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>Grumpy old woman – can we go back to using common sense?


This morning during my commute into work I was exhorted with the following messages

– be careful, its been raining and the station platforms are slippery
– to stand away from the closing doors so as not to get injured when they close
– my coffee cup contained hot coffee which could scald
– how to properly wash my hands to avoid catching nasty diseases

None of these things was news to me.

Common sense had already stepped in and made sure that I was aware of all of these – the messages were just noise, distracting me from the important task of getting myself into work and up to my desk without injuring myself or others.

When did we completely abandon common sense?

When did we start to assume that everyone needed the blindingly obvious pointing out to them?

When did we assume that someone would be there to tell us about each and every danger that we have to navigate as we go about our day?

Surely there is a school of thought that these continual exhortations to take care might actually distract us from taking care?  Surely making us responsible for our own survival might lead us to take more care since we cannot rely on Big Brother to tell us about each and every danger?

Can we please have a return to using our common sense, to letting us get on with things and only pointing out the really dangerous things and only when absolutely necessary?

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17 comments to >Grumpy old woman – can we go back to using common sense?

  • Sarah in deepest, darkest Lomellina

    >Actually you are dead on, my sister was distracted by a sign that was exhorting people to take care on rain slippery steps and promptly slipped and fell down them.

    Had she been focused and looking where she was going it probably wouldn't have happened.

  • vegemitevix

    >My Englishman calls this sort of advice as 'advice for the hard of thinking!'

  • Ellen Arnison

    >Totally agree. The gantry signs on the motorway that say 'tiredness kills' or 'fasten your seatbelt' are very off-putting and annoying. If I'm going to get distracted, then at least make the messages new and interesting. How about 'try haggis soup, it's nicer than it sounds' or 'men should do pelvic floor exercises too'?

  • kirstyb

    >great post x

  • Livi

    >I agree, 100%, it's totally insane. However, from what I can gather it's since this compensation culture reared its ugly head. If there's no warning and you get hurt (read: are a complete idiot) you can sue.
    Drives me up the wall and it worries me that the next generation are going to be totally common sense free because they don't need it.

  • scribblingmum

    >So true and hadn't thought about it till you pointed it out they're bloody everywhere! Common sense isn't so common.

  • ThatGirl39

    >Its a crazy world in which we are all namby pamy'd to too much sometimes! There'll be laws about not wearing heels that are too high soon… then I really will sulk! x

  • MuddynoSugar

    >Loving the comments for this post

    Advice for the hard of thinking – Brilliant

    Namby Pamby – now that's a phrase I haven't heard for years!

    Loved the post too. Totally agree. When did we start needing instructions for day to day life.

  • London City Mum

    >If we do away with the 'how to' and 'what to' signs, we are (sigh) putting those VERY valuable people in health and safety out of a job.

    Sorry, did I say job? I meant jolly. As in "you are having a jolly good laugh at my expense mate".

    LCM x

  • Crystal Jigsaw

    >Great post! I think it went away when computers were invented. And probably when television became popular in every household.

    CJ xx

  • Muddling Along Mummy

    >Loving these comments 🙂

    I'm glad I'm not the only one…

  • tattooed_mummy

    >but my work colleague had a 'MAY CONTAIN BONES' warning on a cheese and pickle sandwich……she's a vegetarian….it's a scary world out there! LOL

  • bumblingalong

    >I blame the lawyers! No, actually, I blame the Amercan lawyers…

    I am not aware of anyone successfully suing for any of these kinds of things. But scare stories, in particular from the US (whether they are true or not, I don't know, but things like companies being sued for coffee being hot etc), have meant that paranoia takes hold!

    I feel a little the same about all of the childproof/spill proof gadgets you can buy. If a child learns it doesn't matter if they throw or turn the bowl upside down at home, what will happen when they don't have their special gadget!

  • PhotoPuddle

    >It's the compensation culture isn't it! So when you burn yourself on the coffee you can't try and sue because they told you it was hot!! Crazy world!!

  • Mwa

    >Britain has gone mad with that. We're lucky if we get holes in the ground signposted at all. You should move over here.

  • Annie

    >Here, here! I completely agree with your point. It is as though people have gone mad with overly litigious tendencies. It is infuriating… And being a U.S. citizen I can attest to the rumors… Suing over common sense issues is running rampant over here.

    I just want to yell – Use your head people!! Crazy world…

    Lovely blog, by the way. 🙂

  • Victoria

    >I'm definitely of the view that you have to learn by your mistakes, not just because someone told you so. I also think children need to learn this way. I took our stairgates off really early, but taught each baby to crawl downstairs backwards safely. Otherwise, you leave the stairgate open by mistake and they hurt themselves. Of course coffee's hot. Stupid people.

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