Archive for the ‘Signage’ Category

Service of When Simple Things Confuse

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

I wonder if I live on a different planet sometimes. To illustrate what I mean, I’ve photographed a few signs and a sales pitch that I’ve recently noticed or received. I cover communications—mostly poor–in many of my posts.

On a bus at night this week I looked up from what I was reading to see where I was. I admired the new lit street sign [photo above], but from where I sat, I could only see the Avenue—the street number, which is what I needed to know, was hidden. Did the designer think of that?

I know why real estate people do it, because the avenue may have more cachet as an address to the building owner, but it has always confounded me when a door that opens many paces up a NYC street has an address referencing an Avenue. I’m surprised that it’s allowed. The photo, right, shows 350 Lexington Ave. quite a bit up on 40th Street facing west.

I got a letter from Stig Abell, whom I don’t know, asking me to subscribe to the TLS with not a hint of what it was anywhere. I bet every reader of this blog knows what TLS is but on arrival home late one night, I didn’t. Because I was planning to write this column, instead of tossing the letter immediately, I looked it up: The Times Literary Supplement. I guess it was one of those “If you have to ask, you’re not worthy of it,” sales pitches.

I didn’t snap a shot of a poster that was at bus stops all over town a few months ago—and I couldn’t find an image of it on the Internet either so you’ll have to believe me. It told the reader to fly out of EWR because of convenience etc. I’ve lived in NYC most of my life and had no idea where EWR was so the poster was wasted on me—I’ve never been good at acronyms anyway. I later learned in a Facebook conversation that it refers to Newark Airport as well as why the airport uses the letters EWR. Because the letter N is reserved for all things Navy, it cannot be used to identify airports.  EWR refers to some of the other letters in the word nEWaRk.

Have you been left in the dark due to confusing signs or mysterious sales pitches?

Service of Call Me Crazy

Monday, August 18th, 2014

After reading her post on Facebook I asked Jackie Herships if I might use her tale here. Jackie is a writer and marketing guru who co-founded Professionals in Media PIM, a LinkedIn Group, with Michele Hollow, a writer/editor/author. Her story is an example of how a local authority can make a person feel like they’re in a game of pin the tail on the donkey. The mask or scarf is in place, the next player has been spun around and is sent off to hit the target with arms outstretched.

The authority in Jackie’s instance was sharp and eagle-eyed to begin with and in follow-through became inefficient and unclear, creating a setup-to-fail dynamic.

This is Jackie’s story:

On my way to Healthy Bones, my Senior Exercise Class at the Millburn Library [in New Jersey], I parked in a handicapped spot – had a senior moment – and forgot to put up my handicapped placard. So, of course I got a Ticket! Bummer.

But Millburn, bless its heart, didn’t charge.

However, they did want to get their chance at dressing me down. So I dutifully went to plead guilty of forgetting, which I found, they’re pretty good at, too. That is to say, they put an address on the Ticket which appeared NOWHERE on the building, where there was also no mention of its being a COURTHOUSE.

In addition, there was nowhere to park for more than 15 minutes in front or in the Wells Fargo lot across the street which has multiple signs threatening towing. The sign warned “This lot is for Wells Fargo Customers only.  All others will be towed,”

I lurked inside the entrance to the Wells Fargo lot until I saw another woman drive in, park, and walk across the road to the Courthouse.  I parked in a spot near one of the signs, figuratively crossed my fingers, and walked across to the Courthouse where I was questioned loudly by the metal detector attendant…”why are you here?” “I parked in a handicapped spot but forgot to put up my handicapped placard.” “Oh, what happened…did you drop it?” “No, I had a Senior Moment.  Are you the judge?”  “Nope – and he waved me in.”

When it was my turn, I held up my placard and my handicapped citizens card.  Judge looking at the clerk:  “Are those hers?”  Clerk: “Yes, they’re hers – I checked…They’re good.”  And that was that. 

The ticket itself called for a date and time – as did a computer generated reminder which declared that my court date had been rescheduled for the same date and time, leaving me to conclude that confusion and lack of clarity are not specifically senior conditions, but begin in early adulthood and get embedded into the system where they tend to remain until and only when they are blasted out by someone so frustrated that he/she is willing to storm the barricades. Would it be so difficult to call the Courthouse a Courthouse?

Have you been confounded by poorly written instructions either by the government or other entity adding insult to injury in your attempt to fix things according to Hoyle?

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