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A spoonful of humour makes the medicine go down.
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Community Service

Posted May 5th, 2012 at 09:40 AM by Sodom

I am of the belief that it is imperative to give back to your local community because in the end, when the chips are down, it's the people closest to you who will rally around and support you in your time of need - and when that happens, you're going to want them to want to be there. I am also, however, the first to admit that I've been a little lax in my efforts to benefit my local kin of late (and by 'of late', I mean for the past twenty-one years). Not once have I helped a doddery old lady cross the street with her shopping bags (in fact, one time as a child while running head-first out of a pharmacy I knocked an old lady clear off her feet and kept running, leaving my mother to clean up the wrinkled mess I'd left in my wake - just one incident in a long history of faux pas involving the elderly); I've never been involved in any sports teams or artistic groups, let alone one that may bring glory to the often-overlooked area; and you will never find me on my days off standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the local police force and other I-can't-believe-it's-not-Prozac cheery volunteers, painting rainbows and smiles over the "Suk My Dick" graffiti the local hoodlums spent the previous night spraying over the rainbows and smiles we painted the last time they decided to play these reindeer games.

But that doesn't mean I don't care! Well, that's a lie - I don't care. I don't care so hard. One day, they will bottle the deafening silence of my apathy and use it as inspiration to write country music about how much I just don't care. But it doesn't mean that if the opportunity to do some selfless community service were to literally take a dump right in front of me, I wouldn't take it. After all, when chances like this are presented to you so overtly, they are to be taken as communications from Jesus himself - and what kind of a man would I be if I let a direct call from The Lord Our God fall on deaf ears?

Such an occasion presented itself to me today.

I was at the mall having lunch with my best friend, which is something I do on the majority of the days I don't go to work. We had just finished our Chinese food and were meandering through the mall (anybody who knows me knowing I love me a good meander), arms linked and coat-tails flapping in the breeze, when I took a cursory glance to my left and my eyes happened upon an out-of-order ATM bearing this sign:

Spoiler:


I was immediately shocked and appalled. How a company as large and prestigious as a bank allowed such a mockery to be printed and go public in such a young and impressionable community lingered just out of reach of my mental capacity. My first thought - as would be the first thought of any man of God worth his salt - was, of course, the children. I couldn't let the children be exposed to such horror... yet who knew how many had been already? I did a quick scan of the wide corridor and saw no immediate signs of unrest - no people between the age of 7 (the age at which a child should be able to read and comprehend the sign) and 15 (the age by which I judged one would have acquired the emotional maturity not to allow such an incident to overtly damage their calm) were in sight. If ever there were a moment, this was it.

Gathering all of my inner poise, I sprang into action. Together, my friend and I sprinted to Coles (the nearest supermarket) - coat-tails flapping more violently than I had ever previously allowed in public - and purchased a $2 Sharpie. We went to a self-serve checkout, not having the time to deal with idle chit-chat in an emergency of this magnitude (yet still with the presence of mind to scan my Flybuys loyalty card and make the Dawn French inside my head proud of me) and sprinted back to the ATM.

I had torn the Sharpie out of its packaging as I ran and I set immediately to work on amending the sign. Once I was finished with it, it looked like this:

Spoiler:


My friend and I looked at each other and burst immediately into relieved laughter. We knew we’d done something truly great today; we’d made a difference. It wasn't just the sign we had fixed, you see. It was the ripple effect that the sign would cause. If that sign had been allowed to stay as it were, can you imagine how many children would walk past, read it and take it for granted that that was the correct spelling of "inconvenience"? What would follow would have the potential to be disastrous - not because of that one word, but because of the lifetime of bad grammar habits that word would teach them. Today it's "inconveniance", tomorrow it's "independance", the next day "definately". Then who's to say where it ends?

I am. And I say it ends right here, at Day One.

What I would like to know is how this happened. I think it's a safe assumption that in 2012, most corporations would operate using Microsoft Word. Even if this one does not, a large majority of (if not all) word processing software comes with an in-built spell checker, all of which have the tell-tale red line under every word you screw up. Given the use of a frowning face at the bottom of the sign, I'm going to take a wild leap and speculate that the author was a woman; and the fact that she redundantly used the word "sorry" twice (almost as if apologising for her catastrophic shortcomings as a human being) leads me to deduce that she is a low-level employee within the bank. Setting aside these assumptions, along with the assumption that her basic-level education failed her, I am actually quite impressed with this woman. I can tell from the sign alone that she sticks to her principles without apology and always does what she believes is right. After all, it's one thing to make a simple spelling mistake - we've all done it; we've all been there - but in this technological age, it takes some serious balls to sit there staring at that red dotted line which tells you you're wrong and still be presumptuous enough to think that you know better.

In any event, there's one thing I know for sure after today's events: that old lady that I knocked over outside that pharmacy so many years ago - who would now be long dead (hopefully through neither a direct nor indirect result of my actions that day) - is looking down on me right now and smiling.

Because you know what? I turned out alright after all.
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    donavannj's Avatar
    itb: Andy reveals that he's really a very, very crotchety old man.
    Posted May 5th, 2012 at 09:46 AM by donavannj donavannj is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Forever's Avatar
    looooool shining you're so awesome great etc EVERYTHING.

    HOPE YOU SLEEP WELL :)
    Posted May 5th, 2012 at 09:48 AM by Forever Forever is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Esper's Avatar
    I can't believe you didn't correct the spelling mistake in "currently."





    Just kidding. ☺
    Posted May 5th, 2012 at 10:08 AM by Esper Esper is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Kura's Avatar
    Where's that facepalm gif when you need it?
    Posted May 5th, 2012 at 10:12 AM by Kura Kura is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Hybrid Trainer's Avatar
    inb4 dyslexic.

    GO GO GADGET CSS FILLER
    Posted May 5th, 2012 at 10:38 AM by Hybrid Trainer Hybrid Trainer is offline
  6. Old Comment
    shenanigans's Avatar
    i completely skimread this at first and just looked at the pictures and i was thoroughly relieved when you showed that you corrected the awful sign. although taking photos of it was... odd. but well done!
    Posted May 5th, 2012 at 11:24 AM by shenanigans shenanigans is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Team Fail's Avatar
    You, sir, are a good man. And you made me truly lol.

    This is failblog worthy
    Posted May 5th, 2012 at 11:50 AM by Team Fail Team Fail is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Perrie ✿'s Avatar
    i honestly expected to see that you said you had been arrested and had gotten community service lol ):
    Posted May 5th, 2012 at 12:23 PM by Perrie ✿ Perrie ✿ is offline
  9. Old Comment
    Mr Cat Dog's Avatar
    Think of the butterfly effect. One minute: tens of Australian children are misspelling 'inconvenience'; the next: the END OF THE WORLD!
    Posted May 5th, 2012 at 01:51 PM by Mr Cat Dog Mr Cat Dog is offline
  10. Old Comment
    Overlord Drakow's Avatar
    ^ GOD DAMN, WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THE RIPPLE EFFECT IN MY DARK SCHEMES FOR GLOBAL CONQUEST!?!
    Posted May 5th, 2012 at 02:42 PM by Overlord Drakow Overlord Drakow is offline
  11. Old Comment
    Usagi-Chan~'s Avatar
    xD Oh my gawd andy that is just too good, I hate seeing misspelled signs, and where I live people do it ALL THE TIME.
    Posted May 5th, 2012 at 06:43 PM by Usagi-Chan~ Usagi-Chan~ is offline
  12. Old Comment
    Aphrodite's Avatar
    smooth
    Posted May 5th, 2012 at 08:08 PM by Aphrodite Aphrodite is online now
  13. Old Comment
    Barrels's Avatar
    xD Nicely done, sir. Although I have to wonder whether you've fully considered the repercussions of your actions...

    ATMs tend to have CCTV installed, y'see. And a possible reason that sign hadn't already been ripped down and corrected by a junior member of the banking staff was that it had been placed there by the bank manager. Who will have access to that CCTV. Yeah. And probably go scrolling through all those hours to see just who dared to deface her nearly-flawless spelling with a Sharpie.

    tl;dr: I hope you don't bank with her. xD
    Posted May 6th, 2012 at 04:20 AM by Barrels Barrels is offline
  14. Old Comment
    Sammi's Avatar
    Andy, Word doesn't spellcheck capitalized words by default last I used it. So she probably didn't even notice it was wrong. :(

    Could be worse. One person I know uses "insure" instead of "ensure" for EVERYTHING. I CAN'T INSURE THIS STUFF IT'S NOT A TANGIBLE OBJECT
    Posted May 6th, 2012 at 01:02 PM by Sammi Sammi is offline
 

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