Stop Acting So Stupid

14 Jun

Photo by Tom Raftery with ever-so-slight alterations by yours truly. Click the image to check out his Flickr PhotoStream.

I’m writing this blog from the comfort of my own apartment.

Bam.  Just like that.   Because just a mere 30 minutes ago, I set up my own Internet.

Happy Lollipop Tuesday, folks.

Hey, I admit that when I saw the options on Verizon’s web page to either self-install or to hire a technician, I was tempted to hire the technician.  After all, when it’s $100, it must be difficult, right?

To assume so is to assume that all expensive hookers are worth it.  Or that all expensive clothes won’t look like junk after one wash.  Or that pets from breeders are better than pets that aren’t.

Cost does not imply worth.

This is what I’ve learned.  You know, I think I’m starting to blow the top off this whole thing.  Seriously.  Every single day I am more and more aware of the incompetence of those around me.  I know very, very few people that I would employ if I owned a company and yet most of them have jobs.

I’ve regaled you time and time again with accounts of stupidity in the workplace.  I am utterly baffled as to how these people get through the system.  And yet there they are – swimming along with you and I in the intellectual pond of life.  What’s more shocking is that you might be giving some of those people your hard-earned money to do something you automatically assume you can’t do yourself.

I admit – if the price tag on having a service technician were something like $19.95, I would have assumed it was much easier and done it myself without worry.  It’s that 3-figure thing that made me think it might be a bit beyond me.   And it’s because everything in this world is so specialized.  We live in a time where you need to have a four-year degree in anything to be considered for it.    After all, why would I hire you to recruit people when I could hire Joe Shmoe who has a 4-year degree in Human Resources? 

Even though you both might be equal performers after one year of experience.

That’s right – my one-time experience installing my own Internet has opened my eyes.  I’m on to the universe and I’m not letting go of my unyielding common sense grip on it.  I literally got everything out of a box, plugged a couple cords in, and followed a step-by-step prompt on the computer.   It wasn’t even full of difficult things with funny names and strange acronyms.  It was just a bunch of reading (or ignoring) and clicking “next” and “I agree”. 

I could be one hundred hard-earned American dollars poorer right now if I hadn’t just had the guts to think I could do it myself.

I ordered a book case for the office and organized a team work day to put it together last week.  Do you have any idea how many people sat around staring at the box and talking about how none of us was qualified to do it?  There was all this doubt, which bred more doubt, which ended up in a group of folks coming to me and saying they couldn’t start until I was in the room.

I put one yes-man in the room with them to see what would happen and when I came to check on them, it was halfway done.  He had absolutely no experience.

So I’m done with this “I can’t” nonsense.  Sure, there are lots of things you can’t do.  There are lots of things you probably really suck at.  But there are lots of things you assume you can’t do that you actually can.  Or even worse – before you even try, you admit defeat and pay someone else do to it for you.

It’s all a big secret and I’m unraveling it.  The world is full of overqualified, insecure naysayers and if you break free and have a can-do attitude, you’ll save stress, money, and get a big fat dose of confidence.

I’m not kidding around.  Stop wasting your time and feeling like junk about yourself.  Go apply for a job you are almost qualified for.  Go sign up for something that you’ve always been embarrassed to try.  Read a manual and attempt something you’ve been putting off because you don’t have the money to pay someone else to do it.  Cook something ridiculous.  Pick up an instrument.  Go explore that spot in the gym you’ve never gone near.  Stop acting so stupid.

Wow.   Tuesdays are changing me.

And I’m only halfway through the year. 



40 Responses to “Stop Acting So Stupid”

  1. Jessica June 14, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Hear, hear! Congrats on your successful installation.


  2. Ro June 14, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    Who are you!?


    • Jackie June 16, 2011 at 12:51 am #

      I’m Jackie. This blog has my name in it. That should help you if you get confused again.


  3. wordsweneversaid June 14, 2011 at 9:35 am #


    If you don’t end up being fresh pressed again after this one I will be very surprised …

    You are always a great start to my day!



    • Jackie June 16, 2011 at 12:50 am #

      What an honor that you thought it worthy 🙂 Thank you so much!


  4. Margie June 14, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    Congratulations! Now that you know the secret to success, there will be no holding you back!


    • Jackie June 16, 2011 at 12:50 am #

      Right? I’ll just have to read this when I get discouraged and chant a couple ‘I think I cans’ into the mirror 😉


  5. misswhiplash June 14, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Wow! I could say that ‘you are so clever’ but I believe that your reply would be ‘I only followed the instructions’
    But I still think that you are clever and fully deserve praise

    Can I call on you to get my TV satellite back on track,it’s never worked properly since hubbie hit with a stick to get the snow off it in the winter


    • Jackie June 16, 2011 at 12:49 am #

      haha try fixing it! or maybe just hit it with another stick. 😛 or maybe invest in a new dish and keep hubbie far, far away from it.


  6. adnaral June 14, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    Good for you! The world needs more people like that, it just makes more sense to do things yourself if your able to. I love your Lollipop Tuesday idea and have plans to start that myself. Thanks for the inspiration!


    • Jackie June 16, 2011 at 12:48 am #

      Please do! And keep me posted on something you try and how it goes – I’d love to hear all about it. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂


  7. pegoleg June 14, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    “Not Stupid” could be a whole line of T-shirts, mugs and bumper stickers. You may be starting a movement! Congrats on setting up your interweb all by yourself. I am amazed at your daring!


    • Jackie June 16, 2011 at 12:47 am #

      I knew there was money in this blog somewhere. 😉


  8. sanetes June 14, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    I’m not going to compliment you on the successful internet setup. From my keyboard, it would look rather lame, because I am not the least bit intimidated by plugs and switches.

    I stopped by on yet another Lollipop Tuesday to thank you for the idea. After thinking about it for a while, I decided to adapt it and do something similar myself. I am happy to read what an impact your experiments have on you and how they boost your self esteem.

    It means I can be quite optimistic, my own experimenting will refresh my outlook quite a bit as well – and for the time being, that’s all I hope for.

    Here is to many more fantastic Lollipop Tuesdays!


    • Jackie June 16, 2011 at 12:47 am #

      Fair enough – perhaps one of my future feats will astound you. 🙂

      I’m so excited that you dig Lollipop Tuesdays – and I’d love to see what you try or hear about something you go after.

      And thanks for the encouragement – it’s much appreciated!


      • sanetes June 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

        You already got my personal bravery award for the cricket challenge. I can’t quite fathom what made you do it, but it was definitely gutsy.

        I had my first “Fresh Breeze” adventure today and will post an article about it on Sunday. It was a bit lame for a first adventure, but something I wouldn’t have had much more time to do.


  9. The_Observationalist_NYC June 14, 2011 at 12:03 pm #



  10. Seasweetie June 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    Yea for you! Re: Hobbes – no word yet? Check the kitchen and the bedroom again – and you don’t have a sleeper sofa do you? If you do, check there. Lastly, are there any short (like 5-step) staircases outside near your place, perhaps near a wooden fence? Psychic pet detective at work here…


    • Jackie June 16, 2011 at 12:45 am #

      Thank you so much for all the suggestions – I took every single one into consideration.


  11. Renee Mason June 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    Loved this post! But did you find Hobbes???


    • Jackie June 16, 2011 at 12:44 am #

      🙂 I suppose this has been addressed. Thank you so much for checking in!!


  12. Jules June 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    Sorry but I’m still furiously raging after imagining your office workers’ attempt at puttting together a bookcase. Head explosion is imminent.


    • Jackie June 16, 2011 at 12:43 am #

      LOL I was pretty disappointed myself. But hey – to some, even molehills are insurmountable.


  13. Lian June 14, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    You go girl! I should startndoing this myself. Right at this moment my boyfriend it cutting out ice of my freezer because I thought he knew how to defrost it and I didn’t. It’s my freezer, he doesn’t even live here… I really should start doing things myself instead of depending on other people. Thanks for the motivating words!


    • Cindy Bahn June 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

      Blow dryers work really well for defrosting freezers!


      • Jackie June 16, 2011 at 12:41 am #

        Oh, nice suggestion! I actually don’t know if I ever would have thought of that. Then again, I’ve never had a need to defrost my freezer either. I’m not really sure what happens to a freezer that requires one to defrost it. Good luck, Lian!


      • Lian June 16, 2011 at 2:42 am #

        I know, tried that too. It’s all fixed now though 🙂


    • Jackie June 16, 2011 at 12:43 am #

      Let me know how it goes 😉


      • Lian June 16, 2011 at 2:44 am #

        Well, it’s all done fortunately 🙂 Turns out you can take the whole freezer compartment apart. Who knew! All the ice is gone and I can happily freeze my food again 🙂 Thank god I have a smart boyfriend 😉


        • Jackie June 18, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

          Grats!!! (to the boyfriend anyway :P)


  14. Cindy Bahn June 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    Things I’ve tried that I cannot do: play the piano (several attempts over multiple years); tap dance (in spite of having a really good sense of rhythm); pass Organic Chemistry (keeping me out of med school!); knit, tat or paint (although otherwise very crafty!); make a decent croissant.

    Things I’ve tried that I can do: ballroom dance; turn a burned-out lightbulb into a maraca; coax something edible from a seed; a pretty good chaine turn (as an adult!); pass the bar exam; create yummy chocolate truffles; sew multiple Renaissance costumes for a variety of characters and periods; drive a stick shift; craft an enticing resume and write a good business letter.

    Overall, I think I’ve had more successes than failures, and so, I supsect, will you! Keep up the good work!


    • Jackie June 16, 2011 at 12:42 am #

      This is a fantastic comment – I love it! And I’m curious as to whether med school was actually a desire before Organic Chem or whether you were just noting it wouldn’t be an option.

      Woohoo for women who can drive stick! You really do seem like the type 😉


  15. egills June 15, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    😀 I knew you could do it!

    I’m amazed your staff wouldn’t build the bookshelf! Although I hear you can hire someone to build flat packs nowadays…. I always think that defeats the object isn’t it all about proving you can really understand gobbledegook?


    • Jackie June 16, 2011 at 12:40 am #

      It is! And I even prefaced it by saying it was a team-building exercise. What negative Nancys 🙂


  16. imperialglance April 7, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    lol. Don’t worry, I know that feeling of installing internet services. It could be quite frustrating….


    • Jackie April 10, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

      Everything about internet services is frustrating. It’s always going out or going up in price. Sometimes I want to open my own place just so I don’t have to talk to anyone from Comcast or Verizon ever again.


      • imperialglance April 11, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

        True, can’t really say I enjoy the service they could provide when you really need them. It could be quite nerve wrecking


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