Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Safety Warning

I have a degree from a prominent university, which in order to avoid embarrassment--to the university, not to me--will remain unnamed.  It is not considered an “ivy league” school, but ranks right up there in the top 25 with the likes of Northwestern, Johns Hopkins and Brown.  (And no, I did not purposefully leave a hole in the list of the US News top 25 universities so in the event that someone is really curious, they can pretty easily discover the name of the school.)

Each year since graduation, I have contributed to the annual fund not because I have so much to contribute, but rather because I know that the percentage of alums contributing plays a role in the determination of the ranking.  Sometimes, I procrastinate and when I have not responded to multiple requests for a gift, they start trying to entice me with an offer.  I almost feel guilty when that happens, because I sometimes wonder if they have spent more on the gift and the shipping of the gift than I am actually able to contribute.

Once again, this year I waited too long and by the time I contributed I had also received the offer--a travel mug with the university logo on it.  To be honest, I was somewhat excited about this gift.  I could even imagine using it and I have to admit, I like being reminded that, at one point in my life, I had accomplishments of my own.  I had achievements that did not revolve around David and his developmental milestones.

The promised travel mug arrived last week.  I unpacked it from the box, removed the lid to load it into the dishwasher in anticipation of walking in to work the very next day, steaming cup of coffee in hand.  I noticed the slip of paper inside the mug and only glanced at it to be sure that the mug was dishwasher safe when I read the following admonitions:

            Hot drinks may scald the user.
            Unit is not vacuum design. Can only keep warm or cold liquid for a short period.
            CAUTION-hot liquid will increase temperature of exterior wall.

 And my personal favorite:

This product is not intended to be spill proof or leak proof and is not guaranteed against minor leakage.

Four years of college, time and energy spent securing scholarships, money my parents spent on tuition all to hone my critical thinking skills, to develop instincts which were telling me that I did not need a travel mug that, for the split second it can keep my hot beverage hot, will simultaneously scald my hand while slowly leaking out of the aforementioned mug onto my shirt, cool university logo or not.

 And, by the way, hand wash only.

1 comment:

  1. If I weren't a retired bureaucrat, I might suggest your university has a refugee from the DOD procurement bureaucracy working for its alumni outreach operation.