Indelible Blue Pen

Jason C. McDonald (CodeMouse92)


August 05, 2013

Someone Didn’t Think This Through

IMG_20130220_162716About a month ago, I donated blood for my mother’s surgery. Since we share so many life-threatening allergies, she could not take blood from the main bank (nor could I donate INTO said main bank). During the experience, I kept remembering the classic Bugs Bunny cartoon “Transylvania 6-5000”. Small wonder.

The experience started with filling out a medical questionnaire, which concluded with an agreement not to share my answers with anyone. I asked the receptionist about this, and she said it had to do with patient confidentiality.

“Might I emphasize, it’s MY patient confidentiality?”

“Yes, that’s true.”

So, in essence, I was agreeing in writing to never share my age, weight, or (albeit nonexistent) history of controlled substance use with anyone ever again.

Someone didn’t think this through.

I told the receptionist, with a rather wry smile, that since I was the only one who could legally lodge a complaint regarding a violation of my own privacy on the matter, the lawyers involved could shove it up their nose.

She smiled and shrugged, obviously catching the sheer stupidity of that legal agreement.

As I’ve said many times before, why is it, no matter where I go, the idiots always find me?

This isn’t the first legal document I’ve run into that wasn’t really thought through. I make a habit of reading EVERYTHING I agree to nowadays. When you run a small business, you learn really quickly how to read and write legal documents.

Retrospect, I remember taking the HSPE/WASL standardized test a couple years ago (see “Looks Like a Duck to Me!“), and finding a rather glaring legal bugaboo. “Please don’t discuss any part of the test with anyone,” they said. Well, that makes sense on the first glance…and ONLY on the first glance.

Wait, don’t just discuss the specific questions or answers, but any part of the test? That would include content.

Someone didn’t think this through.

Of did they? Perhaps, herein lies the driving force behind “No Child Left Behind” – a legal clause which effectively ends one’s legal right to ever explain basic math, language, science. There goes the next generation of teachers!

You know what I say. “No Child Left Behind, because none of us are going anywhere.”

(Oh, FYI, that was indeed a joke. If by some small [and sick] chance that was the intended result of the HSPE legal agreement, once again, the involved lawyers can shove it up their nose.)

There’s even more half-brained writing involved in the marketing industry (see “But Wait…There’s More!“), even with something as simple as the placement of a business.

In a little town we used to live in, a few blocks from our house, there was a little restaurant, “Sakura Teriyaki”. Right next door to it (in the SAME STRIP MALL), was “Tender Touch Animal Hospital”. That’s a bit too close for comfort, thank you very much.

What would that marketing statement sound like? “The pet of the week is also the special of the day!”

Shall I say it? Someone didn’t think this through.

I was in the Molstead Library at North Idaho College last spring when I noticed a sign on a door. I had seen it MANY times before, but this time it really jumped out at me. “This door to remain locked when building is occupied.”

Only one question: If the building isn’t occupied, who’s going to unlock the stupid door?

I snapped a photo (see above) and showed it to the librarian at the information desk. She got quite the kick out of it.

As irony would have it, I found out a few months later that North Idaho College is allegedly “haunted”. Well, that would explain who unlocks the door in the unoccupied building, assuming the presence of a ghost does not make the building “occupied”.

All together now: Someone didn’t think this through.

Someone once said, “Common sense isn’t so common anymore.” Perhaps it has something to do with the breakneck pace of our modern world.

Technology has trained us to want everything yesterday. Waiting an extra five seconds for a webpage to load makes us angry. Any meal that takes more than 10 minutes to prepare is considered a waste of time by many. Rovio has to delay the PC version of their latest Angry Birds update by two weeks, and people have a conniption. (On that note, I told one particularly hostile Facebook commenter on the matter that if he knew anything about how a software company actually works, he wouldn’t be complaining.)

That “want it now” demand, in turn, means that one has to cut corners to deliver to an increasingly demanding population. The first corner to be cut is “thinking it through.”

The Cheshire Cat said it right. “We’re all mad. I’m mad. You’re mad.” Modern-age instant gratification has led to a kind of insanity. Our kids believe that if it takes time and effort, it isn’t worth occupying their three-second attention spans with. Our adults seem to believe the same thing.

Is this really the society we want? One filled with impatient people, doors that can only be unlocked by ghosts, and legal documents inadvertently nullifying one’s rights to sharing their age and weight? What kind of mad place is this?

If we started taking those few extra seconds to actually think things through, maybe this world wouldn’t be quite so mad.

 

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