The following post is from a very special guest — the one who gave me my love of words, my first teacher, my first inspiration, my first writing task master: Mom (aka Alice Martin).
Some Things Don’t Make Sense
By Alice Martin
It’s true; they don’t. It’s amazing to me just how much of this non-sense stuff is going around. Here are a few examples.
Periodically, I go to the New York Blood Center in New Brunswick to donate platelets. They authorize the parking ticket from the parking garage located across the street. Although the card is punched, it apparently is not done correctly quite often because it doesn’t work in the automatic feeder and the gate does not go up to let me out. Then I call the security number which is an automatic button on the meter where I just fed my ticket. In about five minutes or so the security person comes along in the little truck to let me through the gate.
Since this happens so often, I know what to expect. I’ve taken to standing on the outside of the car in case other cars come along to exit the garage. There is another lane and I wave them to that one so they don’t get stuck behind me and have to back up after they figure out I’m not moving. This is not too big a deal unless more than one gets behind my waiting car. Then we would have quite a back up.
So this particular day I was leaning up against the car, just biding my time. To amuse myself I was looking around. There was not too much to read – the writing on the ticket-paying box was pretty much it. There is a red button you press for Security. There is also a green button. There is a slot where you are supposed to slide your ticket. Under the red and green buttons there is a Braille sign. What!? Are you kidding me? This ticket box thing is on the driver’s side of the car. Under what circumstances would a blind person be reading this sign?
I decided I would ask the security person this. After he arrived, asked how he could help, and proceeded to fix the problem, I asked him my question. “That’s what I wondered when I first started”, he said. He didn’t have an answer, however.
A few days later I was in Harmon’s, a local store that has just about everything one would find in a drug store, except for the pharmacy department. My goal that day was Neutrogena T-Gel shampoo. I looked first in the shampoo aisle. Not there. Then I went to skin care as that shampoo is for itchy scalp. Not there. Then I went to the aisle with hair conditioners. Nope. So I asked a clerk who was stocking the shelves. She kind of retraced my steps. She didn’t find anything either. I think she was a somewhat new employee, and I thought maybe she was going off to ask a more senior person, so I started to wander around and I found it – in the aisle with hair coloring.
When I got to the check-out the standard question the clerk always asks is “Did you find everything OK?” Well, no I didn’t, so I told her what had happened. She studied the box for a little bit and then said, “Well this is a dandruff shampoo. That’s why.” That’s why? How does that make sense? Dandruff shampoo is a hair coloring?
When I told this story at a recent choir rehearsal (we don’t just practice, we need some diversion after all) one of my friends said, “Maybe she doesn’t know what dandruff is.” Maybe.
My story prompted Kristina, the choir director, to tell one of her own. She works at Julliard School of Music in New York City. They’ve had meetings recently to go over security measures. The person leading a recent meeting was instructing the attendees as to what they should do in case of certain emergencies. They would be texted as to how they should proceed. Meanwhile, they were told that under no circumstances should they turn on their cell phones. “That’s how they can track you.” OK. What? “We’ll text you but don’t turn on your cell phone.” How does this make sense. I don’t think it does.
People in the meeting apparently didn’t either, as they were glancing at each other with a What? expression on their faces. I asked Kristina if anyone asked for clarification. “No,” she said. They all just wanted to get out of there, and since they didn’t figure it made any sense in the first place, they thought any “clarification” probably would not either.
So, now I’m just waiting for the next nonsensical thing to come my way. It probably won’t be too long before that happens.