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Inept, or genius?

I’m having a hard time figuring out if people I know are playing stupid, or if it isn’t an act. My Dad did this. I have two coworkers who do this. Are they really inept, or just acting like it to get out of doing work?

How much of this is learned helplessness? If you act helpless, people won’t ask you to do anything. My Dad used it all the time, and my Mom fell for it. Well, until she had to be the breadwinner because he was unemployed. Then he had to learn how to wash the dishes and the laundry. Then he was miserable. He complained. He whined. He even sang spirituals about “Washing off his chains”. She ignored him, because she couldn’t do it all and he was at home doing nothing productive.

Laying around on your recliner listening to Beethoven doesn’t count. If only she’d ignored him for years earlier. Maybe he would have grown up.

So I’m trying to tell my coworkers to not let these other coworkers get away with being “inept”. Maybe they really are inept. Maybe they really are stupid. But then, how did they get Master’s degree in library science? How do they run a household? They aren’t in an institution, and that degree has their name on it. Time for them to live up to it. If everybody else does their job for them, then really, they are genius.

They have figured out how to get paid to do nothing. And how to get someone else who gets paid less to do twice as much.

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