I can see some fun to be had if they introduce IoT Hand Dryers.
If a washroom has enough, you could perhaps manage to achieve lift-off, or at least create a pressure differential sufficient to expel people from the room.
I'm off to the toilet. Would you like to join me? Sorry, that's a silly question. Of course you won't join me – I'm a bloke. Young women often go to the washroom in pairs but dudes generally don't, at least not for the purposes that the washroom was originally designed. And if you are a woman, or non-specific gender, I can …
or at least create a pressure differential sufficient to expel people from the room
With the right fuel, I can achieve that without any IoT nonsense. Although I prefer to put the pressure on olfactory nerves, rather than using simple pressure differentials.
Mind you, all that interactive crapvertising still isn't as bad as somethings we already have to endure. There's something of a fad for "back of the cubicle door" propaganda from internal communications departments, often featuring pictures of smiley, happy workers. As one female colleague commented, its a bit hard to concentrate when there's the life size face of one of your own team staring back at you as you try and squeeze one out.
In the UK, which was invaded by the Vandals who then never left, those screens are going to be covered in waterproof felt tip pen tags in no time. That's if they aren't "disrupted" by a sharpened screwdriver.
There is therefore a market opportunity for Avery labels or similar in the correct format so vandals can give themselves a new, pristine surface to write on. That's assuming they can get near enough because some hacker has modified the machine to run constantly at full power.
At the other end of the scale I remember visiting a REME base long ago and being allowed into the officers' bogs without an escort (nice people, very trusting). There were racks of military magazines for reading while defecating, in just about every mainstream Western language other than English. Now that's showing off.
Under-used so they are clean, fragrant and with lots of space, usually with extra's like working soap dispensers and paper towels.
Facilities teams also prioritise these due to 'political correctness gone mad' and fear of 'making fun of the disableds' (to quote David Brent)
My conscience is clean - it doesn't make me a bad person :)
"In the US they aren't disabled, but they are Accessible, which I always find to be a useful feature in a toilet."
Hmmm.... whereas the American embassy in Hong Kong has a big sign on the door that says "Handicapped Toilet" not to mention a big sign on a gate that says "Handicapped Access"
Not to go off on a US signage tangent, but how about a warning "Slow Child Crossing".
Or "Caution Falling Rocks". That one was my father's favorite. He made up a whole story (with sequels) about the poor indian boy (Northern NY) named "Falling Rocks".
There must be a compendium of these stupidities. Oh, yes - the internet.
'Not to go off on a US signage tangent, but how about a warning "Slow Child Crossing".'
(yeah, U.S. signage tangent)
On I5 in the Camp Pendleton area (between San Diego and L.A.) it's all open landscape for miles. Along the side of the road there used to be signs labeled 'Caution' in english, 'Prohibido' in Spanish, depicting a man, woman, and kids running across a freeway. The thing is, this was a REAL problem [and no doubt still is, but the signage wasn't there last I checked]. The presumption is that it's illegals that were taken across the border by coyotes and are now "on their own" in the vacinity of a (no longer operational?) border checkpoint in the middle of that stretch of road.
FYI the sign was similar to this one: https://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/primary-sources/289 - that one doesn't have the 'Prohibido' underneath it though.
No similar signs on the public bathrooms at the nearby rest stop, though... (regardless of the amount of wet paper and other mysterious things on the floor)
seems a strange concept.*
Accessible parking for certificate holder makes more sense.
(*Though Tesco's "Free from" branding horribly mangles the English language. The "Free From" should be UNDER the main foodstuff name, not above it.)
I dirty bogs are frightening and I tend to look for somewhere else. But the opulent luxury type Dabbs describes are worrying. I always wonder is it some sort of elaborate trap.
The increase of instructions on how to use toilets appears to be linked to the use of Intercompany Transfers from our esteemed outsourcing "partners".
IEnron's London office had great bogs when I visited them in 1998. Real towels, the assortment of moisturisers, thick bog roll, automatic taps with properly heated (i.e. not scalding, not cold) water. It's nice to know they weren't wasting the money they were stealing.
Yeah, I've seen those notices. Strange icons that instruct people not to stand on the toilets, nor to wee in the sinks. The best one was to highlight urinals are not for number 2s.
In addition, they had some rather ghastly pictures on their H&S notice boards, showing someone that had serious gashed his leg / buttocks open on a broken toilet seat caused by people standing on the seats. It seems that he had to have about a dozen stitches and a couple of tetanus / antibiotic shots.
Apparently the cleaner also got a bit unhappy because on a several occasions, he found that his mop bucket (stored in the corner) had been used by people to relieve themselves, presumably because they couldn't work out that the mop stood in it was for washing floors.
Establishments where people go to spend other people's money, such as advertising agencies, investment banks and Ponzi schemes, tend to have good facilities.
Establishments where people go to spend their own money tend to have tighter budgets.
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... if you're an advertiser.
Even better stick screens on the inside of toilet doors, as you are likely to be sitting for a couple of minutes instead of 15 seconds drying your hands.
I think this would be a terrible thing, as personally I have some of my best ideas sitting on the loo... but that's not going to stop advertisers now, is it?
I derive devious pleasure from the inevitable process of setting up in a boardroom for which absolutely no one, least of all IT support, knows how the extensive and very expensive-looking integrated AV equipment works.
And has been ever so. As soon as my small company - no a little bigger, could afford a small, portable projector We had two that went on the road for external presentations, no matter what the client.
They have got a little (well a lot) smaller, cheaper and brighter and we now have 6 - but they are still and essential part of travelling kit.
Having in the past travelled extensively, both for business and pleasure I took to judging the real quality of an establishment by the state of the toilets.
As a rule of thumb it stands up pretty well with those establishments only interested in the shiny veneer of quality having appalling quality toilets compared to their front areas an approach which was usually mirrored by being shoddy elsewhere as well. Whereas better quality establishments looked after the rarely seen areas, taking care to ensure that they are clean and working. The ones that just want to appear as quality but don't follow it through everywhere are the ones to want to watch out for due to the usual joys of infestations, food poisoning or just awful food often combined with a steady decline in the quality of service and rising prices.
This will definitely be included as part of my normal dinner conversations.
For some reason my family and friends all seem to like to discuss inflows (good food) and outflows (good outflows.) If we're in company, some of the company may hie themselves off to the smoking room or crapper.
Three customers' facilities stand out in my long memory.
RAF - treated us as officers with full access to the sofa lined Officer's Mess.
Army - sometimes treated us as squaddies.
Aircraft manufacturer - our female team members were allowed to use the office staff toilets. The guys had to use the shop floor workers' toilets - which had no locks on the cubicle doors. As it was a weekend we were spared the foreman kicking open the doors.
Screw the marble floors. My only yardstick when it comes to judging a company's true quality is its toilet paper.
I cannot count the number of fancy office areas I have been in where it all looks expensive and upper-class, but they have rolls of sandpaper waiting for you in the single-access rooms.
I have, on occasion, been pleasantly surprised by soft tissue of obviously upper quality, but it would seem that most companies above a certain size are perfectly content to have their employees sit on a rash all day long.
Of course, I cannot judge the quality of the tissue in the Manager's section - as a consultant I never get access to those areas. Somehow I doubt they'll be wiping with the same sandpaper as their underlings. Can't imagine why, but I just don't see it.
A place I used to work at didn't have different toilets for management and non-management staff. And one kind of (crappy) tissue for all. But they did have the sort of holder-thingies where you have two bog rolls in them side by side. One night someone who had access to both the right keys and a label maker replaced one of the rolls in every holder with quality tissue. And stuck a neat label reading "Management only" next to them.
Caused quite an uproar the next day.
Worse than sandpaper, is that thin, polished (calendared?) stuff that seems popular for some reason in Europe. Sandpaper, I could understand, because it scrapes the material away (perhaps overly harshly) but polished paper seems not to meet the basic requirements for the task at hand -- neither absorbent, nor grippy.
Thanks for highlighting two of my pet hates.
It's a sad fact of life that not everyone washes their hands after heeding the call of nature, but it's no good putting signs on the walls saying "Wash your hands" if you don't provide enough sinks. Who washes their hands but then can't be bothered to dry them?
And why do cheap hand dryer manufacturers think temperature is more important than airflow? A design based on an asthmatic dragon is going to burn my hands rather than dry them.
"Who washes their hands but then can't be bothered to dry them?"
I do a lot of driving, which sometimes requires stopping at a motorway services for a quick slash. It's mind boggling how many people who
a) don't wash their hands at all,
b) press the tap and wave their hands near the water or
c) at least wet their hands in the water before walking out with wet hands.
Many times, it's the people in suits, freshly pressed shirts and probably an expensive car outside.
Airblades are horrifyingly bad. Clearly designed by someone who has no understanding whatsoever of the vagaries of the human form.
They only work if your hands happen to dangle at the right distance from the ground.
So anyone not roughly average height can't use them without painfully stretching or bending.
And they're literally impossible to use from a wheelchair.
Dyson Airblades are good. Imitations of them (like in our office) I have found to be wank.
Dyson Airblades are rubbish. They are very, very loud and high pitched - I'm surprised they pass noise regulations - and they don't allow you to rub your hands together which is the most efficient way of spreading the water so that it evaporates more quickly.
Dyson had one good idea back when. Everything since is over-priced crap for social climbers.
"For some reason the loo where I work has a "not drinking water" sticker on it."
1) it is stored in tank that is not up to the latest standards of protection against chemical leaching or bacteria growth.
2) the piping includes lead - possibly only as soldered joints.
3) the water is softened by a chemical process eg Permutit. That can increase the sodium content above WHO potable water limits.
We were moved to the actual new premises a couple of years ago, when different sites were being consolidated into larger ones. An ex manufacturing building was redeveloped as offices. Being IT, we are 90% men and 10% women (sorry, I'd really like more women, but I don't hire people).
Of course, the toilets were designed for a 50-50 population. And while four stalls may be enough for the few women, four aren't enough for the men (especially because too many seem to have issue with aiming at the hole, you wonder how they could procreate..., so yes, instructions looks to be necessary today), and one has been out of service for over a year (they immediately changed any sign as soon as the company changed name, but repairing a toilet was too expensive...)
But the best are the lavatories. They have chosen "stylish" ones, single square columns raising directly from the floor with no space to rest anything (I have to wear hard contact lenses, and sometimes happens I need to clean them), and with the tap mounted high above - again, to obtain a stylish column of water - just as soon as the filter gets dirty they ensure spurts everywhere.
Surely they have paid some kind of architect/interior design to come up with such a nonsense...
Height - but no one was as accomplished as in this episode "Little Squirt" of the Australian kids TV series "Round The Twist".
If you don't have the attention span to get the full background - the denouement is at 21m30 of this video on the programme's official channel. From the 1980s - the past is indeed another country.
"We had to be content with contests measured against the black tarred wall above the school's urinals."
A pub I used to frequent had a realistic image of a housefly stuck on the bottom of each urinal.
Apparently giving you something to aim at works well.
Variations on this theme include a replica of a footie goal, complete with ball, especially during Euro and World Championships.
I've always thought there could be a market for "urinal games." Guys like to pee on things and test their aim, so why not a little spinner in the urinal? This could be coupled to a small (waterproof or piss proof) encoder or dynamo and an electronic scoreboard. He who spins the little wheel the longest gets the highest score.
We had this innovation known as "baby wipe" which I have found is a good device to use post-number 2. This is my personal opinion, merely sharing for the benefit of others.
Anyways, they don't carry baby wipes at work, because they don't let anybody bring babies into work.
So what I have found is if I were to take a dry paper towel, and moisten it in the sink, why it has become practically the same thing!
Unfortunately that means that I'm that guy who tends to flush those. Because, come on, how do you chuck your TP (PT) into the garbage can.
Now I've never known the plumbing to suffer the subsequent 'backup failure'. The one rule I've seen about flushing matter is that you should ensure whatever you flush is capable of pretty much dissolving into water; which tends to not include such sturdy toweling (which you need to really get a pristine wipe; I tend to not only use both sides of the PT wipe, but also get a couple folds to open up new surfaces, as well).
I say this in full awareness of the fat-bergs they suffer down in the sewers. But in my defence, I'm not the guy rinsing grease, or non-soluble coffee grounds, down the drain.
I have an inkling that even sturdy paper toweling must dissolve, eventually. Am I wrong?
"I have an inkling that even sturdy paper toweling must dissolve, eventually. Am I wrong?"
Yes. The advice to only put TP down the bog is for a reason.
"Now I've never known the plumbing to suffer the subsequent 'backup failure'."
Not on your end, no. But unless you dropped a tracking device in there too, then you've got no idea about the downstream effect.
Sewerage systems are for liquids, not solids. Poop and near equivalents (soups, smoothies, vomit) are usually within the systems capability.
Various other unsuitable items get in there too, but are generally accepted that it's pretty hard to stop them. Hair and fat are the obvious ones here, and if you're expecting to put a lot of it in there then you are expected to filter it.
Putting cellulose based products that aren't designed to *immediately* dissolve in water (normal TP) is going to help cause a blockage. It takes several months to decompose paper in ideal conditions. Putting baby wipes/nappies or other polymer based items is even worse, since those don't decompose at all in a helpful timeframe.
Unless there is a real problem with your building plumbing, you indeed will never see the issue. Same as dumping fat into the system, it's very rare to block up an individual connection. But the cumulative effect is what gets the various fatburgs and other joys of the deep.
As for being to scared to throw your shit paper in the bin, just use the sanitary products bin. no-one wants to handle those bits either, and they'll have a half decent bag on it, and a lid.
Oh, and please don't dump paint, motor oil or any of the other items into the waste water systems either. Just because it doesn't fuck up your plumbing doesn't mean it won't fuck up something else.
To quote Sheldon Cooper - I would rather have a diseased orang-utan sneeze on my hands.
Take a bacteria-rich environment, and then pump warm damp air over a dark surface such as the interior of the blower. What could possibly go wrong?
Some reading for the unsqueamish
(We don't seem to have a biohazard icon)
"Take a bacteria-rich environment, and then pump warm damp air over a dark surface such as the interior of the blower. What could possibly go wrong?"
Wrong? How about the places which have both paper towels and air dryers and place the waste bin full of wet paper towels directly under the air dryer, for added dispersion joy.
The high-speed air dryers don't have heaters as far as I can tell. They stay cold unless run longer than the standard time so it's likely only waste heat from the motor that eventually warms up the air and certainly not hot enough to kill any bugs festering inside them.
There are places with unisex bogs. No urinals, just a bog-standard toilet. Some of those places with unibogs require male staff to put the seat down after use. Even if there are several men and only one woman (who comes in part time on random days) so that far more people are inconvenienced and discommoded by the requirement than are commoded by it. I'm not making that up, because I've worked in such a place.
It's always the women who complain if the seat is not in the right position for them. Men (in general) are capable of noticing the position of the seat, figuring out what they want to do and then adjusting the seat accordingly (and without complaint). Women apparently are not, going by the number of times I've read of women complaining that not only was the seat left up but that they did not notice and ended up sitting on cold porcelain. How brain-dead do you have to be not to notice? I could make a sexist joke here, but I'll refrain. I'll wait until the next paragraph to make a different and better one.
Anyway, women always complain about men and the toilet seat. There's no pleasing them. They complain when you leave the toilet seat up. They complain when you put the toilet seat down and piss all over it.
The hand dryer in the shit hole I work in has been out of order for two weeks. Apparently someone has ordered a part for it. I offered to go down to Screwfix, get a replacement dryer and fit it, which I reckon would take no more than an hour, but oh no. Health & Effeciency won't allow that.
Labour, to be precise.
After an MP's daughter got electrocuted when she drilled into a wall in her kitchen and hit an unexpected electric cable (the cable was in a stupid place), they banned anyone from doing any electrical work in bathrooms and kitchens unless they have a note from their local council saying they can, or get a council jobsworth to look at it afterwards and complain that they used the wrong shade of white insulation.
You can change a bulb, or a socket for one of the same type, but that's about it. Swapping out a dryer is questionable, so no company dares risk it.
It was Mary Wherry the daughter of a Lib Dem MP not Labour. And it wasn't while she was doing DIY - it was shoddy work by the contractor that exposed live wiring to a metal surface.
Show some respect and check your facts before spouting.
(Oh, and despite your "health and safety gone mad" subtext, you can do more or less what you like in your own home, provided you're not creating a risk to others. You're just not allowed to sell it to someone else or claim on the insurance if it all falls to bits unless you've had it certified by an appropriate professional.)
I note that you have not understood the regulation or my post.
The wire was in a stupid place and so was damaged by a drill when her husband drilled into the wall.
- Yes I did forget that it was her partner who had screwed into the wire. Doesn't make much difference, the cause was the same - DIYer drilled into a wire that was in a stupid place.
I explicitly avoided giving names because that feels like victim blaming - and both were victims. I'm paranoid about wires in walls, most people are not.
I do not blame her parent either. They were distraught! Of course they would demand the Something Be Done! It's the Government of the day who did the foolish thing.
Labour were in power. Labour were the ones who wrote and passed a very bad regulation as a kneejerk overreaction to a tragedy.
The lib dems were not in power, they did not pass it.
Part P is terrible - even by their own figures it was hoped to prevent one incident a year. It probably hasn't come close to that, though that can't be proven as it's such a low rate to begin with. UK electrical safety is and was extremely good.
It has not solved the problem because it's simply created a spate of cowboys with Part P "certification" who have no understanding of electricity, they're doing it by rote.
And worse, those who do the work anyway and either issue a fake cert. or none, leaving homeowners in real trouble several years later.
As to the idea that you can do what you like - afraid not.
If you cannot get buildings insurance, you cannot get a mortgage, and the bank can even foreclose you.
If you cannot sell or rent out a property, the property has zero value.
Thus Part P does prevent you, in the same way that very large fines do. Same as the other buildings regs in fact, most of which are very sensible - even the very prescriptive ones.
Yes, lots of people ignore it. Lots of people ignore speed limits as well, and it's rare to get caught either way - but the penalties if you are caught are very severe.
They only tend to end up in trouble when trying to sell, and suddenly have a large cost dumped on them to get it "fixed" rapidly - even though the actual installation is usually perfectly fine, just the paperwork is missing or incomplete.
Yours, a former specialist industrial electrician, who has seen rather too many shoddy installations in their time.
That's just as good of an ad for something people will see for only five seconds or so (assuming it is one of the good hand dryers that blows like a jet engine to dry quickly) there's little point in moving video.
And if you are putting a sticker on the hand dryer, why not on the door, the wall, the inside door of the toilet, on the mirror, on the countertop, and on the ceiling in case someone looks up to avoid ads coming at him from every direction?
If some really thinks an ad on the hand dryer is going to pay the cost of the video screen and electricity to run it, surely ads all over the room will be even more profitable if they don't have the cost of video screens?
When you want to change the ad, just wait for someone to peel the sticker off because its there, or put a new sticker over the old one? Unsightly, you say? Pretty sure that video screen will be unsightly from people shaking their hands as they approach the dryer and having it cleaned with the same rag that was used to wipe down the mirror, countertop and sinks!
..we have all the insanity you like, from the proprietary tablet sign-in system at our front desk written by an intern that left for greener pastures 5 minutes after he was done coding it, to the cranky A/V systems that IT was never consulted on when they were spec'd and installed.
We do have nice clean bathrooms too. (and I'm grateful for the autoflush feature in them) I love watching someone come out of a stall after apparently birthing the Antichrist in there, and "wash" their hands for about 1.5 seconds. (all you've accomplished is to give the germs some nice hydration that they need to prosper and be happy)
As a side note, the best sign I've heard of in a bathroom is a large placard over the sink, which states "Think!" to one and all. And someone obligingly responded by scrawling "Thoap!" over the soap dispenser.
Low flow toilets.
We have them at work. Autoflush, too. Very nice. Except for the small problem that, to "clear" the bowl, it now takes 3-5 flushes, where in the other (not yet improved) toilets which have standard flow (ka-WHOOOSH!) flushers, one flush and it's ready for the next customer.
I thought you were from this side of the puddle, Mr Dabbs?
What's all this talk of the "washroom"? I don't generally go to said facility to wash. Washing is a consequence of the main activity, except for certain hygiene-challenged blokes. (Worth remembering when you spot one - don't shake his hand and avoid the finger buffet if he's been there first.)
Anyway, in east-of-the-Atlantic anglophone lands we say "toilet" or "WC" (*) if we're being polite. Or earthier more specific terms in non-squeamish company.
I grant you "washroom" is slightly better than the ridiculous American usage "bathroom". ("Excuse me. Where is the bathroom in this restaurant?" Huh?)
But really, come on. Do you also tell your mates you're off to "powder your nose" after the sixth pint of Old Horizontal?
(*) Yes, I know that "at one's toilet" originally meant washing as well but it could at least include bodily evacuation.
As late as 1955, when Margaret Burbidge, a superb observer, applied for a position at Mount Wilson , she was told that there were no toilet facilities for women on the mountain. With aplomb, she replied that she would use the bushes. Her husband, a theorist, was hired as a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech, which granted him privileges at Mount Wilson and Palomar. Astronomers looked the other way when she showed up at Mount Wilson to use her husband's allotted time on the one-hundred-inch telescope. He read books in the darkroom while she observed. (R. Florence, The Perfect Machine page 306)
"A talking head at the bottom of the bowl selling you haemorrhoid cream?"
I remember reading once that some of our wealthier Victorian era forebears were happy to pay extra for a crapper that had a selected politician's image inside the bowl - although a continuous orange glow from the bog could be a bit off-putting.
I've actually seen a few of these, or taken a leak at rather. I think the airport in Helsinki has a few also.
Finnish product of course, we tend to be ahead in these penis related things.
Given the inherently secure nature of most companies self built connectivity, I am sure one could remotely cause quite a few mis-sprays.
"It's bad enough having to stare at the same old poster ads for travel cases, incontinence pants and erectile dysfunction while you have a slash. Now I'm going to be forced to watch a video of all three while drying off."
Another use for Duct Tape, the universal fix-it.
Can also be used to fix a leaking tank, improvise cushioned seating, replace missing hinges and provide a method of holding the door closed when the lock has been "misplaced".
Always carry a reel when you go to the bog, in the bag with your industrial strength antiseptic spray with bleach, emergency soap, emergency bog paper, emergency paper towels and basic emergency plumbing tools (collapsible plunger, Stilson's self-adjusting pliers, universal flap valve kit etc).
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