Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rinse, Soap, Rinse - Repeat if necessary

I'm often amazed at the choices people make when they're equipped with knowledge.  At more extreme examples, people who continue to illegally text while driving despite knowing that they are increasing their chances of a car accident, or a typo.  Pregnant momma's who continue to smoke/drink/do drugs all the while having the knowledge that it's going to generate birth defects in the little people growing in their bodies, not to mention the added expenditures for having a kid addicted to smoking/drinking/drugs from such a young age.  That shit ain't cheap.
On a less extreme scale we have the people who fail to practice even the minimal standards of personal hygiene.  At one point or another we've all been guilty of missing a shower, a face washing or a tooth brushing.  It's rare (for a good number of us), but it happens.  What baffles me is when people miss the beat on hand-washing after using the washroom.  WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?!  I'll tell you what I'm thinking when I see someone walk from the stall to the bathroom door:  Fecal bacteria spreading everywhere.  I'm thinking that I have a pretty good idea of where your hand was just a moment ago, and now you're touching all the same surfaces I'll need to touch to get out of here.  Fantastic.
I've caught one woman at work not washing her hands at all, and another woman today doing the obligatory 2 second rinse under the running faucet.  This?  Does not a clean hand make.  And every time I see a woman failing to wash their hands in the bathroom, I am reminded of the day I called out a classmate after determining she was a dirty bird.
Every Wednesday I had "coincidentally" found myself in the bathroom at the same time she was there, and every single time had I witnessed her leaving the bathroom without washing. Hell, I'd have even accepted the courtesy "swoosh your hands under water but not use the soap" kinda half-assed 'washed, but she couldn't even give me that  (NOTE:  I do not accept this standard today.  This is called "growth".)'. One day I thought I'd give her the benefit of the doubt and thought that maybe once she left the bathroom she whipped out the waterless antibacterial hand soap that everyone seems to have these days. To test this theory I brought a snack to class and asked out load to everyone for the antibacterial waterless soap, but I made sure to look specifically at her to see whether or not she had any (Notice that this was weeks in the making.  I'd make an awesome spy!). Of course she didn't. She's a dirty, dirty woman. Well I had had about enough of this. Then one Wednesday I was in the bathroom, again "coincidentally" at the same time as "Potty hands" and the following conversation took place...
Me: Um, Potty-Hands, can I ask you a question?
PH: Yes?
Me: Why don't you wash your hands after going to the bathroom?
PH: Um, I don't know. I guess I've never really thought about it.
Me: Seriously? We just spent time talking about it in Toxicology class last week....you know, that whole personal hygiene concept? It's really popular these days...it's a way to prevent the spread of bacteria and disease. Is this ringing any bells for you?
PH: Well I don't have any diseases.
Me: Yeah, well when your hand was just being used to help wipe your ass, I'm more concerned about the bacteria. Then some poor unsuspecting woman is going to come along and wash her hands because that's what normal people do, then she's going to touch the same door handle you just touched with your ass-bacteria covered hands, and she's going to go back to her desk and inevitably touch her face or food or something and ingest your ass-bacteria!  She might as well be literally kissing your ass.
PH: Do you want me to wash my hands?
Me: Yes. Yes I do.

Yes I do, indeed.  I'm curious as to how many people would do the same (although maybe a little more delicately - this woman drove me CRAZY for reasons beyond her poor hygiene, so my patience with her was a little lacking). 
HOMEWORK:  Have you, or would you call someone out for poor hygiene if you witnessed them leaving the bathroom without washing?  Would you be more likely to do so if it was a stranger or someone you knew (or more specifically, someone whom you knew would be touching some of the same work surfaces you would be touching)?  Would it take a drink or two before you'd have the courage to generate such an awkward moment?  Leave your input in the comments section below - let's have you all help me figure out how socially awkward I really am.


Anonymous said...

It took me a while to get this comment written, as I first had to stop laughing and peel myself off the floor. This was an epic time in both of our lives. To others reading, I can attest to both the humour and truthfulness of the above account.

I wonder where PH is now....


Kelly said...

I am not a 'bacteria-phobe' so I probably wouldn't realise that they'd committed the offence... Not to mention that I'm usually 'chasing squirrels' in my head so I don't even realise that anything apart from myself exists... lol