People who haven't learned a common skill

I started a thread like this several years ago, and it was fun. Rather than unearthing a zombie, I decided to start a new thread.

The example I gave in the old OP was: I was in an elevator, and there were people who didn’t know how to use it. They seemed to be a family. They got on, and kept hitting the button for that floor, rather than their destination floor. Of course every time they hit the button the doors would open again. I had to teach them what button to push.

What common skill do you (or people you’ve encountered) lack?

Cell phones. I don’t have one. I still am trying to find the dial tone :slight_smile:

My wife doesn’t know how to ride a bicycle.

I also don’t know how to ride a bike.

I have friends who live in apartment buildings who have intercoms. I swear every time I ring a bell it’s either 'WHOISIT? WHOISIT? WHOISIT?" With like no time to answer. Or I get buzzed in right away.

My brother, who is 29, can’t drive a stick shift. May be a generational thing…

I don’t know how to ride a bike, swim, or tie my shoes other than in the “rabbit ears” way. I can drive a little, but am too scared to take the driving test. Yeah, I’m pretty much lacking in common skills. At least I can cook.

I can’t blow bubbles with gum. Every time I try, I spit the gum out. I also can’t whistle or snap my fingers. I’m not sure if these things count as skills, though.

Yeah, I don’t even think that counts as uncommon any more; I can’t drive one (and I’m over 40), and I’d bet at least half of my coworkers can’t, either.

MOST people I know can’t drive a stick shift. And I’m over 40. As for not knowing how to drive at all … that’s often choice or just not a needed skill where one lives, i.e., NYC. That’s no where near not knowing how to use an elevator.

When I was in college I had a work-study job in a pub in the student center. Some of the kids who worked there didn’t need the money for school, just extra pocket money. One of the guys I worked with didn’t know how to sweep the floor with a broom; I had to teach him.

I saw a guy getting the local public pool ready, sweeping the grounds with a push broom. He was raking it across himself like a regular broom. I can’t imagine how much more work he made for himself.

Wait, you had a pub in your student center? Where was this?

And Lucky 13, what’s the “rabbit ears” way of tying shoes? I only know of one way to tie shoes, and I’m not sure if it’s the same way or not. The way I do it, you basically tie a square knot, except that on the second overhand, you use the loops of the laces rather than the ends.

I’m another who can’t swim.

It seems to me that a lot of people under the age of 30 don’t know how to make change without a cash register or calculator. Playing Monopoly with such people is pure torture.

I dunno about Claire but my college student center had a pub in it. Why? Is this unusual? he asked smirkingly.

If its just people, then refugees can need help with all sorts of things, and orientation to their accommodation and the country in general is quite important.

As in stoves, taps(particularly about hot water), locks - tons of things.

For me its the video recorder, I am the stereotype and my partner does them. I think my years in IT just make it too irritating to want to learn it, the interfaces are just so bad.


I’m 28 and I’ve never driven. Everyone I tell is just utterly mystified. I don’t tell anyone anymore because I know I’ll be assailed by a barrage of incredulous questions as my companion battles manfully with the realisation that it’s possible to live in England without a car.Countdown to the first American to say “If you lived in my area, you’d have to have a car” 3…2…1…

When I was nineteen, I started working at a Chinese takeout place. When the boss lady asked me, “do you know how to mop?” she gave me the most grateful and amazed look when I said “uh, yeah. It’s a mop.” I still wonder how many people she’s had to teach this to.

I’ve never worked in an office, so I am seriously lacking in that skill set. I don’t even know what it is I can’t do. I also don’t know the correct terminology for the things I can do.

I can’t roll my Rs. My husband thinks it’s pretty funny to watch me try, though.

I also don’t know how to snap my fingers.

  • Can’t drive a stick shift.
  • Can’t drive on a highway. Can’t drive ONTO a highway, it terrifies me! (I don’t even like being a passenger in a car on a highway.) I just say, ‘sorry, no can do - I freeze up at the wheel’. Case closed.
  • Putting off buying a trac phone because I don’t know how to make it go. I’ve seen it done, but I need someone to supervise my first attempt
  • Can’t swim.

I’m 29 and I can’t drive.