A few weeks ago during the height of the world-ending-everyone-killing-massive-terror swine flu pandemic, someone posted a flyer in the bathroom at work reminding everyone to wash their hands. It even had helpful diagrams for those of us who haven’t yet figured out how to turn the water on (for the record it’s lefty-loosey righty-tighty). The flyer is still there and I have spent a long time trying to understand the mind of the person who posted it. First of all, from what I have seen the women in my work area consistently wash their hands already. Way to go ladies! Second of all, those stubborn outliers who do not wash their hands are making that choice despite years of training beginning in preschool, so do you really think your flyer is going to change their mind? This is not to say that I am anti-hand washing; I support 100% of bathroom users washing their hands (that’s going to be the platform for my first political campaign). I just don’t think a flyer in the work bathroom is the way to change people’s minds.
Within 48 hours of the flyer being posted, a second anonymous person added their own helpful tip at the bottom. “Or use sanitizer.” I have some issues with this. I do use hand sanitizer and have some at my desk. When you are somewhere that you can’t wash your hands (like the portopotties at the folk festival) hand sanitizer is an excellent backup. However, hand sanitizer is not called “hand washer” for a reason. It kills bacteria. It does not wash your hands. You still need to wash your hands to remove the sweat/pen ink/crumbs from lunch/cocaine residue (well there goes my political platform). So now I have two people’s minds to ponder: restroom flyer lady and restroom flyer writer lady. Given that the flyer is next to a row of sinks, why did she feel the need to point out hand sanitizer as an alternative? Are you really that busy at work that you don’t have time to actually wash your hands? If so I really doubt you work on my floor. After all, I have time to not only wash my hands but sit around and think about other people’s hand washing habits. Maybe later things will get really exciting and I’ll venture into the contentious waters of the tissue vs handkerchief debate (for the record, I’m pro-tissue). In the mean time, hand washers of the world unite!