People who haven't learned a simple skill

I recently spent 2 days in Niagara Falls (Canadian side), and I encountered a family (man, woman, teenager) who didn’t know how to use an elevator. They kept hitting the button for the floor they were on, rather than the one they wanted to go to. They couldn’t understand why the door kept opening, every time they pressed the button. I actually had to explain it to them. They spoke midwest-U.S. English, didn’t appear to have grown up in some back woods, but somehow missed this particular skill.

I might add that there was also an Amish family in the hotel, and they knew how to use the elevator.

So I’m wondering whether any of you have encounted people (or even yourself) who haven’t learned a simple skill that everyone else seems to have mastered.

I met a normal 14 year old guy who couldn’t tell time on a non digital clock, I know that he takes some pretty hard classes for a 9th grader so I don’t know how he missed telling time on a clock and I know a guy who is 23 and still has to take children’s aspirin because he can’t swallow pills without gagging, no matter how small they are…and finally myself, I only know how to tie my shoes with 2 bunny ears not with one.

I can tell time, but I still can’t tie my shoes. I’ve resigned to wearing velcro and loafers.

One of my college roommates had to be taught how to cook spaghetti!

My husband can’t seem to pick up his worn underwear. Does that count?

Actually, I’ve just had a visit from my 13 year old sister (I’m old enough to be her mother - her very young mother) and she can’t tell time. In fact, she bought a watch down in Chintown because she said she was having trouble with it and wanted to practice reading a clock with hands.

I know that my daughter (age 5 1/2) cannot tie shoes. Neither can any of the children in her class. They’ve grown up with the Velcro straps, zippers and elastic bands that are replacing laces. Granted, she’s known how to work a mouse since she was 18 months old and knows how to find her favorite websites and add new favorites to her folder. She’s been reading for nearly a year and can dance like a star but – should we stay in NYC – I bet she won’t learn how to drive.

Things change. Our grandparents are (mostly) obsolete and “basic skills” are no longer skills. When was the last time you churned butter? Or spun yarn? Or even grew your own corn? What were once “basic skills” have been outsourced.

Time marches on.

I can’t cook spaghetti,unless you can just throw it in a microwave and heat it. Is that how it’s done?


Jf fast food dies, I die.

I know a woman who’s had a computer on her desk (and actually uses daily) for 5 years. She still cannot select, copy and paste text… She cannot find any file she’s worked on if if falls off the “recently opened” list in her program.

My evil sister is completely incapable of spending less than or equal to the amount of money that she earns.

When I worked in a movie, I had to teach a 15 year-old girl how to use a broom.

I can’t throw a baseball without looking like a 6 year old girl. I just don’t understand the arm action.

While in HS working a summer job installing hot tubs, I had to explain to an MD how a pump works. Still can’t believe it.

I love you, Sue. Not in any stalkerish or flirtacious way; I just like how you sometimes distill a thought. Well put.

I can tell time on a non-digital clock, but I have to think about it if the watch has lines or dots in place of the numbers. Like my watch. It’s not so bad when it’s just me I’m checking the time for, but it makes me look kinda dumb as I try to think and tell someone what time it is when asked. More often then not if I just glance, I’m an hour off.

My brother cannot cook anything. Or use the microwave. He starves if he is home alone for the day. He will screw up the simplest of things in the kitchen.

This thread makes me want to plug in my rotary phone.

A couple years back, I went to broadcasting school. We were learning basic radio DJ techniques, and we came across a student in my class who was eighteen years old and had never used a turntable. Made the rest of us feel a bit elderly, to be honest.

I have recently mastered tying my shoes, but I still have a very difficult time cutting any food tougher than a pancake. My right-handed parents were completely unable to teach their severely lefty daughter how to do anything. I have set myself a goal to be able to cut my own steak by age thirty.

Clearly, these were space aliens who had taken possession of human hosts. Since you apparently did not slaughter them immediately, we are all doomed, as it is now certainly too late to stop the invasion. Goodbye, everybody.



medieval recreationist here, i took a sheep and turned its wook into a garment from start to finish including making the vessel to wash the wool and dye it in, foraged the wild onions for the skins to dye it, rendered sheep fat and wood ash into soap, made a warpweighted look, and drop spindle to process the wool, and used bone to make a needle to sew it together with. Granted it was 8 years ago but I could do it tomorrow [if i had another sheep. I suppose I could go to the farm on the corner of my road and steal a sheep…]Next silly question :smiley:

And I would grow my own veggies, but I unfortunately have a black thumb,I can kill an air fern. But we do have a spectacular bed of wild asparagus that we harvest every spring, and wild grapes that we pick for a friend to make wine with, and mulberrys to brew metheglin with, and raise our own chickens=)

Lets start simple. Do you know how to boil water?

I don’t know how to catch a bus from one place to another. I mean, I see the basic “wait at the stop, get on, sit, get off”, but I don’t understand how people know what bus to catch. Then, do you pay when you get on? Do you need exact change? How much does it cost? Do you put your money in a machine or is the driver like a cashier? When does the bus come?

I’m really not retarded, it’s just something I’ve never had occasion to do. If I had to, I suppose I could call someone and embarrass myself by asking. I tend to avoid new experiences because I don’t want to look stupid not knowing these things. I can probably add more to this thread, but that’s enough of my ignorance for now!

One time as I wandered past the kitchen, one of my college roommates said, “Hey, Pod, can I ask you a question?” Clutching a box of Mac ‘n’ Cheese, he pointed at a vigorously bubbling pot of water on the stove and said, “That’s boiling, right?”

I have no idea how to cook rice without a rice steamer. I tried once in college and it was a disaster - and I was appropriately mocked.

Of course, I have no desire to cook rice w/o a rice steamer. (which helps) That’s what they’re for…and my rice turns out better, anyway.