Saturday, April 24, 2010

There's no immunity from stupid.

I consider myself to be of average intelligence, perhaps even a tad over the far side of the bell curve. But sometimes I'm just not paying attention.

I recently needed to reserve a conference room at the local library. Being the sort of guy who prefers taking the easy course of action with any task, I looked up the library web site to find the conference room schedule; it wasn't posted online. However, while paging through the library web site, clearly posted on the main page was an announcement that the library would be closed on the 21st for a library staff meeting.

Unable to find the library conference room schedule on their web site, I decided to stop in at the library and inquire in person; I had to run some other errands so it was no inconvenience to drop in there.

When I arrived at the library I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were plenty of available parking spaces in front of the building. I had no trouble finding a parking place.

I casually noticed one of those orange and white striped construction barrier sawhorse thingies in front of the steps leading up to the building. There was a sign on it, but I just assumed that they were blocking off the steps for some construction. Behind the barrier on the steps were a bunch of high school, maybe junior high school, kids milling around on the steps jostling each other and talking trash. I figured there was some event happening and the sign on the sawhorse was somehow related. So I skirted the barrier and the kids and strolled up the handicapped ramp to the library front door.

I pulled on the library front door and... nothing. It was securely locked. I peered inside; the library was dark. It was then that I stepped back and noticed the sign... the one taped to the door clearly stating that the library would be closed on the 21st for a library staff meeting. I opened my cell phone to check the date: April 21st.

Suddenly this eerie feeling came over me that I was the focus of attention; turning to leave I distinctly sensed that my intellect was being most brutally judged by countless pairs of unyielding adolescent eyes. I walked past the horde and around the construction barrier on which a "Library Closed " sign was neatly affixed.

The kids didn't need to say a word... I looked like a complete idiot!!

On the drive home I wondered just how much stupidity in the world might be the result of just simply not paying attention.


Gorilla Bananas said...

You should have brazened it out and acted as if you were in the FBI or something. Maybe gone over to the kids and asked them if they'd seen anything suspicious.

Charlie said...

Or, you could have said you were checking the door to make sure it was locked.

Then again, the dumb look on your face would have given you away.

For my money, I'd say that not paying attention has a high correlation with stupidity. That's how I end up wearing two different colored socks.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Bananas Or asked them if they knew when the next train was scheduled to leave.

Charlie But of course, I could have launched into my Inspector Clouseau impersonation; patting the door at several places with my hand then announcing "ah yes, good.. it remains locked!"

Penny said...

We've all done things like that - each and every one of us. All of those sweet little kids will too in their time. :)
What were the kids doing there anyway? Maybe they weren't paying attention either!

Mary Witzl said...

GB and Charlie have beaten me to it -- that is absolutely what I would have done: sidled over to the kids all cloak-and-dagger and wiped the smiles off their faces by asking them some really interesting questions. That or pull out my mobile and have a close-mouthed chat on it, all the while peering at the darkened windows.

(Can you guess that things like this happen to me all the time?)

Robert the Skeptic said...

Penny Good question... what were those kids doing there if the library was closed? Thinking maybe they didn't know it was closed either?! Possibly!

Mary Indeed, I did open my cell phone to check the date... I could have pretended I was on a very important call about the security of the library. Being witty at the moment got lost in my embarrassment, I guess.

Kay Dennison said...

LOL I've done the same!!!

kara said...

those bastards.

Anonymous said...

No one can make you feel more stupid or ridiculous than a bunch of teenagers. They are just so judgmental of their elders!!!

Perhaps they were there for the staff meeting!!??

GutsyWriter said...

They were looking at YOU because they thought you were the guy in charge of opening the door.

Robert the Skeptic said...

BackRow When I think back on it I am surprised I made it through Junior High with my ego intact.

Gusty I don't think the tittering teens had even the slightest interest of what might be in the library, door locked or otherwise.

Rachel Noy said...

Haha, 'plenty of free parking space'!

Poor you!

TechnoBabe said...

It is possible that not paying attention does look like stupidity unless you're the person not paying attention. I think the thing that will help you the most is that so many of us have done just about the same kind of thing, more than once.
I for one prefer to stick to the story of not paying attention rather than being stupid.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Rachel Yes, all the "available" parking should have been a clue, the rarely happens.

TechnoBabe I quite agree... that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

secret agent woman said...

Ha ha ha. I think pounding on the door irately would have been icing on the cake.

Robert the Skeptic said...

SecretAgent Yes, I should have pounded on the door then faked like I was speaking some foreign language.