I must wash my hands. You must also wash your hands. Seems simple enough, right? We teach our kids how to do it and gradually over time they get better and better at it. They even start to remember to do it without being told, so I’ve heard.
It’s a funny thing how our society is so competitive. Over everything. Every. Thing. So what does this have to do with washing your hands. Funny you should ask. This seemingly simple activity has become (at least from my perspective) a competition in the ladies room. Guys, I’m sure y’all have better things to do than to critique each other’s hand-washing ability and quality.
Ladies? Come on! Does every single thing have to be a competition?
So at work, we have a rather large multi-stall women’s restroom and it’s usually got a few ladies coming and going throughout the day. No big deal…it’s a big office. But here’s the thing. No longer is hand-washing just something you do when you’re finished using the restroom.
Side bar: Let me just say a huge thank you to all who actually do wash their hands. I know it’s not required and usually the rest of us suffer at the dirty hands of those who choose to skip the ceramic basin and Dial so thank you for those who actually do wash their hands…much appreciated!
Here’s where it gets odd. The germaphobia that seems to have taken a strong hold on the women in this particular office is remarkable. We aren’t a dirty group of people, we are generally healthy and yet some ladies seem to think they are scrubbing down from a shift working with patients in a Tubuculosis ward or some yet-to-be diagnosed virus the CDC is trying to isolate.
Here’s how it usually goes:
- Leave the stall and head toward an available sink
- Stop first at the paper towel dispenser and grab two sets of paper towels
- Lay the paper towel sets on the counter beside the sink
- Get soap from the automatic hand soap dispenser
- Scrub like mad
- Rinse in a downward motion from the middle arm toward the finger tips (as if prepping for surgery)
- Use the first paper towel set to turn off the faucet
- Use the second paper towel set to dry hands
- Using the second paper towel set, grab the first paper towel set and head toward the door
- Use the clump of paper towels to open the door
- Throw away the paper towels in the trash can by the door or hold on to them for any other subsequent doors you may encounter upon returning to your work station
Seriously? You have an immune system. For Pete’s sake, this level of cleanliness eliminates the ability of your immune system to get its exercise and when it never gets its exercise, guess what it’s doing when you accidentally let a nasty germ through the Fort Knox you try to create with this excessive shower session?
It goes even further. There are little bum papers to cover the toilet seats and there are distinctly two groups of ladies in our building. Those that use them and those that don’t. Let me reiterate that we are a clean group of people. There’s not nastiness on the toilet seats, no one forgets how to use a commode and “spills” all over the place. This isn’t a shady truck stop. And yet, some need to keep that toilet covered with paper.
Never mind the grossness of your own keyboard, phone or mouse. Never mind the pen you use, which may have been in someone else’s mouth while you weren’t guarding it. What about the community copier machine buttons!!?!?
I am all in favor of washing those hands. I really am. And I take advantage of the bum paper covers for the toilet when I encounter a toilet that’s gross. But seriously, I am tired of getting those “you call that washing your hands??” looks when I grab some soap, scrub, rinse, turn off the faucet and go grab a paper towel.
I get it…you turn the faucet on after you use the bathroom and before your hands are clean. But if you really want to gross yourself out, research how much of our regular everyday stuff has microscopic fecal material on it. You can thank me later.