Saturday, 10 September 2011

Engineer Symbolism?

This is a picture of my kettle. You already know that, having the ability to recognise items. And yet I still felt the need to tell you what you already know.
My Kettle sits directly beneath my boiler (bear with me - this will become relevant later), which is where I have always positioned it. I have very little interaction with my kettle, except when I fill it up, or use it. So imagine my surprise, when I saw this on the on/off switch:

I have had to magnify the picture to show you properly. Someone has drawn a "Smiley Face" on the on/off switch on my Kettle. As I live by myself, and don't often have visitors, I am somewhat at a loss as to how this smile got on to my kettle. I know that it doesn't look like a smiley face - that is because some of the ink has come off when my finger has pressed the switch. You'll just have to take my word for it that it is a smiley face. But how did it get there?

There is one possible solution: My gas boiler has been due a service for a few weeks now, and according to the letting agent who manage my property, the handyman who carries out this servicing has collected the spare keys for my house and will be servicing my boiler at some point. Perhaps this smiley on my kettle is his was of saying that he has carried out a service and all is well? Usually, I get a copy of the service certification left on my worktop - but I have not seen one.

Perhaps this is a new European Standard for appliance testing and servicing. In order to save paper, and therefore trees, and subsequently the planet, engineers have been given a set of symbols to leave to indicate the outcome of a service. A smiley face indicates a good service, with no issues, and a skull a crossbones indicates that major repairs or work is required.

From now on, when you take your car in for its MOT, instead of loads of paperwork itemising every issue or problem you'll just get a sticker with a picture of a car that has been crushed into a metal cube. When you take your dog to the vets, you'll either get a smiley face, or a sticker with a gravestone with the words "R.I.P. Fido" on it. The possibilities are endless.

I will check with my letting agent to see if the handyman has been in to service my boiler. If it turns out that he hasn't, then I'm a bit stuck. wasn't a smiley face, but the face of Jesus that has miraculously appeared on my kettle. People see the face of Jesus all the time - if he's not popping up on toast, then he's a spicy Nik-Nak corn snack, or he's on one half of a potato. We've all heard of the Shroud of Turin, this could be the Kettle of Sturminster Newton.

Blasphemy anyone? No? Just me then......

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