Monday, December 15, 2014

I don't deal well with stupid people, part 3

So LM's daughter (LMD) got her driver's permit recently.

I took LMD out to begin teaching her the basics of driving.  We found a nice empty parking lot next to a pretty-much-abandoned strip mall in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.  There are lots of pretty-much-abandoned lots here lately, given the economic downturn, which (although it is finally starting to improve) has left many businesses bankrupt.

This pretty-much-abandoned strip mall had one tenant remaining:  [Unnamed Midwestern State] University.  Why that University has a branch here, I have no idea.  Perhaps it is trying to compete with "University of Phoenix," which seems to have opened branches in pretty much every state.  Anyway, there were no cars in a whole huge section of the lot, and about 8 cars in another section of it.

We started in the section with no cars.  After quite a while of driving around, practicing turning, stopping, turning the other way, stopping with the tires on exactly this line or that pothole or that crack in the road, accelerating gently, accelerating gently, turning sharply, stopping quickly, trying to run over that piece of paper, turning gradually, stopping slowly and smoothly, etc...  I was running out of fun ideas...  I thought it would be fun to try driving around real cars and perhaps try parking

So we did.

And LMD parked next to a car on her left.  Then parked next to a car on her right.  She did a great job both times -- right between the lines, no problem.  So I had her park between two cars.  Then, as she was about to back out of the space, she got a shocked look on her face as she looked past me through the passenger side window:  "Mom!  Mom!  Look!

There was a security guard standing next to the car.  I rolled down the window.

Security Guard ("SG"):  What are you doing?

[Seriously?  It isn't obvious?!?  Whatever...]

LM:  Practicing driving.

SG:  Well, you can't do that here.

LM:  Why not?  It's a public parking lot.

SG:  Well, I can't have you driving around my students' cars.  If you crash into one of them, that would not be good.

LM:  First of all, she's not going to hit a car.  Second of all, I'm insured, so if she does hit one, we'll fix it.  I promise.  It won't be a problem.

SG:  No.  You can drive over there (pointing to totally empty lot) if you want, but not here.

[Thinking:  "Says you and what army?  Who made you emperor of all you survey?"]

LM:  We did that already.  She's got the hang of driving around nothing.  She needs to practice around things now.

SG:  Well, you can set up some traffic cones over there if you like.

LM (sarcastically-enthusiastically):  Oh, that would be cool!  Do you have some of those?

SG:  No.

LM:  Oh... well, that makes two of us.  (Rolls window up.)

LMD (in a shouted-whisper tone of voice):  (MOM!  STOP!  YOU SOUND JUST LIKE GRANDPA!!)

... I guess I come by it honestly.  At least I didn't ask if he had the authority to call someone with authority, as grandpa would have done.

Again, I felt a little bad afterwards. He was just doing what he perceived as being his job, even if he was overstepping his bounds a bit. I didn't feel as bad as I did after my unfortunately snarky encounter with the clueless lady at the church that I wrote about last week. But not as justified as I felt after being a little mean to the clueless and overeager Adobe sales rep.  Sort of somewhere in-between.

Because yes, he was overstepping his bounds.  It's not like there were any spaces marked "reserved for __ University students"--so presumably any drunk or otherwise piss-poor driver could come park anywhere in the lot, next to "his" student's cars, so why pick on us?!?  (At least this particular novice driver was being supervised by a very-experienced driver who previously has taught others to drive buses!)  Answer:  because he thought he had the power to do so and he was bored sitting around doing nothing.  And he had that air of "I've think I've got power and I'm going to use it even though I really don't have the right to do so" that just irritates the crud out of me.

So there you have it.  Judge me if you must.  The short story is, "I don't deal well with stupid people."

Monday, December 8, 2014

I don't deal well with stupid people, part 2

So this one slipped out unintentionally.  And I felt bad about it.  I don't really intend to be mean to people.  I try really hard to be nice.  But sometimes I just don't deal well with stupid people.

I was in Sedona, Arizona, with a friend.  We were visiting the famous "Chapel of the Holy Cross."  Here is a photo (from Wikipedia):

There were a lot of tourists who had the same idea we had, at the same time, to visit the chapel, so there was a line of cars slowly making its way up the curvy road to the parking lot at the top of the hill.  It was moving very slowly.  Basically, when one car left, they'd let another in.

We parked at the bottom of the hill and began walking up the steep, curvy road.  Since there were so many cars on the uphill side, we walked on the shoulder of the downhill side--there was more room there.

A car came zooming up the road in the oncoming (downhill) lane of traffic, passing all the other cars in the uphill lane.  We were just approaching a sharp left curve.  I was thinking what a rude, insensitive jerk the driver was.  The car stopped next to us and the driver lowered her window. 

Driver:  Um, that's a big curve up there.  Do you think another car might come down the road and run headfirst into me?

LM:  Well, yeah, that could happen...

Driver (sounding alarmed):  What should I do?!?!

LM:  Well, you could wait in line like everyone else.

Driver:  What...?  Oh, no!  You mean those cars aren't parked?  I thought they were parked!  Oh, they must think I'm such a twit!


OK, so she was clueless, not soulless.  I forgave her instantly and immediately felt bad about thinking horrible thoughts about her--at a church, no less! I even reassured her that, now that I thought about it, she was right, the windows of so many of the cars are tinted, you can't even see if someone is inside them.

In other words, I tried not to act like a self-righteous prig.  But the fact remains that I don't deal well with stupid people, and so it just sort of slipped out... and I was kind of mean to a person who was probably really nice, even if she wasn't all that bright.

She backed down the road and got in line, "like everyone else."

We walked on up to the chapel, where I prayed for forgiveness.

Monday, December 1, 2014

I don't deal well with stupid people, part 1

Here is the ridiculous discussion I had with the Adobe Sales Representative last year, when I needed to have .pdf editing software.*  I had tried calling the 800 number but could not get through the answering-machine “tree” to find a live person.  So I tried the live-chat function on the Adobe website.  The chat is edited to make it shorter and eliminate some unnecessary “filler,” but is otherwise an accurate transcript that I copied and pasted when I finished chatting with the Adobe rep, because of its sheer absurdity. I wanted to be able to look back and laugh.  And often, I do.

*Note that I subsequently purchased “Cute PDF” software, which was only $49 and works great (much better for my uses than the far-more-expensive Adobe software, which we have at my new job).

Chat Transcript (I tried not to be snarky.  I think I was mostly successful.):

Thank you for contacting Adobe Sales. My name is Priscilla. How may I help you today?
Priscilla: May I have your first name please?

LM: LegalMist

Priscilla: Hi LegalMist.

LM: I am interested in buying Adobe Acrobat.  However, I looked it up online and it does not list compatibility with MS Vista operating system. Will it work with Vista?

Priscilla: Acrobat XI Pro is not compatible with Windows Vista.

LM: Acrobat X was compatible with it. Is that one still available and supported?

Priscilla: I am sorry, Acrobat X is the older version software, hence it is not available for purchase.

LM: The computer is only 5 years old.  Can you let me download Acrobat X for free?  Or is there some "fix" for Acrobat XI to make it compatible with Vista?

Priscilla: I am sorry, since Acrobat X is an older version software, it is not available for download.  You need to upgrade your operating system.

LM: But my operating system is fine and works great for everything else I do. So why would I pay a bunch of money to "upgrade" it when it doesn't need to be upgraded, other than for your program? Why is Acrobat not compatible with Vista? What problems or issues will arise if I just download it?

Priscilla: I am sorry, since Vista is an older version OS it is not compatible with all the new software.

LM: But Acrobat XI is compatible with XP, which is even older than Vista.

Priscilla: I am sorry  for that.

LM: Will you give a discount on Acrobat XI equivalent to the amount I have to pay to "upgrade" my OS so I can buy it?  Also, do you know what problems or issues will arise if I just try to download it anyway?

Priscilla: Just to confirm, do you have any older version of Acrobat?

LM: No, all I have is the Adobe reader. But I find myself needing some of the capabilities of Acrobat.

Priscilla: Could you tell me the tasks that you wish to accomplish using this software so we can get you the right product?

LM: I want to be able to scan documents into my computer and assemble them along with other computer-created documents and then make the whole thing into a PDF/A file so it can be filed with the Court.  Also, I'd like to be able to use the redaction feature and the "bates-stamp" / page numbering feature.

Priscilla: Are you interested in working with images or creating flyers or logos?

LM: No. I have no interest in creating logos or designs or flyers.  Just legal documents. I'd also like to be able to edit .pdf's

Priscilla: Based on the tasks performed by you, I recommend that you purchase Creative Cloud subscription, as you will get all the Adobe software and also you will get Acrobat XI Pro.

LM: Is Creative Cloud compatible with Vista?

Priscilla: I understand your concern, however I can get you Creative Cloud single App for $19.99 per month only. You can install the application on 2 systems. Either both Mac’s or Windows or 1 on Mac and the other one on Windows.

LM: Does it work with Vista, though?

Priscilla: With single App, you will get Acroabat XI pro with all the upgrades and updates for free.

LM: But does it work with Vista?

Priscilla: I am sorry, it is not compatible with Vista.

LM: Well, then it does me no good. I have Vista, remember?

LM: Let's go back to my prior question: Can I buy Acrobat XI with a discount in the price to reflect the cost of "upgrading" my OS (even though I don't need to upgrade other than to use your program).

Priscilla: I am sorry,we do not have any discounts available.

LM: So there is nothing you can do to help me, then?

Priscilla: With single App, you will get the software at a low monthly cost of $19.99 per month only.  This is the best option available to purchase the software.

LM: But you told me that single App is not compatible with Vista, so I don't care about it being the "best option" for purchasing the software; it won't work with my computer. Ok, well can you at least answer my other prior unanswered question, which is, what problems or issues will arise if I try to install it even though it is incompatible with Vista.

Priscilla: I am sorry, Acrrobat XI Pro as individual product or with Cloud, it is not compatible with Vista.

LM: You said that already, but you still have not answered my question, which is: What problems or issues will it cause if I attempt to install it?

Priscilla: You will not be able to install the software on Vista.

LM: So it simply won't install?

Priscilla: Yes, you are correct.

LM: Priscilla, you have finally answered all my questions. I have to say I am not impressed, though. You tried several times to sell me the "single App" despite knowing that I have Vista, and only later told me that it was incompatible with Vista. What good would it do me to buy it? I can't use it, apparently! I guess I simply cannot purchase your products and will have to look elsewhere.

Priscilla: I am sorry, however Acroabat XI Pro is not compatible with Vista.
Priscilla: I wish I could help you with that.


Seriously, I cannot believe how hard she tried to sell me a product that she knew full well I cannot use.

My advice?  Buy “Cute PDF.”  It works great, is less expensive than acrobat, and as far as I can tell, it is compatible with just about every OS (although I don’t use Apple computers, so I can’t vouch for that one). And avoid Adobe chat.  They are useless.  Worse than useless, a total waste of time.