump through hoops and perform astonishing feats of ability in order to survive an encounter with stupidity? Well, first of all, so I can run this blog. Secondly, to sharpen our minds. Those who can think and do, can always beat ten men who can’t and don’t (if I may paraphrase George Bernard Shaw). Don’t you feel a sense of accomplishment when you’ve resolved a problem or completed a task, no matter how large or small? Stupers (short for abysmally stupid persons) don’t know what that satisfaction feels like. And never will.

Keep thinking!


5 Responses to “Defying Stupidity”

  1. StarPower says:

    The things we have to do to get a little attention! I feel like I have to do a little song and dance number every time I go to a Home Depot. God forbid some one actually helps me. I think you have to be declared a stuper before you can even work there.

  2. jacqueline says:

    Oh… at Home Depot just wear anything a little sexy and they drop everything for you… or act dumb… that helps too. Oh I know I have sunk too low.

    As for banks, they freak me out with the super officialness of their operations. Granted I know it is all make believe (ie the missing stamp) but really they have so much power to rule our little lives.

  3. Vicky says:

    Talking about “getting service.” I purchased a few items from a department store. After I went home, I checked my receipt and realized one item was not charged to me. Next day I went to the store (different branch)and explained what happened. She sent me to the customer service office. I again explained why I was there.
    They called the security officer. I said I am here because they forgot to charge me; I want you to put this item on my charge. They asked so many questions. I said you make me feel like a criminal. They did not apologize for keeping me there for a 1/2 hour. I was charged for the item, but I felt like a sorry piece of……you know what!

  4. Julianne says:

    Aaahhh… customer service.

    Well, Keli, you can cross one potential stuper off of your list. My husband is a banker and I made him read this and promise to never let this happen at his branch.

    Just doing my part for the good of mankind.

  5. Keli says:


    Now I can sleep at night, knowing that I have made a difference. Thank you!

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