Recently I purchased a bottle of baby lotion, because I like the smell of the pink stuff they put on babies. For some reason I looked at the back of the bottle and the warning label surprised me, “keep out of reach of children.” REALLY? Where would you set the bottle if you were applying the lotion to your baby?
Okay, sometimes it seems as if we are being over cautioned. One of my friends lamented the label on her child’s playpen. It said, “do not leave child unattended.” She said, “Why else would I put her in a play pen?
If you want to see some useless labels, check out dumbwarnings.com. A sign near a state prison near Phoenix warns motorists not to pick up hitchhikers. DUH! Another road sign on US 131 in Michigan urges drivers to, “not pass while opposing traffic if present.” Wow, aren’t you glad someone felt the need to create a sign for that? Maybe they should review their driver’s education curriculum.
The folks in Tennessee are reminded when traveling through Smokey Mountain National Park to remove their sunglasses if the tunnel is dark. Drivers on Oklahoma’s Interstate 44 are cautioned to not drive into smoke. At Estes Park visitors are asked to climb to safety in the event of a flash flood.
What ever happened to common sense?
At times, it seems as if someone believes we are unable to take care of ourselves. Do we really need to be told that the ice in a Slush Puppy cup might be cold or that the coffee in a McDonalds cup might be hot?
Apparently someone wasn’t as alert and decided to complain, or even file a lawsuit. So, now we have to anticipate the next idiot’s actions.
Perhaps you’ve felt this way in the trucking industry. Drivers are told where to park, when to sleep, what to eat and punished for trying to stay warm on a cold winter night. Don’t park here. Don’t use your engine brake. Don’t use that lane. Shut that engine off now!
Every rule you are subjected to was probably the result of someone else’s carelessness or perhaps, cluelessness. Someone compelled those in authority to feel the need to make a rule or law or penalty so it doesn’t happen again.
It’s society’s way of accommodating the lowest common denominator. In other words, the one idiot out of thousands of safe, cautious and responsible drivers is the cause of the stress you experience in your job. You cannot anticipate stupidity, but you can legislate!
Do you really need a warning label on a jar of peanuts that states, “This product contains nuts”? Really? Maybe the nuts aren’t necessarily inside the jar.
When a driver crashes into a family because he’s watching porn on his cab mounted computer, everyone is told to keep the laptops away from the driver. When someone causes a crash because he or she is talking on the phone, then the entire industry is told to put those cell phones down.
It’s unfortunate that we live in a CYA (cover your backside) environment, but until we can stop giving them reasons to protect us from ourselves and from the one out of a thousand idiots in the cab of a truck, the rules will continue.
What can you do? How about pointing out the idiot on the road so he or she won’t represent the rest of the professional drivers? When you see behavior that is unacceptable, report the driver. Don’t allow someone else to be the motivation for a new law that will affect you.
Stop ignoring unprofessional behavior on the road or at a loading dock or truck stop. Call attention to the driver’s actions and hold him or her accountable. If it doesn’t stop, let the carrier know. Take photos, get witnesses and document the behavior. Don’t let the idiots represent you.
This industry is heavily regulated and your day is filled with rules, laws and warnings. Do we really need to be told that a jar of peanuts contains nuts? That’s just crazy. The nuts aren’t all inside the jar.