You Can’t Fix Stupid

Quote of the day.

If you follow this blog, you may have read about my Quincy Golf Course RV Park Internet woes. I thought I had them licked before I went away to Pateros on June 26, but when I returned on July 7, it was down again.


Let me review the situation:

  • The Internet people put an antenna on the roof of the Golf Course Pro Shop building.
  • The antenna points to another antenna about a half mile away to pick up an Internet signal.
  • The Internet people put a WiFi router in the Pro Shop and connected it to the antenna.
  • The WiFi setup operates at normal WiFi frequencies.
  • The Pro Shop has a Toro irrigation system which uses an antenna on the building to turn various sprinklers on or off based on a computer schedule and manual inputs on a radio.
  • The Toro system operates on a completely different frequency in a different range.
  • The irrigation guy is convinced that the Internet system conflicts with the irrigation system.
  • The Internet people moved the antenna and ran extensive tests with the irrigation guy to assure that his system continued to work. There was no conflict at that time or any other time that the Internet people were here.

That’s where things were on June 26 when I left town for 10 days. When I got back, the Internet was disconnected and the router was missing — although all the other equipment was in place and even powered up.

Evidently, while I was gone, the irrigation system failed again. Coincidentally, there was also a power failure here — I know this because my microwave’s clock was reset. But the irrigation guy — who I think I’m going to rechristen the irritation guy — is certain that the failure is due to the Internet setup. And now he’s convinced management.

So they won’t let me reconnect the system.

So I don’t have full-time Internet anymore. Again.

And I’m out the $70 I paid for two months of Internet service.

And I’m working on a book for a software product that attempts to connect to the Internet every third time I click a button or choose a menu command.

Stupid is as Stupid Does

I’ve spoken to numerous people about this situation. People who know more about the technical aspects of wireless operations than I ever will. All have agreed that there should not be a conflict.

I talked directly to Toro technical support. They told me there should not be a conflict.

During the troubleshooting process, I disconnected the entire Internet system and asked the irritation guy to test it. He claimed it wouldn’t work. When I pointed out that nothing was connected, he admitted that his radio transmitter battery was low and that could have caused the problem.

Every single time the Internet people were here to test the system with the irritation guy, the irrigation system worked flawlessly.

Yet the first time it doesn’t work properly, the irritation guy blames the Internet and disconnects part of the system. He gets it to work and assumes that the problem is the Internet — not whatever else he did to get it to work.

When I recited these details to my editor, Megg, she gave me a quote from her husband: “You can’t fix stupid.” I had to write it down. It fits this situation perfectly.

Stupid is not a word I use lightly. I prefer the word ignorant, which has a very different meaning. Ignorant means uninformed. Or, more specifically, from the New Oxford American Dictionary in the Dictionary application in Mac OS X:

lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated

I wanted to think that the irritation guy was just ignorant. He’s not technically savvy. Heck, he had to have his daughter come out and help him disconnect an Ethernet cable from a computer! All he knows about the irrigation computer is what the setup guy told him. He doesn’t touch it without assistance from the local support person. So, obviously he’s not informed about how computers work.

But when several people go through the exercise of testing the system with him to prove that it works and multiple people explain that the two systems are on different frequency ranges so there shouldn’t be any conflict and he still refuses to believe, I have to start applying the stupid label to him.

And you can’t fix stupid.

6 thoughts on “You Can’t Fix Stupid

  1. “Stupid is forever” is pretty good, too.

    And here’s an update: Internet has been disconnected for a few days now and he’s STILL having problems with the irrigation and he’s STILL blaming the Internet. Wow!

  2. LOL! Not to laugh at your situation, but there comes a time after all the anger and frustration that it just gets funny. Stupid funny.

    Would a broadband card work where you are? They aren’t the fastest, but equivalent to maybe DSL.

  3. Well, I’m out of there now, so it’s not an issue. A broadband card for my laptop would have cost me a fortune, given its relatively low bandwidth limitations. I used the DUN services on my Treo. Not convenient, but it did work. The next campground I was at had WiFi.

What do you think?