Saturday, September 10, 2005


That's what's annoyed me lately. The clueless.

There are the obvious "driving slowly in left lane" clueless, but I'm mostly over my road rage. And there are the people who just don't know how to merge onto the freeway.

But I'm noticing even more cluelessness.

I was trying to park for CostPlus in NW Portland last weekend. The parking lot is a tiny square - and you park along the edge of the square. It's not big enough for parking lanes, it's really more of a cul-de-sac where you park along the border. I started to pull in, and stop in the driveway to wait for the two different guys who were pulling out of their spaces. The little Tercel gets out first, pulls into the middle of the lot, and sits there. The big Blazer can't pull out without running the guy over, so he waits. Mr. Tercel just sits there, picking his nose or reading his book or something, I don't know - but he's totally out of touch with the fact that other people are waiting for his dumb @ss to move. Mr. Blazer and I stare at each other wondering what to do, we shrug our shoulders and wait for each other to ram the Tercel. But neither of us follows through. Eventually Mr. Tercel starts to drive again, and the Blazer and I move on with our lives.

That little episode happened after I attended a team building event where we kayaked on the Willamette. The kayaking was fun, everyone had a good time. The cluelessness began when we were finished. Everyone had to haul their kayak up from the dock onto the grassy knoll. There were about 25 of us, so there were 25 kayaks. Everyone except for the admin was a highly paid engineer - you'd think that logic would be a strong suit, but you'd be wrong.

The first display of cluelessness was people just stopping in the middle of the relatively steep ramp to rest. Fine, your wimpy engineer hands can't handle holding on to a handle of a kayak for more than 30 seconds. But to just stop, abruptly, in the middle of a narrow ramp, with other wimpy engineers behind you hauling their kayaks? Totally clueless to the plight of others.

But wait, it gets better.

After you climb up the ramp you reach the grassy patch where we found the kayaks when we started. I happened to be the 3rd person up the ramp and I noticed that the people before me had dumped their kayaks right where the grassy patch started. I nimbly picked my way through the kayaks and deposited mine further back, ensuring that my kayak wouldn't be in the way of others. Well, the next few members of the clan of the wimpy hands dropped their kayaks right at the start of grass, completely blocking access to the grass. The remaining 15 people had to walk their kayaks a much longer route to put them on the grass.

We weren't little kids dumping our bikes in the middle of the driveway trying to get to the ice cream. We were adults. Engineers with supposed logic skills. It was like they boarded the bus and stood in the aisle right at the front. Hell (I'm gonna get a little racist here), half the folks are from India where they should be used to being jammed into busses and trains. The rule is to walk to the back of the bus. I chalk the cluelessness of the white guys to just being just dumb Americans.

Guess I'm clueless too, because it's sunny out and I'm typing on a computer.

No comments: