November 8, 2021:

The "manager" decided to improve his vocabulary. He bought a book for that purpose, from which he only ever learned one new word: "chide".

He went through the day, for years on end, finding verbal opportunities into which "chide" could be inserted. "I'll have to chide the housekeepers about the mess in the break room." Or, "The owners chided me for being late with the books."

If it weren't already obvious, that habitual repetition of a single ten-dollar word demonstrated to the rest of us that he wasn't the brightest bulb in the sockets. For me, his limitations became unavoidable when trying to explain the "tracks" on recording tape. "A cassette has four tracks: two in each direction, where the two tracks send signal to the left and right speaker, respectively." Even when I drew a schematic on the back of a discarded guest folio he responded with open mouth and unblinking blank stare.

I never chided him for that. He got away with what he got away with, so that in a certain admiring light he was something of a hero.