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Below is my latest Op-Ed. Please read and share on your social media accounts.

Written by DML

I get a fair amount of email each day from the readers of this website and from  From time to time, someone will send me a chain email thinking I will read it. I won’t lie, typically, I delete the chain emails.  However, the email I pasted below was sent to me on the same day in which I spent hours dealing with people who were so incompetent, that words simply cannot describe it all.  Thus, the chain continues via this post.  First, I offer some of my own commentary…

Perhaps it’s just me.  Maybe I am getting older and grumpier at an accelerated pace and thus, I complain about things that really do not exist. Or maybe I am spot on.  I will leave it to you to decide, but am I wrong in saying Americans appear to be dumber than ever before?

Perhaps it’s the language barrier.  Truth is, these days, it feels like I am very limited in my ability to speak to my fellow Americans.  See, I am capable of speaking just one language (English). I can speak it fluently, but it appears I am a man alone.  So, perhaps it is yours truly who is the dumb one.

It seems that no matter where I travel in the USA, not a single person at the airport speaks English, neither do the taxi drivers, nor the hotel workers, nor the maintenance people, nor the wait staff, nor the help desk gurus, nor the customer service reps, nor the  counter clerks, nor the _____ (fill in the blank).

It was never this bad before.  Today, I find myself in a country where I am constantly asking someone to repeat what they said.  So much of my day is spent weeding through the mystery of what is going through the other person’s brain.

My vocabulary is stuck in a time when the same phrases come out of my mouth on a daily basis:

“Excuse me…?”,
“Can you repeat that please…”, “
“I don’t understand…”,
“No, you don’t understand….”,
“How long is it going to take…?”,
“I’ve been standing here for an hour…”,
“No, I did not say that, what I said was….”,
“No, I am not rude…,”
“I’m sorry, but does anyone here speak English…?”
“F*ck this…”

Here is the chain email I received about the experiences people have with those not playing on all chords.

When my husband and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it. 

We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver side door.  As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. ‘Hey,’ I announced to the technician, ‘it’s open!’
His reply: ‘I know, I already got that side.’
This was at the Ford dealership in Canton , MS

We had to have the garage door repaired.  The Sears repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a ‘large’ enough motor on the opener.  

I thought for a minute and said that we had the largest one Sears made at that time, a 1/2 horsepower.

He shook his head and said, ‘Lady, you need a 1/4 horsepower.’

I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4.
He said, ‘NO, it’s not.’ Four is larger than two.’
We haven’t used Sears repair since.

My daughter and I went through the McDonald’s take-out window and I gave the clerk a $5 bill.  

Our total was $4.25, so I also handed her a quarter.
She said, ‘you gave me too much money.’
I said, ‘Yes I know, but this way you can just give me a dollar bill back.
She sighed and went to get the manager, who asked me to repeat my request.

I did so, and he handed me back the quarter and said ‘We’re sorry but we could not do that kind of thing.’  The clerk then proceeded to give me back $1 and 75 cents in change.   Do not confuse the clerks at McD’s.

My daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked the person behind the counter for ‘minimal lettuce.’ He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg lettuce.
From Kansas City

I was at the airport checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked, ‘Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?’
To which I replied, ‘If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?’
He smiled knowingly and nodded, ‘That’s why we ask.’
Happened in Birmingham , Ala.

The stoplight on the corner buzzes when it’s safe to cross the street. I was crossing with an intellectually challenged co-worker of mine.

She asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded, ‘What on earth are blind people doing driving?!’

She was a probation officer in Wichita , KS

At a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear co-worker who was leaving the company due to ‘downsizing,’ our manager commented cheerfully, ‘This is fun. We should do this more often.’ Not another word was spoken.
We all just looked at each other with that deer-in-the-headlights stare.
This was a lunch at Texas Instruments.

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  1. First of all the people are not weight staff, they’re wait staff (cause they wait on you). Second , we are letting the crap happen to our own country without a fight. We just let our elected officaials(ie: criminals), decide our fate for us. And we all know they don’t like us. Third, schools teach nothing useful today. Common core sucks and no one can spell or do math. They use there for they’re, and other contractions. We had to learn the prepositions in 8th grade forward and back. I’m 70 and can still say them. This world is rapidly changing, and not for the better!

    • WAIT v. weight. You are 100% correct. And I’ve had someone correct it for me. This is one time when I’d like to get a pass. I am traveling and therefore, my commentary was dictated via the phone. The IA took it upon itself to use weight v. wait. I did not catch it.

  2. I will be laughing all day after reading this email “chain”. I agree with you americans are getting dummer OR I am getting smarter (which i simply do not believe). AND yes they do vote which is a little scary. Thanks for my laugh of the day.

  3. I went into a Hardee’s the other day where they were advertising 2 for $6. The sign did not say 2 what so I went to the counter and asked what my options were for the 2 for 6$. The lady behind the counter looked at me like I had grown two heads…so I asked again. Still looking at me like a deer caught in headlights…another customer walks up and I told her this could take a while and asked the counter clerk a third time. Still no response so the customer behind me asked the same question. This time the clerk starting answering her in very broken English. I threw up my hands and said WTF turned around to leave and said I will go across the street to Burger King where they speak English. SMH. Who hires these people?

  4. You can’t fix stupid! Just ask a clerk to count back your change. Most can’t give you the correct change without looking at the register.

    • When my parents had a seafood market, when i was a young teen, my father taught me how to make change. He refused to allow me to enter into the register how much was given to me. He taught me how to give change based on what they had given me. Thank you, Daddy.

  5. I cannot stop laughing!! This dumbing down has been going on for a long time!! You just made my day!!

  6. I laughed at these and will probably chuckle the rest of the day. The saddest part is that I’ve run into so many of these idiots and it is disappointing to realize just how dumb so very many Americans are, especially the youth that are going out into the work force now. I was at a retail store, paid for my stuff with cash, which is rare for me. First the cashier looked at the money like she had never seen cash before, then she hit the button to open the register. Now here is where it gets sad, she had the cash in one hand and was looking from the cash into her till, then she slowly took the bills from her had and placed them in the till checking each slot before placing the bills in there, then came time for her to give me my change. Now the cash registers tell you how much change to give the customer, she kept looking up at the screen, checking each slot before pulling out the number of bills to give to me, then the hardest part of all for her, the COINS I watched as she pulled out a quarter, then a nickle, another nickle, a couple of pennies the whole time I can see her counting (she was moving her lips) 5,10, 15,20, 25 (the quarter) 30 (pulls out a nickle) 35 (pulls out a nickle) 36, (a penny) and so on until she got to 39. When she was done I actually counted my change to make sure she even got it right. She did but it took her almost 5 minutes to give me my change. I just shook my head as I walked away. The lady behind me had this look of fear on her face because she already had all her stuff on the belt, I guess she too as using cash. And that is why I use my debit card 95% of the time!

  7. 😄😃😀😊☺😜😝😛
    DML – too funny but this hapens all the time every place you go. When I do come across someone that can speak and understand English I always thank them for taking the time to learn. They are happy to hear themselves get praised because they worked hard to learn the language. Talk about dumbing down there was a video yesterday that some one showed me – about all the hoopla over the First Amendment. These college students were asked to name the five things of the First Amendment – sadly they could only name two – speech and religion. No longer getting educated people coming out of the so called school’s of higher learning. It’s a thing of the past!

  8. After I posted that one about somebody adding stuff to my carry-on without my knowledge in the DearWebby Humor Letter about ten years ago, they lost my luggage on the way to Las Vegas, the starting point of our annual cactus safari. So I went to the lost luggage counter, showed my ticket and boarding pass and asked for my luggage.
    “Has your plane landed yet?”
    “Yes, the plane has landed, but my luggage has not.”
    “Goobness Glacious Nee, I hall have to talk to soopervisor.”
    Eventually United got my luggage back from Alaska or wherever they had sent it to.
    I have not flown with United since that day.

  9. This is a dumb article. NOBODY in an airport speaks English? How would an airport function in the U.S. then? English is taught as a second language in most countries…if you can’t understand the accent you need to get out more often.

  10. Having studied the various things that dumb humans down, I see the poison in the food & environment as tops, then emfs which has been proven to permanently alter the brain waves that children who use iPhones suffer. Include also the drug industry with the side effects of multiple drugs at once & it is hardly any surprise to see what’s happening in the general population.
    I have seen a steady decline for 2 decades.

  11. LAMO!!!! We have seen it all the time. Have you ever gone on a trip and asked a clerk at a local convenience store or gas station for directions to a destination? Most of the time you receive a blank stare or an “I don’t know” shrug. The funny part is that your destination may be right in the neighborhood. So many people are totally clueless about their own city or town.
    Back in the day, when geography, history and local history was taught, many of these problems didn’t exist.but now with the “Educational Factories” of today, there are so many students that many of the lessons of yesteryear aren’t taught because of time restraints. Also, these “Educational Factories” thrive on numbers. They literally run them into the front door and out the back with only very basic education. Of course, it’s a numbers game. the more “Graduates”, the more money from taxpayers. All this is a sad commentary on America.

  12. When there was still such a thing as that wonderful store, Foley’s was my favorite place to shop. One evening not long before Christmas I was busily shopping and heard the Store Closing notification. Checking my watch (this was before cell phones), I noted it was 15 minutes before 9PM, plenty of time for one last quick purchase before leaving. After making my purchase, I raced for the exit, only to discover the doors were shut and locked tight.
    Wait? What? I looked at my watch again and it said 5 minutes til. Getting a guard, I asked him why the doors were already locked. He informed me they were always locked precisely on time, which had been over 15 minutes ago.
    Looking at my watch again, I commented, “But my watch says 8:55, I have 5 minutes yet.”
    Smiling, the guard stated, “Your watch is wrong, it’s 15 after.”
    Grinning to myself, I couldn’t resist a little prank, and exclaimed in surprise, “It’s 15 after? My watch can’t be wrong, I bought it here.”
    The look on that guard’s face was priceless, as he stood there and stared at me, his mouth slightly open. He smiled in relief when I laughed and he realized I was joking. One can only wonder the caliber of intellect he was used to dealing with, and that over 30 years ago.

  13. It is a sad but true state of affairs that many today do not have the basic knowledge that you would expect. I am a social studies teacher in Virginia and in 2009 Virginia mandated that all students must graduate high school with a semester credit in economics and a semester credit in personal finance. I took the the required teacher training to teach both courses in the summer of 2011 and was shocked by the number of teachers who did not have a basic understanding of the fundamentals of economics and personal finance. A teacher who was a former banker shared with us that it was more common than not for folks to go the bank and think that they should have money in their checking account because they had checks. Unbelievable!

  14. What concerns me is that this dumber generation who don’t know English are the ones who will be taking care of us in nursing homes and assisted living facilities some day. If that alone doesn’t motivate one to take care of themselves with proper diet and exercise, I don’t know what will!

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