Life as a reformed Zookeeper. Now living a life as a working mother who dabbles in karate, scrapbooking, and Coors Light!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Random Thoughts on Automation....

...I'm going to sound a little like Andy Rooney here for a minute, but bear with me. It's something I've been pondering for a bit, but haven't taken the time to share thoughts with...until now.

We, in this country, have a fascination with making everything automated. Very cool. But sometimes the best laid plans don't always work out quite the way we'd like them to. Example? Automation in the bathroom. The place I work has self-flushing toilets and automatic soap dispensers. So you should never have to flush the toilet again, and you should always be able to put your hand out and get the perfect amount of soap every time. Let me take you through a few scenarios that make this not such a great idea. And, because of my anal retentive nature, I shall put them in lists.

The self-flushing toilet:
  1. Very nice that you never have to remember to flush the toilet at work, but we've not yet progressed to putting self-flushing toilets in every home. This is bad for the person who is a creature of habit. The potential for leaving an unwanted gift for friends and family is so not cool.
  2. For whatever reason, if I should wear an all-black shirt, it messes up the sensors on the toilet, making it phantom flush while my ass is still seated. Again. So not cool.
  3. Self-flushing toilets do not work well with small children. I've a four year-old that could easily pose as a two year-old, as she is so small. You know that problem with phantom flushing with the black shirt. Same thing for her. And so not cool.
  4. Again with small children. Especially children with very anal rententive personalities. They WANT to flush their own deposit down. It's like a rite of passage for them. I hear enough crying for other things. Do I have to hear it about the toilet not letting them flush their own waste? Not cool.

The automatic soap dispenser:

  1. Very fine indeed for getting soap out, when it works. I find that if the automatic lights kick on (this one is a cool thing), signaling that no one has been in the bathroom for a while, I'm not going to be able to get my perfectly-portioned allotment of soap. No matter how many times I wave my hand in front of the sensor. So not cool. Ewww.
  2. Someone told me of a work-around for this little issue. There's a reset button. Yay! BUT, if you should actually PUSH that reset button, you get TEN helpings! What a freaking waste!

Anyway, some random ponderings..... What kinds of automated things make you think "so not cool?"


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate our automatic soap dispensers here at work. I wave my hand around it like a mad woman to get soap to come out. And the automatic flushing is irritating too b/c here at the Regions Building you have to flush twice to get the toilet paper to go down. That and those towel dispensers - all these seem to be more hassle than what they're worth!


9:43 AM

Blogger Katie said...

The towel dispensers get me every time. I think the manufactors figure after you wave your hand around the sensor enough times, your hands will be dry and you won't need a paper towel in the first place.

11:39 AM

Blogger Matt said...

The soap dispensers here are too sensitive. You end up with soap on the back of your hand before you can even get them wet. I knew about the phantom flushing with kids, but the black shirt thing is a new one.

11:54 AM

Blogger Judy in Indiana said...

Do you realize that you used the phrase "anal retentive" twice in a commentary about the bathroom?


5:05 PM

Blogger Judy in Indiana said...

Know what automated thing I would love? A timer on my electric blanket so i could slide into a toasty warm bed at bedtime every night. First, I gotta get that electric blanket!

5:06 PM


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