This post has nothing to do with public restrooms and gender. These are my observations on bathrooms that appear to use touchless technology. I can only speak for the women’s rooms I have used.
My first gripe is the toilets. I hate the automatic flushers. Sometimes they flush repeatedly before you’re finished doing your business. If the spontaneous flush doesn’t scare you, the surge of water from below on your bare skin is sure to shock you.
Of course, it’s far worse when the toilet doesn’t flush. Have you ever stood in front of the sensor doing your best Karate Kid impression trying to find just the right move to trigger a flush? Sometimes it’s all for naught. Then you have to decide if you should vacate the stall for the next person or wait it out until there is no line, so you can discreetly slip away, no one the wiser that you sullied the loo. Ladies, you know how our restrooms are. When isn’t there a freaking line? And let’s face it, there are times of the month that our aftermath can resemble a crime scene. I’ve been told that there is a mechanism on the toilet to make it flush when the sensor isn’t cooperating, but I have yet to locate one.
I’ve had to leave such a crime scene at a sports stadium, and I did feel awful about it, but had I waited it out for no line, I would have missed the entire game. I bolted from the stall, the door swinging in my wake, as I blended with the mob at the sinks. The stall’s next victim loudly commented about the gross state of affairs. It wasn’t me; you can’t prove a thing.
Touchless soap is another problem. You do more karate moves hoping some will fall on your hand. That’s assuming the dispensers aren’t empty, the soap laying in a messy pool on the counter below. If you are fortunate to receive a handful of cleansing foam, you know the sink’s sensor won’t work, and you will be left with slimy foam hands.
More hand waving ensues, cheap soap running down your arm. You curse yourself for not checking the sink before the soap. You’re ready to shove the person at the next sink out of the way to secure some water. Can you blast the suds off with the, you guessed it, automatic dryers?
I hate automatic dryers. I don’t like how loud they are, or how my flesh looks like it’s about to be peeled from my bones. Without access to paper products, I usually dry my hands by stuffing them into my pockets.
All of this touchless stuff is swell, assuming it works. If it all does work, why has no one invented a touchless door? You can be germ-free but still have to touch part of the door that a potential non-hand washer touched. So what’s the point? With no towels to use on the door, what do you do? You can use the karate kick you’ve perfected in the stall, provided the door swings open without a handle. If there’s a handle, I’ve used my sleeve or the bottom of my shirt.
There you have it. This is the real reason women take so long in the restroom.