Even smart people need to be told not to do dumb things.

I work in a building full of automotive engineers. I’ve always thought of engineers as being particularly intelligent. Yet occasionally you’ll stumble across signs on things like this one:

It's like we're all in first grade except that this paste is toxic.

You’d think particularly intelligent people wouldn’t need a warning label like that. Granted, this tub is in the refrigerator a lot of us store our lunches in (you can see my lunchbag in the bottom left background), but as a general rule I don’t mess with things in the fridge that I didn’t put in there to begin with. I always figured that was true for everyone, but apparently it’s not. Apparently you have to warn otherwise intelligent people not to open up a random tub and shovel its contents into their gaping maws just because it happened to be in a refrigerator or someone will end up doing just that at some point in time or another.

You could write that off as just being extra cautious and I could agree with that, but then there’s this:


Granted this is on a door that at one point in time you could just push to open, but that changed well over a year ago. You’d think most folks would understand how to open the door by now making such a sign unnecessary. Yet every now and then you’ll hear a muffled thud resound through the building as someone runs headlong into the door because they forgot to turn the damned handle.

Which isn’t to say that the engineers in my building are stupid — I’ve forgotten to turn the handle on more than occasion myself and I’m pretty smart — just that every now and then even smart people need to be reminded not to do stupid things.

4 thoughts on “Even smart people need to be told not to do dumb things.

  1. and apparently they also need to be told how to spell long words. [I know, spelling is not a natural law, we should be flexible about it. but it bugs me sooooo]
    The door thing, though. There’s one particular door that I always try to push my way out of instead of pulling it towards me. In spite of the little note on it telling me I need to do it the other way. Some serious mental block there, because it’s only that one door.

  2. Indeed, Les. I met a boatbuilder in Mendocino once, who made beautiful wooden clinkerbuilt rowboats and sailboats, who gave up after he was told he must put a white sign on both gunwales (the outer rail of a boat) saying “not a step”. It’s ironic that the Republicans are always complaining about the “nanny state” of America, yet they keep supporting such laws….

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