Yes, I guess you could say we are back on the topic of signs. At least that is what most M&O and Public Works departments would think. However, for those savvy risk managers, like yourself, you know that this article is about much more than signs. It’s about messages or more broadly communication. And this sign has two messages and is communication way more than you think.
The first message is what the signs actually reads.
Your guess is good as mine. I think they don’t want us to dive or swim there, but then again maybe it reads “not prohibited.” Only the rust will know.
The second message is loud and clear – “We don’t give a sh*t.”
They say they care, but the rust proves otherwise. Rust does happen overnight, just not to that degree. The sign has been sitting around in this state for a long time. Which means no one has performed signage inspections, walked along the docks (or if they have, never looked that way), never put it on a maintenance schedule, no supervisor ever followed up on it or questioned their employee who is in charge of it.
The message that you don’t care is loud and clear. And when the public sees a sign like that, they have many thoughts which include our tax dollars are not working, they don’t care what we do here, there is no pride in this area, etc.
The communication goes beyond signs
Signage is one thing, but over and over again, I can’t point to all kinds signs that say we don’t care. Used gum found all over sidewalks, common areas and the like. Old graffiti, stockpiles of junk and trash in common areas and much more. Remember, you are always communicating whether you want to or not. So, take the time to ask yourself, what message is this conveying?