When In Doubt, Ask Stupid Questions

I must have sounded like a doofus.

“Does this quantity material handling selector mean I need to select one for however many boxes I have?”

“Do I have to put multiple shipping labels on each item?”

And so on and so forth.

This was me* calling a service provider today about shipping and handling for an exhibition my company will be attending in Las Vegas.

In the end, while these questions would have mortified any onlookers with their took me about 10X less time than it had taken me to comb through the rule-heavy and exception-heavy text of the provider’s website, and I was able to get a shipment out the door this afternoon.

If I hadn’t vocalized my dumb questions, I might still be sitting here unsure of which forms (if any) to attach, which services I would need to purchase, and how to ship back to my company after the exhibition.

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not advocating wasting some poor customer service rep’s time with dumb questions. Be reasonable. But certainly don’t paralyze yourself with unvocalized uneasiness and uncertainties because you don’t want to sound dumb.

Sometimes there’s nothing like a spoken word to help you get out of your own head. And sometimes you need someone’s simple answer to your dumb question to realize how simple it will be to solve your problem.

Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash

I asked questions like that but not exactly like that (perhaps they were so dumb, I’ve blocked the actual memory of some of what I said).


James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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