Monday, 20 July 2009
Certain people assume that I am totally stupid – and that annoys me.
Last week I popped into the toilet at work to answer a call of nature. I won’t go into graphic detail but when I had finished, I went to wash my hands. On the mirror in front of me were a set of instructions telling me how to wash my hands.
This stupid sign had appeared that day and basically told me in no uncertain terms that if I didn’t wash my hands it would be totally unhygienic and I would spread germs. It then went on to tell me that I should:
Wet my hands
Put soap on my hands (from the soap dispenser)
Rub my hands vigorously together
Rinse my hands
Dry my hands
And there were pictures illustrating each step.
“What the &*$£?” I yelled, scaring the hell out of an anonymous person still in a cubicle. I was doubly annoyed because I have been trying to cut down on my swearing and two days of effort had been scattered to the four winds.
Do they think I’m a bloody fool? I think my parents taught me how to wash my hands when I was three. Do they think that I’ve forgotten?
I needed a cup of tea, so after I had washed my hands, as per instructions, I went into the kitchen with my mug. There on the hot water dispenser was a sign saying “CAUTION: VERY HOT WATER”
I would hope so because in order to make a superb cup of tea, you actually NEED very hot water.
Do they honestly think that I am going to put my hand under the tap and allow scalding hot water to cascade over my skin?
I’m surprised that there isn’t a sign above the toilet saying “Don’t drink the water” or a sign at the top of the stairs saying “Do not throw yourself down the stairs”.
It’s incredible and extremely worrying. Are there really people out there who need to be told these things? Are there any adults in Manchester who need to be told and shown how to wash their hands?
It’s not just Manchester nor indeed the UK. Such signs are all over the place. Here are a few examples I’ve found on the internet:
“Milk bottles contain milk”
“Don’t commit crime. Pay for your fuel”
“Visitors are warned to take every care to avoid accidents”
“Road flooded during floods”
“Caution: Water on the road when it rains”
“Sign not yet in use”
“Warning: Platform ends here”
“Do not throw stones at this sign”
“Caution: This sign has sharp edges”
“For town centre shopping, follow “Town Centre””
“Removing a wheel can affect the performance of the bicycle”
“For indoor or outdoor use only”
“This door is neither an entrance or an exit and must never be opened”
“Contents hot on removal from microwave”
“Always pick up the knife by the handle”
“Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts”
“Danger: Vehicles on the road”
“Warning: This heater will get hot. Please take note and for your own safety do not touch the unit”
It’s clear that the police in my country think that I need to be told not to commit crimes. When I drive up to a petrol station forecourt I have to be told to pay for my fuel. I’m that stupid. Or at least these people think so. How many petrol stations have forgotten to put up sign and had customers drive off without paying? It’s bloody absurd.
Have you ever watched daytime TV? Apart from the mind-numbing banality of the programmes, the adverts are geared towards people with a low IQ.
“Have you had an accident that wasn’t your fault? We at Accident Claims For Muppets will get you compensation.”
I presume that the muppets in question accidentally put their hand under a tap dispensing scalding hot water when there wasn’t a sign warning them not to do so. I’m sure that there are genuine accidents caused by neglect but the line has to be drawn somewhere. I don’t need to be told how to pick up a knife or that drinking toilet water can make me violently ill.
I am not a stupid child (even though I act like one sometimes; well of most the time if the truth be known).