Saturday, January 23, 2010

Trust Me, I'm An Expert

I love people who try to be experts, especially when I know they're full of crap. The other day at work (the wine store), this couple came in, and after exclaiming how our store is like a wine store in the cities (because they used to live in the cities, you know), proceeded to wander the wine section, offering their opinions loudly and rather sneeringly. At the same time, a woman came in, looking for a variety of stuff to serve at a party and, by her own admission, knowing next to nothing about wine. This was the opening the wanna-be hipster, wine conniseurs seemed to be waiting for. She was looking for a red wine for a relative rookie to red wines and didn't want anything too heavy and a little on the fruiter side. I pointed her toward the shiraz selections and went to ring up another customer while the hipsters informed her that shiraz is a sweet white wine. He goes on to rhapsodize about the various wines he likes (most of his descriptions are sadly and woefully wrong). After finishing with my checkout, I return to the now more befuddled than ever woman to sort her out. After assuring her that shiraz is indeed a red wine and a good fit for what she was looking for and helping with the rest of her quest, I return to ring up the hipsters' purchases (two cases of Keystone Light beer and three bottles of Boone's Farm). These people have nothing to be smug about, go sit down and get some taste. Shiraz woman even realized at that point these two are idioit and gave me one of the most incredulous looks I've ever seen. She may be a rookie wine drinker, but even she saw the irony here.
There are experts everywhere, just waiting for the world to recognize and laud their brilliance, just ask them. They're not afraid to treat others like complete idiots. They're willing to alienate the rest of the populace, waiting for the day everyone else finally reaches their level. They know it will happen, the world will see, millions will know and it will be proven without a doubt, they ARE smarter than everyone.
There are the parenting experts, those who throw dirty looks and sniffs of disapproval when your child bursts into tears at the grocery store. The children they might have someday would NEVER behave in such a manner because THEY already know how to raise perfect little darlings that will be be smarter, better behaved, perfectly groomed and cuter than the little beast you've produced.
The would-be foodies who think a fast food joint should be living up to the standard of a totally different kind of eatery. You're really going to whine about the glaring lack of Arugula on your salad shaker from McDonald's? I saw a commercial recently for Hardee's/Carl Jr's that featured Padma Lakshmi (a judge on Top Chef) having a passionate encounter with a thickbuger or some such thing. She NEVER gets to be snarky about a chef's lack of whateverness again. She sold her foodie cred for a thickburger!
I love to engage with those who think they're up on current events because they read the headlies on their Yahoo home page. Three lines of text when you hover your mouse over a headline do NOT give you any insight whatsoever! As a news junkie, I'm appalled at the number of people who think a headline or a 20-second sound bite is going to give you the information you need to have any sort of meaningful discussion on a topic. If you're going to argue about it, you better have read the ENTIRE article. Otherwise, you have to go sit in the corner with the wine hipsters.
Radio announcers who constantly mispronounce, misidentify or wrongly credit songs drive me completely mad. Having worked in that industry, I KNOW the songs that come into the studio are properly labeled and credited...this is how they sell records, people!
Just the advice for the day...before you pontificate on anything, make sure your information can withstand challenge or scrutiny. Because some of us thrive on taking you down!