I had a rant the other day. And it seems that my dear, dear work colleagues are still giggling over it. Can’t say I blame them to be honest; I kinda brought it on myself.
After the Swine Flu scare of 2009, my place of work has ensured that there are always adequate hand washing facilities on site. Not that these weren’t there before, but they weren’t as obvious. On many of the walls, there is now a dispenser of antibacterial hand gel and all the toilets (to my knowledge – I haven’t been into the men’s loos) are plastered with signs on ‘how to wash your hands.’
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Now, our sign isn’t exactly like this, but its close enough. And it quotes ‘minimum hand wash time 15-20 seconds.’
Brilliant! And, admittedly, since I actually caught swine flu and ended up quarantined for two and a half weeks at that time, I’ve taken hand washing very seriously ever since. Even more so since understanding that everything I do outside my body can have an affect on the twins growing inside my body. So… I paid attention to the posters, learned the technique and I have to say, I’ve caught far fewer bugs since then.
In our toilets, we also employ the super fast Dyson hand-dryers. You know; shove your hands in, slowly pull them out. You get a ten second blast of pleasantly warm air and by the time you’re done, if you use the whole ten seconds, your hands are totally dry.
Well, since I work on computers, I make sure my hands are dry each time I go to the loo. I use the full ten seconds.
But…! Over the past couple of weeks I’ve noticed something very odd. And disturbing.
Given the frequency that I now have to use the loo (*frustrated fist shake*) there are always other ladies in there around the same time as me. I don’t mind, even though I’d prefer just to be able to void myself in peace. Anyway, as I wash my hands another lady is more often than not still using one of the three cubicles. So I finish wash my hands, shake the excess water off and shove my hands in the dryer. By the time I’m five seconds dry however, the other lady has usually come out of the loo, ‘washed’ her hands and is looming behind me waiting to use the dryer.
On the surface here’s nothing wrong with that, but think a little about the times involved.
I have ten full seconds at the dryer.
Washing your hands should take 15-20 if you’re doing it properly (hell, at least 10 seconds if you’re at least pretending to do it properly)
That should be plenty of time for me to finish using the dryer, wander off and thus leave it free for the next lady.
So… if someone coming out of the loo after me is waiting to use the dryer that I’ve only just started using, there is no way in hell that they’ve washed their hands properly. Hell, they probably haven’t even used soap, since it takes at least ten seconds to get that crap off your skin if you’ve worked it into any sort of lather.
When my realisation was too much to handle alone, I went back to my desk to share what I’d discovered. Unfortunately, by that time of day, most of the women on my team had already gone for the day (key time workers), so I ended up sharing my observation with a pair of blokes.
It didn’t go well. They laughed at me – both of them – and told me that I was clearly a bit OCD. My immediate response was to correct them; ‘Don’t you mean CDO?’ At which point I received twin blank looks.
Now, this joke has been around in my gaming circles for ages, but when I explained that the letters had to be in alphabetical order, I got even more stares. Slightly bemused ones this time. *sigh* I guess they just don’t get me.
But I put the question to you guys; what do you think? Not about my clear CDO tendencies, but how gross it is that these women are just not properly washing their hands! And then waltzing through the office touching printer buttons, keyboard keys, lift call buttons, stairs hand-rails…. Just thinking about it makes me want to break out the haz-mat suit. -_- Or at least some back up gel any time somebody comes near me.
And is it just women? What about blokes? Having not spent much time in the blokes toilets, I don’t have anything to compare it to. So tell me guys; how do you wash your hands?