Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Scrub a dub dub


Do you know why hand soap is a common staple in a bathroom? Well, I am certain you do but I assure you some people might find this inquiry befuddling. The hand soap is not a prop, or a mystical illusion. It serves a utility function and is meant to be slathered and lathered on your hands prior to departing the lav.

Why am I explaining this obvious social paradigm? Especially with such a mordant bite? Because I have had the unpleasant misfortune to witness ickyness multiple times this week.

While I am in the public restroom, why do I see people come out of the stall and whisk right by the fully equipped sink and soap area like it was merely a mirage.

But admittedly, I am not as concerned about the potentially nescient masses visiting the public restroom to the same degree as someone I see in our office complex.

This I have seen so many times, and each time, I find it ill. These are highly educated people. That I see daily. AND know by name. Do you see me seeing you NOT washing your hands? Tiny reminder: you are not sheathed in a hooded cloak. I am locking it down in the memory bank, trust me.

Besides the blatantly obvious benefit of washing your hands to limit exposure to cold and flu, wouldn't it be wise to wash your hands after you were dealing with your biology? I mean, come on. Here's something lovely I read recently. Take a deep breath and try not to dry heave. (SERIOUSLY...you were given fair warning. Put your fork down for this next bit.)

While you are busy going potty in the restroom, all kinds of microbits go splashing around. A gram of feces can contain 10 million viruses, 1 million bacteria, 1,000 parasite cysts, and 100 worm eggs. Now, you don't need Dr. Korev to tell you bacteria can be beneficial: the human body needs bacteria to function, and only 10 percent of cells in our body are actually human. Which means the remainder, are not. Small fecal particles can then contaminate water, food, cutlery, and shoes AND be knowingly or unknowingly consumed.

So, how do you avoid such hazard to yourself as well as exculpate yourself from being the office germs-a-la-poopoo spreader? Simple! Just wash your mitts.

The CDC actually posts on its website instructions for washing your hands in the event you skipped all of first grade.

At home, handwashing can prevent infection and illness from spreading from family member to family member and, sometimes, throughout a community. In the home, the basic rule is to wash hands before preparing food and after handling uncooked meat and poultry, before eating, after changing diapers, after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one's nose into a tissue, and after using the bathroom.

Do you need the CDC to explain appropriate occasions when you should lather, rinse, repeat? Even if you were a nomadic cave-dweller, I am quite certain you would place "after trips to the can" right at the top of your list.

So, to my co-worker who was in the bathroom stall for many minutes, and walked out of the stall failing to even consider a cursory splash of water, I think you need a refresher.

The same co-worker I then walked behind to our break room where you touched the coffee maker, water cooler, microwave, and fridge door all in less than 2 minutes, all I ask is that you do me a favor and read one of the FOUR signs posted in the bathroom about the importance of hygiene. And don't worry, I won't catch your 10 million viruses because I use a paper towel on the handles and sprayed Lysol in the kitchen after you left. Thanks for making me lose my appetite. I wanted to lose a few pounds before my birthday this weekend anyway.

61 comments:

the walking man said...

JennyM...First off I think you need to show us a picture of yourself and let the audience decide whether you need to shed any poundage.

Second off 4 signs about hygiene in the bathroom and still no suds from the buds? But of course the entire office will get ill except the typhoid Mary's and Tom's. The theory is they shed the offending bugs by touching everything which leaves their hands clean.

But here is the solution in this must be told everything world.

http://www.lolpictures.com/pictures/1383.html

The Peach Tart said...

Yes that's a pet peeve of mine too. I'm amazed at how many people don't wash their hands.

Yankee Girl said...

Yuck! I hate it when people don't wash their hands. I have actually become the girl who will call people out on it. I've actually had people tell me "oops, I almost forgot!" or even "I don't wash my hands in public bathrooms, too many germs." However, most of the time my blatant attitude about not washing will make people scramble to the sink!

carma said...

It always confounds me when people cannot take 30 seconds to wash their hands. C'mon people are you really that pressed for time? Total Grossness!

Casey M. said...

"the office germs-a-la-poopoo spreader"
Maybe I'm immature but that made me laugh. Hard. I love your blog, by the way. :)

Jules said...

And THAT'S why I actually stand AT my door at lunch and put hand sanitizer on each of the children's hands as they go to lunch - which on course, I'm not legally supposed to do, because one of them might lick it or something.... But uh huh...GROSS!

Scrappy Girl said...

Ewwww...

We went to one of our small town restaurants after a trip one time. After ordering I went to the bathroom after a young man (one of the cooks). The smell just about knocked me down. I hurried and when I went to wash my hands I noticed there was no water. I asked and they said that they were having problems. I asked if there was anywhere I could wash my hands. She said no. I assume there was no where for "stink boy" to wash either...we had our food prepped "to go" and fed it to the dogs when we got home...yick!

Pop and Ice said...

I thought I was an ace hand-washer until......I got to the blowing my nose part. Due to allergies, I do this nearly a hundred times a day and never thought of it. Great - now I just sneezed on my iPhone! Guess a ready bottle of hand sanitizer must be posted at strategic points around the house!

But if you touch my iPhone? Well, you take your chances!

jadedj said...

Yes indeed. Widge ya on this one. I even go to the lengths of NOT touching that rest room door handle without a paper towel...for this very reason.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

the thing is, all that poop that getting on you while you're sitting there is yours.

Well, most of it.

That 10% thing is garbage. You could claim that NONE of the cells in your body are human and still be technically right. You could even say that your body relies solely on the function of bacteria, and again, you'd be right (mitochondria are kind of like pet bacteria within the host cell).

All soaps are technically anti-bacterial and--if one stretches it far enough--anti-viral, because they wash them off your hands.

Problem is, you get them right back on when you dry your hands. Even if you flick your fingers to dry yourself.

I say all of this, but at the same time, I myself keep a mental list of all the people who use the facilities and then don't bother washing their filthy mitts.

Oh, and try not to think about what happens to your toothbrush at home when you flush the toilet.

B.o.B. said...

ew ew and yuck. that is why cold and flu season and those 24 hour bug things keep going round and round. get em girl!

Lee said...

In pre school they teach hand washing as a class, guess they slept through that one and still made it all the way through college?

But, the best is when I am in public commode with my 5 year old son, and while he is washing his hands...like he was taught in pre school (rub a dub dub over and under and through the fingers)...he will LOUDLY comment about why that lady did NOT wash her hands after going pee!

Yaya said...

Honestly I've debated that I'll probably pick up more germs washing my hands in a public restroom so I just use my hand sanitizer that I keep in my purse!

Unknown Mami said...

OMG! I can not tell you how much it bothers me when people don't wash their hands after going to the restroom. There was a woman at work who would never do it. I started calling her Dookie Handser and I feel no guilt about it. If we had parties she'd stick her dookie hands all over the food! Come on!!

Sally-Sal said...

The non hand washer sounds like the outbreak monkey--to be avoided at all costs.

Lady Di said...

Oh you have no idea. I'm a teacher which means I am a hand washing extraordinaire. I was my hands before and after I go to the bathroom. You can't be too cautious when you work with little walking germ factories all day.

Thanks for stopping by yesterday.

pehpot said...

oh no I am pissed with this people.. the worst I had was when a frat brother tried to shake my hand right after urinating without washing his hands.. waaaah!

Make or Break

Mira is triplet crown said...

Dude, if I knew the person in the bathroom with me? I'd be all over the sinks. The only place I can't use the sinks (and use hand sanitizer instead) is in the airport. They scare me. I bet if you installed the hand sanitizer things they have in hospital rooms now you might get a high rate of cooperation...

And does no one in your office read your blog?

Drew said...

You hit the nail on the head. I work in a drug rehab where very few people wash their hands. It makes me want to throw up all day long.

Mammatalk said...

I have been corrected.I hang my head in shame. LOL!

Charles Gramlich said...

I see it too. Makes me not want to hang around with a lot of people.

Kathy B! said...

It is gross! I'd think people would at least feel guilted into washing their hands when people ar around to see them!

I do what Yaya does... wash in the germy bathroom and then hit the sanitizer in my purse when I'm out!

Helen McGinn said...

I was at a music festival this weekend; we have had lots of cases of swine flu in Scotland, several serious cases including deaths. Why do I tell you this in the same sentence? For exactly the reasons you listed; the amount of people not washing their hands AFTER USING FESTIVAL LOOS astounded me. They even had antibacterial sprays everywhere but I hardly saw anyone use them. So, I feel your pain. :O)
My hands remained firmly in my pockets inbetween waving them in the air.... x

Nora Johnson said...

Hi JennyMac!
As your previous reader intimated, swine flu cases (and deaths) are becoming ever more prevalent in the UK with imminent mass vaccinations being planned... Yet simple precautions like hand washing etc could go a long way in preempting and preventing transmission of the bacteria - not to mention the increasingly associated hysteria.

Thanks for visiting my blog today. I've enjoyed my stopover here too -and look forward to returning to catch up with earlier posts!

Nora

otherworldlyone said...

I hate that!

In our suite, my office is in between the men's and women's restrooms. Just because they're private bathrooms, doesn't mean I don't know when you aren't washing your hands people!

Especially the men! They go in the door, slam it, piss, and they're out again seconds later. They didn't even have time to shake, let alone wash they're hands.

And I work...in a hospital.

Jenglamgirl said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment and compliment! I just read this POST... ekkk, thanks alot! NO REALLY' its so true, how gross that some individuals by-pass the sink! I am a clean freak and Now I want to scrub scrub my hands, bathroom and just out of extra OCD.... wash my childrens hands too! ha!

lOVE YOUR ENDING comment about lysoling the kitchen right after they left, ha!

Heavenly Housewife said...

What a fantastic blog! I love your sense of humor!

SMILF said...

I am so disgusted by this exact thing. I am completely baffled at people in public places who just walk out of the bathroom ignoring that HUGE LONG LINE of sinks staring at them. WTF is that all about?! It's disgusting. Period.

Kate said...

Definitely agree that it's important to wash hands after using the bathroom. You should sneak in there after hours and put a sign up that says "please wash hands before returning to work."

PictureGirl said...

I just wanted to stop by and say thanks for coming by my blog. Since I'm a newbie it sure was nice to get a comment. Thanks.
I totally agree on the hand washing. It's hard to believe with all the disease in the world that people would skip one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves.

J.J. in L.A. said...

I can't stand having dirty hands, and since wheeling the chair makes them feel icky, I wash them at least 6 times day...ESPECIALLY after I use the restroom.

When Pigs Fly said...

I am also disgusted by the people who never wash their hands after leaving the toilet. And, to those who think just spritzing with some water sans soap will do the trick, it's not worth the minimal effort. You might as well just walk right out the door.

Sandy said...

My doctor says this country would save millions on cold and flu remedies if people would just wash their hands. Amazing! On the flip side (because I love to be devil's advocate) we DO get carried away with antibacterial soap, which is evil. Some microbes are also a good thing. Kids who grow up in dirty houses have fewer cases of allergies and asthma.

Marcy said...

As otherworldlyone said...especially the men! They actually have to touch their business. Please give everyone around you for the rest of the day the courtesy of a hand washing. Oh, and the CDC now says you should sing Happy Birthday to yourself while you lather to ensure you do it long enough.

Metropolitan Mum said...

Very reassuring to read something like this. Hello swine flu??? If people don't wash their hands after using the toilet, how on earth are we going to keep this flu from spreading, if it involves WASHING YOUR HANDS.
Great and funny post, but seriously, these dirty pigs make me furious!

Vodka Logic said...

May explain how I got a nasty case of mono at my age....if I find that culprit..so help me.

xx

Alicia said...

yikes...it baffles me that with the everyday modern conveniences we have like soap and purell people are STILL too lazy to use them.... not to mention it's just dirty.... and thanks for wanting to send me the hoff..he's the answer to every thing.

Dustjacket attic said...

I CANNOT tell you how much I agree with this post it totally #%@* me off when people do that. I mean what is going on in their head! It's disgusting.

whew ... pleased I got that of my chest! xxx

Stomper Girl said...

My worst ick-thing is helping out in my kids' classrooms and watching the little darlings (all of them, they ALL do it!) put their fingers up their noses and then touch each other. Worse, I teach dance to little children so when its time for Ring-a-rosey we have to hold hands. The only way to cope is not to think about it too much!

Swift Jan said...

At my husband's work place, the management were grossed out and in agreeance with you on the whole washing hands thing. There is now a sign on the back of the entrance door saying "Did you wash your hands?"... Can't miss it when your walking out!
People's grossness baffles me!

spitandvinegar said...

I am constantly reminding my girls to "Wash your hands!," before they can even get their heads out of the bathroom door. In the last year I have lost complete patience for people with lazy hygiene habits. That posts and the bit about the worm eggs maks me want to scrub my skin off!!!!

JenJen said...

First time here. LOVE your eloquent bitching. LOVE IT!!

Rick said...

You've convinced me. I'm wearing my biohazard suit everywhere.

Just Add Walter said...

ewww.. that is gross... i hate when people don't wash their hands!! I think I am turning into a germaphobe as I get older

AmyMusing said...

I hate when my son's pediatrician doesn't wash his hands when he comes into our exam room during flu season, and you know he just came from some contagious kids' exam room adjacent to us because we could hear the hacking through the wall and the doc's booming voice.

I wash every time I walk back in the house if I've been out shopping or running errands; clean the gym equipment before and after; never touch a public bathroom door without a paper towel between my hand and the knob. Is that called OCD?? Yes?? Oh.

KK said...

SoO a pet peeve of mine too!! Makes me wonder- if one cannot remember or be bothered to wash hands in public, what are they neglecting in private?!

Intense Guy said...

I have trained my self to never use the mens room at work. Its really no sacrifice to forgo a "satisfying bowel movement" in an strange/public place.

But you raise the issue of the break room have germs on everything. Damn. There goes lunch. Oh well - gives me more time to read blogs.

Anonymous said...

similarly, i question how one can consume pork meat knowing the habits of the animal itself...not just the habits but the anatomy/biology of it, its blood retains most of its urine content and does not excrete it like most other animals.... obviously that goes into the meat itself ....
simply grosses me out

CharmaineLi said...

It's disgusting when people leave the washroom with all their toilet germs still on their hands... then they hold onto a poll on the subway or something and those germs are having the best time!

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Oh, baby girl. This is so not going to make you feel better. But the non-handwashing thing? Is epidemic among doctors!

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/feb/09/time-for-physicians-nurses-to-come-clean/

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Yes! I am stunned byt the number of people that don't wash their hands in an office (I haven't really noticed people not washing in public restrooms). Case in point: I worked with a woman. her office always had a perculiar smell but I figured it was just the office. Then one day I went to the bathroom and she did too. She breezed past teh basin and went back to the office. And I had to go into the office after and then I realised the peculiar smell was urine. Coincidence perhaps but it was unmistakable and others agreed. I've never felt the same about her.

EmFabulousFunshine said...

thank you for the blog comment. i have to say i thoroughly enjoyed reading through your blog and am a new follower :) have a good week

WhisperingWriter said...

Ew, I always wash my hands. I can be paranoid about germs.

It's why I have to wash my sheets on a weekly basis because I read about this tiny bugs that nestle in them when they get dirty. Ew.

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

ICK! Who does that? I think you might need to send an anonymous note her way!

Laoch of Chicago said...

Sadly I fear this is a losing cause.

PinkBow said...

it always amazes me when i see this - are people not ashamed of their behaviour?

Chickdey said...

I keep hand sanitizer on my desk and use it often...some people are just gross.

Cocaine Princess said...

I'm reminded of a Seinfeld episode where Jerry sees his girlfriend's dad Poppy leave the restroom without washing his hands and then Poppy goes and hand rolls the pizza dough! Eww!

P.S. Thanks for visiting my blog!

sheila said...

I'm a germaphobe...so I'd literally hug you over this post...but um..no, I just can't, lol.

I can't stand people you describe in this. Yuck. And I always use a paper towel in the restroom for handles, doors, faucets. To me that's totally normal, lol.

I also use my sleeve when opening public doors. Summer sucks when I don't have sleeves on, ha ha ha.

Theresa said...

That is just disgusting!

But get this - I've been in the washroom with the girls at a certain coffee and donut establishment and had the ladies in their with us tell me to just move on along, rather than let the girls wash their hands, because the bathroom is too small. What? No thanks. And we use our shoed-foot to push the flusher.

UPrinting said...

Well, that's actually not new information anymore. But still, disgusting.
I actually find it annoying when I can't find any soap in the bathroom, and believe me there are a lot of bathrooms that don't have soap. I resorted to bringing my own or bringing alcohol already.