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October 13, 2006
Why is it when you are teaching a class in R0.34/55 (the computer rooms under the Library) you always get disturbed as
cattle people wander in looking for computers? Don’t get me wrong, if I was looking for a computer, that’s where I’d look. However, they seem oblivious to the mahoosive sign on the door asking them not to enter. In fact most of them peer around the sign to see whether there are any free computers.
I’ve had several thoughts about why this is:
- Information Overload – There are so many signs/adverts/notices/posters around campus that, as there simply isn’t sufficient time for the brain to process all the information it receives and needs to ignore most things anyway, such notices/adverts are subconsciously grouped with the “information” that is to be disregarded. This was my first thought and I kind of disregarded it but, thinking about it, it makes sense. This is why
wankersadvertising executives are paid a tonne of cash to flog products in a world that is super-saturated with information/adverts/products. It is also why Union elections aren’t necessarily won the best candidate, but usually by the candidate with the clever/simple-est campaign.
- They are too close to the sign – The distance between the inner and outer door is so short that people can’t take the sign in before they are upon it. This probably contributes to an extent, in conjunction with the other factors.
- The sign is crap – This is certainly a big factor. The sign is FAR too busy, there is far too much information on it. It’s an A3 poster, fair enough, but the sign reads “Tutorial In Progress. R0.34 Booked. This room has been booked for teaching, please do not enter unless you are a member of the class, and do not disturb the class by entering” (or words to that effect). There’s a helpful No Entry sign but it isn’t much use when it’s pretty small and on a red background.
- They don’t care – This is true in some cases and there’s a large amount of I‘m more important than you-ism. The number of times I’ve heard “Oh can I just print such and such” or “But there are loads of computers free” – yes there are lots free but how am I supposed to keep track of people’s progress when half the people are checking Facebook or Hotmail.
I’d be very surprised if it was just one of, or even exclusively these factors – any thoughts?
Oh, and finally, to the male member of staff that marched through the room and indignently retorted “I work here – I’m a member of staff”: Get over yourself. Your colleagues managed to come through without disturbing the session and even then apologised for coming through, why couldn’t you? Yes you work there and needed to get through but a little bit of common courtesy might be nice. You never know, I might have even carried on being polite.