4/8/09

"Closed" means "Not Open", Homer




I had intended on writing on an entirely different subject today, but I've got something on my chest, so I'll forgo it for another post. This is important.

I live in a town of about 50,000 permanent residents. Texas State University accounts for maybe another 29,000, some of which are commuters from outside of town and some of which may be longtime residents, so whittle that down to roughly 20,000 temporary, transient residents.

I do all my internet trafficking at the local library, which has its hours clearly stated on the front of the building. It opens at 10am. I get here, sometimes as much as 20 minutes early, because I have no other plans, and just want to catch a good parking spot. From my car I have a clear view of the front of the building where, again I point out, the sign is visible to show that it opens at 10am.

Invariably, every day, there are at least ½ a dozen people who go striding up to the automatic doors, and are dumbfounded when they don't open. Today, I even saw one person reach out and try to push it open. You could dismiss the younger, college-age students, because, as I said, this is a university town and some of them may not know the library hours yet.

But there are even old-timers who come up to the door, apparently unaware of the hours of operation. What gets me is that none of these people even look at the sign stating those hours until after a minute or two of fruitless efforts, sometimes even trying the other door (there are two), as if the one door may be broken.

I have to admit a little evil streak here. On occasion, instead of waiting in my car, I have been known to hang around outside the door, while waiting. On those occasions, some of the people will come up to the door and upon not getting in, will ask "They aren't open yet?". On those occasions, I will say not 'til 10. But on a couple of occasions I actually said, "Yeah. The door's broken. You gotta push it open." Of course, they try my advice and are upset when it doesn't work. Hey, if you can't read what are you doing at the library, anyway?

My father owned (and still owns) a store where this kind of thing happened, too. The "Closed" sign was on the door, at eye level for most folks, but people would still rap on the door and try to push the door open. Then pull, in case that was the way it opened. Then rap on the door again. He had on display for years a cartoon, "They'll Do It Every Time" (done by Al Scarduto and/or Bob Dunn, my research gives both those names for the time period), which displayed exactly the same scene, and the people saying something like "They aren't open?" with the closed sign visible.

So, Homer, the moral of the story is if it says "Closed" they probably just forgot to turn the sign over. After all you are more important than the people in charge of operating the business.

2 comments:

Howard Bagby said...

I work part time at Taco Bell. One of my jobs is cleaning the parking lot. We open at 10:00 but a lot of times I have seen people pull up to the drive-through and just sit there. I usually go tell them but a few times I have just watched them.

Daisy said...

This made me laugh. I work at a library. One of my coworkers frequently says, "It always amazes me how many people come to the library who don't know how to read."

People often ask us questions at the desk which they could easily find the answers to themselves if they just read the signs that we have posted around.

I don't know how you keep from laughing when you tell people the door is broken. HA!