Tag Archives: communication

Searching for a sign

nursing homeI went to visit a friend in a skilled nursing home a few days ago the first time I’d gone there  When I drove into the parking lot, I saw two buildings, identical, each with an identical  porte-cochère and entrances.   Having no idea which I needed, I parked in front of the first and went inside, into   a small, square and very nicely furnished parlor.    On the right was a dark office.  Ahead of me was a door to a garden area.  On my left was a dark corridor which ended at a dark office.

Stumped, I headed out, went to the other entrance and found a woman in the second building, a skeleton staff because I’d arrived on a Saturday.   After I explained my problem, she said, “There’s a sign on the door that says for you to ring the bell.”  When I said I hadn’t seen it, she volunteered to take me over and show me.  I discovered that to find that sign, I had to turn left at the front door and go down the dark corridor, then take a right down another corridor to reach the door.

Why hadn’t I done that?  The BIG reason is that I didn’t think I should be wandering around in a nursing facility.  the patients deserved their privacy.   A very small reason is that I have a fear of being too girl in dark basementstupid to live.  If I had wandered alone down that dark hallway, would I have ended up like the coed who explores the basement during a thunderstorm without a flash light while a really bad guy is killing people?   Explaining either of my feelings was more trouble than it was worth, so I merely thanked the woman and went into the unit–although I did suggest there needed to be a sign at the front door.

RULE #1 about signs:   They should direct clueless people to the correct door and be no further than five feet from the spot people realize they are lost and clueless.  RULE #1a:  If people know where to go only after they’ve been there once, the facility needs a sign.

RULE #2 about signs:  They should make sense

baby up in this bA neighbor has a sign on the back of her car that reads, “Baby up in this b*tch.”    From the shape and colors of the sign, I guess it means the same as the “Baby on board” signs but I really had no idea what it meant.   Isn’t the reason for “Baby on board” to alert people in case of accident that they should also look for a baby?   Isn’t it a good idea therefore, to write it in words that people understand instead of using slag that we older or less hip people  may not understand?

Have you wandered in search of a sign?   Please share.  I like to know I’m not alone.