Double “Heh!”

Stephan Pastis puts motivational posters in perspective.  (Click the image to go to a larger version at the comic strip’s Web site).

That reminds me of an incident at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, a long time back.  (I promise, I’m not making this up!)  At that time, nursing training in South Africa generally consisted of three years in a hospital setting, followed by a one-year midwifery program, to earn the equivalent of the US Registered Nurse (RN) qualification.

It seems that the hospital had experienced a spate of “blue births”, where the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck during birth, potentially impeding breathing.  This requires rapid intervention (up to and sometimes including a caesarean section) to remove the cord and allow the baby to breathe freely.  The matron in charge of the midwifery college therefore decided to remind her students to be more alert to the problem.  She put a big poster on the wall of the break room, proclaiming in large capital letters:

THE FIRST FIVE MINUTES OF LIFE
ARE THE MOST DANGEROUS!

It didn’t take long for someone to add, beneath the original text:

THE LAST FIVE MINUTES ARE A BIT DODGY, TOO!

Peter

5 comments

  1. Some thoughts on this:
    In my life in the upper midwest; we were always exhorted to give that extra 10%. And people usually did. And the company prospered.
    Moving to the southwest; I’m shocked if older workers give 90% and apoplectic if younger workers show up at all.

    Steve

  2. Some well-meaning people tried once to get the French Foreign Legion(!) to cut back on alcohol abuse. They put up posters in every barracks showing a skull wearing the Legion’ white kepi, and the legend “Alcohol is Deadly!”

    Very shortly thereafter, under every one of those posters, was a counter-message: “But the Legionnaire does not fear death!”

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