Thursday, September 07, 2006

Dear OSHA,

Every day I pass a construction site. Like most construction sites, the sign above is posted for all to see. I used to think this sign was to encourage safety, especially when the workers are so very close to the road...future road... eventual flat surface.

The other day I had one of my epiphanies- The Men Working sign is not for safety. It is displayed in bright orange in an effort to convince me that indeed there are men working nearby. Because, let me tell you, if they are working at any point during their 8 minute day, it's not while I am driving by.

The construction site is near a traffic light so I, the nosy, I mean observant person that I am, sit there many times watching the complicated, yet unrefined dynamics of this sociological group. (My parents sent me to college for something. They're gonna be just puffed up with pride about this one.)

This is what I observed, objectively and scientifically, of course. ;>)

Total men "working"- 14. I counted. The light was red.

One man was standing next to the Men Working sign.

Another man was watching the man standing next to the sign. I concluded, based on the scientific method, that he is some sort of "sign supervisor" or "sign trainer" and the other guy was the "sign apprentice."

I didn't see Donald Trump anywhere, but, I think if you are fired from the "Men Working sign watcher" apprenticeship, you are demoted to the "Slow sign holder" position.

Apparently, the Slow sign does not have its own stand. Over in Mississippi somewhere there is a Slow sign stand factory where there is a Men Working sign displayed because roughly a dozen or so men are working on Slow sign stands.

Ok. Here is another thing I am confused about. If the Slow sign is used to promote safety and encourage drivers to indeed Slow down, then why is there a man holding the sign- you know- directly in the path of the speeding cars? This is perhaps some sort of secret construction worker initiation.

I digress.

Let's continue with this highly regarded sociological study...

There was one man who actually looked like he may be breaking a sweat. He was operating the crane.

There were four men standing on top of a pile of lumber next to the crane. One of them was waving his arms. I think he was saying,"Hey, guys! Here comes a lady in a car. Look like you are working. I don't think she saw the sign."

The rest of the study group stood off to the side, leaning on things that looked really mechanical and important. They were the construction version of the Baptist Committee on Committees. I think one of them was wearing Fonzi's jacket.

I still don't have a clue why I have only observed the Men Working sign at construction sites. Surely there are many more hazardous work environments.

Does the DEA display an "Undercover Agents Working" sign outside the crack house just before a drug bust? Sounds pretty dangerous to me.

And why doesn't the state trooper put an "Approaching Unknown Crazed Speeder" sign outside of his squad car before he approaches said crazed speeder? Walking up to a lunatic on the side of the freeway with cars racing by at 75 mph, is, oh, I'd say pretty dangerous. By the way, if anyone needs the Slow sign, it's the state trooper.

How about the Kindergarten teacher on the first day of school? Doesn't she deserve some sort of sign? Like, "Please, for the love of Pete, someone help me!" or "Early Childhood Educator Ahead- Use Caution" or how about "Classroom Full of Five Year Olds With Attention Deficit Disorder and Poor Hygiene Habits." Oooooo... that gives me chills just thinking it.

What OSHA hasn't required is the Mom Working sign. According to some blogs, being a mom can be quite hazardous. There are rocks drying, poo flying, and sea monkeys dying on a daily basis.

And they think this job is for sissies.


Susanne said...

What I need is a warning sign on your posts so I don't spew my morning coffee all over the monitor as I'm ROFL! You're hilarious!

sarah said...

This was too hilarious!

We have lived in KC for over 3 years, and the highway near our house has literally been under major construction for the entire time that we've lived here. I think it's scheduled to be completed in Spring '07. At the rate that I see the work getting done (S.L.O.W.), I'm not surprised it's taking almost 5 YEARS to finish!

Brenda said...

You are hilarious!

Our signs are a little more truthful - Slow Men Working.

Melanie said...

Your sign people need to do lunch with my sign people.

Big Mama said...

You are too funny and sadly, so right! I need a warning sign today that says "Cranky 3 year old crossing. Beware of flailing arms and legs in a screaming mass"

I added you to my blogroll too, by the way. : )

Nancy said...

Great post! There was no one "working" any of the six times I went by there last month.
Makes me think of Hwy 87 and the interminable construction there.
If you ever come up here, the equivilant is the Wilson Bridge and the "Mixing Bowl." They recently finish the Wilson Bridge, but I don't think the Mixing Bowl is really ever expected to be completed.