15 People Describe Moments People Assumed They Were Dumb – And It Totally Backfired

There are more than a couple of reasons that we should all try our best to be patient and kind when dealing with strangers or friends-of-friends in public spaces. We don’t know these people, for one, and so shouldn’t they get the benefit of the doubt?

Another reason, if you need one, is that by judging others by their covers, we just might end up feeling more than a little silly ourselves, and no one likes that.

Just as these 15 people, who were immediately embarrassed after assuming the person they were speaking too was too dumb to understand.

15. When they double down is the worst.

Oh working in retail has those moments constantly. People don’t read the signs right and one guy didn’t get the right chips for the deal and was getting mad at me and told me to come and he’ll show me the sign.

I had already dealt with people not reading the fine print on that deal so I told him “I’m not going to look at anything, you can go look for yourself and read it then come back with the right product”.

He cane back without an attitude because he knew he was wrong and from that point on I always had my guard up when I saw him come in and I was ready for a fight each time.

14. The face I am making right now.

At work one day writing a menu board for lunch specials. A couple comes in and start chuckling behind me. The lady gives me this snide look and says “What’s a SAND-wich? It’s spelled SAMWITCH, honey. Hahaha she wrote SAND, like in the desert!”

I just smiled and didn’t even correct her. That cocky stupidity was truly a sight to behold.

13. That made her sweat.

Corporate trainer came to our offices to provide training. I popped into the room to say hello and see if she needed help. She was having trouble setting up the projector before the session. I started trying to help but I’m not really savvy with projectors. She was getting frustrated with me as she assumed I was the IT dude, and obviously not a very good one.

We eventually got it fixed, and I offered her a coffee. She was a bit rude to me by that stage. I got her one anyway.

Fast forward to the session itself, and I introduced her to the room of 40 people and thanked her for coming. She realised I was the head of the division and was the one paying for her to be there.

I felt very smug at that point.

12. The absolute hubris.

I am an application developer in the public sector. I have made many of the computer programs where I work such as the Human Resources, incident reporting, and some of the case management systems.

Several times I have had people try to tell me, wrongly, how to use an application that I made. I especially like it when they tell me I should “ask the people at the company” uh, what company would that be? I tell them that it is very flattering that they think that the software was made by an entire company instead of by me alone in my office.

11. You can always learn something new.

Oh sure but… I find the opposite a better teaching environment.

Playing street fighter in a 7-11. We had been playing it for I think years and felt pretty confident in the game. Some 14 year old comes in and starts telling us about the “guile handcuffs” We scoffed and laughed at him. Guile doesn’t have handcuffs.

And holy crap he showed us the dang move. Granted it was a bug but I never forgot that.

I use that story whenever I need to.

10. That’s a good moment.

Reminds me of the time we had a PM and his crew come in and brief our group on a migration they were about to do. What he laid out made no sense to anyone and I figured Id ask a few questions to maybe help him see the error in his ways.

He got all pissed off that anyone would question his wisdom and asked who the hell I thought I was. The look on his face when I said the author of the procedure and code they were using was priceless.

9. Just for awhile, though.

My wife and I were traveling with a couple we worked with in South Korea. We weren’t best friends with them but they were nice enough so we rented a car and travelled around the island of Jeju.

Now, this is a small island and you could drive around it in 4 or 5 hours but we were taking our time seeing the sights. The guy was a bit of a know-it-all but they had been in Korea 6 months longer than us so I always tools his advice. Anyways, I’m driving the car and we are trying to find the place that we want to eat, I say something like “we are going the right way” this guy responds with “no we are going south, trust me I majored in geography.”

I look straight ahead into the the setting sun and respond with “weird we found the one place on earth where the sun sets in the south.” Well that shut him up for a while.

8. I wonder if it was worth it.

I’m French and live in France, but I grew up in the UK and consider English to be like a mother tongue. When I was seventeen I had to change schools, from a private one to a public one, and this was for personal reasons but my new classmates assumed the reason was because my grades were too low and I got kicked out (the private school had high standards).

Anyway, it’s the first day of school and we have English class. The teacher hands out a list of sentences we have to translate, and asks us to compare translations with our neighbour. The first sentence is rather hard to translate from French and the teacher, after having walked around and looked at our answers, announces that only one person in the class has got it right.

We compare answers with our neighbours. The girl next to me sees my translation: ‘How long has it been raining for?’ And she bursts out laughing. ‘Has it been??? Has it been??? I’ve never heard that in my life that is SO stupid’ and she makes fun of me for a good while to the other girl sitting next to her. Being new and also knowing that she was going to feel stupid in a couple of minutes, I didn’t say anything.

Sure enough, the teacher announces I was right, and my classmates quickly discovered that I was actually a fluent english speaker with excellent grades pretty much all around. It made making friends really hard, but I hope that girl learned her lesson to never make fun of someone without knowing the full story. Or never make fun of people ever, that would be better.

7. I love/hate this.

When I was in the Army, me and a group of specialists were standing in a circle, taking a break in the motor pool. A lieutenant came out and said he needed a forklift driver, went around the circle, pointed at each male and asked them if they had their license. None of them did; he huffed and walked away.

He had clearly, obviously skipped over the other female and I in the circle. That was fine; we were the only 88M (heavy vehicle operators) and forklift licensed people there; the dudes were all paralegals and HR specialists.

Everyone laughed. What an embarrassing moment for him.

6. Well actually…

I had a paper returned to me this morning because I didn’t write out all the names of the authors in the manuscript. I took a screenshot of their submission guidelines detailing AUTHOR NAMES MUST BE FORMATTED WITH THE FIRST INITIAL FOLLOWED BY LAST NAME and sent it back. Got an apology e-mail and an “submission received” notification a few minutes later.

Academia, I swear to God…

5. Never assume, people.

I’m currently a junior in college and a couple of weeks ago when the semester started dying down I left the dorms to come back home and finish things out online. I also started working at the local grocery store as well. Around a week ago as I was checking out two customers when they told me they wanted to pay 50/50 with two cards.

Our system requires us to manually enter the price so I did and the lovely gentleman told me my math was wrong and said he’s a sophomore engineering student at a school nearby to help justify why he was correct.

I respond “Oh cool. I’m actually a junior at (insert much much better engineering school). What are you studying?” while also pulling up a calculator and showing him he was wrong.

Everyone always assumes the workers here are dumb so it’s always nice to show them otherwise.

4. This is why we have Google, friends.

Was asked by my brother and girlfriend which planet is first starting from the Sun. Was then belittled for twenty minutes after answering Mercury because they were adamant it was Venus.

I was just disappointed because we are in our twenties.

3. Stop being s*xist, people.

Some years ago some guys were talking about cars and engines and I don’t even remember what. One of them was really condescending to me (F) and said, but you probably don’t know anything about that do you? My husband set him straight and said, “she knows more about cars than I do so don’t be so sure.” Then of course he tried to prove he knew more.

He did not.

I grew up around race cars, and auto mechanics, who also thought everyone should understand their own car.

I have to admit I know less now that they are all electronic and computerized. But this was back in the day.

2. Stop yammering.

When I worked as a cashier in a grocery store people would always want to argue about their produce. They would bring up heads of iceberg lettuce and then argue with me that they were green cabbage, or vice versa. I would always just smile, void the product, and then charge them for what they thought it was. The best was seeing people come back later pissed that their cole slaw didn’t work.

The best, though, was the “sweet potato vs yam” argument that I would have with people several times during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Most of what we sell in the U.S. are sweet potatoes, though some sweet potatoes grown in one state (Louisiana?) are the “yam” variety of the sweet potato. But people often call them yams and will fight you over it, even though true yams are hard to find unless your store stocks stuff for Latin American customers. We did, but yams were rarely in stock and always more expensive than sweet potatoes.

Anyway, sweet potatoes would go on sale for the holiday and people would buy lots of them. Every time I rang them up, I would get told that they were yams and that I was dumb for not knowing that. So I would void them and ring them up as yams for four times the price. When customers would want the sale price I would kindly remind them that I had tried to give them the sale price but that they had asked me to ring them up as yams instead.

1. Hopefully he learned his lesson.

Used to drive for Lyft while I was in grad school. Picked up an undergraduate college kid.

Me: what’re you studying? Him: computer science.

Me: oh awesome! What kind of projects are you doing now?

Him: it’s pretty complicated, but I do some pretty amazing things. You wouldn’t get it.

Me: like what? I’d love to hear about your projects.

Him: super intense database stuff and web app stuff like HTML. I just learned about the NodeJS framework. This is probably all over your head. What about you? Have you ever gone to college?

Me: I am currently a computer science graduate student, with a dual bachelor’s in computer science and computer systems engineering.

He was awkwardly silent after that, but I still asked him about his projects and he was more than happy to share his experiences knowing that his conversation was definitely not over my head.

Be good humans, y’all. I promise it’s worth it.

Has anything like this ever happened to you? Tell us the story in the comments!