I was never aware of the term ‘collective stupidity’ until I came to Norway.  It is when no one person, but a group or even a whole crowd, act in a ‘stupid’ way.

I was parked in a 15 minute zone to drop off my kids at childcare.  When I returned to my car I could not believe what I saw.  A bus had decided to park behind me.  I tapped on the bus doors.  The guy opened them and immediately said that he couldn’t back up because of the bus behind him…

…and he couldn’t drive forward because of the bus in front of him:

I told him that he needed to move (and therefore the other busses too) because I was parked in a 15 minute zone and I had to get to work in 5 minutes.  (I had a really important interview to do with a newspaper reporter to advertise a Guinness World Record I’m trying to help Alta achieve.)

The bus driver arrogantly said ‘no’.  I was furious.   The other bus drivers knew it too as they watched me take pictures of their number plates while they sat safely behind their steering wheels.

Maybe the bus drivers were incompetent and ignorant, or maybe they were collectively conniving?  But alas, I’ve determined that it was ‘collective stupidity’ on the bus driver’s part.  Why?  Every bus driver didn’t think of the consequences of their ‘stupid’ actions.  The first bus driver parked behind the cars so no one could get out.  Then so did the second, third, forth and fifth.  The attitude was ‘Well, if the first bus driver doesn’t care or have a conscience, why should I?’

What is more disheartening is that they did not want to help a person get out of the situation they had created.   Instead they jumped out of their busses for a smoke as a demonstration of their lack of care and unwillingness to help me.  So I took pictures of them to make an official complaint to the bus company.

The only way out of the car lot for me was to either wait for the busses to leave, which was not going to happen anytime soon, or to drive over onto the footpath and along the path til I hit road again.  So the bus drivers watched me check out the path and where I could exit onto the road.  I got back in my car and drove up on the pavement, driving very slowly (behind a person) and made it safely to the road.

Do I really want to become a citizen of Norway when Norwegians care so little for each other? 

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