5 Silly Rules for Important Jobs
On-the-job health and safety is paramount. As such, most occupations have rules and regulations that are intended to make sure even the freakiest of accidents are prevented, and any dangerous behavior is nipped in the bud before anyone’s bud gets nipped. It’s not hard to understand most of these rules, as anybody with even a decent touch of anxiety could explain why loose clothing or jewelry around quick-moving machinery isn’t the wisest choice of work outfit. Others, though, are a little more eyebrow-raising, and require some catastrophic imagination to figure out why they’re in place. Such as why…
Astronauts Can’t Have Bread
The astronaut diet is always a source of curiosity, whether it’s the brief reign of Tang or the freeze-dried ice cream (that astronauts don’t actually eat). Everyone’s aware it’s not a free-for-all, and it’s heavily contained within packets and tubes and other things that carefully control distribution, but there are a couple things that are especially forbidden. On one hand, you might be surprised to find out that astronauts are allowed certain kinds of fresh food, like occasional fruit and vegetables.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have a food that is an absolute no-go: bread. If you’re wondering why, just think about looking down at the plate or table after your last sandwich, and then imagine if those crumbs suddenly stopped following the laws of gravity. Bits of baguette and electrical interfaces aren’t exactly a culinary match made in heaven. Two astronauts did in fact smuggle a corned-beef sandwich aboard once, something NASA was probably almost as angry about as the other astronauts who had to smell that the whole way to space were.
Pilot and Co-Pilot Can’t Eat the Same Meal
Anyone who’s watched Airplane! or, less likely, the movie that inspired it, Zero Hour!, might have an inkling as to the source of this rule. It’s not something that is mandated by federal aviation rules, but it’s still something that’s heavily suggested among airlines. That way, should the contents of one of the offered meals have a sickening stowaway that sends either the pilot or co-pilot rocketing to the WC with a WMD brewing, the other won’t be incapacitated.
Nowadays, it seems that many airline pilots aren’t provided in-flight meals and instead usually bring a sack lunch fresh from the fast-food spot of choice at the terminal, but in the past, it was common enough to spawn its own classic aviation joke. The bit goes that the classic quote of any co-pilot is “clear on the right, and I’ll have the chicken.” The first, because the co-pilot has the better view out of the right side of the plane, and the second, because between the two choices of steak and chicken, the pilot is always going to lay claim to the steak.
British Royals Still Have Regulated Handshakes
I couldn’t tell you what any of the British Royal Family’s day-to-day responsibilities include, but a whole country seems to think they’re pretty important, so here we are. It should also surprise no one that a weird troupe of jewel-encrusted nepotists extraordinaire have some super weird rules. One thing that’s apparently highly regulated is the official royal handshake, which they receive specific instruction on.
It officially consists of “two to three pumps with palms open and thumbs down,” which makes the whole thing feel sillier as that describes about 90 percent of handshakes that people have and 100 percent of the ones that don’t give them the heebie-jeebies. Unfortunately it also means that, without some pretty heavy shifts in protocol, we’re not likely to see a prince dapping anybody up in the near future.
The Navy Has a Giant Clam Protocol
Navy divers have plenty to worry about, and one way to keep them safe is to prepare for every eventuality. That way, should a tube get caught or a tank get jostled in an unfortunate way, they’re more likely to float up to the surface with their soul still in their suit. However, there was one plan outlined in the handbook that it’s a safe bet may never have been put into action, since it came from an overabundance of caution over something that turned out to be a tall tale anyways.
This is, of course, the official remedy for a piece of you being clamped down on by a giant, man-eating clam. Despite there being no actual evidence of a giant clam ever trapping and killing someone in this way, the Navy handbook included protocol for the situation anyways. It involved using your knife to slice the abductor muscle of the clam in question and freeing yourself from a grisly death pulled straight from an N64 platformer.
Only Senior Dunkin’ Employees Can Make Sandwiches
You can argue about it if you want, but I absolutely consider Dunkin’ Donuts workers important. There aren’t many other people who have such a genuine effect on the outcome and emotions of an entire area’s workday. The brown slosh they’re responsible for dishing out feeds the endless maw of industry that’s basically the States’ version of royalty, after all. And Dunkin’ employees, of course, are subject to their own batch of rules.
One in particular may not seem to have much basis in safety or anything else, though, and that’s the rules on who is allowed to prepare the breakfast sandwiches. Apparently, this is a process reserved only for senior Dunkin employees. Like a sushi apprentice who must first spend years preparing egg custard to perfection, so too, it seems, must a Dunkin’ dreamer first box Munchkins perfectly before being allowed access to the sausage drawer.
Now you at least know why the cashier looks so apologetic when your sandwich is taking too long: They, too, are left at the mercy of another employee.