I currently work in computer sales and service, and I'm pretty good at my job. There are a lot of regular customers who know me by name, and come in regularly looking for help in figuring out how to do this or that with their computers. Many of these people run local churches, and probably have no idea that I'm actually a baby eating godless heathen. This is of course because the topic never comes up, as it has no place at work. Work and religious beliefs, or the absence thereof, shouldn't mix. Especially in customer service jobs. I want my customers to have be happy with the services I provide so that they return to us anytime they need help or need to purchase our products. So I show them the respect of leaving my opinions about the invisible magic man in the sky at home. After all, we wouldn't make much money if many of our customers became too scared to enter our store because they don't want to catch a demon from the evil fire-breathing heathen that works there.
So, that brings us to the topic of this blog post. I had an interesting experience helping a customer check in their computer for service today...
As I was going through the steps to check in check in this customer's computer (running a couple quick tests, filling out a service ticket, etc.), the customer and I engaged on the normal sort of small talk that usually takes place. The subject of what I studied in college came up, and I said that I'd majored in psychology and double minored in neuroscience and philosophy. She brightened up, smiled, and said "that's what my daughter is doing", in a cheerful voice.
Well, I think that the wheels spinning in her head must have reminded her that liberal arts education was corrupting her daughter, because her voice suddenly lowered as she asked "Do you believe in...evolution?". I thought for a second, because I didn't want to say anything that could get me in trouble at work. After all, I do know that science deniers who believe with certainty that an invisible magic bearded sky-fairy blinked everything into existence just a few thousand years ago (in spite of the fact that pretty much all known evidence disagrees with them) tend to react to anyone who openly admits to not sharing their delusions as if the offender had just threatened to urinate on their dying mother. I calmly and softly said that "Well, I accept what the known evidence points to, and I generally accept where the scientific consensus stands on the matter."
The customer then went on to inform me that yes, that is one "problem" that her and her daughter are still trying to "fix" (that her daughter "believes in" evolution. She then went on to chuckle a bit and say how she thought that it's so funny that "all" (yes, she said "all") those "science guys", all of which were staunch atheists, that try to prove the bible wrong "end up believing in God. Well, I had to grit my teeth a bit, smile at the customer! and resist the urge to get up on the counter and ask her what magical demension she comes from! where the concept of "all" means almost none?
People like this annoy me to no end. I mean, evolution is a fact. You don't believe in evolution, you either understand it or you don't. I found myself wondering how she could deny the same science that makes her computer and car possible, yet accept those things as real instead of viewing them as voo-Doo boxes powered by the lies of Satan himself.
Yes, we did in fact come from filthy monkey men and women, and people like this customer seem to help to remind me how little we've changed since then. I hope that she figures out one day that her college daughter is not broken and in need of fixing. The fact that her education is giving her a clear view of reality, and allowing her to free herself in any small way from the delusions of her ancestors is a very good thing. The next generation is outgrowing those mental shackles in exponential numbers.
Hopefully the trend will continue, and less and less young people will be looked upon as if they need to be "fixed" by their loved ones because they have decided to look at the facts and accept reality on reality's terms. It gives me hope for the future of all of mankind.