Jay Jay is Cray Cray

Sometimes it’s fun to poke at obliviots — especially when they’re truly oblivious to their idiocy.

Today’s example, “Jay Jay” in Ohio, is one of those: so incompetent that he’s sure he’s competent, just as in the True story from 2000 on the Dunning-Kruger Effect (which is a must-read if you haven’t seen it already).

Jay Jay: Dumb Dumb

Anyway, it started with a Premium upgrade. Jay Jay clicked one of the Paypal buttons on the upgrade page, and I know exactly where he clicked it because that is the only place that particular button resides. Here’s the clip from that page this morning, of the “Paypal” section (there’s a “Credit/Debit Card” section below that, which uses True’s own shopping cart):

The button, clearly noting it's through Paypal
I highlighted the “Paypal” notes in that section of the page, but if someone overlooks that, well, here’s the page one lands on after clicking that button:

(Click image to see even larger)

Now, not wanting a Paypal account (that’s fine: not everyone likes them), Jay Jay went to the “Don’t have a Paypal account?” section and put in his personal information, and credit card information, and it was successful. When his order came through, there was this note included, which I saw when I reviewed orders this morning:

Instructions from buyer:

Please DO NOT use Pay Pal on this order. Just use my Visa Credit Card. Thank You. J

Wait… he chose the payment method on a web site, went through the automated, no-human-involved process on Paypal’s web site, and put in a note like that — which can only be seen if the payment goes through?! Well, surely he knew from all those logos that he was on Paypal’s site, which doesn’t look anything like mine, so certainly he knew the choice he made, right?

Written Complaint

Wrong. After I finished reviewing orders, the next thing I found was an “Order Problem” complaint. You guessed it, it was from Jay Jay:

I just subscribed to the Premium Edition ‘Sample’ and noted I DID NOT want to use Pay Pal, but just my regular credit card. Then low and behold, your confirmation says Pay Pal will show on my credit card bill. I’m pretty pissed Randy. I DID NOT want anything to do with Pay Pal. Not a way to start off with a new customer. J

Got that? It’s my fault that he chose to run his order through Paypal! Who did he think was going to process his order when he clicked a Paypal button, went to Paypal’s site emblazoned with their logo and name all over it, and… well, you get the idea.

Oh, and the “Order Confirmation” he received? It wasn’t from me, it was from the processor he chose to run his credit card: Paypal!


I restrained myself from “Firing the client” right then and there — refunding his order and telling him he’s too stupid to be a subscriber. I thought I’d give him the benefit of the doubt and pointed out his error. His response?

I did not knowingly use the Pay Pal area. If your going to be such an @ss, you need to take some chill pills.

So much of giving him benefit of the doubt: he’s fired. Not only can he not be a Premium subscriber, someone who chooses to be abusive over his own mistake isn’t even allowed to be a free subscriber. Life is too short to be abused by an obliviot. Not for 12 bucks, and certainly not for no bucks. He’s been deleted and banned from re-subscribing.

Yes, I chuckled at his obliviocy. He’s so clueless that the only thing you can do is laugh. He’s not the first obliviot to be fired from being one of True’s paying customers, but the coolest thing of all is, this type is the exception, not the norm. I get so many cool letters from awesome readers that I just can’t be upset from the laughably obliviotic readers like Jay Jay. Anything else would be cray cray!

Oh, An Update!

After I informed Jay Jay that he couldn’t upgrade (and refunded his payment), he had something to say about it:

Jay Jay's parting shot: 'Go fuck yourself you pathetic piece of human excrement.'

But he wasn’t done! One minute later, he sent an addendum: “Wouldn’t want your worthless piece of crap newsletter.” — you know, the one he enjoyed so much that he decided to pay for it? And get a load of Jay Jay’s email “signature” in the screen grab: “Prayer: The World’s Greatest Wireless Connection.” Yep, a fine, fine example of Christianity indeed.

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Related Reading

P.S.: I posted the “Unusual Unsubscribes” link to Facebook earlier today, and asked if anyone wanted to see “today’s obliviot.” Thomas in Illinois was first to reply: “Heck, yes! Always like to see just how oblivious some people can be (and, occasionally, see myself in them).” That’s why I take the time to do pages like this once in awhile: not just to say “but this is the exception in a flood of cool email,” but rather because we see ourselves in the stupid actions of people like Jay Jay, and can learn from the exchange. At least, the smart ones can!

– – –

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31 Comments on “Jay Jay is Cray Cray

  1. Someday I will have to quit. Here are my best guesses why:

    1: RIP me.
    2: Happy retirement You.
    3: I end up as the subject matter (much too likely) and have to go hide.

  2. To be honest, I’m not sure what else to say about that. How can a person be so dumb to not realize they’re using PayPal and yet NOT want to use it? Where did he think he was at, [insert company name here]? And to make it worse, he not only blames you, but he has the nerve to report the transaction. Firing the customer seems to be the best and only thing that you could’ve done.

    I just thought of something. I hope this person doesn’t use eBay.

    Fred, your comment is great. I have a feeling Randy won’t retire for some time.

  3. I once was told, in perfect seriousness, by the guy I was chatting with that he should not have to read outside of school, because it’s useless. He had no clue why schools even bothered teaching it, and he flatly refused to waste his time on it outside of school.

    This was in a text format chat room, mind you. Some people are beyond help.

    A pathetic waste. -rc

  4. In my first year as a high school teacher in 1970, I had a senior proclaim to the class the following: “I don’t see why we gotta take English. We don’t never use it.” I smiled and replied that he was correct. It was a bit before another student tried to explain to him that two negatives make a positive. He never got it. I was just glad that I wasn’t an English or Math teacher.

  5. A friend once told me we were outnumbered by obliviots something like 5:1. I think he low balled the number….

    I’ve been a premium subscriber for years and have never had a problem figuring out how to pay [happily I might add]. Keep ’em coming as it provides sanity in an otherwise overly weird world. I just hope I never become one of your subjects!

  6. Oh come on, Randy! Anyone looking at those two pages can clearly see they’re from the same web site — they both have a white background! Just like 70%+ of all web sites that exist! Surely you know Google, Wikipedia and Facebook are all the same site?

    Okay, kidding aside, I could have made that mistake myself ten years ago on a bad day. I’m glad to see you keeping the dividing line between idiot and obliviot alive.

    Hopefully Jay Jay read the Spam Primer at least once first, because checking the site’s address before putting in credit card numbers is important.

    Only 70%? -rc

  7. It would appear there is literally no profession in the world where one cannot encounter people like this. When I worked at the local amusement park (three years ago, and never again!) in a fairly popular food service area, I one day had a man walk up to the “frost top” next to where I was piling pizzas from the oven, look very seriously at all the options, look at me, wait until I looked up and he could catch my eye, point directly at four neatly-arranged side salads on the frost top, and ask, I quote, “Do you have salads?”

    It took every ounce of self-control I possessed not to reply, “No, sir, those are small ornamental shrubbery.”

    Now, thank God, I work in an office and don’t have to deal directly with obliviots. I just have to occasionally stop and stare for a minute at letters from people who insist that writing their names in all capital letters constitutes mail fraud, whose response to fact information sheets is “you don’t need all this information, you’re getting your money, you are a debt collector not my wife”, or who write ONLY JESUS CAN SAVE YOU in the margins of their legal documents and money orders. Which…is not much better, but at least I can bang my head against the wall of my cubicle without offending a customer and costing the company money.

    Also, I feel that altering the punctuation and capitalization of the second half of Jay’s “signature” is an adequate expression of my feelings: Oh, Jesus. When I am weary, upon life’s long journey be thou, my strength, and my perseverance!

    Keep on keepin’ on, Randy.

  8. Your reader was a dunce, of course, and your responses were good ones. But what’s this about his display of Christianity? Many sorts of people besides Christians practice prayer. Why associate them in particular with this obliviot’s screaming exhibition of hypocrisy?

    When one prays to Jesus (aka Christ) in an automatically inserted footer of every email, I’m not sure what other broad religion could apply. If you have alternative suggestions, I’m ready to learn! -rc

  9. That steady rhythm that you are hearing right now is me head hitting the desk over and over.

    My mantra at this moment is…

    “Can it get worse?”

    Since I dabble in disaster planning, I can assure you: it can get much worse! -rc

  10. Was I Bergman in Seattle, I’m afraid I could not have resisted asking the person, “Who is reading this to you?” They do walk among us….

  11. The footer doesn’t shock me; His/her aversion to PayPal is, in context, most likely a counter protest of PayPal’s decision to not build a facility in North Carolina. Jay Jay’s interaction seems as well reasoned as the bill that (may have) inspired it.

  12. I owned a wireless franchise for 20 years and have since sold and semi-retired. Your encounter with Jay Jay reminded me of the handful of customers that I have had to “fire” over the years. Always entertaining and I will never forget the one my staff referred to as “Mr. Wireless Wipes”. Thanks for the reminder.

    They’re fun in their way! -rc

  13. Jay Jay is truly an obliviot — and that is being complimentary to him.

    I found the article on Dunning Kruger effect interesting. The way it applies both ways was amusing. Now when I explain something fairly simple to someone and get the deer in the headlights look, I can think they are just not capable of understanding it. Thanks!

    You’re most welcome! -rc

  14. Try working in a grocery store. You meet all kinds of obliviots. I had one lady ask me if we sold stew meat not cut up. Another wanted to know if we had lobsters that were any fresher (I replied that they were still alive and she was going to kill ’em, how much fresher do you want?) I also worked next to a bookstore. A prospective employee had his girlfriend fill out the application because he did not know how to read.

    Boy, retail is fun.

    The D-K Effect is the opposite of “the more you know the more you don’t know.” Thus: the more you don’t know the more you don’t know you don’t know.

  15. Want to know more about obliviots? Just ask any alert person who deals with the public. DO ask. The rewards will continue. Like this one: The chef at a midnight buffet told me about the lady who asked, “What do you do with the ice sculptures after they melt?”

    Yup! She votes and breeds.

  16. As a former union officer for 19 years I hit the obliviot jackpot with the excuses, reasons, inadvertent humor and semi-coherent ramblings I encountered from some of the members I represented. A woman being terminated for continued poor attendance offered management this explanation for her latest absence: “But I was really sick this last time.” And the other times?

    A field technician in an investigation for a customer complaint informed his supervisors he couldn’t remember because he had a marijuana addiction. Management searched his service truck and found the rest of the joint (marijuana cigarette) he had smoked just prior to the meeting. They fired him for having an illegal substance in his company vehicle on company property and on company time. And he said he didn’t need Union representation. Sigh. What’s worse than an obliviot? An obliviot under the influence.

    But wait, there’s more….

  17. In reply to Roger in Akron, Ohio: I thought the same thing when I first read Randy’s comment, so went back to the screen shot of Jay Jay’s email. The line Randy re-typed was not the whole signature. If someone says something that doesn’t automatically make sense, it is worth taking a second to double check YOU have read everything correctly first.

  18. While this particular would-be-subscriber was clearly a few cards short of a full deck, I think it would be nice if you (Randy) included the text of your messages to the obliviot. We, your critical readers, can’t evaluate his claims of you being an @ss if we don’t know what you said to him.

    If you assume we are automatically on your side in all things, that’s a rather unfortunate display of arrogance.

    I don’t assume a thing: just as I didn’t include everything he said, I summarized what I said to keep the flow going. Unedited transcripts are exceedingly boring, and this site is about “Thought-Provoking Entertainment” rather than boredom. -rc

  19. James, thank you for offering a reason why someone might actually care enough to complain about the use of PayPal. I was wondering what was going on. I could imagine myself not paying much attention while paying, and assuming the “Don’t have a PayPal account” section was the only option for, you know, someone who doesn’t have a PayPal account. I couldn’t imagine actually getting upset about it.

    Of course, if I actually cared, I would pay more attention, so the explanation doesn’t detract from how stupid Jay Jay was being. I wonder if he is reading this page.

    Randy, may I ask how many times have you have fired a customer? I can’t imagine that many obliviots go out of their way to insult you….

    I don’t keep a count, but there are certainly several. OTOH, “several” over 22 years isn’t that many, especially considering the theme of the publication. -rc

  20. I think you overstate your case here. Now, this guy was obviously an @ss in his responses to you, but it looks to me like your website (and PayPal’s) are a bit confusing. For instance, he clicked a button on your website “Four month subscription — buy now” with a bunch of credit card logos under it, not the Paypal logo. Then, on the Paypal website, he chose “I don’t have a Paypal account, pay as a guest”.

    Just because he was an @ass, doesn’t mean he was an idiot. You might consider cleaning up your website user interface so that people who are maybe a little “Internet challenged” don’t get cast a idiots.

    First, I agree that the page leaves something to be desired, but I chose not to do anything about it right away since I didn’t want anyone to think I changed it after the fact and was unfair to Jay Jay. Since my experience shows a majority prefer Paypal for these simple payments, I start with Paypal buttons, and clearly label that section as Paypal …right before the clearly marked credit/debit card section. Still, even if that wasn’t clearly labeled, someone who has major concerns about any payment method should at least look at where they’re entering their credit card information! Or really, everyone should look whether or not they have such concerns: is it a secure site? Is it where you think you should be? And then add the fact that there are eight (EIGHT!) mentions of Paypal on the page. That’s a lot of clues, and Jay Jay had no clue at all. -rc

  21. I hesitate to laugh at obliviots; there’s always that one case of real ignorance or inexperience among the know-it-alls.

    In Jay Jay’s case? S/he is either so angry they can’t see straight… or ‘accidentally’ picked on you to vent some of that pent-up rage/frustration. [Randy: that is one dangerous pressure-cooker! They need professional help PDQ. You’ve probably seen the results in your other line of work. Cave!]

    I have dealt with the public for over 25 years. Sometimes it’s like the old parent-child joke: “What part of “NO” do you not understand?”

    MY best sign-off:

    May your troubles be less,
    May your Blessings be more,
    And may nothing but Happiness
    Come through your door!

  22. The site “Not Always Right” (as in “The customer is…”) has a fine and growing collection of stories of obliviots.

    I like the category title: “Can’t Be THAT Stupid”. Alas yes, they certainly can be. I think I get a much smaller percentage of them owing to my genre. I can’t imagine being support for a larger company that serves the general public…. -rc

  23. The only sad part of this whole affair is that Jay Jay will not be able to see what others think of him, since he wont be getting any more editions.

    It may be for the best. -rc

  24. I wish I had read the story about Jay Jay before I upgraded. I want to be considered his replacement. Great stuff. I was crying.

    A supporting member over an irrational whiner? I’ll take that deal every day. -rc

  25. Seems like a real winner. Makes me wonder what Jesus would think of people like this virtue signaling using his name. Isn’t this the actual meaning of “not taking the lord’s name in vain”?

  26. It is sad that there are so many people that consider themselves Christians yet are oblivious to the fact that they go against many things that are supposed to be basic principles of Christianity.

    So what is the result of their attitude? They drive people away from Christianity, because they “don’t want to be like THAT!” -rc

  27. That’s why I make sure that I triple-check, and even then I miss things! I would never abuse someone over my own mistake, though!

    See, that right there! That’s the difference between thinking and …not. I respect thinkers, and it’s not required that they come to the same conclusion as I do. -rc

  28. At a company I used to work for, we had a policy of letting our competitors win jobs from problem clients.

    I remember one case where a game playing customer (he leaked bids, wanted free concessions and specials, that kind of thing) was furious when our final bid was list price and all specials had price tags. We didn’t win, but the job sank the company who did.

    Diabolical! -rc

  29. When I had my humor newsletter in the 90s with a free email subscription, a woman emailed and asked to unsubscribe. I told her that her address wasn’t in my list.

    She insisted it was because she kept getting my humor newsletter in her email.

    I asked her again and again to send me a copy of what she was receiving, with full headers, so I could trace how she was getting it. She’d refuse and demand I just fix it. She got gradually more abusive and threatening, but I had no idea how to fix it.

    So, you met obliviots in the 90s. You were before your time. -rc

  30. About fifteen years ago I co-edited a textbook on demarketing. Demarketing is the practice of firing customers, but on a mass scale – for example, discouraging stag parties from visiting your city, or weeding out people who find something to complain about in order to get a freebie.

    There should be a way to apply that thinking to stopping obliviots even contacting you, but stupid people turn out to be so ingenious.

  31. A (long ago) former coworker once bragged to us that he hadn’t read a book since high school. I couldn’t help thinking that his proclamation wasn’t the flex he thought it was.


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