May 14th, 2012

Shake & Fold

Recently I talked about my handwashing process. This is a process I’ve been working on for years, but I’m always open to suggestion.  Well, in the comments on that entry, Brian linked to a TED talk on the subject that has me reevaluating again.

Here’s the video.

Shake and fold. Simple, right? I figured I might as well give it a try. The first few times didn’t go so well, frankly. The tricky part is getting the right amount of paper towel. The dispenser at work is a roll-your-own, so it has taken me a few tries, but I think I’m getting it.  It does work, it’s just taking some getting used to. I like using less than half the paper toweling I used to.

The worst part? The shaking. I’m trying to figure out how to shake the excess water off my hands without flinging it all over.  I’ve been working on more of a “flinging” method, and I’ve had some success.

Give it a try, see how you like it.

April 9th, 2012

Crossing The Line

I was with a group of friends a while ago and we got onto some subject that led me to explain my hand-washing procedure:

(For public washrooms)

-turn on water
-roll out sufficient paper towels
-wet hands
-soap up
-sing through “Happy Birthday” twice (usually in my head) while scrubbing
-dry hands
-use paper towels to turn off water
-throw away paper towel (unless the exit door opens inward, then “use paper towel to open door” before throwing paper towel away

There were nods of agreement, and some questions about the process.  I explained that I had modified the process to be more efficient here and there, but everyone seemed to think it was about right.  (Side note: I don’t think I mentioned the singing part to them, which probably would’ve made them think I was crazy.)  I also mentioned that I was looking for ways to save water in the process because I sometimes think about how much water I’m using in a day.

That’s when someone said, “Why do you turn the water on before you roll out the paper towels?”

I was feeling safe and accepted at this point, so I told them without hesitation: “To let the water heat up.”

Well apparently you can have all manner of weird little quirks when you’re washing your hands except for letting the water heat up. That was the final straw and I was roundly mocked. Pardon me for wanting to wash my hands with warm/hot water like you’re supposed to!

Since then I’ve considered it more, and the water at work never really warmed up anyway, so I was probably wasting water. I’ve adjusted my routine there. I can’t help wondering, though, how many quirks we allow people in different situations.  “You can do this, this, this, and this, but the minute you do that other thing?  Hoo boy. You’re crazy!”

From here out I’ll refrain from revealing my quirks to people, I guess. Well, except for here on the blog, because if it weren’t for quirk talk, the blog would be maybe six entries.