Nov 2, 2006

Bathroom Blogfest: When signs dont work...its time to ask WHY

Consider this…

You want to use the loo. You set foot (there is only space for that) in this rather small place and try to find toilet seat covers…the dispenser is empty. Some kid who got into the restroom before you tried to reach his hand at it and pulled out far too many…now they’re all strewn around the tiny floor space that you are standing on. In any case, even if you’d have found them, isn’t it a pain trying to tear that perforated portion in the centre, while there is that nagging feeling somewhere at the back of your head about how the toilet seat cover has that slimy, slippery texture. (In the absence of the cover) You reach for the toilet roll…wipe the seat with it and get on with your job. While you are at it you try to numb yourself to the bits of moist tissue around the sink & something that smells like a mix of synthetic citrus air freshener, an equally smell hand wash and of course the loo! Now you’re done! There is that squeaky sound as you stand up and your footwear touches the floor surface on which water (and various other things) have dried. But never mind that. You think, I must wash my hands with hot water and soap and get the hell out of this place. Thank god you don’t have to touch the tap after washing hands. It has a sensor. You carefully pull out tissue with the tip of your fingers not to touch anything around it, lest you catch any germs. Wipe and reach for the bin to dispose it… and stop! The bin has this push-down lid. If you need to push it down you need to touch it. This means your hands don’t feel clean any more. Even if you hold the push down lid with your tissue-in-hand and try to dump the tissue in, on release your fingers would still touch the lid…and that’s not a very
comforting though. You think…why don’t I just flush the tissue? You see the sign that advises against it – because it would clog the drain. You still go ahead. Grab another tissue and touch the flush with it – and quickly toss in the last tissue in as the suction works at pulling it. And then what happens is anybody’s guess…eventually the drain will get clogged and if there wasn’t already enough of a mess in there…create an even more of an un-unusable loo. And you don’t want to be stuck in such a situation mid air.

Poor quality wash rooms are never like that to begin with. They also start out squeaky clean. Over time things deteriorate since a) users don’t maintain the facilities and b) more importantly since there is something in there that is coming in the way of users keeping it clean.

- It could be trash bins with a push down lid or

- Toilet roll dispensers with loose covers – which could have led to the entire roll on the floor when someone decided to give it a tug

- Seat covers which have an centre difficult to tear (I still don’t know why they can’t have covers that just outline the rim)

- Or like Susan points out - Hand towels at the other end of the loo – that would have people walk in the washrooms with dripping hands.

The point is these are things that don’t require big investments…but it requires some paying attention.

If you see paper towels on the floor the next time – just stand back and think WHY before putting up a notices likes these

Customers are advised not to throw used paper towels in the bin as a courtesy to others users.

Picture courtesy

Push Down Lid - Flickr, No disposal signage - Gettyimages

customer experience, bathroom blogfest, ladiesrooms,


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