Which is worse: stupidity or malice?

I don’t want to get into an endless quibbling session over the words “worse” or “bad,” so I’ll decline offering my own definition here. You know what comes to mind when you hear the word “bad,” so ask yourself which is worse, more bad if you will, between stupidity and malice. For a while, I thought I’d answered this question, but I’ve recently had to work with two people who have forced me to reevaluate my answer to this question. One is a horrendous cunt, and the other is just goddamn retarded*.

The Horrendous Cunt, hereinafter referred to as HC, is a 55-year-old seventh grader who, once she decides she doesn’t like you, makes deliberate efforts to make your job harder and relishes in it. This isn’t “Is the bitch tryna start something?” paranoia on my part; HC is truly horrible, does this to several people, everyone is well aware of it, and it’s just allowed because…? Oh, I’ll tell you why. One person who she unleashes her cuntitude on asked me, “Why does she get away with it?” Well, because the old whore has been working for the company since before I was born. Seriously, precisely 3.5 years before I was born, the enormous bitch took her first job at the company. The best (worst?) part is her victims aren’t necessarily worthy. Two of them (and just so we’re clear, I’m not including myself in this two) are among the sweetest people in the office. These same two people, now that I think about it, were reduced to tears likely because they’re sweet young girls who have not been so thoroughly abused on the job before, and didn’t know how to respond to this kind of lunacy from someone who is suppose to be some sort of an authority figure. She’s a senior, for fuck’s sake, but her behavior would suggest she was a temperamental 14 year old working her first summer job. This woman is an epic cunt, and I have half a mind to edit this post to refer to her as EC, but once I’m typing, I don’t edit.

The Fucking Retard, or FR, for the most part means well, but she’s so useless at her job that I can barely stand it. I get so irritated by having to explain everything to her over and over and over again that at times my rage is just barely beneath the surface. She is incapable of making a decision, which kind of sucks considering that’s a large part of, oh, our entire fucking job. I grow mad that every time I have to work with FR, she gets all mousy and stupid about anything that isn’t exactly what she’s used to dealing with. It’s as though she’s an extremely brain-damaged lab rat who can only recognize the most basic of patterns, and any deviation, no matter how minuscule, throws her whole brain into overload. Her manager practically does her job for her. If she’s confused, she stops the entire train, and needs to ask eight levels of management about every fucking typo on a document. It’s gotten to the point that often when she has a question, I don’t even bother to answer, and just bypass all her shit directly to someone who isn’t stupid as fuck. If I give her an answer, she gets all squeamish and needs to verify that everything is okay with the gods. And it’s not just me. It’s not that she doesn’t trust my answers specifically; she doesn’t trust anyone’s answers, and is so scared about being held accountable for any decision she makes, that if anything is even scarcely out of the ordinary, she directly phones God herself to ask if it’s okay. If you try to explain your reasoning to her, she’s either too scared to commit to it, or she plain doesn’t get it. I’ve never seen so many blank stares in my life.

So I ask myself, once again, which is worse: stupidity or malice? The answer is: whichever one is annoying the living shit out of me at the time.


*I said retarded. Suck it.

You are mixing your criteria a bit: better/worse and tolerable/intolerable. I vote that malice is worse because it is deceitful, but a tiny bit of malice is more tolerable than a boatload of stupid. The degree of the quality is the quantity that tips the tolerability scale.

No, no, I realize they’re different things. This was half poll, half I just need to bitch about work. My answer is I can tolerate stupidity more easily than I can malice, but I’m not sure which is a worse quality for a person to have.

Malice is worse because it’s deliberate. Stupid is something a person can’t help and they might be giving their best effort, it’s just not good enough.

All right, fine, malice is worse than stupidity, but goddamn they both piss me off something fierce at work.

Malice is worse because they do it on purpose; it’s not the way they were born. Extreme stupidity is as intolerable as malice (if you can’t do a job, you need to not be in that job), but malice is worse.

Are we going to distinguish between plain old stupidity and willful ignorance (or stupidity)?

If not, I’ll go with malice, because of intent. But willful ignorance chaps my hide pretty well too.

Willful ignorance/learned helplessness chap my hide, too. I’d put those up there with malice, because, like you say, the intent. They want someone else to do all the work for them so they make a point of not learning anything.

Malice=intent to harm.

It’s the two in combination that are particularly bad.

Well, which is worse: strangling 20 hookers to death because you like the sounds of their screams; or being the ruler of a country and accidentally starving 20 million of your countrymen to death because you ordered the farmers to grow export crops instead of grain, only it doesn’t work because you have an entirely wrong climate for growing the new crops?

Malice is worse.

Which is (pseudo-objectively) “worse”? – I’ll go with “malice.”

Stupidity, however, pisses me off more because

  1. You can’t change Teh Stupid
  2. You can’t fight back… just feel sorry.
  3. You can’t even quit the game… :slight_smile:

Since option 3 says both “infuriating” (annoying) and “horrible” (bad) – I’ll have to go with it :smiley:

I say malice is worse. Of course it’s a matter of degree, but I deal with a lot of stupid people in my job, and a handful of malicious people. At least the stupid people tend to be nicer.

I’d need to know more about the hookers, and just how appealing the sounds of their screams were.

I picked stupid, just because it’s everywhere.

(…and because I made a boo-boo hitting the button.)

Malice is worse. Of course.

But I actually have pity for dumb people, because…well because I dropped out in the 7th grade. At work sometimes, when there are new systems to learn, I feel exposed for my extreme ignorance! Sometimes they do indeed have to go over it several times before I grasp it. The little GED and business school stuff I have taken is no replacement for the kind of good thinking patterns one picks up in high school. So yeah. I pity the fools.

I’m going to go against the trend and stay stupidity.

Purely from the perspective of dealing with coworkers’ malice/stupidity I have a better shot of predicting the actions of a non-idiot out to get me and defend against it. Stupid coworkers have and no doubt will continue to come up with amazing new ways to mess up my job that I can’t forsee.

This is very true. Stupidity can totally blindside you, even when you’re expecting it.

I was knocked off my ass about two weeks ago by something FR said to me. I thought I had been transported to a parallel universe for a moment. *Did she just… did she really just walk over to me and say…? No way. No fucking way. Unbelievable. *It was surreal.