March 9, 2014
If you’re among those who believe that there are no dumb questions, read no further. If, on the other hand, you’re among those who believe you’ve heard it all, read on: Perhaps you haven’t. Here are some of the most memorable examples of dumb questions, along with some thoughts on how we might have answered them:
- Can I have my salary deferred until next year so I don’t have to pay taxes this year? I don’t need the money this year.
- I falsified my résumé. Now that I’m working here, can I change it?
- Which exit should I use on the evacuation map—primary or secondary?
- Why do we have to offer family leave to male employees?
- Can my supervisor require me to have specific working hours?
- Can I wear a swimsuit and towel on casual day?
- Every day my supervisor tells me to stop chatting and get back to work. Can he do that?
- Will you give me a raise if I stop smoking marijuana?
- I know I’ve been terminated, but shouldn’t the insurance plan cover the hospital bills from the birth of my baby since the child was conceived in accordance with the guidelines of the insurance policy manual?
- Since my mother and father both died before I came to work at this company, will I be credited for bereavement leave I didn’t have to take?
Which thought process were you using when you asked that question? Primary or secondary?
Because male employees have families, and if we don’t they’ll leave.
We could waive the requirement if you waive the requirement that we provide a specific paycheck at a specific time.
It’d be appropriate for taking a dip in the job candidate pool.
Yes. Now get back to work.
Sorry. There’s no rainbow at the end of this pot.
Sorry. We’ve read the manual, too, and we can’t conceive how we can help.
Well, you’ve apparently been credited with intelligence you don’t intend to use, so let’s call it even.
Workforce, June 1999, Vol. 78, No. 6, p. 44.