Monday, August 23, 2010

What's Next? Instructions on How to Pee?

Way back on April 1st, 2009, my blog entry was a complaint about overly obvious or useless signs. You can look it up. Not quite in the same category, but similar, is my complaint for today.

Increasingly food establishments are posting hand washing instructions in their washrooms / restrooms / bathrooms or whatever they call it in your neck of the woods. Sure you might see this as helpful, but I just find it annoying. I suspect that it is a way to guilt staff members into washing their hands and who can argue with increasing the rate of handwashing amongst the staff in a food serving establishment. Not I.

Here's what bugs me though. Why does anyone have to be guilted into this or even reminded of it for that matter. I know that studies show that people will skip this step and that's just plain annoying. Not the studies but the people who do that. Especially if they work in one of these places.

Furthermore, why do these signs actually give instructions on how to wash hands correctly. Who is getting to the age when they can read these signs and actually learning anything? "Hey, who knew you should actually scrub your hands together?" Anybody who is too uncaring or rude to wash their hands is probably not going to take the time to read the instructions and seriously folks, does anyone really fail to wash their hands because they don't know the complicated steps to accomplishing this task?

Don't forget to vote in the poll to the right. Coming soon, a poll a week.


  1. The big issue I have with this post is this sentence: "Who is getting to the age when they can read these signs and actually learning anything?"

    So anybody of reading age (6? 7?) is beyond learning? I still can learn things from little signs so I have to assume others of reading age can, too. I see guys leave without washing their hands; I see guys leave after a quick rinse without rubbing their hands together. If signs help even a fraction of a percentage of those people learn the correct way to wash hands, then they're worth it, aren't they? I don't think people are just uncaring or rude if they're not washing their hands properly; some may be just ignorant and the signs are a way to battle that ignorance.

  2. I would like to think you're right Mr. MacPherson, but I am highly skeptical. Okay, maybe a small fraction are reading the signs and correcting their behaviour, but it has got to be a small percentage. Sure some signs can be highly educational, but signs for handwashing?

    And if you are correct and people are learning to wash their hands from these signs then that indicates a big problem in the "parents teaching their kids how to wash their hands department". Of which I may be guilty as charged. I'll have to check on that.

    There is going to be a handwashing inspection in the Showers household.

  3. There are now signs posted in all of the washrooms at work that read:

    . Use soap and water
    . Rub hands for 20 seconds
    . Rinse hands with water
    . Dry with paper towel
    . Use paper towel to turn off faucet
    Many roles...1 focus. committed to credit union success.

    The last step seems overly germophobic; I mean, if everyone washes their hands per steps 1-4, wouldn't it be "safe" to turn off the faucet with (gasp!) bare hands, thus alleviating the need for step 5? I realize not everyone will follow the steps, but isn't it a bit odd that the sign itself implicitly suggests that its own instructions won't be followed?

    The last bit seems to be an attempt to tie in our corporate mission statement with thorough handwashing. If only it were that easy to get a raise.

  4. The signs also say "Wash your hands to prevent the spread of illnesses like vomiting"

    I have never come down with a case of vomiting.

  5. Also there is no "none of the above" choice for the poll.

  6. Lisa,
    The credit union should just go for the gusto and instruct its employees to touch doorknobs with shirt sleeves instead of bare hands, and while at it, cough into their elbow pits.

    Do they pay as much attention to their debits & credits?

  7. My guess is there is a lot of people making a lot of money making all these signs? xelA.

  8. Good call, Sondra. They already DO have signs in all of the elevators about coughing into elbow pits! Last year, they practically made it mandatory for all employees to get the H1N1 and seasonal flu shots.

    I am happy to report, however, that financial institutions do tend to be fussy/detail-oriented and fanatical about regulations, and as such, pay pretty close attention to the balance sheet too. Back in my teller days, I used to have to balance TO THE PENNY every night.

  9. Oh, the penny, we should just get rid of it.

    Jack, can't you do a blog about the penny? It's annoying.

  10. Yes, S, yes! The penny is absurdly useless nowadays. I would even campaign to get rid of nickels too, and have the smallest Canadian coin be the dime. Everything would be divisible by 10, metric-style.

  11. Why not get rid of cash altogether? Seriously. There's another topic for you Jack.

    (De nada)