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An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People

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--- Quote from: BeagleMommy on May 24, 2013, 03:02:02 PM ---Every semester an email goes out to all faculty, staff and students at my university.  It reads:

Please remember that the squirrels that can be seen on campus are wild animals.  Please do not try to pet, hold, or pick up the squirrels.  Please do not try to feed them by hand.  If you want to provide treats for the squirrels, please scatter food on the lawns.  Squirrels are rodents and can inflict serious bite wounds requiring medical attention.  Squirrels may also carry rabies.

Every year I keep thinking:  these are grown people.  Do we really need to tell them to leave squirrels alone?  :o

What crazy things (that should be common sense) have you had to tell people.

--- End quote ---

Actually, there has never been a case of rabies being transmitted by a squirrel. http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/facts/rabies.html

That being said, people should not pet the squirrels.

"Reindeer aren't fictional."

Also, I recently had to tell a 40-something (otherwise perfectly competent) man that it's not ok to put metal in a microwave. Worrying.

Emmy's story reminded me of when my co-worker was called by a colleague in the States (we're in Canada).  The colleague's timezone was two hours before ours.  He called at noon our time and asked my co-worker "Is now a good time to talk?"  My co-worker said "Actually, I was just about to leave for lunch."  Colleague laughed, said "Good one", and proceeded to talk poor co-worker's ear off. 

I have another one - I was visiting Orlando, Florida a few years ago and wanted to send a postcard to my parents in British Columbia.  I didn't know how much postage I'd need, so I asked the drug store clerk.  "How much is it to mail a postcard to Canada?"  "Canada?  Whereabouts in the States is that?"  "It's not a state - it's the country to the north."  Blank look.  I went somewhere else. 

Someone should have told my mother that she shouldn't have her children feed the chipmunks just for a good picture. On the plus side, though I have scratch scars from a rabbit, I was never hurt by a chipmunk.

See, some of these don't strike me as that silly. :D Personally, I don't like animals, so I never try to feed/pet the squirrels that run all over campus, but lots of other people do. It's kind of a student tradition here, and I've never seen any emails or warnings about them. So someone coming from a situation like that, might very well appreciate knowing that the practice is not encouraged in their new location.

And, as a biologist, I know a fair amount about invasive species and how they get into the environment; but I'm not sure I'd expect the general public to be aware of this. I doubt they even realize their aquarium pets are going to survive being dumped into the local river--I figured most adults told their children this as a pleasant fiction. "We're setting Fishy free in the river!" while thinking Fishy will be toast in about ten minutes.

Though, I do think that if you actually move to an area to live, you should acquaint yourself with "natural hazards" like wildlife that gets into garbage or could eat your pets, and should not be taken by surprise by that.

My own contribution: I supervise undergrad students who work part-time in our office. Over the years I've had to explain to more than one that there are four sets of numbers on a credit card, which they have to type into a website to order supplies for us. Not just three. Granted, the fourth set doesn't seem to have good contrast with the background of our office credit card, but I'm always boggled that they didn't even know it was there. I guess they don't have credit cards, or if they have them, they've never really looked at them and have never bought anything online.  ???


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