People are sheep?

When something out of the ordinary takes place most people just sit and wait for somebody else to do something, kind of like a flock of sheep.
Example: I was in a car at a stoplight when the light malfunctioned and showed red in every direction. After a couple of minutes it was obvious that the signal wasn’t working, but no-one would go anywhere. I finally talked the driver of our carpool into driving through the red-light, by promising to pay her ticket. After we went other people decided they could go too and everyone treated the intersection as if it had 4 stop signs.
Example 2: A guy at work accidentally sliced his leg with a box cutter. Five people including the guy who was injured, stood there watching him bleed. I had to ask someone to move so I could get to the first aid kit and bandage the guy up. I drove him to the ER where he got 5 stiches.
So anybody have a people are sheep story to share?

I’m at Blockbuster Video. There are three checkout registers - only one is open. There is a line of about 4 people, and I’m at the end of it. There are no other customers in the store. Two other employees are standing around near the other registers with their dicks in their hands, doing fuck-all. The woman operating the register for my line screws something up and calls over the other two employees to help her. Both of them look like dumber, fatter versions of Napoleon Dynamite. These three Blockbuster commandos are blubbering over this one register, while 4 people wait in line and 2 other registers could potentially be open.

I hate that fucking place.

Wanna know the secret to being the first person out of a theater, no matter how full it is and where you’re sitting? As soon as the movie ends, stand up, and walk straight towards the exit. Don’t look to your left, don’t look to your right, don’t look around to see what everyone looks like. Just stand up, and walk towards the exit. It works for me every time.

Even if the action is something as simple as walking out of a room for a reason as simple as the movie being over, the majority of people in any theater simply don’t feel comfortable being the first person to start heading out if there’s a large number of people around. They want to see someone else move first to let them know its ok. And then they start griping about how slow everyone is moving :rolleyes: .

So remember, the next time the movie is over:

  1. Stand up.
  2. Walk straight towards the exit.

You’ll be amazed.

I’ve found this also works for church services, sporting events, and school classes. Fell free to try it elsewhere. I don’t walk much faster than anyone else, but I’m almost always the first person out of any event involving a large number of people.

But I like to watch the credits - in fact, this means I suffer from this phenomenon in reverse, because everybody else leaving makes whoever I’m with want to leave!

Then you miss all the credits?! Don’t be a sheep, stay and watch the credits.

Hmm…if I third the credits comment, does that make me sheeple? (For me it’s more about listening to the credit music and feeling the last vestiges of whatever the movie made me feel before I jump back into “the real world”.)

A similar bane is those evil people who start clapping before the last notes of a song at a concert. Bastards. The song doesn’t end until there’s a moment or two of silence, dammit! But one person starts and then all the sheep start, and I can’t hear the last notes and it totally breaks the moment. Just slow down and experience the WHOLE artistic vision, mmm’kay?

I, too, am one of the “leaders” that doesn’t understand the flock. Example: I remember leaving a church with mom one day. There was one door open to let everyone out. Everyone was filing through the single door. When we got to the set of doors, I pushed open the second one and the stream suddenly had a better flow out. Mom turned to me with a smile on her face and said, “I never would have thought to do that!”

A good example came out of a work “environment day”. (this being code for “clean up 5 years of accumulated office crap”). This was not an ad-hoc event - senior management had lovingly planned everything that had to be done, starting off with a briefing session for team representatives. Somehow, I was nominated as the gofer from our team who went to be instructed on how to throw things out. In the eyes of the team, this made me the Guy In Charge (people can be quite keen to be sheep).

So at one point, I made a small pile of ring-binders and uttered what I later realised were rigid and binding instructions that all similar ring-binders were to be piled up there.

(I admit I grossly underestimated just how many useless ring-binders were lying around that office.)

I came back 20 minutes later to find a small mountain of ring-binders. What had been a neat pile had suffered a series of landslides; it was now a disgrace to the term “heap”. Pedro was throwing binders on to this pile, which slipped further with each binder thrown. “You know” he says to me, hurling binders at this disintegrating agglomeration, “you really should make a new pile - this one is just a mess.” Throw, throw, throw went Pedro. Slip, spill, sprawl went the heap. “There’s just too many binders to pile up here - they’re going everywhere” he added, demonstrating his point by continuing to drop binders on the spreading avalanche.

He’d noticed the problem. He’d identified the solution. But dammit, he was going to keep making a mess, because only I could designate a new ring-binder pile. I, you see, was the Guy In Charge.

Later I thought, “I bet I do this all the time”.

I hope this doesn’t make me seem like a “me too~er” … but I can’t stand it when I see situations like the one-door out of church situation. I have to open the other door. People are ALWAYS standing around waiting for someone to do something. So I generally do it.

Is it “leadership” qualities? Am I just outgoing? I am outgoing, but just how much of an extrovert do you have to be to walk over and open a door?

Sometimes it’s just taking the initiative and the rest follow. Two recent examples: at work on and off for several years we’ve been doing yoga at lunch. After having a baby, I was ready to start yoga again, but no class was currently running. There were several people interested in taking a class, but nobody took the small step of calling the teacher and getting it organized. Now that I HAVE done that, people are all willing to help with all the details.

Second example: I get together with my high school friends every summer for a weekend with all our families. We meet in our hometown, where several of the friends still live. We stay in touch via an email group. When does the date get picked and finalized? When I get sick of waiting for someone else to just say “August 11” or something. It’s not that hard. Propose a date, and let’s go from there. But no. Everyone waits for me.

I don’t mind taking charge. I like to organize things and figure it all out. I like it a hell of a lot more than WAITING for someone else to get off their butt and move. It just amazes me that no one else does!

The incident from the OP really bothers me. A bunch of people stood there and let someone bleed?? I don’t understand this at all.

Now, I admit, I have had some minor medical training. 20 years ago I took the training and became an EMT, and volunteered with an ambulance service for two years. But this was not my career and I let my certification lapse. But even so, I don’t need advanced life support training to run get a towel and hand it to someone who’s gushing blood!

A couple years ago I was in Wal-Mart and a woman was near collapse. It turned out she was diabetic and her blood sugar had bottomed out. People streamed by her, never noticing. I rushed to her aid, directing people to call 911 and go get some orange juice. Now, I remembered a little of what to do, but ANYONE could have gone to her and called 911 on their cell phone. Are they so unaware or unconcerned??


Hal, stop looking at me like that…

Well, I had the over/under at four posts for this thread, so at least we’re getting better.

Y’know, I didn’t even THINK about it this time until LOUNE’s post. I’m losing my touch, I tell ya!



People don’t look at the screens. I don’t understand it, but people so “zero in” on what they know that they ignore what is… well, visible. A typical exchange…

I’m in Windows Explorer, with “Folders” view turned on. To those of you who don’t use WE on XP, it’s a whopping big icon that typically shows up in the top-center of the screen (depending upon settings, of course).
“Hey, I like how you have all your folders displayed out there like that. How’d you do that?”
“I clicked this button.”
“Wow! I’ve never noticed that before.” Whereupon, Mr. Sheeple will go back to their computer and revel in his newfound power, all the while never looking at the other icons and menu selections.


The amount of people who don’t know about right-clicking astounds me. Didn’t they even ask themselves “what does this do?”?

Back when I had to fly Southwest down to Houston a whole lot, I got to the airport one Friday to learn that my flight had been canceled and I’d been rebooked on a later flight. No problem, work was over for the week, and I had a couple of good books to read. So, I sat down at the empty gate, four hours before my flight, and started to read.

I’m a bit oblivious while reading.

Next I looked up, there were over a dozen people, neatly and patiently lined up behind me, waiting for a plane that wasn’t going to board for hours.

I stared at them. They stared back, rather blankly. I made an exaggerated pantomime of looking at the flight information, posted right above our heads. Nada. Finally, “Um, you all do realize that I’m just reading my book – I’m not waiting to board a plane?”

Took about ten minutes of arguing with people to convince them to go find their actual flights.

An hour later, I had another line formed up. I just kept reading my book.

I’m sorry. It’s very very very old for you. You’re also a very very vert good sport about it.

I…I’ve just…I’ve just gotta pick on it. I hope you understand.

I thought this thread was going to be about the people who stood by and watched a carjacker beat an elderly man. The video was on the news today, but I can’t find a link.

Given the sheep nature of people it’s best you don’t post it. Else we’ll all be out beating old men by the end of tomorrow.

I once described my position on this matter to my Father in Law.
“I have no great desire to lead but with so many stupid people around I feel the need to. Else I just know it’s not gonna get done right”

He called me ‘The son he’d never had’ as a result so he guess he felt the same way.

My point is it’s a common problem for people who are smarter than average. Is this due to the design of modern society? Or has it always been the same with our species ? That’s a whole other thread.

A friend of mine plays, among other instruments, the Celtic harp, and quite beautifully too. Once at one of her concerts, she ended a song with a single plucked note that seemed to go on forever. It must have lasted at least a minute, and the audience (pretty small, maybe 20 people) just listened raptly. I think we were all just trying to see how long it would last. It finally faded away, and only after the sound had been gone for a few seconds did anyone begin to applaud. It was a magical experience that I’ll never forget.

Baaaaaa . . . :smack: I’m forever switching to Folders view in Explorer, cursing every time that I can’t set it as the default. Thanks for saving me a few clicks. (In my defense, I’ve had XP only since last August.)

On the other hand, I occasionally need to explain (or re-explain :smack: ) to people like my mother what right-clicking is for. It never fails that when I give them any instructions after that, they ask, “Right-click or left-click?” What did I JUST SAY right-clicking is for? That’s right, OPENING THE POP-UP MENU. You’re already in the pop-up menu. You’re trying to choose an item. Why the hell would you right-click? <BANG HEAD HERE>