Socially Retarded

Yesterday, on my way out of the testing center, a young man stopped me and asked, "Hey, do you need employment?" To which I answered, "No, I’ve got a job, thanks."

"Well, if you sell these alarm systems over the summer you can make thousands!" Sorry folks, thousands just doesn’t do it for me (maybe millions) let alone alarm systems. So I replied, "I’m really not interested." But he continued.

"We’re having a meeting this Thursday to get started. Here, let me give you my phone number." Before I could say anything, he was writing down his number.

"By the way, do you have any friends who’d be interested in this?" he asked.

"You know, I don’t know… Listen-" I replied between his breaths only to be interrupted.

"How many friends do you think?" he said while writing the rest of his address, yup, that’s right, he gave me his address for the big "meeting." He continued with, "Now, I’ll only give this to you [the phone number /address] if you promise to call me."

I wasn’t sure what to say, so I muttered a "well, we’ll see."

"O.k., great, I’ll see you at the meeting! Take it easy, man."

Finally! I was on my way to my car and started thinking, was he mentally retarded? No, not really. He was in good physical shape and spoke fairly well. Well then, what was it? I concluded that it was a severe case of "social retardation." Now, I’m sure there’s a much more elegant way of putting it. I don’t want to make fun of this guy; I actually felt quite sorry for him as I walked to my car.

We’ve all had our episodes of social retardation whether it be the telling of a joke that really wasn’t funny or a misunderstanding that led to embarrassment. But there are those I come across occasionally (like yesterday) who just have such consistency with this issue. I feel sad because I want to do something to help, but what?

Comments

  1. Bob Caswell says:

    Just minutes after writing this post, I noticed the irony of how closely related my example is to that of an overly excited missionary trying to share the gospel on a doorstep…

  2. a random John says:

    Speaking of over-excited and socially awkward, Super Dell was arrested recently. The instant I heard that I just knew he had pulled a gun on somebody.

  3. D. Fletcher says:

    He’s not socially-retarded. He’s a salesman. He’s focused on the sale (of selling you on the idea of becoming a salesman). It’s the best kind of salesman, the one who doesn’t care about the product at all, just the sale.

  4. Bob, remember the ABCs of Glengarry Glen Ross: Always Be Closing!

  5. Bob Caswell says:

    D.-

    That’s an interesting observation with which I’m going to have to disagree. I don’t think he is “the best kind salesman” at all. His tactic will only work when he meets people who are like him. The best kind of salesman is one who makes the customer feel comfortable, one who recognizes the environment around him/her and quickly adapts. Those that ignore everything but the one-size-fits-all approach are only going to sell to those people who fit that fairly limited size.

    But the question here is slightly different. This man seemed sincerely oblivious. He actually thought I was coming to the meeting! And the whole bit about me having to promise? It could be something I want at a bargain price and the sale still wouldn’t have been made. In short, if being the “best” salesperson means sacrificing any traces of decent human interaction, then I think these same “best” salespersons are socially retarded.

  6. Bob, tell me that you truely didn’t think of the missionary connection untill after you wrote the post. The recruitment of RMs to sell pest control and other sundry services is legendary at BYU. I guess it is like the dark side of the force.

  7. Bob Caswell says:

    J.-

    The dark side of the force? That’s it!

  8. D. Fletcher says:

    You may be right, Bob (about good salesman having some level of social dysfunction). But study after study suggests that salesman who are focused on the sale, not the product or the customer, are overall the most successful. People in info-commercials aren’t even talking directly to a customer — they don’t know you and don’t care. The customer gets sucked in before they even know it — that’s the idea, anyway. Wasn’t there some experiment in the Church of proselytizing and baptizing some new members in 24 hours? It’s the same principle.

    The guy who talked to you got his phone number in your hand and walked away in the space of less than a minute. If he could do that with 50 people a day, perhaps 2 of them would actually come to the meeting, which will put him ahead of the other “salesmen.” You see? It’s volume sales. If he spent more time with you, he’d alienate you more and succeed even less.

  9. Bob Caswell says:

    I wonder if retention of pest control customers is as much of a problem as retention of members of the Church…

  10. I wonder if retention of pest control customers is as much of a problem as retention of members of the Church…

    I literally laughed out loud.

  11. Bob, will you protect your home against termites by signing a contract with Terminix today?

  12. Bob Caswell says:

    Sure, Steve, there’s a money-back guarantee, right? If all goes well, you should get the sale and I’ll get some free service. Baseball baptism anyone?

  13. Please, Steve, a little BRT first.

  14. You should go to the meeting on Thursday and be as disruptive as possible. When he tries to throw you out, tell him that you didn’t want to come anyway, but he insisted. Then continue being obnoxious.

    That’s what I do when telemarketers call- I harass them until they hang up on me.

  15. HL Rogers says:

    Jordan, why does that not surprise me!! :)

  16. By harass,I mean that as they speak I think of tons of questions about the product, most of which they can never answer because they are just reading from a computer screen.

    The point is to make them feel as idiotic as possible, take up their time so they don’t bother other people (aren’t I a selfless one), and hopefully make them quit by the end of the night out of frustration and despair. All without raising my voice, directly insulting them, or swearing.

    I also tend to do the same with door-to-door sales types, but only if my wife is not around. (She doesn’t like it…)

  17. (Perhaps I should say- that’s what I often wish I would do, and only occasionally actually do.

    Don’t worry- I’m usually only mean to telemarketers in my imagination…)

  18. Mark B. says:

    Funny, Jordan, maybe your wife is trying to teach you something . . .

    When I was at BYU, the big summer job (make thousands!) was bible selling. Sort of like Ryan and Tatum in Paper Moon. A friend from high school, a class guy, no less, invited me to come to a meeting, so I did, just to be polite. I sat through the introduction, and then had a hard time breaking away. I felt like the last sane man at an Amway convention. Egads!

  19. I tried posting recently about my own social backwardness on my personal blog, but couldn’t bring myself to actually detail the dorkiness I exhibited. It’s probably all blown out of proportion in my mind but believe me, I’m a dork in social situations.

  20. Susan, that’s impossible.

  21. There is a young mother in our ward who is a bit odd, but kind-hearted. She tries so hard to make friends, but people, including me, avoid becoming too enmeshed with her because it seems like it will be high maintenance. I feel really sorry for her.

  22. Afraid not, Steve. My acheivements in the realm of dorkiness is exceeded only by that of my parents.

  23. D. Fletcher says:

    I’m waiting for the thread that suggests everyone who blogs is socially dysfunctional or retarded. Yes, that’ll be an interesting day!

  24. I thought about implying that but decided it would be too dorky.

  25. Bob Caswell says:

    Thanks for all the comments!

    annegb says, “There is a young mother in our ward who is a bit odd, but kind-hearted. She tries so hard to make friends, but people, including me, avoid becoming too enmeshed with her because it seems like it will be high maintenance. I feel really sorry for her.”

    She describes exactly the type of person I’m talking about and/or the reaction I often feel. It’s more than just sales pitch happy people; it can be a real problem (though admittedly, joking about it is a great form of escapism even if it leaves me right where I was when I originally posted).

  26. Bob, was this at BYU? ‘Cause I think I saw that same guy and had exactly the same conversation!

  27. I’m always really nice to telemarketers and door-to-door salesmen (or missionaries). I feel sorry for these yutzes (a lot of us were them for two years after all). Telemarketing is an exceedingly crappy job — yea it’s crappiness exceeds all that is crappy. I usually politely explain to the telemarketer up front that I’m not going to buy anything, then I ask them how they have been treated so far on other calls that day. They often explain how they have had ups and downs but they always appreciate a kind voice on the line…

    Anyway, people usually only take those exceedingly crappy jobs because that can’t find anything better.

    The sad part is that like the social retard Bob ran into, they usually suck at selling too. The whole situation is sad. But I figure these poor folks are the ones that the scriptures call “the least of these my brethen” so I try to be careful. I suspect it’s the people that are easy to kick (like low-end, crappy salesmen) that we ought to try extra hard not to kick.

  28. Bob Caswell, this guy wasnt socially retarded, he was manipulating you, or at least trying to manipulate you into doing what he wanted you to do. He talked, you listened. You talked, he ignored you. He made his impression, and promptly forgot you existed. You were steamrollered. If anyone could make thousands of dollars doing nothing, anyone would do it and there wouldnt be weasels like him pressing the flesh to get people to participate because theyd be too busy beating people back with sticks.

    D. Fletcher, it is self-evident the more time you spend online, the less time you are pursuing substantive social interaction with real humans, not virtual people poorly represented in 2D. There are people on the bloggosphere who spend hours a day pretty much every day online, arguing about nothing and/or posing questions to which they do not want answers. The interface is also appealing to anyone who has difficulty with direct social interaction, so its naturally a good fit, and therefore a draw. I’m not suggesting it, as there is no need to. It is obvious to anyone who is paying attention. Most people are too polite or conflict averse to say it, and tautologies are not informative. Although they do make for late night comedy fodder.

  29. Bob Caswell (author of Socially Retarded post),

    I have to agree with Kurt in that I don’t think the guy that tried to solicit you was socially retarded or his actions (albeit your obvious disinterest) justify him being dubbed as such. I think such interactions are common and as Kurt mentioned, merely the product of an open market economy where ppl are trying to pitch stuff all the time. I actually commend the guy for putting so much effort into pitching a sale to you despite your continued efforts to reject his solicitation. Although it may not be the most effective approach, at least he is out and about as opposed to just doing nothing. No offense, but after reading your post, I’m still trying to get the gist or substance of the whole thing, in particular, determining how you conclude that he was socially retarded. But given my ineptness here, maybe I’m the socially retarded one.

  30. Bob Caswell says:

    Geoff J,

    I don’t want the contents of my post to be attributed to telemarketers, as they fit into a completely different category (in my mind, at least). Telemarketers usually get paid by the hour and are doing their job because it’s a job. When I speak with them, they are usually conscious of my reactions and feelings even if reading from a screen most of the time. But when a face-to-face salesperson is working almost exclusively on commission and uses a strategy of manipulation and completely ignores any communication coming from the other person… But my example obviously didn’t do a very good job of stressing that it was just an example, not a definition of what constitutes a socially retarded person. It’s just that in my experience, people who fit this salesperson description can’t necessarily separate their sales pitch life from their regular life. There’s quite a bit of overlap causing said person to be socially retarded even if not performing a sales pitch.

    Kurt / GL,

    When descriptions such as “trying to manipulate you,” “ignored you,” and “forgot you existed” are used to describe a person trying to interact with another person, I’m not sure how that would NOT be considered socially retarded. Perhaps the excuse of “salesperson” does it for you and you need no further explanation. But to me that’s no excuse and does not justify temporary (or permanent) social retardation. But let me ask you this, if you remove the situation from the “salesperson” context, would you then think manipulate you / ignore you / forget you exist would constitute some form of social retardation? Because, as I mentioned above, my experience has shown that people like this don’t necessarily switch gears when they’re among friends or family. Often times (it seems to me), they can’t consciously tell when they’re supposed to be in salesperson mode or not, hence social retardation.

  31. Bob Caswell says:

    Open question / further example:

    I had a companion on my mission who tried to sell me Meluluka (sp?). He said that as soon as I got home, I could show it to my friends and family, get enough people below me, and start making big bucks! All I had to do was fill out some paperwork he had, sign somewhere, etc. This Elder brought this up multiple times during our companionship even after I told him I was not interested at all, hence the ignore you / forget you exist part.

    So was this Elder some ingenious salesperson or just socially retarded? Does that help illustrate my point any more?

  32. Bob Caswell, hate to be so dry here, but you are misuing the term “retarded”. Here is the relevant definition via http://dictionary.reference.com as follows:

    re·tard2
    Pronunciation Key (ree-tärd)
    n. Offensive Slang

    1. Used as a disparaging term for a mentally
    retarded person.
    2. A person considered to be foolish or
    socially inept.

    [Short for retarded.]

    Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of
    the English Language, Fourth Edition

    Since the person in question clearly isnt suffering from some innate organic defect that affects his social skills, then you are using definition number two. The person in question clearly isnt socially inept, he is quite adept at accomplishing his goal, which is to have you listen to his spiel, which is what you did.

    You could say the net impact of his behavior is counterproductive, and therefore he is retarding the overall progress of his employers. But, that doesnt make him socially retarded, that makes him inconsiderate and ineffective.

  33. Bob Caswell says:

    Ah, so Kurt, you had to resort to the dictionary definition to back you up? I hate to make this an issue of semantics. In my post, I recognized that there was probably a more elegant way to say that to which I was referring. But in English, meaning is often derived from combinations of words that doesn’t necessarily refer back to the exact original meaning of any of the words individually. I apologize if coining a new term or phrase is out of place here, but I need to call it something and “socially retarded” gets the point across better than anything else I have come up with thus far.

  34. Bob Caswell says:

    By the way, Kurt, one could argue that this person is not adept at all at accomplishing his goal, as having me listen to his spiel isn’t really the goal at all. Making the sale is the goal, which he obviously did not or will not accomplish with me.

  35. Bob,

    I am a bit remiss in having to respond, but I think word choice, especially in terms of blogging is very important. If you use a phrase such as “socially retarded” to describe the above situation, the expectation is that you will invoke various responses (some negative).
    I personally haven’t ever heard the phrase used in the context u described, although I have heard teenagers use it quite frequently. Accordingly, extrapolating from what Kurt mentioned, I personally don’t feel your use of the phrase is at all accurate based on the situation you encountered. Rather, I think it’s just pre-text for your brief inconvenience or possible annoyance with the manner in which this guy attempted to solicit you. Something you omit is exactly how long this exchange took. If it took a good 15-20 minutes, ok, I might be able to better understand where u are coming from. In short though and again, not to be offensive, I think your post and in particular your responses lacks real substance as to the ultimate question you pose, namely:

    “I feel sad because I want to do something to help, but what?”

    I think dubbing this individual as “socially retarded” esp. on an LDS blogsite actually does him a disservice as opposed to maybe actually talking personally to him, giving him tips on how to be more effective, or just being honest with him about his approach. Not to pass judgment, but just my two cents.

  36. Bob Caswell, you hate to make this an issue of semantics? Forgive me for using commonly accepted means of establishing effective communication.

    I can see youre a postmodern deconstructionst, so I will accomodate you perspective: Purple flavored yogurt raisin rainbows lightening every other Wednesday elated pokemon fo shizzle your angst silicon penguins.

    Tipping my hat on the way out.

    P.S., by the way, Bob, your post in number 34 is a reiteration of what I said in the last paragraph of post number 32. Auf wiedersehen.

  37. What? Huh? Kurt, what the h are you talking about? Your own dictionary definition said “A person considered to be foolish or socially inept.” How is “socially retarded” so far off the mark like you suggest? What Bob is saying is that the guy was socially inept… retarded. Am I missing something?

    GL, what the h are YOU talking about? Are you actually suggesting that instead of offering this nameless person as an example to open a discussion about silly people, he should have sat the guy down and given him tips on how to be more effective? Did you not read Bob’s post? He said there was nothing that he could say that this guy would listen to, how could he have explained to him how inneffective he was being? I can’t imagine anyone doing ANYTHING more civil than what Bob did, shrug it off and feel bad for the guy because he’s a terrible listener.

  38. Bob Caswell says:

    I guess I still haven’t made it clear that my example in the original post was not meant to be the epitome of what I called “socially retarded.” It’s a much more encompassing than sales people (and doesn’t necessarily include many sales people). Also, the negative connotation of the term seems to be a hindrance for some, so I’ll have to come up with another way of describing this.

    Having said that, I do appreciate GL’s last comment in which suggestions were given as to how to handle the situation to let a person know. But Kurt, your response was, well, interesting. I’ve given a further example of what I’m talking about as well as pointing out that annegb had a good example of a non-sales related example. The point is that you’re missing the point of the post by giving me a definition of the word retarded. The particular situation in the original post was perhaps a poor example, though I’ve tried to further explain what I mean.

    I’ll repeat part of what I was saying. What about those who can’t determine when it’s inappropriate to use sales tactics? I’ve seen quite a few responses lately which refer back to the original post while ignoring any clarifications I’ve given in the comments. I’m still interested in whether or not my multi-level marketing mission companion was a great salesperson or “socially challenged” (sound any better?).

    By the way, the whole leave-the-thread-after-one-final-puff is so cliché in the Bloggernacle. Maybe we could still understand each other; I’m trying here.

  39. Bob Caswell says:

    Thanks, Rusty. You clarified my thoughts better than I could have.

  40. D. Fletcher says:

    I agree about using the word “retarded.” It just sounds, kinda redneck, kinda junior-highish… I tried to change it in my posts to “dysfunctional,” but I think you were going for something stronger, something more innate.

  41. Bob, dont be so eager to jump to conclusions. My hat tip was not cliche, it was me indicating I would not be participating in the conversation anymore. The only time I spend on blogs is idle time at work, and I work M-Th. The only reason I checked in now is because the baby is asleep and I am waiting for my e-mail to download.

    Your usage of the term “retarded” just doesnt fit well. The guy in question is neither inept or a fool in the contextual sense of the definition. He is ineffective with you because his techniques are transparent to you. I suspect there are a lot of gullible people who were cowed by his steamrollering and they showed up.

    Rusty, yes I read the post, and all of the interviening posts. Colloquial usages of “retarded” aside, Bob’s label is clumsy, at best. The person in question is obviously not a retard. Now, if you want to reclassify a “retard” as “anyone who behaves in a manner in which I disaprove of”, well, there you have it, then he is a retard. But, you cannot expect everyone to share your (i.e., the postmodern deconstructionist reference) view that whatever definition you fabricate is the legitimate one that all others must observe. Sorry, that just doesnt work in a public forum.

    My mail is done. Bye.

  42. I have not read all the comments. I believe the word that is kindlier and more professional is pragmantics. As a former speech pathology major(for a whole semester) as well as someone with 12 credit hours in Special Education coursework, I have studied about those who are socially impaired. A lot of times some people need more express coaching as they may not pick up on the nuances that most people seem to “just breathe in.” I am sorry that I sometimes act more socially inept than I really am on blogs and forums. Competence does not always equal performance especially when one can be impulsive as I can be. Whether this person is one such individual or has taken literally the adage of not taking no for an answer is something that I can not decipher for the context. However, knowing that he seemed to ignore all verbal cues would lead me to believe that he is extremely impaired and in need of much kindness.

  43. Bob Caswell says:

    “…knowing that he seemed to ignore all verbal cues would lead me to believe that he is extremely impaired and in need of much kindness.”

    Thank you, Barb, for your comment. Your feelings are similar to mine. The paradox is that any kindness I felt I could give in this case was only temporary, as I really had no intention of following through. Thus, I just felt sorry for the guy who will have let down after let down because of his tactics.

  44. typo pragmatics is the word. I will confess that in many instances that I am actually very impaired myself. I chalk a lot of it up to shyness and fear of authority figures.

  45. I know that I have said that I would try not to veer off the topic at hand but I wanted to expound on my feelings about academic labels.

    I considered myself painfully shy for many years and barely able to speak when spoken to for a time. Then, I take interpersonal communication and my professor seems to have specialized in what is termed “communication apprehension.”. There is a whole field of study about such a thing. I found this interesting. I remember my professer speaking of a lot of the problems with communication apprehension including difficulty asking professor’s questions. I think I may have almost thought it was cool that I feel into such a studied subgroup. Yes, I am a bit strange.

    Then, psychologist have a word for those who are so shy that they only talk to a select few, which is termed “mutism.”

    Using an academic word is not necessarily more descriptive than the common terms that people use on a daily basis. They do tend to be less stigmatizing probably mainly due to the fact that they are not used enough by the general populas to have as many connotations attached to them.

    Sometimes I tell people that I think that I am a high functioning autistic person. I really think there is some truth to that. However, it is more due to the fact that I am very easily over-stimulated. When my sister said that I was getting a used computer, the thought of all the knowledge at my finger tips was overwhelming to me. I lost a little sleep just thinking about it. Now I have somewhat become desensitized to all the knowledge as I have become addicted to forums and blogs and seem to ignore the other bodies of knowledge. I really would not be classed as autistic from any defination that I have read so I should not say such a thing. Attention Deficet Disorder—now there is a pretty good fit. :)

    Well, I know I breaking some sort of norm stating all this. Yet, I am compelled to do it anyways although my overwhelming shyness will probably make me regret in momentarily.

  46. Bob Caswell says:

    Barb, now we just need an academic term for what I’ve been describing!

  47. Do a google search on pragmatics and I think you will find that it is just such a term. :)

  48. Bob Caswell says:

    Ah, Kurt, you’re killing me, the Bloggernacle double cliché! Saying auf wiedersehen and leaving the room mid conversation after you’ve said your last, only to come back into the conversation after being coaxed by the comments that you shouldn’t have read because you had left, only to respond with one more thing with the pretense that this time you’re done… for real.

    But leaving that aside, your assertion that the person in question was “obviously not a retard” doesn’t jive too well with the definition you provided of “socially inept,” as that’s exactly what I was describing, someone who is socially inept. Trust me; I was there, you weren’t. And “reclassifying a “retard” as “anyone who behaves in a manner in which I disapprove”” is just putting words in my mouth. Out of curiosity, I’d love to be given a counter example that better fits your preconceived idea of what constitutes socially inept (which, of course, couldn’t possibly be fabricated like you said mine was).

    Speaking of which, I’m still being mostly ignored on the front of the larger context of this post, which I’ve reiterated a few times… Namely that the issue at hand (being socially retarded / challenged / dysfunctional / inept) isn’t specific only to the first example I gave. I gave another example of a missionary companion who I thought was socially inept. I could give even more examples, plenty without sales. But until I catch on to the definition of “socially inept” that I’m missing out on, I may be talking past some here.

    But for me at least, interacting with the socially challenged (as I understand it) can be a real dilemma. I want to help. I want to be sincere. I want to avoid offending. I want to interact. I want to communicate. Unfortunately, many of these are not possible (especially together) due to the circumstances surrounding the situation. Hence, the paradox.

  49. Barb, you should look into something called sensory integration disorder. Could be what you have. It’s related to/part of autism/ADHD. I’m not an expert (but I do have sensory integration problems, myself–mostly auditory), and it’s a newly recognized thing, so most of the info you’ll probably find on it is talking about how to help children with it, but you should check into it anyway.

  50. Greg Fox says:

    Comment #8 (D. Fletcher): “some experiment in the Church of proselytizing and baptizing some new members in 24 hours.” Are you kidding me? Did this really happen? Who could make a decision like that in 24 hours? Or even 24 months? I’ve never heard of this before.

  51. D. Fletcher says:

    Greg,

    It was in Phoenix, I think? in the late 70s, early 80s. The experiment was a failure, but there were some people actually baptized, I seem to recall.

  52. Thanks Susan M. That just may be me from the information that I found. My problems are more visual integration, I think. I do sometimes have an amazing sense of smell. I can smell a cucumber being cut in the kitchen when I am in the living room, which is a couple of rooms away. Could this skill be marketable. :)

  53. Bob Caswell, youre either being tongue in cheek, or fabulously ingracious. Someone explaining themselves to remove ambiguity is not cliche. But attacking people who challenge your position is.

    People are ignoring your examples because they do nothing to substantiate your use of the term.

    Sometimes, all it really boils down to is a simple case of projection.

  54. Bob Caswell says:

    “People are ignoring your examples because they do nothing to substantiate your use of the term.”

    Kurt,

    In case you haven’t noticed, I gave up on the term in question some time ago. If your beef with me is the use of the word “retarded,” then once and for all I say unto you, “Move on, my friend!”

    I’ve given other terms and other examples. I’m trying to describe a concept here that is real and alive. Surely you are just misunderstanding me, as you couldn’t possibly think there’s no such thing as a socially challenged person (of which, I’m still waiting for your refined example).

  55. Bob, there is no need to provide an example, when one already is presenting itself.

    Once and for all, forgive me for not being as plugged into your slice of the bloggernacle as you obviously are.

    My gift of peace to you.

  56. Bob Caswell says:

    “…there is no need to provide an example, when one already is presenting itself.”

    Kurt,

    Let me explain. To me, this is akin to me struggling with a math problem only to have a friend point out that my solution is wrong. So, I rework the problem and come up with a slightly different answer. Nope, my friend tells me it’s still wrong. I repeat this process a few times, each time being told my answer is wrong. When I ask my friend to give me his answer, he tells me there is no need, I’m simply wrong.

    This leaves me puzzled, as I felt that the purpose of the problem was to learn from it and find the right answer, not necessarily an opportunity for friend to look over my shoulder and continually tell me how my answer is wrong without providing one of his own. This form of interaction leaves me right where I started: with a wrong answer (according to the friend) and no indication of what the right answer could be.

  57. Bob, OK, I am going to assume youre genuinely interested in helping people here. Its not reasonable to think you will be able to have any significant impact on people whom you only have glancing contact with, like this salesman in your original example. As such, here is my recommendation: buy a bunch of copies of this book, read it yourself, and then whenever you come into contact with someone whom you feel needs some help on the communication front, hand them one with the sincerest delivery you can make. And I suggest that sincere delivery not contain anything to the effect of “I noticed youre socially inept/dysfunctional/retarded, so…”.

  58. Many people think LDS missionaries are socially retarded. I guess it’s all in the perspective.

  59. Bob, first of all, I missed you at the meeting on Thursday. Second, I was only trying to give you a leg up in this difficult world that we live in (really, you could have made THOUSANDS!). Third, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t use our regular encounters outside the testing center as an excuse to hold me up for ridicule.

  60. Bob Caswell says:

    So THAT’s who you are! That explains everything.

  61. LOL.

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