I made a comment at a team meeting for a symphony fundraiser a few years back. A team member who had continuously challenged me, a man who had on several occasions contested my chairmanship, finally in desperation, called me Stupid.
My name is Mr. Broom. I replied.
“No it isn’t. You sir, are Mr. Stupid.” A chuckle emerged from the company of furrowed brows. And then he commenced to rail on about my lack of thinking skills.
“And furthermore….” (Was he about to wind down?), “and furthermore, you can’t even add correctly.”
“How much is 12 x 130? I believe that’s 1560, isn’t it?
“What are you talking about” he wanted to know. “Those numbers aren’t on this report.”
“Oh no, I was just asking you to verify my figures. Did I multiply correctly?”
“I don’t have a calculator.”
“Sure you do, it’s in your Droid. There’s an icon right there on your home screen. That’s why I asked. I did the calculation in my head. i wanted you to check my figures.”
He fiddled around with his cell phone. I passed my notes down to him so he could compare them with his own and better evaluate my figures. I was one of two members at the table without a laptop. Though the notes were easily legible I had written in cursive. Had I realized that Mr. PhD didn’t read cursive or know how to multiply, I would not have bothered.
I had forgotten about this event in my life but in reviewing a year-old post by Seth Godin a few minutes ago, I am now wondering if the younger members of my family, especially the teachers, possess these skills.