We all have areas where we’re knowledgeable, and other areas where we’re … well, not! This is not an issue 99% of the time, but when we decide to start venturing into areas where we really don’t know what we’re talking about, things can go downhill fast if someone who does know what they’re talking about happens to be around.
A lady brought her husband in for elective surgery and he required general anesthesia. She comes in with an old dog-eared paperback book and asks to have a meeting with the surgery team. We humor her, and apparently she wanted specific anesthetic agents for her husband, since she did research on all of them and developed her own “informed opinion”.
All of the agents she wanted were essentially removed years ago due to harsh side effects, or there were better medications available. But she wouldn’t take no for an answer. Then came the most hilarious part. When I looked at her book, I noticed that it was published in 1965.
Customer: "I'd like a hotel room". Me: "I'm so sorry, we're all sold out". Customer: "Yes, but you always keep one of your best suites available in case someone important comes in". Me: "No, I don't". Customer: "So what would you say if President Obama walked in here right now and asked for a room"? Me: "I would suggest he go back to his house. Which, for the record, is less than a mile away from here".
No, people, I don't keep my best suite set aside for VIPs. If someone wants to pay me money, I sell it to them. That's how a business works. You don't find grocery stores hiding their good produce "just in case" the President happens to show up and wants a freaking pear. That would be an absurd thing to do. Hotels don't do it, either. So stop spreading that rumor, please!
I used to work in Auto Detailing. The one thing we NEVER did was power wash the motor of a 90's model Jaguar. The electronics in it were way too sensitive for that kind of thing, and the slightest amount of pressure would make the instrument panel light up like a Christmas tree. But inconvenient little facts like that could never deter a wannabe expert.
A dealer wanted us to clean his fleet of Jaguars, so we did. All nine of them. He checked the motors and one of them still had a little tiny bit of dirt on it. He went from zero to 60 at me. He starts yelling at me, so I explain, "I understand, but the electronics are super sensitive, and the slightest amount of high pressure could cause the instrument panel to light up. We have to hand wipe the motor with wet rags and cleaner, so sometimes we miss a spot due to human error".
He calls his porter over and tells him to bring that car around to the repair side. He insists that he is going to clean it himself since I have a “bad attitude”. He opens the hood, grabs a garden hose, and starts blasting the engine bay. "See! Clean". I say to him, "Absolutely". He goes and starts the car, looks down, shuts the car off, gets out, and awkwardly apologizes.
I'm a welder. One of the biggest hazards I face is UV damage to my eyes from the electric welding ark. That stuff is incredibly bright, and just a glimpse of it can leave spots on your vision for hours. And that’s the best-case scenario. I once had some random guy try to tell me that only the initial "flash" is dangerous when you're welding.
Apparently, after you strike an ark you can just stare at it without any trouble at all. Yeah, I’ll let him be the one to test that theory out…
Years ago, I worked for a tree care company. One time, this lady calls. When I hear her story, I start to freak out. She says we cut down her tree and we weren't supposed to. This is the most stressful call you will ever get when working for a tree care company. I search our records and don't have anything showing work was done at her address in the last few years.
Still, I think maybe something slipped through the cracks. So I send someone to go over and look. I get a call telling me there's no sign of a tree missing (such as a leftover stump) and nobody recalled doing work there at any point. I assume we must have had the wrong address or maybe the tree wasn't located exactly where she said it was.
Turns out no in both cases. Then it takes a turn. She then changes her story and says that we removed the wrong tree branch and all the added sunlight was ruining the grass. Well, first off, sunlight doesn't hurt grass. Secondly, the tree branch she's talking about was removed by us because she asked us to. And it was done more than three years prior.
I forget what happened after that. I may have ignored her by then or explained to her the timeframe and the records we had on file. Anyway, she went away. That was the end of that, we thought. But still nope. We get a call six months later. It’s the same lady. She hires us to do some other tree work. Doesn't even mention the other tree. Just a weird experience all around.
I recently graduated from medical school. While I’m far from an expert yet, I do find it interesting that my family now seems to have allegedly developed a wealth of medical knowledge. Most recently, they have decided that almost any illness can be cured with laxatives. And they’re not open to being told that this may not be fully true…
I work in law-related compliance in the finance industry. I run into people doing forbidden and questionable practices ALL THE TIME. And they always do so claiming that it's "within the rules". I couldn't tell you how many pieces of legislation I have read cover to cover, and how long I spend making sure I'm up to date with any regulatory changes in my field.
And yet, I still get this sort of thing practically every day. Me: “Hi, a client has told me that she's been declined for a loan from you?” Her: “Yeah, we can't lend to anyone who uses your company”. Me: “Sorry, what? Why not?” Her: “It's against the rules”. Me: “Which statute?” Her: “It's a new rule”. Me: “Could you tell me the name of it so I can check into this?” Her: Abruptly hangs up the phone.
Not me, but my dad. My dad is an ex-Navy serviceman and has served on a whole bunch of ships, including the HMS Antelope. He spent two and a half years on that ship. My uncle (his sister's husband) once tried to lecture my dad on how the Antelope carried its nuclear weapons, amongst other nonsensical things that my dad knew for a fact were not true.
Dad asked my uncle how he knew such info, and my uncle claimed to have seen the (probably highly classified) blueprints for the ship. My uncle was a freaking floor layer…
I'm a dentist. There are a surprising number of people who think that the fluoride in toothpaste or in tap water is going to end your life and that you should stay the heck away from it. These are usually the same exact types of people who come into my office chugging Mountain Dew and smelling like fresh smoke. Do I even need to say anything more?
I am a professional optician. One time, this woman brings her sons in for an eye exam with me. Both of the sons have EXTREMELY high minus Rx's. For some unknown reason, the mom is okay with the older son's Rx and glasses order, but is mad about the younger son's Rx. She wants to order his glasses but wants his Rx changed to be less than the doctor’s prescription.
I told her I can't do that because I can't change the numbers in the doctor's work. That would be malpractice and I could get in major trouble. Not to mention it could be extremely damaging to the kid’s eyes. This is about when my jaw dropped. She still insists that the Rx is too high for him, because... "His eyes are like my eyes, and my Rx didn't change this much from my exam last year. So, I don't want his to be that high".
Yeah, you’re clearly someone who understands how any of this works…
I buy and sell junk for a living. Every single day is a constant struggle with buyers who have been in this for years and "know" all the prices. Trust me, I know how much things are worth. Nevertheless, random people on the internet seem to think they know better. You can't argue with market set prices on eBay, yet old men casually strolling by always feel they can argue that whatever the item is sold for so much more in 1980!
I run a jewelry shop. One time, a customer left their ring with us for more than three months. After countless calls from us asking her to kindly come and collect her jewelry, she finally turned up. Then my nightmare began. She rudely told us: "This isn't my diamond. You swapped my diamond. My diamond was completely different to this".
We were all very caught off guard by this baseless accusation. She then proceeded to throw the biggest temper tantrum I've ever seen, refusing to listen to reason and completely disregarding our store's 75-year reputation for honesty and good service. Thankfully, we keep meticulous records, including the weight of the ring, any flaws in the customer's diamond, and diamond measurements.
Eventually, she realized that it actually was her diamond. We got a sincere and heartfelt apology for all the hassle she put us and our other customers through. Just kidding. She left in a huff.
I work as a pharmacist's assistant. My boss, who is a chemist, was once on the phone with a woman who insisted that she should take curcumin to heal her pneumonia, and not antibiotics. Curcumin is the active ingredient in Tumeric; a well-known natural anti-inflammatory. You take it to mildly relieve bad feelings. But it's not gonna do a thing for you when your lungs are filled with black liquid and you're halfway to your demise…
I monitor and maintain Linux servers for a cloud network. I also use Linux at home and on the laptop. There’s this ridiculous thing I constantly have to go through. It happens whenever I am doing work in public. People see the unfamiliar operating system, whether it’s in a coffee shop or wherever, and they take one look at it and tell me they are gonna call the authorities on me because I'm “clearly hacking something”.
As a nurse, I was once bringing medication to a patient. One of his family members, who is obviously a graduate of WebMD university, asks, "Did the doctor order that? Because I've read that an overdose of that medication might cause mild itching". Of course, the correct answer that I was supposed to have given was, "Yes, ma'am, this was ordered by the doctor after he carefully considered all the options".
However, the answer I wanted to give was, "Nope, the janitor ordered this, but he seemed pretty sure of himself when he did it, so we'll probably be okay".
I’m a church organist. One Sunday, a visiting congregant came up into the organ loft after the service and told me that she thought it was reprehensible that people had to be put to work pumping the organ during services instead of paying attention to what was happening in the church. I told her that the practice of hand-pumping organs mostly ended with the advent of the electric blower many decades ago.
She actually disputed this until I took her to the basement to see the machine busy at work supplying wind to the pipes high above.
I've done extensive research in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. That’s my field and it’s what I do for a living. One time, someone told me that the polar bears hunt the penguins. I told him that they don't and that whoever taught him this was wrong. This man angrily replied that "Yes they do!" But there's one crucial thing he obviously didn't know.
See, polar bears only live in the North pole, and penguins only live in the South pole. So…
I studied to be a teacher, but eventually decided to pursue another career path. This was partially because teaching is so time-consuming. So I've always found it ridiculous that people claim to know what a teacher's schedule consists of, when they've never graded a single paper in their life, never written out a single lesson plan that conforms to specific state standards, never been forced to learn a new curriculum each year, never had to conduct a conference with a single parent, etc.
I think some of these people need to learn a thing or two!
I am a microbiologist and mammalian biologist who studies the microbiome (i.e. gut bacteria). I have a hippie friend who claims that she is allergic to gluten and also to a bunch of other things. She used to periodically post things on Facebook about food additives that she claims are "unhealthy". There two things she posted that really got me, though.
One was an article about probiotics and "good bacteria" that was completely and utterly wrong in its claims, and the other was about some weird additive that "scientists who study the gastrointestinal tract use to create gut irritation". Both times, I said to her that as a scientist who literally studies gut irritation and good bacteria, her articles were full of hot air and had no scientific basis.
I also informed her that the bacteria the study claimed was so great was one that could not colonize a healthy human due to competitive inhibition. Also, the additive supposedly used by scientists was actually just an emulsifier and not one, anyone, in my field has ever used it for that purpose (as it doesn't cause gut irritation). Her response infuriated me.
She ignored my specific critiques and said that the article was just "her opinion", and I was like, “No, these things are factually incorrect. Opinions are subjective. This is just straight-up misinformation”. To make a long story short, she still refuses to eat gluten or anything not "natural", but at least she thankfully stopped posting stuff from websites with names like “Food Babe” and “Avocado Wolfe” and “Eat Local Grown”.
I am a hotel manager. A surprisingly high number of people seem to think that we should prorate the price of our rooms based upon the time that they checked in. This is not a prorated type of thing, and never has been at any hotel, anywhere in the world. It's more of a “Did you use the room or not?” type of thing. We’re not literally sitting there monitoring how many seconds you spend in the room.
If you use the room for any amount of time, then the same amount of effort has to go into housekeeping and the labor cost is the same. It's not as if a guest can only be there for two hours and all we have to do afterwards is a minor touch-up. No, we still have to go through and clean everything and sanitize everything.
We don't know what specific items you used or touched, so we have to do it all regardless of how long a person was there for. When I've had a couple of guests get angry because I don't prorate their bill, I tell him that renting a room is sort of like buying a bottle of your favorite beverage. You can't go to the merchant and say that you only want one swig of the drink, so you shouldn't have to pay for the whole thing.
Because once the bottle is opened, it's a used product. Likewise, when a guest uses a hotel room, it is now a used product until the staff goes through the entire cleaning and fixing up process once again.
I work in the car insurance field. "Ummm, it's my car and I think I know more about getting insurance on it than you do". This was said by a friend of mine who had just bought a newer car, and who wanted liability insurance only even though that would not protect her in many situations. But, believe it or not, that wasn’t even the dumbest example I’ve heard.
"Well, this lady hit me and she said she'd just pay out of pocket for it. I called my dad and he said to just do it that way. No, I didn't get anything but her name and phone number". This was said to me by my even more idiotic friend, who called me after she hadn't been able to reach the other driver in an accident situation and wanted my professional advice as a licensed auto and property claims adjuster.
I’m in the building business. This is how one of my recent interactions went with a ridiculous client of mine. Them: "We determined that the wall you built is not load bearing". Me: "How did you come to that conclusion?" Them: "Because of the way it looks". Me: "It's definitely load bearing, allow me to show you". Them: "We already decided it's not load bearing, weren't you listening?"
My favorite veterinary saying is: “Getting veterinary advice from a breeder is like getting gynecological advice from a pimp”. The amount of nonsense that I hear from breeders out there is amazing. They all claim that their particular dog variant is horribly allergic to vaccines, dewormers, anesthetics, etc. No science behind these claims whatsoever.
Often, these people will provide a link to some random layman's website that contains an interview by some homeopathic quack. The pet owner then wonders why their non-vaccinated dog, who has been treated with a spray consisting of lemon water, rosemary, and tea tree oil mixture, came in not able to walk and with a 104 degree fever.
When I explain to them that their dogs have lyme disease and will need treatment and that there is an effective vaccine and preventatives (both oral and topical) that could have prevented this suffering from taking place, they sometimes still call the breeder for advice and a second opinion. No, a watered down mixture of eye of newt and arsenic will not fix him.
I am a family lawyer. I can't even tell you how many times I've had a client argue with me about child support. Usually, the client gets mad because their brother or friend or coworker or whoever had a much lower child support payment, so they claim it isn't fair that theirs is so high and obviously I screwed up the calculation. No, idiots, the real reason is something else.
Yours is higher because you make more money than your friend and your kids are in daycare. Child support is not just a flat rate for anyone and everyone, like a parking garage. I've been doing this for many years and the calculation is done by a computer, so it’s not even possible for me to get the numbers wrong. I'm not using tea leaves and an abacus to calculate your support payments.
To be clear, I always explain the way child support is calculated and show the math to clients beforehand, so there should be no surprises. My problem is not with people asking questions and trying to understand how things work. I am totally open to questions and am happy to answer any questions a client may have. What I do have a problem with is clients refusing to believe I know what I am doing.
Meteorologist checking in. A large portion of the general population believes they can do my job better than I can. A large majority of that portion also has zero issues with informing me of this. I've had strangers, clients, and even my own family members very strongly tell me how wrong I am about whatever obscure weather topic they may choose to bring up on a given day.
And let's not even get started on the topic of global warming. I simply tell people I'm not a climatologist and attempt to end it there. Along with being treated like a moron, I'm also blamed for others' mistakes. I visited my girlfriend's family in Florida a while back to meet them. Her uncle is a pilot and went on this rant about how I was "one of those guys" who always screws up, saying it's going to rain and it doesn't, etc etc.
I also had a few other family members join in the fun. He came at me with a "I make a mistake, people lose their lives, you make a mistake, it's just another day" line. Luckily, I'm used to this and have rebuttals ready to go, but I sealed it with a "I knew you were a pilot the second you fed me that line because every pilot says that to me". I don't like pilots.
Professional astronomer here! The kind of one upmanship that I usually experience from random lay people usually has to do with some sort of fringe theory that the person insists is true, but in actuality doesn't get how it works. A sample: I once ran into a guy at a MeetUp thing who insisted that Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity wasn't true.
He didn't have any evidence for his claims, as I recall. On the contrary, the things he was saying to try and explain his beliefs demonstrated that he just didn't understand the theory. When I pointed out that the Earth’s entire GPS satellite system would fail within a half hour if relativity weren't accounted for, his idea was that we didn't “understand cosmic rays well enough”.
I also have a distant relative who believes in all sorts of crazy conspiracy theories. He thinks we never landed on the moon, crop circles are left by aliens, the works. You name the crazy theory, and you can bet he believes it. At one point, he actually said: "But surely you can acknowledge that we regularly talk to aliens, at least?" and when I said no, his answer made me burst out laughing.
He said in a sad tone "Ah, I see that the government has paid you off too". Yeah, those family reunions are super fun! And it’s not just this one guy, for that matter. My family originally is Eastern European, and I know a lot of fellow immigrants from that part of the world, and a lot of people from that community unfortunately disagree with the idea that humans have ever landed on the moon.
When I point out the mountain of evidence that we did, in fact, land on the moon, I get dismissed as "just being a patriotic American". So I guess there's a bit of Cold War sentiment and brainwashing really behind some of this. The belief, I guess, is that if Russia couldn't land someone on the moon, then the United States surely couldn't have!
Finally, and perhaps most bizarre, there was a guy I met once on holiday who was a nice retired engineering gent, and he insisted that the Hubble Telescope had discovered and taken a photograph of heaven in the sky. It was so bizarre! I just kept doing what I always do with people like this; politely asking questions that show holes in the theory.
For example, in this case, what are the coordinates of heaven that they discovered? I then find something true and exciting to focus on instead when the conversation gets awkward. Which was really hard for this particular instance, but luckily I was saved by Venus coming out at sunset that time, which gave me something to turn the conversation to.
My wife is a board certified pediatrician. Apparently, every uneducated grandmother on the planet thinks they know more than she does about modern medicine. Not only that, but every stay-at-home mother seems to know more than her about vaccines. And every father talks to her like she's in high school. But she loves the children, so she manages to keep going and ignore all this nonsense.
I am a linguistics professor at a major university. A grad student in the English department at my school was recently telling me about how the French language is inherently superior to English for poetry (which is complete nonsense, for so many reasons). But it got weirder. He specifically said that iambic pentameter, i.e. the language pattern frequently used by Shakespeare, sounded unnatural.
I spoke to him in iambic pentameter for the rest of the conversation and he never noticed.
I am an attorney. One time, a family member of mine was arguing with me over dinner about something stupid. I think it was over whether or not someone could "lose their house" for their business selling a faulty product, and he decided to make this big final stand on the distinction between "negligence" and "gross negligence".
I asked him to explain the difference between them, as he understood it, and he started just babbling utter nonsense. And when I opened my mouth to correct the inaccurate things he was saying, he cut me off and said "IN MY OPINION". That was the point when I decided to ignore him and just try to enjoy the rest of the otherwise lovely meal.
For the record, this person argues the law with me all the time, and thinks that because he is old and white collar, he is as knowledgeable as a licensed attorney. He is also one of several family members who thinks the Professional Rules of Conduct are just suggestions and expects me to break them for him because "Who would know?"
Sorry, I am silly enough to think we should follow ethical rules even when there's little chance of getting in trouble. Call me crazy!
I did five deployments in the United States forces. I used to jump out of airplanes and was fluent in Arabic, like "mistaken for a native" level of fluent. After I got out of the service, I went back to school for art and started the slow process of completely forgetting the language. I was never the guy who wore camo or had bumper stickers and talked a lot about my experiences serving my country.
I ran into those kinds of guys occasionally, and they were mostly harmless. One guy, though, was the bane of my existence. I was in a 3D design class with him, and he was constantly telling stories that just sounded like nonsense to me. I let it slide because, really, who cares? I didn't, personally. Until, one day, he was sitting across the table from me trying to impress some girls.
He told them that he was fluent in Arabic thanks to his time overseas. I perked right up at that. I said: "What a coincidence, Atekellum al loghat Alarabia schwaya schwaya, wayn taalemt al logha?" or something along those lines. I'm super rusty at this point, but that's basically a transliteration of "I speak Arabic a little, where did you learn the language?"
Blank stare, sweat beading on his forehead, cute girls staring at us with their mouths open. I tried to go easy on him because I had thrown in a little dialect and maybe he was just exaggerating his fluency, not lying completely. So I looked at him and started rattling off a few basic phrases, looking for a response. "Ahlan wa Sahlan, kayf al halekum al yeom? Ayna al sooq? Eid melidak sayeed! Ayna al aslahat alKamiowiyah?"
Again, I'm super rough with the language now, but that translates roughly to: "Hello, how are you today? Where is the market? Happy Birthday! Where are the chemical weapons?" These are all basic useful phrases you get taught when you enter the American service. At this point, I knew I had him. Nothing. No response.
He'd talked a lot about being a combat medic, so I was tempted to hit him with: "Oh by the way, what gauge of needle do you use for a tension pneumothorax? What do you write on someone after you place a tourniquet?" But I could tell from the way he'd just frozen that I wasn't going to get any truth out of the kid. I said "Ahterim Nefsik".
Then went back to working on my clay bust assignment. But that was actually my death blow. That means "Have some self respect". This guy was a freaking idiot, but I will admit that he picked the right lie. The odds of running into a veteran who actually spoke Arabic in a tiny community college art program in the middle of nowhere were infinitesimal. Unfortunately for him, the odds weren't zero.
I'm a food scientist, which contrary to popular belief does not mean that I'm a chef or a dietitian. But it does mean that I have had years of training in organic and inorganic chemistry, microbiology, nutrition, and process engineering. I've worked in meat processing, studied dairy in graduate school, and now work professionally in the beverage industry.
The thing that really irks me is when people tell me "Big food companies are trying to poison us! They only care about making money! " Let's think about that statement for a second.... Yes, businesses do like to make money. That's generally the way that they manage to stay afloat. But wanting to be successful does not preclude you from caring about your customers!
And why the heck would we want to do anything to harm our consumer base?? Less living and happy customers, less money made by us companies! Food is a consumer-driven industry. People tend to express their opinions about products with their dollars. If something sells, we make more of it. If it doesn't sell, we take it off the shelf.
I can't tell you how many times I've seen great ideas for healthy, fun new products developed by my Research & Development peers only to see them shut down when they fail in the test market. People, with the exception of certain subsets of consumer groups who are more health-focused than anything else, like things that taste good!
If they see a product on the shelf that advertises itself as a healthier choice, generally speaking they assume it doesn't taste as good and won't buy it. My ultimate point: People, you have the power here! Food companies just want you to be happy with the product, and offer you an abundant and safe supply of it. We're not the devil, I promise.
My coworkers and I are basically a bunch of foodies and nerds. And for all you food safety freaks: Wash your hands and produce well, people!!
I am a professional nurse with many years of experience under my belt. I worked at the hospital in the United States that received the country’s first two Ebola patients (Emory University Hospital). Despite trying to educate my patients on how prepared the hospital was and how they would not contract Ebola, people there for other reasons than Ebola still signed out and went home, despite still being sick.
They did this against all of our professional medical advice. People were canceling major surgeries they had scheduled months ago so that they would not be in the hospital at the same time as the two Ebola patients. Apparently, Fox News was more of a reliable source about how we were conducting our operations than our MDs and other members of the interdisciplinary team who were, ya know, actually there??!!
I’m in the fields of hematology and oncology (still in training), but just this weekend an educated, wealthy, charismatic "skeptical of modern medicine" type just took over an entire room I was in at a social event. I couldn't believe what he was saying. Just endless assertions that cancer doctors were running a big sham and claiming that we are in cahoots with Big Pharma.
According to this fellow, every object vibrates at a different frequency and we are fools and sell-outs to not harness its low-cost therapeutic potential to cure cancer. He accuses us of instead leading people on with expensive chemo, radiation, and surgery options. UGH! I didn't even know where to begin, and he was demonstrably a better public speaker and debater than me, so unfortunately people probably came away thinking he was right even though he was a total buffoon!
The people that never fail to drive me totally bonkers are the conspiracy theorists who think that the 2001 attacks on New York were fake or staged or whatever else they say. As an engineering student, I took a look at a newly formed "scientific journal" for studies about the events of that day. I popped open the first "paper", and it was using high school Newtonian physics to "prove" ridiculous things.
I contacted the editors of the "journal" and, very politely, gave them a run-down of the glaring issues in this "paper". Lo and behold, I get an angry response from the AUTHOR OF THE PAPER, who is apparently also one of the editors of the publication, claiming that he has a PhD in, like, nuclear physics or something. I respond back. Again, very politely.
And this time I go through his responses and explain why they are each incorrect. His angry reply to this actually includes the accusation that I am trying to "blind [him] with science". I gave up at that point. I believe that most of these organizations still exist, as my dad got roped into one of their seminars recently. They are spouting all the same incredibly incorrect information.
Also, the list of members of the society that pushes for the “truth” about those events has not grown in almost a decade. These people are incompetent liars preying on people who don't know enough of the science to know how wrong they are. It is extremely disrespectful to the victims and should really not be permitted to go unanswered.
I used to work as an anthropologist for a tribe-run museum on protected Native American land. They had built a museum to display finds from excavations, spread knowledge about the history of their people, and also create a little revenue for their community center. It was a pretty interesting place to work, but there was one horrible thing about it.
A local town, mostly made up of white, upper-class families, took offense to our work. They claimed that we were destroying the tribe's culture without any right by excavating. It culminated in a group sending the museum a letter, where they basically said the tribe members were not educated enough to understand how their culture was being destroyed and were simply not intelligent enough to make decisions in regards to activity on their land.
That went over real well in their eyes, to say the least. Anyway, I will strongly suggest that if there is a local tribal museum around you, go take the kids and visit it on a rainy day. Lots of tribe-run museums I know of put the profits towards their community centers and college scholarships, so you’ll be making a real difference. Plus, you can learn a lot of fascinating things!
As a scholar of religion, I honestly hear profoundly stupid outright lies out of people's mouths who are pretending to be experts at least once a week. One of my favorites? Someone claimed that the Bible orders all people to "sleep with the earth". This came out of the mouth of a conservative 20-something-year-old, who was adamant that there is no immorality concerning our poor treatment of nature.
I once had a friend of a friend explain the causes and effects of the American Civil War to me at a backyard party. As a professional historian, I kept trying to take part in the conversation, and he kept interrupting me. Finally, our mutual friend, overhearing our conversation (if you can even call it a conversation—more like this guy's lecture), leans in and says, "You know she got her grad degree in this, right?"
I'd love to say that learning about my credentials, so to speak, changed the tone or course of our conversation, but it didn't. Somehow, it intensified his need to explain stuff to me that I can literally teach a class on. Classic.
I used to work in an air traffic control tower. We would fairly often have new pilots visit to see the airport and what happens from the air traffic control side of things. One time, I was on a break when a particular pilot was visiting. Oh, and I was the only female air traffic controller in that workplace. The visiting pilot finishes his cup of coffee, hands me a mug, and says “Wash that for me, would you love?”
By the time he’d returned to his aircraft, my break was over. I made sure to get back at him. He unfortunately found himself at the back of a rather long departure queue. I wanted him to have some time listening to the frequency and absorbing the fact that if a woman is in a professional environment, she’s probably not automatically the freaking tea lady!!!
I was being discharged from a week-long hospital stay and, even though I was ready to go home, I was still having some bouts of nausea. I had been getting Zofran while inpatient, and asked the nurse if the discharging provider could send in a script for a few doses. In a sweet, sickly voice, she said "Oh honey, Zofran only comes in IV form".
I replied with, "Oh honey, I'm a pharmacist, and I can assure you it also comes in tablets, liquid, and oral-disintegrating tabs". She fumbled a bit, then mumbled something about checking with the doctor and quickly exited the room. I may not have perfectly mimicked her condescending tone, but I sure as heck tried my best to. Never test my knowledge where medication is concerned.
One day after work, I was walking through the mall around Christmas time. I had a long wool coat on, and had only left work like 20 minutes earlier. I needed to get some last minute shopping done, so to the mall I went on the way home. Along the way, I came across a horrific scene. There was a man who had fallen and was seizing.
He was bleeding from the back of his head and was actively having a serious episode. A man had grabbed him and was trying to jam a pen into the seizing man's mouth, ostensibly under the old delusion of sticking something in seizing people's mouths to keep them from biting their tongue off. I jumped in and pulled the man's hand away.
I then cleared and opened the man's airway, being careful not to get my fingers near his mouth. The man shouted "Who the heck do you think you are? My father had seizures and this is what we always did!” I told him, "I know what I'm doing, sir, now please step back". The guy was obviously annoyed, and started mumbling not so much under his breath.
He was saying things like "This guy told me off, so if the patient passes it’s his fault!" As it turned out, the man was in no real danger, as the laceration on his head wasn't terribly bad. But a person at a kiosk there handed me a towel and I held it against the man's wound for a while, while also keeping his airway open.
He wasn't having any trouble breathing and waited for the appropriate personnel to arrive. All seemed to be okay at that point. But then an officer comes over, along with two medics, to take down the details of what happened for their official incident report. I got the shock of my life. Mr-Know-It-All quickly jumps in front of the officer to complain about me and my "behavior".
Thankfully, the officer is pretty much ignoring the guy. I stand up while the man is coming around. We move the man to the stretcher and put some gauze pads on his head wound. He is going to be okay and transported to the ER, where he will be evaluated and get a few stitches, it looked like. The man, finding no purchase with the officer, starts in on one of the medics.
"I tried to get something in his mouth, but this guy wouldn't let me. He thinks he is special or something". Then HE got the shock of his life. The medic calmly says, "Well, he should. He is my supervisor at the hospital". The officer is hiding his laughter well. The man just storms off, and I get to go scrub blood off my hands. It was a very satisfying wash, however.
I've been in martial arts for 14 years, and I'm a fourth degree black belt. I don't claim to know everything, not even close, but I do know what I'm talking about. At my university, I decided to try out the taekwondo club on campus. It was the first day I was trying it, and I didn't know if we were supposed to wear uniforms or not, so I went in with workout clothes but brought my full gear just in case.
Before the class started, one of the leaders (who was wearing a second degree black belt, which is nothing to sniff at, but still a difference of five years of training) came up to me and started explaining the general protocol of class and offered to stand next to me during the class to show me how to do the different steps. Now, at first, I was okay with this, he doesn't know.
But throughout all of this, he seemed annoyed that he was having to explain everything, and generally like he didn't want new, inexperienced students. I politely agreed, and asked if we should wear our uniforms for the class. He explained that if we had them we should, but it wasn't a problem if I didn't have one. I explained that I did have one, and said I'd be right back.
I then proceeded to go and change into my uniform. His eyes nearly popped out of his head when he saw me walk back out with my instructor's uniform and fourth degree belt.
I'm a neuroscience PhD candidate with a focus on neuroimmunology, and I can't count the number of times mommy bloggers have tried to explain the supposed link between vaccines and autism to me (or just generally neuroscience and immunology). Unfortunately, no matter how much science I clearly spell out for them, it's never enough, and they just yell that I'm clearly on big pharma's payroll.
So, I just go home, snuggle with my cats, and dream of having big pharma money instead of academia money. Ah, the good life!
I have been developing custom software for over 20 years. 98% of my customers have thought they shouldn't have to pay the price it costs to build their software. Mostly, the reason they give is because "I can do x in Excel". Okay, then go ahead and do it, if it’s so easy! Why the heck are you hiring me if you aren’t interested in paying for the specific service you’re seeking?
Another one I once got was: "But that's just an easy change. I already paid you for the program, so why do I have to pay again?" Umm, because you were using the first generation of it which stopped being developed years ago and is still using an unsupported very old version? When we changed it, I offered you a deep discount on converting the date and migration, even though you declined any maintenance contracts.
You said "nothing's broken, so I'm not paying you". When your tech company finally told you they wouldn't support your old machines any longer, and I told them about this change, which then they confirmed to you, you still insisted that nothing was broken. And when your boss finally insists on completing the change, despite having all of this documented, you still want me to perform this service for free?
Oh really? Okay, give your lawyer my contact info. Better yet, I'll help you save some money. What's their email address, for me to directly send all this documentation over to? After all that, they tried to get revenge. They hired a competitor of mine to replace me. The competitor told them that, no, they would not import data.
The client made no effort to understand what that meant and agreed to have the project completed for the lower price, oblivious to the fact that they would lose all their data in the process. Eventually, the guy powered through and the new program was installed. Immediately, the client shouts at my competitor “Why isn't our info there?!”
The client then calls me up and gets all angry at me, claiming this must somehow be my fault! I call another company offering my services to convert the data to their format. Apparently, they had worked with him before, as their immediately response was "No, we have decided against accepting that guy as a client". The client then attempts to threaten me with court action.
This threat doesn't work. He then attempts to convince me to do the work for free again. Hah, really? Nope. I don’t think so. Last I heard, this guy still has one old computer and the old server running the software. Good luck to him. I cannot for the life of me understand why so many people think they know about computers when they clearly don’t, or think they are entitled to someone else’s labor for free.
I work in tax policy and am pretty much one of the leading experts in the field for the area where I live. Nevertheless, one time I was browsing discussion boards on Reddit, and some random guy tried to convince me that my opinions on current tax policy were wrong, even though I knew they were right. He then cited a report to try and prove he was right.
There was only one issue. The report he cited was written by me.
I'm an airline pilot. I've had a flat-earther get mad at me for not telling the truth about seeing the edge of the world while on the job. I honestly thought people made that stuff up. But nope, people actually think it’s real!
I'm a professional biologist. In all my many years of arguing with random people, I have yet to meet someone who both A) denies evolution, and also B) actually understands what it is.
I once got into an argument with a woman at a Whole Foods supermarket where I was working. She wanted to buy grass fed pork. There is no such thing. Grass cannot support a pig, as they have to eat a heavy grain-filled diet. The woman did not believe me or my 10 years of farm and meat selling experience. It eventually got to the point where I told the woman I would ship her a piglet so she could raise it completely on grass and watch it wither away from starvation.
I don't do demos at grocery stores anymore…
Being any medical professional and with literally anything means you will have to deal with know-it-all people all the time. I had a patient once tell me that she wouldn't go on birth control. Her reasoning was bonkers. Apparently this was because it caused AIDS. She was very polite about it and said she understood that us doctors weren't "allowed" to tell patients the "truth".
Okay lady, enjoy your fifth baby at the age of 25. Another lady did not believe me at all when I told her that seven C sections was a dangerous amount to have and that the eighth section could cause many complications to her and the baby. "Well, they got seven out easily, so what's one more"? Well, it takes them a lot longer and longer with each section, so it probably got harder with each one.
"Well I was there, so I would know".Whoookay.
I'm a Sommelier, also known as that jerk who tries to sell you wine in a restaurant. Several months ago, a table full of middle-aged women wanted to know what our sweetest wine by the glass was. The alpha whiner of the group had her heart set on asserting herself and putting on a show for her crew. Keep in mind, I was new to the job and wasn't really keen on the idea that "the customer is always right" just yet.
Our interaction went as follows. Me: “Our sweetest by-the-glass wine? That would be our (insert brand name here) Riesling from Mosel, Germany. Low alcohol content level, with lots of residual sugar that's balanced by a strong acidic backbone". Her: "Riesling's not sweet". Me: "Not all Riesling, correct. But this one definitely is". I had no idea what I was getting into.
Her: "No, I spent six months in Germany once and didn't have a sweet Riesling the entire time". Me: "That may be the case, but Mosel is world-renowned for their sweeter style, and the other benefits I mentioned, ma’am". Her: "You know what, I don't think you know what you're talking about because I actually lived there. Have you"?
Me: "No mam, I have not". Her: "Exactly. You know what, I see that you have a Gewurztraminer by the glass. I KNOW that's a sweet wine, so I 'll just have that”. Me: "The Riesling is far sweeter, ma’am. The Gewurztraminer is barely off-dry. It's more dry than it is sweet". Her: "I know what I'm talking about, just get me the wine please".
Me: "Absolutely". At this point, I'm ready. I'm going to prove this woman wrong in the best way possible. I go up to the bartender and tell him to pour me a Riesling instead of the Gewurztraminer. I hand deliver the glass of it to the table and announce: "Your Gewurztraminer, ma’am". I walk away and watch from a distance with a Grinch-like eating grin.
She falls into my trap and takes the first sip. I return to the table. Me: "How is it?" Her: "It's delicious. Very sweet. Much sweeter than Riesling. Just like I knew it would be". Me: "Glad you like it, but I did just talk to the bartender and, as it turns out, he accidentally poured you the Riesling". She instantly turns beet red. Her: "So this isn't Gewurztraminer?"
Me: "No ma’am, my apologies. Would you like a glass of that instead of the one you currently have?" The grin on my face has at this point been upgraded to a full-blown maniac smile and a twinkling of the eye. She responds tersely, with bitterness oozing from her mouth. Her: "No, this will be fine". Me: "Lovely, enjoy the rest of your evening".
The moral of the story? I don't know everything about the drinks I sell. That much is true. In fact, I hardly know anything in the grand scheme of it all. Especially compared to some real experts out there. But when I do talk about the products I work with, you can guarantee I'll know what the heck I'm saying is correct.
I had a lady once ask me what makes me qualified to tell her she needs to go to the hospital. I'm a paramedic, that’s what! It's literally what I get paid to do. I work for a local government fire department that also provides ALS (advanced life support) ambulance services. We don't get paid per call. We work in a low-income area where no one has insurance and few can pay their bills.
The local hospital is going under and needs bailouts every year because they have so few paying customers, and our local government relies upon bailouts to keep funding things. If I transport someone to the hospital, it generally means I’m taking money out of my own pocket, or out of the pocket of the taxpaying citizens.
There are no incentives for me to transport someone to the hospital who doesn't need it. None whatsoever. It takes me a minimum of 30 minutes to transport someone, or five minutes tops to get a refusal of care. Trust me. If I say you need to go, you NEED to go.
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