Monday, January 06, 2014

For the Love of Signs

It seems to me that people get really pissed off about signs.  I've seen them riddled with bullet holes, graffiti coated, slashed, knocked over and pulled out of the ground.  I called the cops once when I witnessed my neighbors trying to pull the stop sign out of the ground at the corner of our street.  Turns out they were the people responsible for not only stealing our rent check but T's identity as well.  They were running a whole identity theft ring out of their townhouse and having BBQ's with all the items they were purchasing under T's name.  Luckily the SWAT Team showed up and took them down.  If they hadn't tried to dislodge the sign, and I hadn't called to report them, we would have never known.

I've never understood this hatred of the sign.  I have to wonder if it started with the Hippy generation.  They even had that song.  Sign, sign, everywhere a sign...

I'm quite the sign maker.  I enjoy a very well thought out and informational sign.  If a sign informs me of something I am unaware of or points me a direction I need to go, this makes me happy.  Unfortunately, many people read signs with a negative perspective.  Instead of seeing them as helpful, they see them as something to rebel against.  Like an omnipresent entity is posting them as some sort of challenge or test.  Sometimes they are looked at as a "Don't bother me".

This sign above, for example.  It is sitting in an acrylic sign-holder on my desk.  I made it so that when I am making copies, on the phone, in the restroom or etc., people don't have to hang around waiting for me to answer this.  It comes up about 100 times a day the first week of classes.  I find it very helpful and so have many students.  The faculty tend to see it as a "Don't Bother Me!" sign.  

They usually chuckle and say something to the effect of, "That's one way to get them not to bother you." or "Don't want to be bothered today, huh?"


How did they arrive at this most illogical conclusion?  

It really bothers me.  You see, I thought I was being helpful and these people have taken what I thought was a positive helpful thing and turned it into a negative F-off thing.  Believe it or not, this actually causes me quite a bit of hurt.  Mostly because I feel as if  these people view me as the type of person that would tell people not to bother me and to F-off rather than someone who is eager to be helpful and informative.

Now, some of you might find me a bit overdramatic, but this seriously happens with every single sign I make.  I could make one that says "Have a Nice Day!" and someone would accuse me of being a sarcastic bitch.  I kid you not.  I've realized it isn't really me though.

It's them.  It's how they perceive.  Instead of seeing a helping hand they see a command or an order or something to fight against, so they do.

That's sort of sad.

There are many helpful signs out there.

If you let them be.

(Those bastards!  How dare they tell me they're open! Like I can't tell by pulling on the door!)

No comments: