Tuesday, April 26, 2016
How can I say this
There are idiots among us, people who as bright as a burnt out light bulb. We encounter them at work, when shopping, when driving, at every turn. If you are lucky, you don't encounter them at home, when I was married the first time, I spent a couple of years saying B.O.N.T., short of Bright One Next Time. Boy did I find a bright one the next time.
One approach is to be very blunt about it, calling a moron a moron. It might feel satisfying, but it doesn't help get things done. I sometimes try ignoring the stupidity, keeping it bottled up inside of me - it always leaks out sooner or later. On other occasions I try to help the person, some can be lead, others can't. Some are in deep denial and perfectly convinced that they actually know what they are doing. The most dangerous of the bunch.
In the end, kindness, and understanding, usually work.
And also listening, some of the greatest gems of wisdom come from the most surprising sources. Many years ago I was working with a client whose signature had been forged on a credit card application. The client was disabled, had about a third grade education, had never left home - she understood and openly shared her limitations with me. It was obviously to all of us but her, who had forged her signature, a family member. The creditor suing her offered to dismiss if she would file a criminal complaint against the family member. I talked to her urging her to allow me to arrange a meeting with the local police detective who worked this type of case (I knew him and had worked with him on numerous cases.) She said no, I have tried talking to the family member and he won't talk about it, I didn't see him sign it, "if I go to the police and accuse him, without any proof that he signed it, I am the one who is lying." The attorney for the credit card company was dumbfounded by her response, the attorney said, "usually people are so eager to throw someone under the bus on these cases that they eagerly take us up on that offer." I urged the creditor's attorney to think about the wisdom of what my client had said, shortly after we were able to resolve the case in my client's favor. Then came the next collection case . . . with the same family member taking advantage of my client.