Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs

Upon leaving a meeting recently at a giant office building, I stopped to use the ladies room. Inside I spotted a sign asking the dames not to flush certain womanly products down the commode. My thought was straight and to the point as in, Who the ---- is old enough to be in this office building yet unaware of this piece of information?

When you are a young girl, the message of not flushing feminine products is reiterated to you in the neighborhood of 10,000 times at both your school and your home. Obviously someone skipped that stage of training, or posted signage would not be necessary.

I also recently saw a sign on a company break room fridge reading: Please check to see if your name is on the food you remove so you are not removing something that is not yours.

Do you know my secret trick for knowing what is mine or not without putting my name on it? It is called MEMORY. And when I have no memory of placing something in the communal fridge, I don't grab it and hope for the best.

And there is a new sign on one of the offices on my floor declaring it the "Lactation Room." Except no one knows who recently gave birth and is lactating. Frequently the sign is overturned to reveal "Lactation Room in Use" yet our staff is highly familiar with one another to the point one would easily know who has given birth. Let's call it what it is. Not Lactation Room but I Like To Have a Bit of a Catnap Throughout the Day. Codename: Lactation

And then Mom in High Heels posted this sign on her blog one day.


Which after I laughed, I thought surely anyone over age 8 using a urinal knows you don't put your fishing pole in it.

I ponder what, or who specifically necessitates these types of signs. Are they in jest? They must be because the messages are as common sense as:

Don't use the bacon in this package as clothing or
Cat Litter is not mouthwash or
Cheese does not make great surprise birthday party confetti.

But then I saw this...and had to take a picture.


Congratulations person who can't follow simple instructions, you have solved the mystery. You are the reason for the signs.

118 comments:

M-Cat said...

That bathroom sign is cracking me up. I think I might need to post in my own house. With three sons, I often need to remind them why the freakin lysol wipes are SITTING RIGHT THERE!

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

How did you get a picture of my car?

BigSis said...

Have I ever told you about 12 years in HR? There is a reason for every one of those warnings. Somewhere there IS someone dumb enough to do it all - even fishing in the urinal. I kid you not.

Jenn@the loves of jenn said...

I always laugh when I see signs like that and wonder who in the world would need them. Then I remember that they wouldn't post it unless someone had broken the unspoken rules. That sign is hilarious!!!

The Peach Tart said...

I love the refrigerator sign only because I've had lots of my food taken over the years. However, I don't think the sign would have really helped.

Uptown Girl said...

I saw a book once that was full of pictures and stories about strange notes. MANY pages were devoted to signs left on office fridges and coffee makers. Apparently lots of ppl steal lunches and burn coffeepots. It made for a funny book!

the walking man said...

One of the best fist fights I'd ever seen but was not a part of was when a lunch thief found out that the person whose lunch they had been stealing had added a laxative to the chocolate pudding.

Odd thing was it wasn't the thief that was terminated but the one who tried to "poison" a co-worker.

Are you sure that it was napping that was going on in the lactation room or maybe preparation for lactation?

Laurie said...

I just opened a can of peanuts that had a warning sign on the paper label encircling the can ...."Warning: May Contain Nuts".

Ummm hope so?

People are nuts.

Thanks for making me laugh. My favorite is the "DON'T kneel & lift-your-leg-doggy-style & pee in the urinal!!!!!"

Sigh.

CCW said...

I have a secret trick for not flushing womanly products. It is called SENSE.

Secretia said...

What about that sign in the park
"NO DOGS" ?

Everybody knows that dogs can't read...

Secretia

Little Ms Blogger said...

The fridge sign is a must. I worked with a woman who was the president's assistant & he'd tell her to grab something out of the fridge. She'd do it not thinking anything of it, but it would not belong to him.

He would see it earlier in the day and think "I pay these people, I own them and their food in the fridge".

The Savage said...

Husqvarna chainsaws used to have a warning to not apply to one's genitals....

Cee said...

The bathroom in my office has those signs too. Not long ago someone added a new sign about wiping off the seat if you pee on it. They lasted about 3 days until someone ripped them down.

Colleen said...

I love ridiculous signs, and I was actually just lamenting the other day the thing about feminine products when a large group of us (all female Marine Officers and college graduates) were verbally warned not to flush feminine products on a ship. Ridiculous.

S Club Mama said...

Seriously, have you ever been to Walmart or any other store and there's an idiot parked in the Fire Zone No Parking spots? There's red lines, people! No parking! And it especially annoys me when it's old people or new mothers. There are handicapped spots for those who need it and, c'mon moms, we've all had to drag that little carrier through the parking lot - it's not that bad. I understand dropping people off at the front door, but I can't stand when people just sit there for 5 minutes while you're waiting to move behind them either.


ooh sorry, hit a sore spot apparently LOL

mo.stoneskin said...

I've seen a similar toilet sign elsewhere. I'm not sure which I find funnier ,the thought that someone might drink from the toilet, or the thought that the sign means no puking in the toilet and thinks that someone, upon running into the toilet mid-vomit is going to have the calmness and awareness to stop and read the sign!

ellen abbott said...

Well, let's see. There's the ones who have no common sense, there's the ones who just don't care, and then there's the ones who think all those rules apply to everybody else but not to them.

JenJen said...

Things that make you go hmmmm, for sure.
Sometimes people need to be protected from, well, themselves.

HA!

Ed Adams said...

Ha!

Awesome post!

I used to carry a street sign I stole that had my name (Adams)on it, and every time someone asked me to sign something (like at the bank or a cashier or an autograph seeker or a deaf person), I would pull it out and bash them in the head with it and scream "THERE! IT'S SIGNED!"

Busy Bee Suz said...

I always find the need for signs like those to be rediculous...but then again, we are a society full of rediculous people lacking common sense.
hence the 'dumb parker.'

Kimi@SoManyKids... said...

I told my husband not to park there. *eye roll*

Love that bathroom sign.

Slamdunk said...

This is where I get to blame lawyers for all of this mess. Oh, um, sorry, maybe at another blog...

Eva Gallant said...

I have no doubt the signs are needed! I've dealt with too many of the people that need them in my lifetime!

Hilly said...

I'm with the other HR person....when I worked for a really large company in HR, there were things done that one cannot even imagine ever happening.

The sign "no sex in the file room" stayed up there for weeks, for example.

Lissaloo said...

You would be surprised, I used to clean an office building and had to put up aasign over the sink in the kitchen area asking them not to dump their leftover food in the sink, nasty.

ShellSpann said...

That bathroom sign is awesome! I need that for my three year old! :)

sheila said...

Yes, you'd think women would know by now, lol. As for that sign with all the x's? OMG, hysterical! that last one?

HUH? What? lol

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

One my favorite signs was one I frequently saw when we lived in Germany. Since the Rhine river bisected the city we lived in people often took the ferry across from one side to the other, including with their cars. The sign showed you how NOT to park so your car would fall into the river while you waited for the ferry. I laughed every single time. But like they say, there wouldn't be a sign if someone hadn't done it.

AF said...

Oh, I'm with you 100% on this. Political correctness in conjunction with the litigation culture seems to have conspired to enable anyone to sue if they thought it was Tuesday and there isn't a sign to tell them it's really Monday (or whatever). Life is getting stranger all the time.

mama-face said...

We need these people for our blogs.

The toilet sign...for real?

Haha. Memory. The fridge thing is a huge pet peeve for me. WHO wants to eat someone else's food anyway? ick.

Love your title..."do this, don't that, can't you read the siiiiigns". I just had to say/sing that.

Yankee Girl said...

It is so sad that there are people out there that just don't know certain things. I almost feel bad for them. Mostly I feel bad for the rest of us who have to live with them.

Working Mommy said...

Jeff Foxworthy has a whole bit about stupid signs...you should youtube it - quite hysterical!

~WM

Brian Miller said...

you know, if they have that hard a time, they probably cant even read the signs...lol.

*uncorked said...

You and I both know that these signs are needed because someone, somewhere once went fishing in a urinal, thought he caught something, somehow drowned in the bowl and there was a massive litigation, punitive damages, and now it must be on a sign.

Donnw/2nz said...

HA! Unfortunately our urban landscape is plastered with these rudimentary messages because at this point in time we are still needlessly forced to share public spaces with selfish asshats.
Once the virtual Matrix is up and running all sign companies will go out of business.

The lactating room is the ideal location for engaging in vigorous workplace "Nooners", getting a "raise" from the boss, and when you need to a little sumpin'-sumpin' to stay late and close the deal, it's a good spot for purchasing uppers from the courier with the fauxhawk.

Susan said...

How about the people that put up signs in their homes...please take your shoes off...please close the door....hang coat here.....save a tree there. Control freaks! Then again, I think that a lot of men need to be told how to pee in a civilized manner.

Simone said...

I love it! :)

Ms Bibi said...

It's sad, but it's true. I think some adults need those signs more then little kids. I think I know most of them,lol

VandyJ said...

You must remember that stupid people are everywhere. Common sense is seriopusly lacking today. Hot beverages are HOT, toilets are for one use only and for God's sake, read the signs people!

Mom in High Heels said...

Haha! I'm now famous because you linked to me! I too wonder who thinks up all the stuff they make signs for. As you know, I always post funny signs on Tuesdays. Stupid signs really.

cfoxes said...

Amen, sister!

Intense Guy said...

There are way too many signs in this world.

...and we are left wondering if:

1) can morons actually read?
2) if the morons can read, why do they think they are exempt?
3) why do we need two signs when one is ample (and will be unread or assumed to apply to someone else)?

Damn. I got caught fishing in the toilet - its the only place you don't need a fishing license anymore...

Or maybe someone decided that if you drop your cellphone in there... its best stays in there...

:)

Kristin said...

Crap like that reduces us to kiddos. Of course I did just throw a tantrum the other night when I wanted the hubs to go get me some chocolate. But that was more PMS induced though. I'm not immature at ALL. ah ha ha

Eric said...

Nice restroom sign there, it reminds me of the silly ones that the Chinese government put up (which can be seen on engrish.com).

I call these supposedly unnecessary placards, 'sighns'.

Just Breathe said...

I'm afraid that the US has way to many people who don't know!

Amanda said...

The really sad thing is some people actually NEED these signs. Or simple instructions, like on a hair dryer: "Do not use while sleeping" and the other sad part is, it's there because someone probably sued them for not mentioning it before.

stacy lomman said...

This is hilariuos! And the lactating room.... no words, simply no words. What's next? How about the "I have cramps meditation room?"

The Misadventures of Miss Manship said...

Thanks for your kind comment on my blog. This post made me laugh so hard, it reminded me of the Friends episode where someone eats Ross's sandwich at work and he gets the nickname 'Mental Gellar' or something like that. LOL!

*sigh* After seven years of working in the customer service industry, I now know why there are labels on packets of nuts saying 'Warning! This product may contain nuts'

Aunt Juicebox said...

Obviously you have never seen the woman's picture online who is wearing raw bacon. ;) Bacon is good for everything, my dear.

Jules said...

That's because weirdo people steal food from the fridge. EVEN at A SCHOOL! Crazies!

Tiffany said...

people are idiots. this seems to be the only explanation for things that i don't understand.

(granted, maybe I'm the idiot, but I'm pretty sure it's the former.)

Barbaloot said...

The stupidity of some people really is amazing, no? We had a sign on the door at my old job that said-"pull handle to open door." Seriously-that's what it said. I got angry every time I saw it cuz it was so stupid!

Jennet said...

I worked at a place once that had a "quiet room" where you could go on your breaks. It had a sofa, lots of big pillows, an exercise ball, CD player with a choice of relaxing CDs and so on. It was prioritized for breast pumping, with appropriate signage. The ENTIRE time I worked there, there was a new mom that shared my shift and break schedule and used it to pump. Made me SO sad, I got all of one nap in that room.

And no, it wasn't a great job; it was a TERRIBLE job and that was part of their desperate attempt to reduce turnover. I lasted 8 months. :)

Kaela said...

I have to agree about the fridge sign, although they should word it more directly. "STOP EATING OTHER PEOPLE'S STUFF, YOU DUMB COW. YOU ARE AN ADULT, BUY YOUR OWN DAMN FOOD."

I think that would be more appropriate.

The Boob Nazi said...

I like to give everyone a chance and assume they're not stupid.... But then I see signs like this and realize most people are.

La La La Leah said...

My favorite signs are the Chinese signs that are translated into English!!

I have decided the Lactation room is now the sex room not the nap room... but either would work... It could be like in Harry Potter with the Room of Requirements how cool would that be..... Also your co workers should not be having sex at work......

Jen said...

Yup there are so many people out there like that that there is a great need for these signs.

Poindexter said...

You're right. Makes no sense. But in truth, and unfortunately so as evidenced by the photo you so cleverly captured, it makes perfect sense.

KristenLisa said...

I am actually a little MORE confused after looking at that bathroom sign...

Myya said...

People are idiots!!! Dumb people make the rest of us have to deal with stupidity signs posted everywhere. I just love your posts, you always manage to get a laugh out of me! :0)

confused homemaker said...

I was under the impression urinal fishing was becoming the latest Olympic sporting event. Was I wrong?

CRY said...

My husband is a plumber and I could tell you some funny stories, one is a family that was so rich he went to unclog their toilet and there was a nice iphone in it, they didnt even know it was missing!how does this happen? no not the phone getting in the lines but how they didnt know it was missing? hmmmm
you crack me up

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

There are always people out there that make ridiculous signs necessary.

Arielle said...

I've totally tried to fish in a urinal before, and it didn't work out very well. If only I'd had that useful sign to tell me to not waste my time and effort!

Pres. Kathy said...

I can't stop laughing from that sign!

Melissa aka Equidae said...

hey thanks for passing by and yes those signs are for the moron...at work we had ppl take stuff from our fridge even if we were only 8 staff!

Laura said...

Almost laughed my tea out of my mouth. So funny sweetie! I guess we really do need signs to tell us what to do. Can you imagine if their weren't any toilet signs? What would our lives come to....Love your inner thoughts and blog. Let me know if you want to guest post anytime!

Pricilla said...

My personal favorite is the notice on the peanut bag that the bag may contain peanuts...
erm, duh?

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Triple A advertised its free "tipsy tow" for New Year's Eve. But, the radio announcer sternly intoned, "Triple A says it will not tow your car and take you to another party."

Existential Waitress said...

I love laughing at stupid signs. I used to collect those airline safety instruction cards b/c I thought the illustrations were so funny.
And just when you think who would be dumb enough to need these signs, there is that one jack ass who just doesn't get it.

Mrs. Fish aka Two Fish said...

ROFL...oh some people truly have cranial rectal inversion. (Head up arse syndrome) LOL

Life Laugh Latte said...

I love reading all of the warning signs particularly on kids clothing and toys. The lawyers are busy helping stupid people be a little less stupid! Holly

Mommy Lisa said...

People are strange....and stupid.

jules said...

But seriously. What's up with the fishing pole?

Erin said...

Shit, I knew I shouldn't have parked there. Ooops!

I wish I could see the lactation signage! And it always burned me up when people would steal my lunch/food from the office fridge. So rude & ridiculous.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

There used to be a proper official road sign on the street near my office in Manhattan that said "Don't even THINK of parking here". Those were the exact words. I laughed every time I saw it. And even though I never parked there I often thought about it just because it said not to.

I always hated when some sanctimonious idiot in the office would put hand written signs on the toilet doors saying something like "Come on ladies, we're all adults here, let's not forget to flush down our little friends after we're done!" in a passive aggressive smug manner. I used to want to deface those signs. I'd have more respect if someone just said "FOR F*CK'S SAKE FLUSH YOUR SH*T, YOU F*CKERS".

Salt said...

You know that someone HAD to have tried fishing in a urinal before.

Where I live there is an old law that states that you are prohibited from bringing a lion to the movies within city limits. I would just LOVE to know who brought a lion to the movies and what result came from it that caused such a rule to be written.

Shorty said...

As a person who is consistently asked to post signs at work (the joy of being head of Human Resources in a small business) which reiterate the obvious, I can attest that I see too many idiots who need the signs on a regular basis. What's more sad is that the signs don't usually work for the people they are intended to change. They just cause other people to do exactly what the sign says NOT to out of rebellion.

Nathanael Rey said...

oy. thats like the time that i went swimming on the "dangerous" part of the beach in peurto rico thinking I had discovered a secluded part of the beach that none of the "tourists" went to.

Yeah I almost drowned.... wtf!? I don't read taco bell language! so what if I am puerto rican! hahaha I saw the sign... but couldn't read it. SMH at myself.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

When i was the manager at the book store, I became all too familiar with the fact that some women disregard the signs kindly asking them NOT to flush feminine products down the toilet.

It wouldn't have been so bad if I didn't have to swamp the toilet out five times in the course of a year.

Confessions From A Working Mom said...

So I DID burst out in a fit of giggles at that "how-not-to-use-a-urinal" sign.

I think the proliferation of signs is because people are so damn (pardon my language) non-confrontational. They're always terrified they'll hurt someone's feelings, so they use a sign instead to say what they need to say. I'm even guilty of it at times, myself!

~Elizabeth
Confessions From A Working Mom

That One Mom said...

After years and years in management, I fully understand the need for these signs.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

some folks just dont get it do they? thanks for the daily dose of laughter my dear!
<><

carissajaded said...

hahaha what are they expecting to get from putting a fishing pole into a toilet? Although I have to say I've had a tampon incident where it has crossed my mind...

Nathanael Rey said...

also, i gave you an award over at my blog!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I just took a much-needed writing break and as usual, your blog made me laugh and lifted my spirits. Now I’m in a better mood and can get back to work. Thanks.

Grand Pooba said...

Crap, I'm pretty sure I've done every single position in that bathroom sign. I must be another reason for signs.

(I do write my name on my frozen meals at work because we all by the same kind, one day I come in to get one and see it in the trash with my name written in BOLD right there! I don't think any sign is "Stupid Person" proof.)

Together We Save said...

That sign is so funny!!

Kathryn said...

Okay, in my defense...I was just resting there. I was actually under the car...retrieving my half-finished can of Red Bull.

Yeah, that's it. See, the can expressly said "Do not drive over can" so I had to get it back.

On a related note: The directions for my snowblower clearly state: Do not use on roof. Huh.

obladi oblada said...

That sign is awesome. The bathroom one...what is the figure in the last square doing? Practicing karate moves on it? I NEED a sign like that in our bathroom...because my BOYS seem to need one.

I have a sign above my desk that I made and it says FIND HIM AND KILL HIM. I can relate it to anyone I want. Its nice. Signs are good.

Janet said...

I've seen a hair dryer with the warning not to use it in the shower.

DeNae said...

...and yet, I have personal experience with the potential benefits of a sign attached to an iron which might read, "Do not use this product in the nude."

'Nuff said. The signs are for me.

Nonflammable said...

I used to work for a cpa firm in the tax division. There was a large sign on the fridge: mark your lunches, don't take what isn't yours...several of us had items stolen on a regular basis. Someone even put a mousetrap in their lunch sack. 6 months later 'the thief' who just happened to be one of the partners, was busted.

There are many people that have a sense of entitlement. Sign or not, they can't be bothered with courteous behavior

bluzdude said...

The picture on the lower right side just kills me. How anyone would ever think to include that "position" is beyond me.

Which reminds me... I gotta try it some time. Unless there's a sign.

WhisperingWriter said...

Oh my gosh, I nearly choked on my water when I saw that bathroom sign. That is hilarious.

Badass Geek said...

People in the sign-making business would be out of work if 50% of the population were smarter.

Unknown Mami said...

I've worked in so many places where the signs have gone unheeded.

secret agent woman said...

After you've been with my blog for a while, you know that I LIVE for crazy signs.

Matty said...

As Bill Engvall would say on the Blue Collar Comedy tour, "here's your sign".

Aunt Becky said...

I want to work in a sign factory just to fuck with people.

J.J. in L.A. said...

Worst warning sign I have ever seen (on a blow dryer):

"Do not use while sleeping."

Darn! I just got 8 hours of sleep, but I could sure use a nap!

blueviolet said...

Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if all signs were removed! It's already bad!

Lauren said...

Lactating is pretty exhausting work. It deserves a nap! :)

Herding Cats said...

Signs crack me up (except for passive aggressive signs)....hate those!

Emily said...

I'm with you on the sign thing. Except that last one...sometimes the rules are just pointless and should be broken. (Should I even be admitting I feel this way to an attorney!?)

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

The bathroom sign. Actually laughed out loud!

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

PS Ya know, lawyers (sigh) are the reason for so many signs ... just sayin' ...

kys said...

The nap room at work is genius.

If you're the one napping.

Frustrating if you aren't.

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Oh yeah there is always those a-holes out there that don't think these signs are meant for them just everyone else.

Ink Obsession Designs said...

OMG...so freaking hilarious!!

shortmama said...

Every time I see a "no-brainer" sign or warning on a label I think someone must have actually done something this stupid before and they felt the need to cover their ass with a sign for future stupidity

Shadow said...

you missed the point... signs are there to keep the sign making industry in business... and for amusement of course, heee heee heee

Mrs Montoya said...

It takes all kinds. Even the ones that can't read.

I haven't needed a lactation room in almost five years, but I'd certainly be willing to use one midday this week. Sounds wonderful, really. Can you hijack the sign for me?

Martha in PA said...

Signage for those things we think as common sense crack me up. I am sure they are other places too, over the past 6 years, the most public rest rooms in one place I have visited was in Disney World, and all of the rest rooms have signs instructing you on how to wash your hands! LOL, they were all sponsored by one of the paper towel companies!

Dumblond said...

That bathroom sign reminds me of others I have seen from Japan. Japan seems too have such a weird sense of humor...I think I want to live there.
And I could go on for days on how nasty women can be! When I was in Boot Camp, there were many times that I had to clean the head and had to get rid of non-flushable used (*shudder*) feminine products...urp. So...gross.

Kato said...

I want that sign for my own bathroom!

Also, I firmly believe that everyone is a little dumb (myself included) until proven otherwise!

Great post!

Vivienne said...

I posted a sign similar to the bathroom sign, but mine has a "No felation" graphic...
http://viv-spot.blogspot.com/2008/07/i-will-never-complain-again.html
seriously.

The Absence of Alternatives said...

LOL at the bathroom signs too. Ok. The squatting on the toilet one? I'm convinced it is necessary judging by the footprints and dirts I often see in public bathrooms!

So well said.