I Wish I Were Stupid

Thomas Jefferson said, “Travelling makes a man wiser, but less happy.” To put that in modern terms, when we travel we see the disparity of third world countries and the excess of first world countries. And when we get back to home, we can’t help but to be upset at the ignorance of those around us as to how the rest of the world lives. We look at the faces of those people who have never traveled, and never seen the way others live, and they are perfectly happy with that lack of knowledge.

People who don’t vote, or involve themselves in politics, don’t seem to mind not knowing how the government is run or who is making those decisions. Yet those of us, who do follow, are always second guessing decisions that are made and unhappily bitching about the people running the show.

I have worked for a few large companies over my life, and very rarely does it seem that the smartest people are the successful ones. Usually it’s the ones who kiss ass, brown nose, and move ahead with a complete lack of knowledge of the products they work on. I recently had an upper manager say to me when working a project, “you wouldn’t believe I’ve actually been here 10 years,” while acknowledging her lack of comprehension on how to use the company created product we were working with. Just before Christmas my manager moved into a different position within the company. I’ve actually been on the team longer than my new manager. This new manage, who got the job because she was the only one to apply for it, knows that I know more about how to do the job than she does. I know that I can do the job better than she can. And most everyone I work with is probably aware of that as well. But of course, I’m only a contractor, and she’s a full time employee, so she’s in charge of the job we do, while I sit back twiddling my thumbs and being frustrated at the ignorance that surrounds me.

I have a co-worker, another contractor, who has been there nearly as long as I have. She’s kind of an idiot. She couldn’t organize her way out of paper bag, sounds like a retard when running a meeting, and yet she’s the one who gets all the work from the new manager. Why? Because she doesn’t question the new manager. She doesn’t ask why. She doesn’t suggest better and more efficient ways of doing things. She doesn’t do any of that because she’s not smart enough to think outside the box. The box companies say they want people to think outside of, but when people actually do that, they are frowned upon. To point out better ways of doing things, implies that the manager who actually thought of it in the first place is stupid. And in many cases, it’s true.

They say ignorance is bliss, and I agree with them. I would be much more happy and content with my job if I wasn’t smart enough to see all the ways it is being done wrong. I would be much happier if I could just walk in each day, do what I’m told, and blindly follow the so-called leadership of others. But instead, I raise my hand and ask why. And people who do not know the answer to why, don’t like being asked. Because those people were blissfully ignorant as employees, moved to blissfully ignorant management, now follow the haphazard direction of these above them. Middle and upper management who make decisions based on the information presented to them by the stupid.