Comedian Ron White has made a career out of telling people, “You can’t fix stupid.” And it seems that some people are destined to prove his point every single day. I found and shared a photo on Facebook the other day that certainly drives that point home. Rather than describe it for you, I can simply post it here as well.

Idiot on ledge

Now, that image probably doesn’t need much narrative, but for the benefit of those who listen to this post via our voiceover service, let me describe it for you. It is an idiot standing on the two-inch ledge of a high-rise building, holding on to the narrow window frame with one hand and washing the window with the other. 

If we provide a bit more analysis, we will note that he is standing in his bare feet, giving him much less stability from a footing perspective. We can also notice the bottle of window cleaner, perched precariously on the ledge next to him. It is hard to tell exactly how high off the ground he is, but I would guess it is 15 stories or so, at least. We could also ask ourselves how he manages to reach that bottle, as it is not easily accessible given his position with the hand that is keeping him held to the side of the building.

If either he or the bottle should fall off that building, that could leave quite a mark on anyone unfortunate enough to be below him. 

It is quite possible the photo is staged; that he simply climbed out there to pretend to wash the window. It really doesn’t matter. Whether it was a stunt, or he is the King of OCD, we can likely all agree that it is a stupid maneuver. And when you really think about it, this guy undoubtedly works for somebody somewhere, and he brings that same stunning intellect to the job with him every day. What a lucky employer they are. 

At the end of the day, you can try to supervise stupidity, you can try to regulate stupidity, and you can try to legislate stupidity. You can even insure against stupidity. But the one thing you cannot completely do is avoid stupidity. 

And I suppose the jobs of some of us in workers’ comp actually are dependent on stupidity. 

I suppose the lesson here is, when it comes to workplace safety and injury avoidance, assume nothing. Don’t just believe people will act with common sense and judicious behavior. Ask yourself, if left to their own devices, would they be candidates for the latest Jackass movie? If the answer is anywhere near “yes,” then supervise accordingly. 

The stupid are out there, and they walk and work among us. And there is just no easy fix for that.

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