Tag Archives: rants

The Dreaded Automatic Towel Dispenser

I’m not one always to be complaining about things but I’m just getting tired of a fairly recent development in community hygiene.  It’s all these motion sensitive devices now used in public restrooms.  The most egregious offender of these is the towel dispenser, followed closely in offensiveness by the automatic soap dispenser and water faucet.  I will have to give credit here to automatic flush devices; they have now been perfected to a certain extent.  The other devices, however, have a long way to go before they work satisfactorily.  I’m sure that it must be some kind of ploy to discourage you from using the public facilities, maybe in order to save on cleanup crews or supplies, who knows. 

Let’s say you go to use a public restroom.  Of course, your desire is to be in and out as quickly as possible.  The less time you spend in there the better.  You go in and take care of business, then walk away from the toilet or urinal; it flushes itself, so far, so good.  You walk over to the lavatory and attempt to wash your hands. If you are lucky enough to get some soap dispensed after having passed your hand under the dispenser five or six times you will be most lucky. If you are then able to get rinsed in the four-second drizzle of water from the faucet you are even more fortunate, this is most likely not the case though and you will have to try for more water. After passing your hands under the faucet four or five more times and having the water refuse to come out or providing a quarter cup at best, you finally give up and go for the towel.  You pass your hand under the dispenser then wave in front then back and forth several times.  You then make a visual inspection of the machine to see if you are missing the electronic eye, looking under and around the wall mounted miser. You try again, finally the stingy machine dispenses a piece of paper eight inches long, just enough to tick you off because it is impossible to dry your hands with such a small piece of paper towel, and, you’ve already spent an inordinate amount of time in there trying in vain to get satisfactory results.  You might as well be using one of those useless blow dryers that require you to stand there for ten minutes in order to get dry.  Needless to say, you wave your hands around several times again and finally get out another small piece of paper and say “well crap, I’ll just have to make do”  you then wipe your hands on your pants and go out.  Of course, after all this frustrating activity designed to keep you from touching anything in the restroom you then have to grab the door handle to pull the door open.  Yes, this is the same handle that everyone before you has touched and knowing how frustrating it is to try to wash up has decided to forgo the activity.  You could have used a paper towel to pull the door open if you had one and then you could have discarded it in a trash receptacle by the door.  Of course no one has thought of placing a receptacle there so the few people who were lucky enough to get some paper towels out of the machine have dropped them on the floor at the door…  Ok, I feel better now that that’s out.

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