Wait, What Do I Do Here?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I recently purchased an Android phone (but not a permanent phone plan — possible future post coming about The Sometimes Phone, a long-awaited and finally realized dream).

The phone part I can take or leave, but I liked having a camera in my pocket wherever I went on my last trip.

One thing I noticed is that having a camera with you all the time serves to highlight what you find interesting. You see something and think, oh I should take a picture of that.

Having a camera with me all the time has highlighted for me the fact that I have a small fascination with signage. I guess it makes sense, I’m someone who spends a lot of time trying to explain things to people; of course I might find it interesting to see what other people do when they are trying to explain things in as few words as possible.

It turns out that I especially like oddly specific signs.

Like this one.

sign in front of door please press button stand in front of door and announce yourself

Building Entrance, Southeast Portland, Oregon

I don’t know, it just seems so … thorough. Like anyone who suddenly found themselves in front of that door and didn’t know what to do was totally covered. It’s okay, honey, here’s what you do.

If only every door we ever found ourselves in front of was so accommodating.

6 Responses to “Wait, What Do I Do Here?”

  1. Liz Adams Says:

    My current favorite sign is in our public library, in the magazine reading section: Please do not take magazines and newspapers to the bathroom!

    Evidently people are so at home there that they do this to the point that it’s a problem!


  2. I was once, in my youth, a sign STEALER. My very favorite sign, which my grandmother threw away while I was traveling was this:
    “Banana Trucks Fall in Rear of Line.”

  3. Jennifer Says:

    Very interested in your “sometimes” phone – having tried that for years and still being unsuccessful at it.

  4. lessisenough Says:

    @Liz
    Wow, that is hilarious. That’s a whole other category of sign — things that seem like they should go wihtout saying.

    I was at a store in Portland that has a section with products made by local artists. They have a bunch of signs all around that section that say “Please do not steal from local artists!” Which to me implies that it’s okay to steal other things, just not these.

  5. lessisenough Says:

    @Jennifer
    Okay I will put up info about the Sometimes Phone. It seemed like it was going to be totally workable but then took a few twists and turns before actually working. I would be happy to share my hard-earned knowledge, because I definitely cursed myself a few times for being me (why can you not just be a normal person and just pay every month for a stupid phone and not worry about it) so might as well put it out there.

  6. lessisenough Says:

    @Trish
    That is a good one. That’s one where you feel like you need a short story to go with it.

    And stealing signs has its benefits (for instance, you get to decorate your house with them) but for now I’m happy to have the phone in my pocket so I can get a picture. If I actually start to amass a collection, maybe I’ll set up a Tumblr for Oddly Specific Signs. Like Darren Barefoot’s Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness, which was a web page, then disappeared then came back to life on Pinterest.


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