Monday, May 16, 2011

Weird Rules

I remember an old Bill Cosby routine where he talked about the strange signs on public buildings.  In particular, he described a sign on the post office door that said, "No Dogs Allowed."  Under that it said, "(Except Seeing Eye Dogs.)"  His question was - about the last line.  He asked, "Who is that line for?"  Is the dog supposed to read it?  Or is it for the blind person?

I thought of that the other day as I was using the restroom at Lehman's Hardware in Kidron, Ohio.  Clearly the health department must have a rule about posting signs in places that serve food.  You see such signs in all restaurant rest rooms.  They say something like, "Employees must wash their hands before returning to work."

I wonder who this sign is for?  Don't the employee's KNOW they should wash their hands before returning to work?  Do they need this reminder?  (I shudder to think...)  Maybe the signs are to reassure the customers that the employees will wash their hands.  (But that doesn't seem right, because I've noticed the signs are in the language most likely to be read by the employees - Spanish in Mexican restaurants and Chinese in Chinese restaurants.)

Assuming the reminder is needed, where should you post such a sign?  Many places post the sign near the sinks.  But if an employee is not inclined to wash his hands, he might never even see the sign as he rushes from the toilet to his place in the food preparation line.  (Ewwwww....)

At Lehman's the sign was posted on the wall above the urinals.  I suppose that was a good spot.  That way the employee could think about this reminder while he was taking care of business, then he could remember to go to the sinks afterward.  But this sign had something else.  Underneath the English lettering there were tiny bumps... Braille!

Now who do you suppose THAT is for?

How would a blind person even know that the sign was there at all?  If he could see well enough to see the sign, he could also read it.  If he can't see at all, should he just feel the wall above the urinals to see if he can find any Braille messages?  Should the health department be encouraging people to read Braille messages while they are standing at a urinal?  (Yuck....)

I don't read Braille - but I think the meaning of that sign is clear.  "The health department is an example of bureaucracy running amok."


Ed Skinner said...

Have you noticed that ATMs have braille on their buttons -- at the drive-up ATMs?

Pastor D said...

Should we shake our heads in wonder or just smile and nod? Who thinks of these things?