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Automated for the People

OK, I get the whole hang-up on public bathroom sanitation and have pretty much come to terms with the fact that you’ll never really know how bad it is (thank God) and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. So I allow myself to believe I minimize the contamination by guessing which stall is least used (or least used for #2), using my foot to flush, and grabbing the door handle in the less obvious maybe more inconvenient spot that I think most people don’t touch. It’s all about the path less traveled by. I don’t mind the auto-flushers. Thankfully they’ve made advances that cut down on the premature flushes – there was nothing worse than having the damn toilet flush mid-stream. You can’t stop, can’t stand up, but as soon as you feel a fast moving drop of public bathroom toilet water on your behind, you jump. Hopefully not pissing all over the floor or yourself as a result. Automatic towel dispenser? Well, some work, some don’t, I think they’re a waste of money. I don’t see how they're better than the towel dispensers that just plain have a towel ready for you. Tearing it off exposes a fresh new clean towel for the next person. Sure, if the new towel didn’t present itself, you had to manually turn a wheel, but these auto sensors don’t always sense so you end up smacking the blind red light with your hand or waving at it like a fool who thinks they’ve seen a friend in the crowd only to realize it’s not a friend but a complete stranger who is now looking behind them to see if you’re actually waving at them since they’ve never seen you before in their life. What I really wish they’d take back is the automatic liquid soap dispenser. Maybe it’s my own depraved mind, but it totally grosses me out. You hold your hand underneath it and there’s no visual indication that it’s looking for you, that it sees you, or that it cares that you’re there with dirty hands. And all of a sudden without warning, it spurts out a dollop of soap into your hand. It appears out of nowhere. It’s disgusting. You’re going to wash your hands anyway. What difference does it make if you touch the soap pump when you’ve just touched the toilet flusher and the door to the stall? Maybe this is an Inkblot test. We’re going to squirt soap into your hand and you tell us the first thing that comes to your mind. It seems I either need to get out more or find someone to stay in with. Or, I need counseling.

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