Every summer I work at a (the same) call center. I have been doing this for 5 summers now. Every year that I go back the same people still work there. A lot of them are middle to older aged women who don’t mind talking to jerks all day and who have very little education. Generally, I don’t judge people based on their intelligence (my fiance does and we get in a lot of arguments over it) but some of the stuff that gets said in the lunch room is pure stupidity. I have two particularly entertaining examples. One on diet fads and the other on Buddhism/Islam.
Diana walks into the lunchroom drinking a cup of green sludge. It is obvious that she can barely choke the shit down so Stephanie asks “What is that? It looks disgusting.” Diana, after gulping down some more goo, says “Oh, I’m on a cleanse. So this is mostly just kale, spinach and [insert more vegetables] blended together.” Some of the women in the room nod as if they know exactly why she is doing this and what it all means. I’m not such an easy sell… “Why are you doing a cleanse?” I asked her. “Well for two reasons…” Diana responded “…mostly to loose weight, but also because I really want to decrease my risk of getting cancer.”
Diana then proceeds to tell the room a couple of anecdotes. One about a guy who *cured* his prostate cancer by doing juice cleanses and one about a woman who lost 30 lbs in three weeks from doing cleanses. “Did the woman keep the weight off?” I asked; knowing good and well that most people don’t keep cleanse weight off… and sure enough after a few months she gained back all the weight, plus some. I didn’t even know where to begin on prostate cancer guy…
I decided it was my turn to tell an anecdote. “I once lost 20 lbs in China by eating nothing but Kentucky Fried Chicken for three weeks.” The room went silent and then burst into laughter. “No, I’m not kidding.” I said. Diana, disgusted said “That’s literally impossible.” I tried to explain that weight loss is 100% about calories in, calories out and that permanent weight loss is about healthy life style changes, not about eating baby food for a month but it all fell on deaf ears.
As I walked out of the room people were asking Diana for cleanse recipes.
I walk into the lunch room and Craig has captivated the attention of 6 women. Curious, I got a little closer.
“…and in Buddhism they believe that if you channel energy through meditation you can connect with God. But in Islam you can’t do that. So that’s why I’m really struggling with deciding on which religion to really get into.”
“I thought there was no ‘God’ in Buddhism.” I asked.
Craig let out a low arrogant chuckle. “That is a common misconception.”
Arlene, moving her loving gaze from Craig to a gaze of anger to me said “He has connected with God THROUGH Buddhism. So obviously there is a God in Buddhism.”
“uuuuuh…” the stupidity of the comment threw me off guard for a few seconds too long and all of the sudden I was under siege from Craig’s new followers. “If there is no God in Buddhism why meditate??” “Craig is going to lead a seminar on how to pray like they do in Islam but be more calm like a Buddhist, you should go.” “Buddhism is a religion, just like Christianity so of course God is in it!”
I decided to just slowly back out of the room nodding my head.
Names were changed :)