How To Communicate With The Impossibly Stupid

stupidity.jpgI don’t care how this sounds, I really need some advice and someone out there can help. As many of you know I have been going to these meetings for months. Each time I am surrounded by people who have authority over me. Generally speaking they are all younger than me and in most cases significantly so. Ten years, maybe even fifteen years younger. They have authority because I gave them authority. I have no regrets on this front.

Things have gone well in this difficult situation to date. Better than could be expected I would say. There have been a couple of confrontations but these gals (I am working with 80% women) on the whole are smart and equipped to do their jobs. Mostly I am relieved the job is theirs not mine, When there has been confrontation it has been productive. No one is holding a grudge. A grudge against me that is, because I am the one speaking up in challenge.

In fact the last meeting everyone there was in solid agreement as to what was going on and what the best course of action would be which I thought was pretty miraculous considering the complexity of the problem but now we have a trouble or at least I do and I think it’s serious.

There is a new gal joined the team and she is an idiot. I am not talkin’ maybe or sort of. I am telling you she is a stone cold idiot and when I interact with her I am feel stunned and appalled at her stupidity. I am actually OFFENDED to be talking to someone so stupid and I realize I best figure this out. Turns out I have very limited experience with stupid people but I bet some of you deal with them all the time so would you tell me how?

For the record, I know others on the team will come to the same conclusion but I think these gals will be better able to deal with this girl because they are politicians for the most part. I on the other hand… not so much. 😉

So what to do? I cannot seem to quit trying to explain things obvious to the whole team even though I can tell she will never grok what I am saying if she had the rest of her life to try. It is like saying, 1 and 1 is 2 and she answers back, “Yes, I know that. The answer is 7.”

Huh?

She is not malicious. She has no terrible agenda. She is just stupid, plain and simple so what do you do when you meet the impossibly dumb and have to talk to them? Please tell me because I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone this dumb in my life and I don’t know how to behave. How can I get rid of and/or hide my contempt? The words that want to come out of my mouth are these:

“I just can’t talk to you, you’re too stupid.”

In fact it’s a miracle I haven’t said exactly that so what can I do short of duct taping my mouth or hers? Saturn is in Virgo and I am humbly asking this. I am also interested in whether you routinely deal with stupid people or not. Because it strikes me that I almost never encounter them and I wonder why that is.

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Comments

How To Communicate With The Impossibly Stupid — 41 Comments

  1. Well somebody knows how to do this. I know for sure I will be watching the others operate but I would just like to know how other people cope in their insides…

  2. >>stop trying to get across your points over and over expecting a different result :-)>>

    Yeah, I have only talked to her twice so just identified the pattern. The first time I talked to her I was just caught by surprise her stupidity. The 2nd time was several weeks later and I guess I was in denial because I thought she would have been snappier after having a chance to familiarize herself with the case. This has happened a few times. Someone new comes on board and asserts themselves but they quickly learn they are dealing with an anomoly which humbles them and makes them happy actually. Happy because people’s jobs are generally so boring and this is a real piece of meat on a plate.

    So anyway, I thought she might be cured with some time on the job but that proved optimistic and it was this last conversation when I realized it was truly hopeless so while I do know (now) not to try to explain things to her, I still wonder if there is some magic trick to have this not bother me so much. It is like 10 people in the room and 1 turtle. Why do I care?

    I would like to feel something other than contempt because I am sure it comes across and does no good for anyone.

  3. I wish I could suggest something, but I would want to say the same thing and I’m not entirely certain I could stop myself.

  4. Avery – thanks, that is a good angle and I will ponder it today and see it I can get my mind to latch on. As to her power in the situation – she has a lot of power (supposedly). She has the most power actually but I think she is so stupid she will have no way to exercise it. She is like 20 clicks behind at least.

    I definitely don’t want to assert myself to her boss or anything. It’s too controlling. I gave up control and that means I gave up control. I am not her boss / supervisor and don’t want to expand my position in this… so I guess mostly it is trying to keep my mouth shut? I also have to not roll my eyes, cough or other things you can do when not paying attention. Poker face anyone?

    The soldier had an interesting take – very Capricorn. He said she will probably not be on board for long. I will be on board as long as I want so basically he suggested I let her pass like a season I guess you’d say. But I still wonder how people deal with this shit day in and day out. Because I just don’t think I could.

  5. Maddalena – you’re right. I do want control. I want to deal with non-stupid people and have apparently gotten away with this for eons. Almost since the time I was born.

    Matter of fact, I remember the last stupid person I had to deal with – it was 20 years ago and before that, I can’t even recall. So maybe some gratitude is in order!!

    To everyone else, Deirdre, Avery – these are great ideas – thank you!!

  6. I find it difficult to give specific advice on this, as you’re leaving us in the dark about what the meetings are about. For example, how important (her usefulness)is this gal in the context?
    In a very general way, I think you have already answered yourself with the quote on stupidity on the blog: stop trying to get across your points over and over expecting a different result 🙂
    So, instead of being as stupid as she is, try another approach, such as letting the others explain to her (you can say ‘I’ll let so-and-so fill you in’) and get her to give her opinions to the others (not to you).
    And yes, do put invisible duct tape on your mouth, if you can help it.

  7. Avoid her like the plague!
    I would say try to be nice to her to minimise damage but make sure all the dealings and all the important information go to the other staff as well. Build in checks and balances in your information flow. The other gals must be aware she is stupid, so you will have to rely on them to make sure she doesn’t mess up. As for the irritation factor, detach!! Focus on what you want to get done, and see the obstacle (her) as an opportunity for practising non-reaction 🙂

  8. You can deal with this in two ways, I think. If her involvement is going to mess up your case, if her “contribution” harms rather than helps, you might want to address this with whoever put her on the team in the first place. They might have had enough time to realize her limitations and might come to the conclusion that her talents would be better put to use elsewhere.

    Or. If you’re stuck with her and she isn’t in a position to do any harm to your interest, you could dig deep and find compassion. I find stupid people insufferable to deal with. What helps is to view them much like a person with a disability they have no control over. Put yourself in her shoes… can you imagine how much of a struggle it would be to have to muddle your way through life and work with half a brain? And I’m sure she’s received feedback about it over her lifetime and it must be painful to have someone say or think, “Damn, girl, you’re a moron.” And that can breed some sympathy for her and gratitude at having been blessed with some common sense. Looking at her as someone much less fortunate who has been plopped into a job that’s wayyyyyy over her head might do the trick. Good luck, I know it’s hard!

  9. So, I will skip the part about wondering how she has a job at this place, and just move into this world of what seems like fantasy.

    Here are the ideas that came to me.

    1. I know this guy who had a terrible time with his parents for whatever reasons, and he said the only way he was able to talk to them was to imagine Buddha sitting on his own head the whole time he talks to his parents.

    2. Another idea Is to imagine that there will one day be an end to this story and it wont be till the end until it makes sense that their was that chapter with the stupid person, so take it slow and observe the symbolism.

    3. Imagine the stupid person is your teacher.

    4. Imagine that the stupid person is… ME! or You! like when we are 95, and imagine how we want to be treated when we are drooling advice.

    5. Add extra time around these meetings. Most likely they are the holiest meetings of the whole batch, because why else would Ms. Cerebrel Kotex show up and flip you out. It’s like she is an oracle, and the message is something like see if there is a smarter strategy than the one you are using or to finetune your strategy.

    6.

  10. I think the soldier’s right on… she’ll either be taken off the team or promoted. *snicker*

    Visualization when you’re actually dealing with her might help you conceal or eliminate your contempt. You know how speakers are advised to picture an audience in their underwear if they’re really nervous? It might help to visualize a bloody bandage around her head to remind you that although she looks normal, she’s really going through life with the equivalent of a head injury.

  11. It bothers you because you’re trying to be in control of the situation.
    The good thing is the others on the team have grasped the subleties of the case, so you can relax and let them take care of it. Let them also take care of the stupid gal. Btw, she will probably listen to the others because they’re authorities, while she doesn’t want to see you as an autority.

  12. ok, I know you have libra, so maybe diplomacy can be a mantra, I’m terrible at it myself because I’m too direct, you maybe as well. We are the cut through the crap types but some people never will be, adding to the crap is their way. But sometimes I watch other people who are more successful with this and they are good at being indirect and more conciliatory and yet somehow they gently push their agenda and win through what I think is the the watercourse way. keep finding your own depth and try not to react immediately. Tough, I know, I can barely do it at all but I have seen people get good results through diplomacy and patience.

  13. I used to deal with stupid people on a daily basis. And swallowing the urge to tell them how offended I was by their stupidity was only suppressed because I realized that they would be too stupid to get it even if I told them how stupid they were. I have Jupiter rising too and Merc/Mars in Aqua.

    For you though, I think using Libra and Leo and become a method actor using diplomacy and love. Compassion for her is a must. How hard it must be to walk through life being so stupid.

    And since she has some power in this situation. . .what if you take back the power by actually just reflecting it back to her by looking a little “stupid”? I mean, if you say 1+1 = 2 and she says Yeah, I know, 7. Then turn to her for clarity. “I want to make sure we are understanding each other. I’m not sure what you mean. WIll you please explain it to me?”

    She will explain it again and you can be dumbfounded again.
    “I still don’t get what you are saying and I need to understand your take on this. Can you tell me in a different way?”

    Surely by this time, other people in the room will recognize her stupidity and step in. If they don’t, you can look around desperately. The power will shift in the group and she will fade into the background as others explain. Plus, she’ll feel so empowered that you value her and won’t feel your contempt.

    ??Maybe??

  14. I am in an industry where this is a recurring issue, a great mix in the quality of intelligence and ideas. I treat every situation like a sieve — I just let the ideas/thoughts/people that are stupid/skippable float right through the sieve into the garbage, not giving them another moment’s energy or thought. At the same time, take the good ones that gather on top and feed and nurture them give them with all of your focus and attention.
    No need to give any energy at all to the stupidity. Just let it float right on through into the garbage pile. Only allow your energy to focus on and acknowledge what is strong, valuable, and smart.

    Anything else is a waste of your energy and time.

  15. What comes to mind is that old therapist cliche (but for those of us who have a very low threshold of tolerance for stupid people perhaps the fundamental attitude): the only person whose actions you can truly control are your own. There’s also the nice-them-to-death approach. You can get away with a whole lot more criticism and you tend to get more cooperation when you smile, because it doesn’t take higher being intelligence to pick up on hostility and respond to it. Quite the contrary, in fact. That’s all lizard brain stuff.

  16. I was thinking about this in terms of you choosing the visuals for your blog (which I love, by the way. They are so happy and groovy and always carry me back to the rainbow 70s..:) But when you come across a visual you don’t like, you probably don’t rail against it and compain about it and say what a dumba$$ image that is, you simply ignore it and go on. That’s what I tend to do with the kinds of people you are describing, to as large an extent as it is possible. Ignore and move on to something worthy of your energy.

  17. Omigods, the timing, Elsa! The timing!

    I have a very stupid person — good intentions and all — in my daughter’s school right now. This woman makes excuses for the boys who have repeatedly harassed my child, and while we are making some progress — mainly, strengthening my kiddos coping skills — every time I see this woman, I have a sudden urge to reach out and touch someone…HARD.

    She’s not benefitting my kid in any way I can see, but I can’t get rid of her bc she’s the school counselor. ARGH!!

    So it’s another talk with the principal, and if that doesn’t work, moving on up to the superintendent. Because, like you, I want control of the situation, and if stirring the pot is the only way to do it, then so be it.

    (Worse yet, this woman’s children are all involved in the same kind of things mine are, so I see her EVERYWHERE!!)

  18. Kashmiri- I made the stupid people disappear by leaving the job. I was a retail store manager for 7 years and dealt with all varieties of people. It was really hard on me at the time, I didn’t have great boundaries at keeping all that energy out, but it gave me such practice in diffusing situations and was an invaluable study in the nature of people.

    I still run across stupids all the time, but I, like you, just smile and nod. And run.

  19. I find it interesting that you think all of the women are in agreement about an issue.
    I also find it odd that you think these women
    work well together. So you think this lady is stupid. Maybe the other ladies don’t like her
    and they have made you think she is stupid.

    You seem to have a real hatred for this lady
    and it is very telling. What did she do to make you think she is so stupid. Or what did she get out of doing ? I AM GOING TO LEAVE ONE VERY STRONG COMMENT. THE FACT THAT YOU ARE SAYING THESE LADIES ARE VERY POLITICAL, THERE IS ANOTHER WORD FOR THAT. ITS CALLED BACK STABBING.
    I would hate to work at your office, I bet none of these women get along at all and just act very nice to each other in front of you and everybody else. So in reality WHO IS REALLY STUPID HERE ? You work with sneaky women and your just hoping they do the dirty work for you. IF ALL OF THEM ARE SUDDENLY BEING SUPER NICE TO YOU AND AGREEING WITH YOU LOOK OUT. They are about to stick it to you and make the stupid lady the scapegoat.
    They are probably about to do something really nasty too you they have wanted to do for a really longtime.

  20. Honestly…duct-taping your mouth is the best option. Try to talk to her as little as you can get away with. When she says, “I don’t understand,” DON’T speak up trying to explain it to her! Let someone else take the fall on that one, and clench your hands behind your back. (Unless she directly asks you, in which case I guess you are stuck. And then go into it not knocking yourself out trying to be comprehensible- she won’t get it anyway. Just say enough to look like you are trying.)

    Dealing with stupid is kind of like dealing with crazy: they live in their own reality and trying to get them into your reality never works.

  21. Oh, but I should define what I mean by “political”. I mean the other gals are more civilized. They have skills that show some polish.

    I am more like a meat cleaver coming down but they do like me if only to observe and be able to talk amongst themselves.

  22. “I used to deal with stupid people on a daily basis.”

    How did you make them disappear? LOL! I try very, very hard not to care about how stupid people are anymore…I take what I call my air sign approach: disassociate like an Aquarian, flit off like a Gemini with a very Libra-like smile on my face.

    Last week a classmate needed help with the powerpoint overhead, so I got up to help her and was about to point out which buttons to press when she started shouting “I NEED A MALE! IS THERE A MALE WHO CAN HELP ME?”

    Yeah. For real. I just sat down and watched her sweat, smiling benignly even though I was really offended by her stupidity.

  23. Heather has the language right. Reflect back to her what she’s saying. Double check. Do it soft, but do it for everything. They ask why? Why she’s saying what she’s saying, ask her for clarity ask her to help you understand.

    I’m guessing from the history of this blog this woman is in a “helping” profession. Play to her need to help. Ask her if it really helps, ask her for criteria.

    If you want a book on how to do this, “lead softly” to get everyone’s interests on the table get out a book from the library on mediation. That’s mediation not meditation (although that will help you in this situation too)

    I think you’re missing a few bits to the story here. So I’ll ask you to fill them in for yourself.

    Is this woman really that stupid? How did she get to the position she’s in if she’s that totally “box of rocks” kind of person? Here I’m hoping you’ll identify her skills (because she got there somehow). Once you’ve identified her skills then play to them. Ask her to use THOSE skills and focus her attention elsewhere if it’s possible.

    I’m also thinking that this is an emotional situation and so we’re missing her emotions. What are her feelings about being on this team? What are her feelings about the case? How does she express her emotions and interest in the case?

    I ask this as this reminds me of a guy I dated years ago. He was romantic (I’d never had that before) and sweet and brilliant at his work (wordsmithing) and clueless about the rest of everything. One day it came to an end with me saying “don’t you ever *(&%$ think about anything you ever $%*$*@ do before you *(@!%^$ do it!?”

    To which he replied “no” and I walked out. Mind you he had just repotted his orchid collection in his bathtub the day before and then called me to come over and help him because his bathtub wasn’t draining the next day. (there was soil, sand, rocks down his drain plugging it) He didn’t have a clue as to why it wouldn’t drain all of a sudden.

    He was emotional, brilliant, romantic and kind. He deserves the wonderful responsible job he has. The rest of the time his wife keeps him from doing totally stupid things. I’m still friends with him years later and we help eachother with garden projects (the big stuff). But I make sure to know that it’s what he wants and dreams of (feelings) before I promise the vehicle to help him haul the oversized tree he’s putting in his yard. And we talk logistics BEFORE we do anything.

    So I cover feelings and logistics and double check with his wife that she’s on the same page.

    I also agree with Avery. Compassion will help. Being stupid I think must be very difficult. I suspect you haven’t had to deal with many of them because they don’t want to be shown how stupid they are on a regular basis, which is what happens when you are brilliant and they are not. (which you are)

    Good luck?!! 🙂

  24. “As to her power in the situation – she has a lot of power (supposedly). She has the most power actually but I think she is so stupid she will have no way to exercise it.”

    A ha. My suggestion would be to never, ever underestimate people like this. If this case is an anomoly, her stupidity could be an anomloy, too. 9 times out of ten people pass her off as a moron, but the 10th person who does gets something out of it. Pick and pick and pick and pick her stupid little brain.

    I know what you mean when you express concern that you can’t hide your malice. The thing is: she might not get it but other people might. And you don’t want to do anything that will turn sound-minded people away from you when you’re at battle.

    Have you picked the soldiers brain? I consider myself soldier like in that I fight to win, and consider everyone part of the battlefield. No one can be discounted, in case they are the puzzle’s missing piece. Know what I mean?

  25. I’m guessing the Peter Principle is at work here and eventually she’ll either get moved up or if she starts causing problems, moved over. The other team members will probably smile, nod in agreement, and then do whatever needs to be done. I’ve been surrounded lately with stupid people and I detach a lot if I can (this is my body listening to the stupid person) and I use a lot of compassion. More so for my special ed kids (I’m a G/T teacher by trade, but there was a shift in power, so I’m learning new skills)than my teachers that display stupidity. As long as she does no harm, I know you’ll figure it out.

  26. I look at it this way. As long as other, important people are aware of the person’s stupidity, it’s a matter of ignoring the person until they go away. Stupid people who ‘chime in’ repeatedly with their nonsense are needy. They need their thoughts confirmed/affirmed by others responding to them – however positive or negative it may be. Ignore whatever they say, change the subject as if the previous subject didn’t ever exist (no “so that reminds me” or “ANYHOW..”), etc. If you attack the person, they’ll just keep coming back with further moronisms. Just don’t respond.

  27. Reading others comments, I disagree about compassion. People can get away with a lot of awful shit if you look at them as little helpless lambs. What if they were just having a stupid moment in their lives or they were faking it? How would you like if someone said to you “I’m sorry you’re so dumb”? That’s just unnecessarily passive aggressive and emotionally wasteful for your assumed intelligence. You can respect someone’s ability to create their own reality without agreeing with them or feeling one way or another about them as a person. It’s so much easier to just… not respond.

  28. Such good comments. Thank you everyone.

    What I was trying to say in way too many words: Mentally amputate.

    I do this often, with anything that doesn’t interest or serve (although there is a lot lot that does. I can find poetry in almost anyone. But not everyone..) and I have been doing this amputating, I have been told, since I was about 6 months old.

    Signed, a chick with way too much Pluto and 8th house in her midst.

    (When it is not so clear-cut, though, which, let’s face it, it usually isn’t, the thing that came much more automatically when I was younger and somehow has come back to rescue me again recently is this: hard-core compassion. Imagine this person as hurting, suffering just as much as you have. Granted, she presents a shocking facade, but what if she had told you 5 minutes earlier of one of her most slaying, devastating hurts. Everyone walks around with one or two under their belt. They are just not always on their sleeve. If you imagine they are, or take a moment to acknowledge that at least one excruciating, unfathomable one no doubt exists, compassion often speeds to the surface pretty readily.

  29. So many good responses…

    I didn’t answer at first because people know what I’m thinking just by looking at me. So this woman would know that I thought she was a moron.

    My husband says I have the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

    Aries rising makes the worst liars. 😉

  30. i have to deal with painfully stupid people sometimes.

    i smile a lot, try to remember it’s not something they choose, and living as stupid has to be a lot worse than dealing with them for short periods of time.

    i also talk to them as if to children. not condescending (i don’t condescend to children, either), but slowly, clearly, with simple metaphors.

    i also minimize contact.

  31. well, i concur with what the soldier says- if the rest of the team is as together as you say they’ll see the problem themselves.

    in the meanwhile. well. i tutor a number of special needs children. and each one is an adjustment as i have to take stock of their ability to grasp new concepts from child to child. when they’re really off of my expectations (which happens, particularly when a second language is involved as well) i can’t wonder why they were drawn that way. i can be astonished or disturbed but as far as how i interact with them i need to interact with them as if they are who they are and not compare them with other people. sometimes they are the ones who make the most dramatic progress if you can just figure out how to speak their language.

    but that’s an entirely different environment than you’re dealing with. particularly in the scope of where the authority falls.
    if your question is, not how to explain things to her, but simply how to refrain from being offended by a physiological trait she can’t help, just keep in mind that’s what it is. like she was born missing a finger, or something.

    i find willful ignorance far more irritating.

  32. Can you say in a very monotone voice to other people, “I think we’re having problems undersatnding each other and I think it is detrimental to the matter at hand.”

    I would keep droning that on and on to all of them and even her if she asks and make it very impersonal, as if you really believe it has nothing to do with either one of you. If they ask why or what give a very simple example, like when you say this she answers this way and you think this demonstrates that something is getting lost.

    In fact this is true, so there is nothing wrong with saying it. You know it;s her but in the end, fault doesn’t even matter. You are being called to deal with the issue of complete missed communication. She can’t do it, and while it sucks and is not fair, you ahve to fix it.

    I’m not sure this helped. 🙂

  33. Maybe the issue isn’t stupidity, but different communcications and thinking styles. Here’s an astrolgocial illustration from my own experience.

    A person very close to me has Gemini rising, ruled by Mercury Rx in Cancer late in the 2nd house, conjuct both Moon and Uranus in Cancer early in the 3rd house. This person’s thinking is, as one would expect, emotional, subjective, offbeat and unusual, with thoughts changing direction on a dime, and not necessarily appearing logical, consistent (or smart)–at first blush. Yet this person usually has or gains a good grasp and deep understanding of complex systems and interactions both interpersonally and technologically, and her work product in the complex intersection between the tech and business worlds where she works turns out –at second blush– to be gifted, talented and brilliant.

    Because of the Mercury Rx, the mental activity goes on inside, but not all that she thinks inside fully comes out in communciations. For example, this person often starts telling a story mid-thought or mid sentence, unconsiously assuming the listener knew the background, or knew the first half of the sentence, because she had been thinking it before she started to speak. And the story is peppered with indefinte pronouns, further challenging the listener’s ability to piece the story together. Sometimes, this person also has to put in a bit of additional effort or time to gain that deep understanding.

    A new acquaintance or co-worker first encountering this Gemini rising persona, a persona ruled by a Mercury colored by the emotion and subjectivity of Cancer, by the conjunction to offbeat Uranus, and by the Rx as well, could be misled into thinking this person was, perhaps, something of an airhead, or worse. That would be a serious mistake!

    Time after time, it is this person’s perspective and understanding which, while dismissed at first by co-workers and lower-level managers because of this atypical Gemini rising persona, proves to be the right one, and frequently the one that saves multi-million dollar projects from disasterously heading down the wrong path (often a path that everyone else on the team mistakenly thought were obvious, logical, correct and smart!) Higher management, fortunately, has looked beyond the the Gemini persona to the person’s results–an ability or vision that’s presumably a factor in one’s ascending to upper management — and has high regard for this person’s abilities.

    I have had the “1 and 1 is 2 and she answers back, “Yes, I know that. The answer is 7” encounter with her, or at least something similar, numerous times. This drives me nuts too! [For what its worth, I’ve got Sun conjunct Mercury in Scorpio, Sag rising (ruled by Juptier in the 9th), and a Capricorn moon, I’ve been a lawyer for nearly 30 years, and the quest for rational, direct, logical thought and expression is fundamental to me]. Notwithstanding how nuts I get when I hear 1+1=7, knowing how her astrological profile works, I take the time to try to talk to her about her perspective and where she’s coming from in these encounters. I usually find that what I thought was an obvious “1”, when seen through the eyes of a person with Mercury conjunct Uranus etc., might actually turn out to be a “2.5” (or could legitimately be seen as a “2.5”), and what I thought was “obviously” the other “1” might actually turn out to be “4.5”, etc., and those numbers total the “7” she mentioned.

    Bottom line, I’ve learned not to jump to judgments about another’s mental capcities too quickly, even when everyone else shares the same initial judgement, and to bite my tongue until I’ve really tried to understand both the communication and the thought from her perspective. Hard, but worth it (saved my hide a few times).

    Of course, in the workplace, one is less invested in taking the time to try and understand on a deep level the thoughts and communciations of co-worker with whom one doesn’t click (and certainly trying to gain the astro-perspective may be difficult if not impossible with a co-worker). Nevertheless, it might be worth some effort to suspend judgment and try to do at least the mental outreach to attempt to understand her perspective; it just might turn out to prevent going down one of those seemingly wonderful, seemingly correct, paths that, in the end, turns out not to be what it seemed, and leads to a disasterous and/or expensive mistake!

    [And if the effort to understand more deeply does not produce acceptable results, you can always conclude later that your original judgment was correct, stop by your nearest Barnes and Noble for the collected works of Machiavelli, and bone up on good tactics and strategies to get her off your team 🙂 ]

    Good luck.

  34. I don’t know, Elsa. If it were just stuidity and nothing else, how could it be quite so irritating? Sometimes I encounter people who seem to be pretty stupid, but also seem to be successful. These people generally turn out to be either smart at one particular skill type that is very useful for their job in which they are successful, OR they are a liar, manipulator, back-stabber, shmoozer, etc.

    People can seem really nice if that’s what they want to show you, they can seem that way for a long time until they either show you their teeth or you finally hear about the bad things they’ve been up to behind your back.

  35. Elsa, that original post for this thread is one of the funniest things I have read in a long time. No wonder those conniving lazy uncreative people are so hot to try to steal your work. You are a riot.

    Now, as far as stupidity defined: (I have heard it said for the definition of insanity as well) “Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results” I am going to heed these words and hold back my comments. (Because I really like this blog and, [for a change], want to take pains to watch what I say that I don’t get kicked off another astro blog.

    Therefore, the only thing I will say is that I feel and share your intense frustration in this matter of very stupid people with power, and I take it quite seriously. Stupidity plus power is an extremely dangerous and frightening thing and it can make one recoil in horror.

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