Saturday, December 02, 2006

How Idiotic Can A Person Be?

After entertaining my two and one half year grandson all evening (by watching Frosty the Snowman twice and the Polar Express once), my wife and I sat down to watch 20/20, on Friday evening. Here is a story that shocked both of us, greatly. It truly defies imagination as to how some people can be so ignorant, as to fall for such a cruel hoax and traumatize a young person like this.

I am sorry. I do not like to be the least bit mean, but the adults in this case have demonstrated that they haven't got an ounce of sense. One really must wonder, if there was truly a lack of life-sustaining oxygen to their brain cells or if they were just plain too stupid to notice that this was not on the level from the beginning.

It has been written, "with much wisdom comes great grief", and it has been said many times that "ignorance is bliss". But in this case, ignorance was the primary cause of a young girl being abused in a most humiliating fashion. In this case, ignorance was not bliss for that very same, young girl.

For a real jaw dropper, read this in its entirety.


Anonim said...

Yeah, I watched that 20/20 story, too. It was unbelievable. I thought the manager lady was too f**king stupid to be a manager of anything. Such utter lack of judgment on her part! Not all adults were as senseless though. The young male employee she handed the watch duty to rejected the whole thing as BS. He stopped short of putting a stop to it though; maybe he too was too young like the victim. The older maintenance guy didn't fall for it, either. Surprisingly, neither did he stop the torture. Maybe such lack of action was because no one saw the whole story and the managers complacency AND complicity in it like we did thru the security camera.

I also think the manager's trying to shift the responsibility to McDonalds is non-sense. But what are you going to do? The precedent of rewarding stupidity has been set already (burns from hot beverages and million-dollar jury awards come to mind), so you might as well be prepared to excuse it too.

On the other hand, the section about strip searches in the McDonald's procedure guide book was a bit fishy. It could really be added after the incident (unless of course there were previous incidents to alert the corporations). It's like banning the box-cutters, knives, scissors, etc. first, cigarette lighters second, liquids and gels third, so on. (My counting may have been inaccurate.)

LASunsett said...

Hi Anonim,

//I also think the manager's trying to shift the responsibility to McDonalds is non-sense. But what are you going to do?//

I am not a big fan of frivolous lawsuits or deflecting responsibility of something like this from a smaller entity, to a larger one. The only thing I would say about this is, McDonalds did hire these bozos. In that sense, I feel that they are somewhat responsible.

//On the other hand, the section about strip searches in the McDonald's procedure guide book was a bit fishy.//

I think it was, too. But, as ignorant as these people have already proven themselves to be, it is highly unlikely that any of them would show the least bit of initiative to even read the damned thing, anyway.

Anonim said...

//In that sense, I feel that [McDonalds] are somewhat responsible.//

No doubt about it. They should pay the $$,$$$,$$$ price; I think the victim's deciding to sue McDonalds is perfectly justified. This doesn't relieve the manager of responsibility though. I felt sick when she denied that the girl was asking for her help to stop it at one time during the torture.

LASunsett said...


I think Greg is an attorney, maybe he will give us his take on this case and render a professional opinion as to how much this case may cost McDonalds.


A.C. McCloud said...

Amazing story. The girl is humiliated but could get rich, the manager gets fired and loses her fiance, who gets five years in the pen, and the supposed perp walks free.

Why the girl didn't run screaming when this Nix guy commanded her to perform a sex act is beyond belief. Either that or there's more to this than we know..

LASunsett said...


//Amazing story.//

Yeah, I have tried to give the benefit of the doubt to the people involved here. Unfortunately, I cannot come up with even the lamest of excuses, for these people.

Greg said...

Whether McDonalds is responsible for its agents' actions turns on whether they were acting within the scope of their employment when they injured this young woman. I'm sure McDonalds will argue no, but there they are on the premises, allegedly trying to solve a theft at the restaurant. It's a close case, but the manager was intending to work in her employer's interest.

Personally, I hope they end up paying the $200 million.

Anyway, pretty scary how easily people can be manipulated, isn't it?

Anonim said...

Greg, it really is scary. I addition to raising questions about the extremely scripted/codified work environments, this also is worrying me about teaching civics to youngsters (their rights and duties, etc.). From conversations with friends, I sort of got the impression that civics teaching has fallen out of fashion lately. On the other hand, the schools appear to be extremely disciplinarian. My sixth-grader is often in trouble with a certain lunch room police. For simple reasons like raising his head, visibly socializing with friends around him, etc. They make the lower grade students lay their heads on the table and remain quiet until everybody finishes eating... Yeah, yeah, school administrators may give practical reasons for such practices, but I feel that kids are taught to obey authority without question.

Any insight from more experienced parents, grandparents?

Greg said...

anonim: my daughter's not in school yet, but my impression is the opposite: that kids are increasingly encouraged to question authority. At least, I don't think they are respecting authority anymore than when I was a kid.

In any case, I think this story says more about human nature than the american educational system. I'm reminded of the stories of people who get taken for their life savings by some crook with a story that, in hindsight, seems ridiculous. The "confidence man" has been around for ages. In this case, the object isn't money, but the tactics are the similar...

Anonim said...

Greg, thanks. Hope you're right on the authority thing.

Of course, I wasn't trying to make a beef about American education system. I agree that this is essentially about human nature. But it is also true that unused skills tend to become blunted. In this story, it appears, common sense was severely lacking. Is fast-food civilization driving out common sense by scripting everything from how you greet the customers to how you fry the fries? On the other hand, some scripting is justified for efficiency kind of reasons. So, what? Or, is it the litigation inflation and fear of being found liable that pushes people to rely more and more on the books? "Act according to writen procedures, you'll be safe" kind of thinking?

All rhetorical questions. None in the sense of American culture versus another.

Greg said...

Certainly inexplicable on several levels. On the one hand, you have those who are completely fooled by this [obviously?] fake story. None of those folks thought to call their superior to verify the "cop's" story. If anything, you would think the employee manual would teach this. I wonder what else I could get these people to do....

On the other hand, you have those who suspected something was not right, but still did nothing, perhaps out of fear of, essentially, calling the cops on the supervisor. Maybe this shows over-reliance on the manual, an over-respect for the chain of command.