Putting up street signs across Dhaka deemed “the most useless job ever”

Photo: Orchid Chakma

"I wake up early every morning, yet don't get out of bed until at least an hour later. What's the point? Whatever I'm being paid for, it's all futile. Do you have any idea how tough it is to do something, knowing that it's the most worthless job in the world!" whimpered Rahim Miah, an employee of the Dhaka City Council, whose job is to put up street signs across the capital.

Street signs like "Use the over-bridge", "Do not urinate here" or "Do not litter the footpaths" across Dhaka are as ignored as the Humanities department of local schools. Commoners like us walk past them and pretend they don't exist, exactly the way one would ignore an old high-school classmate to avoid awkward interactions. What we seem to forget is that someone out there wakes up every morning to put up those signs and that our mindless ignorance affects their mental health.

"Street signs have their unique twists in Dhaka," continued Rahim Miah, "My entire job is to tell citizens of Dhaka things that should not need to be told in the first place. Your lack of hygiene, etiquette and basic common sense has fed my family for years now, and I thank you for that. However, every time one urinates just below the sign which specifically asks them not to, it makes me feel the way it makes the United Nations feel about their opinion regarding any global conflict."

Dr Sigma Fraud, a psychologist at Rectangle Hospital, explained why citizens of Dhaka deliberately choose to ignore the street signs, "People of Dhaka choosing to ignore the instructions and throw garbage exactly where it says not to is actually related to the exertion of power. A helpless inanimate signboard is the only place outside home where a Bangladeshi man can dump all of his outrage and fury in a socially acceptable manner. That, and multiple different acts of violence on family members at home."

"Studys show typical Bangladeshi corporate slave takes in the highest per capita nonsense in south-east Asia. With bosses, spouses, families of spouses and apartment complex make-believe committees telling them what to do, a typical Bangladeshi citizen gets furious when an inanimate sign tells them 'Do not throw garbage here'," explains Dr Fraud, "Their instant reaction is a voice in their head screaming, 'Are you really going to let this sign tell you what to do?' And so, they do the exact opposite of what the sign says."

Rahim Miah is now scared to go back to his new job which is to put up signs telling people to wear masks and maintain social distancing guidelines, "This will also be absolutely futile, they might as well make me put a sign saying 'Cast your own vote' at the polling booths."

"But I must admit, after seeing a colleague of mine put up traffic lights at the intersections, I don't feel as useless anymore," smiled Rahim Miah.

Remind Ifti to be quieter at [email protected]