The never-ending (and completely unnecessary) battle between basic hygiene and basic courtesy

August 15th, 2012 · 154 comments

Yeah, I get that you don’t want to touch the germy bathroom door handle with your just-washed hands. But that makes tossing your paper towel on the floor okay…how? And this is hardly an isolated problem. To wit:

From Margi’s office in Green Bay, Wisconsin (just click the image to enlarge):

[1st note] To whomever keeps throwing your papertowel on the floor after you use it, please place in trash as that is the appropriate thing to do.  [2nd] People do this because it is NASTY to touch the filthy poop door-handle w/freshly washed hands (DUH!)...placing a trash can by the door is the appropriate thing to do! Poo hands spread disease!  [3] Considering the majority of the paper towel in the can comes from those who wash their hands, I doubt that the door is covered in Poo. Unless, of course there could be people who waddle out of the stall to wipe w/paper towel & put it in the can...I guess I see your point. Anything is possible.

From Edmonton, Alberta:

Oops, you dropped something... your paper towel. Yes, the paper towel receptacle is in the washroom. Please DO NOT drop paper towels between the doors. Not only is this unsightly, it is a safety hazard.

From Brittany’s office in Chicago:

Dear 5th Floor Germ-o-phobe, We know how much you hate touching the bathroom door handle with your bare hands. But guess what we hate? Picking up the used paper towels you drop on the floor EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Maybe you didn't notice, in your hurry to get back to your (not very) important job, but there is a trash can located next to the sink. You should check it out sometime. XOXO, Everyone else who picks up after you

From a hospital in Durham, North Carolina:

Dear PHOBIC INDIVIDUALS: If you have microphobia & need to use paper towels to extract yourself from the men's WC. Please put them in the trash bin & not on the floor. Otherwise, get yourself some serious help and stop polluting our environment. The Management

From Indianapolis:

Out of respect for those of us who use this bathroom everyday, please don't throw the used hand towel that you use to open the door with on the floor behind the door when you are leaving the bathroom. Take it with you and throw it away in a trashcan somewhere. Thanks, we all appreciate it. (Maybe there should be a trash can by the door - what a concept.)

And finally, from Eileen’s office in Cincinnati, Ohio…

Okay — We got the hint.  A trash can has been placed just outside the door for the paper towels you use to open this door. Please deposit there instead of leaving on the floor for someone else to have to pick up.

related: Nobody likes electric hand dryers (except maybe those fancy Dyson ones)


FILED UNDER: bathroom · etiquette · garbage · hygiene · office · washing your hands

154 responses so far ↓

  • #1   lala

    There should be a trashcan next to the door. Period.

    Aug 15, 2012 at 10:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Jami

      Can’t always do that though. Some bathrooms are just too small. At my library if the trashcan is too close to the door people in wheelchairs can’t get in. We were built before ADA laws so we’re not totally handicapped accessible.

      Aug 15, 2012 at 11:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   Dr_Know

      I agree, it’s not always practical. Plus every bathroom I’ve can remember has the bin under the paper towel dispenser.

      But then again I’ve never heard of someone needing paper towel to open the door…maybe this isn’t an issue in Australia?

      Aug 16, 2012 at 6:03 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   redheadwglasses

      Or people can take the damn paper towel with them and throw it another nearby receptacle. Like at their desk.

      Too many people are lazy, stupid, and completely thoughtless.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 11:19 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   Purr Monster

      I agree with redheadwglasses. In our office, you have to go from the bathroom into the hallway and then open another door into the office. So, to the person who throws the paper towel on the floor: You mean you won’t touch the bathroom door handle, but you’ll touch the office door handle? What’s the logic in that?

      Aug 16, 2012 at 12:12 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #1.5   Wilma Jo

      I like to open the restroom door with my used paper towel, but I would never dream of dropping it on the floor! What is wrong with these people? I deposit it in the next trashcan I find.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 8:48 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #1.6   66Sick

      I used to sit right next to the bathroom at my office, and everyone always wanted me to move over so they could use MY trash can. Until I went ahead and provided a proper receptacle.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   Rei

    Seriously, people are so lazy they can’t just scoot the damn garbage can over instead of just leaving a mess and/or bitching? WTF? If it’s one of the ones attached to the wall, I get it, but I doubt *all* of these are attached to the walls.

    Aug 15, 2012 at 10:18 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   lala

      The trashcan in the restroom in my building is several paces away from the door. Short of sprinting there and back, there is no reasonable way to use the paper towel to grab the door, throw the towel away, and still make it out the door before it closes again. Luckily we have a very thorough cleaning crew that I’ve seen wipe down the door handle on numerous occasions, and there aren’t that many people on my floor. But there’s at least one woman who regularly leaves without washing her hands.

      Aug 15, 2012 at 10:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   Cyberjar88

      @lala: And you know this how?

      Aug 16, 2012 at 12:12 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   angie

      Um, presumably because she’s been in the bathroom as the same time as this woman. I know there are at least two women on my floor (two large offices and one small one) who comes out of the stall and walks right out of the bathroom.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 7:14 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.4   clumber

      I, too, am aware of several women on our floor who leave the stall and go directly to the door and leave without using the sink. I choose not to pay attention to the shoes b/c I would surely recoil in horror the next time I see them.
      This has, however, contributed to my absolute refusal to participate in work potlucks. Ever.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 9:32 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #2.5   redheadwglasses

      I have a coworker who merely runs her hands under running water for 2 seconds, giving the germs on her hand a nice, moist environment.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 11:20 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.6   Saph

      Don’t judge people who leave without washing their hands. I always carry hand sanitizer with me to use after leaving the restroom.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 8:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.7   lee

      Which would be fine, Saph, if hand sanitizer was as effective as washing your hands with soap and water.

      Sadly, it is not.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 9:45 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.8   Clumber

      Also, Saph, I’m a tech support geek and have therefore seen the sort of disgusting state people leave their desk, computer, floor…. in. One can learn a lot about people by crawling under their desks… I will never be able to bleach out the image of the green/black glob all across the user’s PC and onto the floor. It had once been spilled coffee with a ton of sugar in it; Now it is a growing environment for penicillin.
      Another actually had spouts growing inside the PC. No, I have no idea…
      Oh Oh! Or the big fancy-schmanzy specialty printer that this person had made a stink about requiring… got a work ticket for it a year later b/c it was printing oddly, with big splotches. It was full of mouse droppings!! FULL OF – as in I probably would have filled a coffee mug with them if I was insane. That office was about 10 feet away from a cafeteria that served vulnerable people.

      Every so often, usually around deployment of new computers, I put in a purchase request for bio hazard bunny suits for all of us in IT. One day they won’t be paying attention and we’ll get them… MWAHAHAHAH!

      Aug 17, 2012 at 5:18 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.9   liltam

      Wow, I didn’t realize so many of my co-workers came to this site. I’ll try to clean up my act! (J/K, I’m not a slob, I wash my hands and clean my workspace)

      Aug 17, 2012 at 11:58 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.10   Chinchillazilla

      Some of us have allergic reactions to the soap provided in some public restrooms. I don’t always strictly WASH my hands, but I do the best I can to prevent the spread of germs and prevent unsightly rashes at the same time.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 11:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.11   AnotherAngie

      Hand sanitizer is NOT the same as washing your hands. There are several germs that sanitizer does not kill, such as E. coli and C. difficile. Also if your hands are soiled/dirty then you are using the gel to smear that poop all around your hands. Yummy. Stop being gross and lather those hands up.

      Aug 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

  • #3   Lisa

    The last post-it writer on the first photo is a complete moron and missed the entire point!

    I will admit it is one of my pet peeves when there is no trash can within striking distance of the door, but I would never resort to tossing my used paper towel on the floor in protest.

    Aug 15, 2012 at 10:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   twhit

      I had to read her comment twice; after the first time I thought I must have missed something because surely nobody is that stupid. Silly, optimistic me.

      Aug 15, 2012 at 11:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Walt

    I don’t get those people. I do use a paper towel to open the door. But I will carry that paper towel until I find a trash can. It would never even cross my mind to toss it on the floor. WTF is wrong with you?!

    Aug 15, 2012 at 10:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Omnivore

      Same here, Walt. I refuse to litter.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 2:20 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   Lauri

    I’m with you, Walt. Apparently only a few of us have had good parenting.

    Aug 15, 2012 at 10:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   infanttyrone


    Facilities manager in Cincinnati must have taken a course in Hegelian dialectics.

    Aug 15, 2012 at 10:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   mary

    relax… you cannot head off every germ… you need to let it go

    Aug 15, 2012 at 10:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Dee

      Thanks, but with an immune system disorder, I can’t really afford to “let it go”.

      Aug 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   RedDelicious

      Guess you shouldn’t really be leaving the house then.

      Aug 15, 2012 at 10:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.3   twhit

      Yeah, if you’re not perfectly healthy and need to be careful of germs then you have no place in society. Either that or RedDelicious is an idiot.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 12:01 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.4   Cowbert

      God, I hope RedDelicious never has to get an organ transplant.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 12:54 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.5   Omnivore

      Sorry, Mary. I don’t want other people’s bodily waste on my hands, ever. Paper towel all the way.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 2:22 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.6   deprogrammed

      Some germs, especially from your genitals and anus, are worse than others. Part of the reason the “Two Girls, 1 Cups” was so damned revolting. Since a couple of you don’t have one, I’ll loan you a clue: simple hand washing will prevent any number of problems, like common colds and in some cases, the spread of e.coli and salmonella. If you’re not washing your hands, youze is nasty…

      Aug 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.7   DaveGI

      What RedDelicious is saying is that if your immune system is so compromised that you can’t touch the bathroom door handle, then you are screwed. Because you are fooling yourself if you think that paper towel is protecting you.

      Remember, the same people who aren’t washing their hands before leaving the bathroom are also touching all the other surfaces in your office, and every other door handle and elevator button in your building. Any germs they are carrying do not magically vanish from their hands once they pass through that doorway.

      So using a paper towel on one door handle is doing nothing to protect you.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.8   kacky

      Bull Pucky. I have an immune system disorder. I’m on several medications including a monthly 3-hour drip that has destroyed my immune system. That doesn’t mean I need to be an entitled twat who gets to make everyone else suffer because I choose to impose on them by dirtying their workplace with paper towels. You’re either a considerate person or you are not.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 10:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.9   Ruth

      kacky, I guess you have a “reading what you’re disagreeing with” disorder too. They weren’t defending littering, they were defending using paper towels to hold the door handle in the first place.

      Aug 19, 2012 at 6:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.10   kacky

      Who are you, the blogpost patrol? My response is pertinent.

      Aug 19, 2012 at 10:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   Amber

    I brace my foot against the door after I’ve opened it, chuck the paper towel in the trash, and go. If there isn’t a trash bin near the door, I hold onto it until I get to one. I confess to being lazy, but even I’m not THAT lazy.

    Aug 15, 2012 at 10:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   Pit Pat

      Yup, same here. It never occurred to me that people would just throw it on the floor.

      Aug 15, 2012 at 11:20 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   Kim

    There actually is a trashcan by the door in our washrooms. Guess where the paper towel still ends up…

    Aug 15, 2012 at 10:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   catethulhu

      It’s because people are just lazy buttholes. They miss the trashcan and don’t want to bother with picking it up and washing their hands again.

      Aug 15, 2012 at 11:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   Leslie

    Wasn’t there a study that said your computer keyboard more germy than a toilet seat? Just saying…

    Aug 15, 2012 at 10:32 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Leaping Lizard

      Yeah, and I’m pretty sure no one has ever died from touching either one. Nevermind the people who could die from slipping on a wet, discarded paper towel on their way to take a shit. What a way to go…

      Aug 16, 2012 at 7:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   oceankitten

    i don’t bother using a paper towel to open the door…if it doesn’t kill me, it makes me stronger

    Aug 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   Leaping Lizard

      Thank you! Why can’t they understand that by trying to always keep themselves in super-sterile environments, their bodies have built up no immunities and, thus, they are susceptible to infection from smaller exposure?! And let’s face it, you can’t kill every germ, no matter how phobic you are.

      And then there’s the fact that people get so worked up over germs, but don’t seem to care one bit about the toxins that they eat and breathe on a daily basis. Go ahead and eat those neon-orange processed cheese-foods, have a twinky for dessert (strange how they never expire?) down it with a diet coke and then go have a smoke outside (where the air itself is loaded with all kinds of goodies). But don’t you DARE touch that damn door handle!

      Aug 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   RubySun bang

    I am disabled and often reeling after using the bathroom…. And I *still* have never thrown the paper towel I used to open the door, on the ground. This lackadaisical behaviour is inexplicable! INEXPLICABLE!

    Aug 15, 2012 at 10:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   Victoria

      You keep using this word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      I can certainly explain to you why some people do it. I cannot excuse it to you, however. I think the word you’re looking for is “inexcusable.”

      Aug 16, 2012 at 9:20 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.2   kermit

      It is inexplicable if you want to know why people are too lazy to throw a paper towel in the garbage.

      It’s inexcusable that they throw paper towels on the floor. See how that works?

      Aug 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   catethulhu

    If the garbage can isn’t next to the door, I just wad it up and carry it with me to throw away. Littering is never cool, and there are ways around it.

    Aug 15, 2012 at 11:13 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   Jimmah

    Hey guess what?? That paper towel will NOT protect you from the germs you are afraid of. Paper has pours much bigger than most germs. This is why people in health care don’t wear paper gloves. You are just being silly and wasteful by using needless paper towels to feed your insecurity and naivete. You’re being an ass by tossing it on the floor, no matter what your excuse is.

    Aug 15, 2012 at 11:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   Frank

      I stopped reading when you confused “pore” and “pour”, as that alone proved that you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

      Also, the paper towel is way thicker than most germs, so even though it passes through the X and Y axes, it’s not thick enough to pass through the Z… ;)

      Aug 15, 2012 at 11:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   Snicklefritz

      Before you go dissin’ on other’s spelling alibility, please be sure to double check your own – it’s axis. I believe axes are what are used to chop wood – but I could be wrong.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 9:25 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.3   ropollo

      You are right that axes are used to chop wood. But the original commenter is right in that the plural of “axis” is “axes.”

      Aug 16, 2012 at 9:33 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.4   KittenPlaysThe Violin

      Get a clue. Axes is plural for axis.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 11:41 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.5   Snicklefritz

      Thank you @ropollo – guess I should have checked with both Mssrs. Merriam and Webster to verify my own correction mea culpa @Frank – oh, and @Kitten – I managed to purchase a clue, and it’s that you may be a bit of a douche.
      It’s now time for me to grab my axes to go chop wood for the axis of evil as they divine the x and y axes of the lowly paper towel.
      See – I get it now

      Aug 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.6   honus

      This is exactly why I put on latex gloves after I wash my hands. And then toss them on the floor after I’ve opened the door.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 6:27 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.7   Stu

      I have worked in Healthcare for 25 years and, while I don’t wear paper gloves, I have been taught to open the door handle with a paper towel.

      Aug 19, 2012 at 10:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   Anna

    I am amazed at all the people who open the door with paper towels.

    While I can see that some of you have immune disorders, I have to question whether you have considered that so many people don’t even wash their hands, or touch themselves at random, or worse. So for the purposes of someone for whom rogue germs are a question of a $10k hospital stay, the entire city is the equivalent of a public restroom.

    I do not question your choice to open the door with a paper towel, but I do wonder what you do for all the other stuff you have to touch. Sorry if it sounds rude–I am genuinely curious.

    Aug 15, 2012 at 11:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   Cowbert

      Lots of other objects do not require opposable thumbs to operate so you don’t have to use your fingers/hands to use them, but all the same at my workplace near the hospital they have hand sanitizers outside each bank of elevators in the buildings too – it’s great way to encourage people to use it on entry and egress of a building, even if an immunocompromised person might say, use an elbow to hit the handicap button to open the door.

      I really do not understand why American WCs have doors that open inward from the outside, since either way presents an ADA issue. But in the toilets I have encountered in Europe, they all open outwards. So you pull the door to go in, and you don’t even have to use your hands to walk out.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 1:01 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.2   honus

      Why bother to even wash your hands? Other people haven’t and you’re going to have to touch the surfaces that they have touched so it is all just pointless.

      That is why I don’t wash my hands after using the restroom. And why I save trees by wiping my ass with my hands. Also I can get “things” more clean if I use my fingers.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 6:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.3   Nope

      I hope you were being sarcastic, because otherwise that’s disgusting. Why not just go all the way and eat your crap too?

      Aug 17, 2012 at 8:10 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.4   honus

      Just taking the “why bother with a towel” argument to its logical conclusion.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 10:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   Jami

    Folks, this is why waterless hand sanitizer exists. And don’t start with the whole “that just creates super germs” rant. Wash your hands, leave, use a tiny bit of sanitizer if door handles freak you out so much.

    Just remember, the handles of the faucet you just turned on and off were handled by far more dirty, feces and urine tainted hands than that door handle.

    Aug 15, 2012 at 11:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   Alice

      That’s why I use the paper towel to turn off the water before I use it to open the door.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 12:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.2   Daniel

      Which is why I use the paper towel to turn off the faucet as well.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 12:49 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.3   Amanda6

      Yeah, good for Alice and Daniel, but take a visual poll sometime when you’re bored and don’t feel too badly about watching people’s bathroom behavior. You could put good money on the odds that most people have no problem touching the dirty sink handle, but they will touch the door.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 2:12 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.4   notolaf

      Hand sanitizer on unwashed hands just creates hands covered with sanitized fecal material. Which is fine with me if that’s what you’re into.

      Aug 23, 2012 at 11:47 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   Colleen Martel

    I am just glad they are washing their hands before they come back in and go to use the copier, touch the fridge, etc! Buy a handy grabber at Harbor Freight for $3 or put a can there by the door. I too have a immune disorder and wash my hands when I have touched anything outside my cubicle that is public use, especially the copier, microwave,etc

    Aug 16, 2012 at 12:00 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #18   Melissa

    *SIGH* if only we lived in Japan where ALL the doors are automatic and do not require any touching, this would not be an issue!

    Aug 16, 2012 at 12:21 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #19   aliceblue

    My work place has located those sanitizer dispensers right outside the restrooms to provide an option to opening doors with a towel. Every once in a while I encounter a ladies room where it’s possible to PUSH the door open, (using elbows or rump of course). Wonder why more can’t be that way?

    Aug 16, 2012 at 12:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   Daniel

      Agreed! Bathroom doors should open OUT. I never understood why they don’t make them that way!

      Aug 16, 2012 at 12:50 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #19.2   Wait..what?

      think about it for just a sec…unless it has a window in it, you run the risk of smacking anyone walking in the hall…Oh the logic of building engineering.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 10:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #19.3   Lil'

      I like the maze-type entrance/exits at some stores. The wall placement blocks the view in and out, and there are no door handles to touch.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #19.4   Nope

      If people are stupid enough to walk that close to a bathroom door that opens outward then they deserve to get hit by it.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 8:11 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #19.5   Dan

      Yes, because all corridors are so freaking wide that you can open a door into one and still have miles of room to get past.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 7:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #19.6   Chinchillazilla

      Yeah, how dare people try to go into a door that opens out with no windows!

      Aug 17, 2012 at 11:32 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #20   bartotons

    i cant believe i just read all these comments

    Aug 16, 2012 at 12:24 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   DaveGI

      I hope you washed before clicking another link!

      Aug 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #21   kermit

    I will never understand why places which have fancy bathrooms with those automatic water faucets won’t invest in a door sensor that automatically opens the door too.

    If door censors are so darn expensive, if you have the space for it, it’s possible to build a bathroom layout that doesn’t require a door at all.

    Aug 16, 2012 at 12:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #22   Rita

    I don’t use a paper towel to open the door (except if the bathroom is _filthy_ like it gets at the pub sometimes)

    However, clearly bathrooms are designed by men, the door should PUSH out instead of requiring people to touch the door to leave *sigh* poor design.

    Aug 16, 2012 at 1:46 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #22.1   DaveGI

      It’s more of a concern about wasting space. In order to have the doors open out they have to recess them back from the wall, so that the opening door does not swing into the hallway where they could block people during an evacuation of the building.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #22.2   kermit

      Wouldn’t the solution to this be not to have a door at all and just extend the wall in a bit to provide privacy?

      Aug 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #22.3   M L

      Kermit: In a bathroom with stalls, maybe. In a single bathroom… door, please.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 5:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #23   Kaz

    So wait a minute, people turn on the tap with germy hands, wash them, turn the tap off again, thereby getting germs on their hands again anyway, and yet it’s the freaking door they’re worried about??

    Aug 16, 2012 at 4:03 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #23.1   kermit

      For one thing, a lot of places seem to have installed taps that automatically turn on and off.
      For another thing, while you’re washing your hands, you can also put some soap on the knobs and clean them.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 4:36 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #23.2   Wait..what?

      AND then touch the towel dispenser..yep…Best thing to do is just keep hand sanitizer at your desk and use it. Save a tree.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 10:18 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #23.3   kermit

      I leave with my hands wet, or wipe them on my pants, if the occasion calls for it.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #24   bitchy the dwarf

    what about all of the germs on the OUTSIDE of the bathroom door? You know, the ones you touch BEFORE you go wiping your “sensitive” areas? Think of all of the people who only used that restroom to wash their hands- remnants of that germy dirt is still lingering on the outer door ;) Are all of you washing your hands before usung the toilet? Don’t forget the stall latch too- people have to touch that thing before they even do their business, and again when they’re done.

    And how about all of those people who use the seat liners, but then leave them in place and don’t flush them? Sure, you’re scared of other people’s ass-germs, but it’s fine for you to leave yours right there on the seat?

    Aug 16, 2012 at 4:53 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #24.1   kermit

      People should definitely stop being such lilly-livered and yellow-bellied pantywaists!

      They should embrace their germs and take every opportunity to stimulate their immune systems. Don’t just touch the bathroom handle, but lick it. Don’t hover over the toilet seat, but sit down and wiggle on it, especially if you have open sores/wounds. Don’t dry your hands, just wipe them on your pants – or better yet somebody else’s pants.

      But don’t do that last one in front of the HR because they’ll send you to a sexual harassment seminar. Contrary to its title this is not like a regular seminar where they teach you things. You will not learn to improve your sexual harassment techniques; they actually tell you to stop.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #25   misspiggy

    So wait, this is a thing? The logic amazes me. Why aren’t all our offices, public transit systems and shops littered with paper towels, if so many people have legitimate concerns about touching germy doors? The same germs are on all the other surfaces touched by people who didn’t wash their hands after using the loo.

    As hand sanitiser is only alcohol it doesn’t get rid of the nastiest bugs the way that soap and water does.

    If you aren’t immunocompromised you probably just need to accept that your immune system will take up most of the slack. Or, how about this, try washing your hands before you eat?

    Aug 16, 2012 at 6:03 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.1   Kupo

      This is so much of a thing that there are a couple of women who look down on me for *not* using a paper towel to open the bathroom door. These are healthy women who do not have any immune disorders. They also proceed to touch keyboards (including at other desks than their own), copiers, other doors, and any number of other things in the office without protecting themselves with paper towels. In fact, the only time I see them use special measures is when leaving the bathroom. It’s weird. And it’s even weirder that they think there’s something wrong with me for not behaving this way.

      Aug 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #26   Spencer

    If you think you don’t get other people’s bodily waste on you every minute of every day from just being out in public, you’re fooling yourself (to say nothing of animals, insects, etc.). The bathroom doorhandle is one of the more obvious sources, but certainly not the only one! It’s called being alive. Welcome to the petri dish.

    Aug 16, 2012 at 6:58 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #27   Miles

    So, all those people who just touched the door with their “poo hands”? They don’t stop there. They then proceed to touch the copiers, the other doors, the fridge in the breakroom, the table in the conference room, everything in the supply closet, etc. Unless you use a paper towel all day, it is kind of a losing battle.

    Aug 16, 2012 at 8:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #28   oi

    We will eat junk food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We will keep all the door and windows completely closed, lest the fresh air comes in. We won’t vacuum until there is a visible layer of dirt. We don’t know what a mop is anymore. We will use the cell phone while we are doing the business and use the same phone while having lunch…
    But no, NO! we won’t touch the door handle that is touched by people AFTER they wash their hands. Now that would be dirty and unhealthy.

    Aug 16, 2012 at 9:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #28.1   Belinda

      Somebody really gets it!

      Aug 16, 2012 at 10:00 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #28.2   Who passed out the Haterade?

      Amen. It amazes me that people spaz out about the possibility of touching the bathroom door when they always have the option of washing their hands before they eat… but don’t hesitate to eat fast food, which is a lot of the reason 1/3 of the US is infected with H pylori.

      Don’t know what that is? It’s the bacterium responsible for peptic ulcers, although most infections are asymptomatic. And its primary means of transmission is thought to be fecal-oral. Ponder that a bit, and you’ll be rightly horrified.

      The germs to be afraid of aren’t the ones you can wash off, if you practice good hygiene yourself. The ones that pose the most threat to your health are the ones that you directly ingest if a poorly-paid, poorly-trained worker isn’t practicing good hygiene. (Not to mention the other ways fast food is detrimental to health, but that would be another rant.)

      Aug 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #29   Kwyjor

    I wish I could set up a webcam of some sort to monitor the door of the men’s room in my office to catch the idiot who keeps doing this. (If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this site, it’s that writing a PAN is likely to only invite mockery.)

    I think he justifies his behavior by trying to _leave_ the paper towel inside the door handle (which of course doesn’t work very well, since it tends to end up on the floor afterwards anyway). I further imagine that he thinks he is doing a kindly favor to the next person who has to exit what must surely be a den of unhygenic horrors, for surely any sane person would prefer to touch someone else’s crumpled paper towel rather than risk infection from the door handle?

    Aug 16, 2012 at 10:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #29.1   redheadwglasses

      I think a lame or over-the-top-angry PAN invites mockery, but those brilliant notes are works of art to be admired. I think if you’re up to the task, you should give it a shot! Or enlist a writer friend to help you out.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 12:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #30   Wait..what?

    We had this self entitlement bitch who worked at my last corporate job (actually I think she still works there) who did this and thought nothing about throwing her paper towel on the floor. HR finally had to step in and say something to her after she kept ignoring her supervisor (me).

    If you work in an office, you probably have a trash can at your desk. Use it.

    If the public is using the bathrooms as well, put in a trash can for everyone to stumble over. They still won’t use it.

    As for those that don’t wash their hands, we had a receptionist who was ALWAYS sick with stomach issues. She never washed her hands and would go straight to her desk and pull out a snack..Gee wonder why she was sick all the time.

    Unless the bathroom is set up for 100% hands free washing and no entry/exit door, just skip the wash and use hand sanitizer at your desk..

    People are pigs. When I worked at a Tyson Food Plant, every bathroom was swabbed on a regular basis for Ecoli, Samonella etc. The woman’s bathrooms were ALWAYS the nastiest and they were all set up as touch free washing. They simply didn’t wash their hands but touched a lot of stuff in the loo. including their dirty arses.

    Aug 16, 2012 at 10:24 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #30.1   who cares.

      Uhm skipping washing your hands and just using sanitizer is disgusting. Like seriously foul. That doesn’t clean your hands, it just kills some bacteria and leaves the rest to fester. Wash your god damn hands and forget about the little tiny germs that LIVE EVERYWHERE, not just on the door handle.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 12:36 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #30.2   Barbary Lion

      Wow, phobic much? Good lord, people. I didn’t even know opening the bathroom door with a paper towel was a Thing people did until just now–it sounds nuts to me. But then again, I work in a museum where every surface is coated with kid-slime–we disinfect everything every single day, but I just assume that at any given time there are plenty of germs on everything I touch. No big deal, that’s life. I wash before I eat, problem solved. You want constant sterile conditions, go live in an autoclave.

      Aug 20, 2012 at 10:03 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #31   Camryn

  • #32   redheadwglasses

    I just solve this problem by not washing my hands after using the bathroom. Easy peasy! ; )~

    Aug 16, 2012 at 11:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #33   SilentPsycho

    I have to admit, I’m kind of stumped by this. Despite cleaning the toilets before we open to the public at work, I’m never really come across this paper towel throwing. I find them dropped in the cubicles occasionally, but never by the main door.

    Everyone must be psychic enough then to realise that when I clean a toilet, I disinfect absolutely everything, including the door handles on both sides of the door.

    Either that, or none of our visitors ever use a paper towel to open the door.

    Aug 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #34   Jolly

    I guess if I’m ever setting up a bathroom layout, I will take the fact that there are apparently a ton of these nutjobs out there into consideration. It feels a bit sad to encourage neurotic people to keep using their MAGICAL GERM-DEFEATING PAPER TOWEL BARRIER to keep their body in what is, of course, it’s naturally, totally germ-free 100% sterile state, but if it means I don’t have to pay someone to pick up their filth or do it myself, then I guess it is probably worth cowing to their crap.

    Aug 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #35   ANkh

    Suck on THAT, Rainforest!

    Aug 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #36   MH

    They have a trash can between the two doors in my office. The way I figure it, those door handles are the cleanest thing in the whole damn office. So I *gasp* touch the handle with my bare hands. Guess what? I haven’t gotten sick in the five years I’ve worked there. Grow a set and use the hand dryer, it’s greener.

    Aug 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #36.1   Golga

      How is a hand dryer greener? Trees can be replaced; the metals used in the physical dryer and the coal/nuclear that’s usually used to make the electricity to power it are not and pollute the environment.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 7:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #36.2   VZG

      Power used to make air dryers function causes less pollution than the power used to cut down trees; trees can only grow so fast; people often take more hand towels than they need, but rarely spend a long time at the air dryer; overuse of paper, in general, is more wasteful and harmful than power, etc. Are you going to argue that buying paper to burn in your fireplace is more efficient and clean than heating your home by electrical means, too?

      Aug 22, 2012 at 3:21 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #37   Jaid

    What, no mention of George Carlin and his spiel about surviving a childhood in New York City at the height of the polio blight?

    Aug 16, 2012 at 5:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #38   OHSue

    Ok, not a germophobe, but I do use a paper towel to turn off the water and open the door. This is how we were taught to wash after patient care in the days before sanitizers. It’s a hold over from my nursing days. But I have sense enough to find a can to toss it in rather than throw it on the floor.

    Aug 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #39   juju-skittles

    Not a germophobe. But I did get my daughter to stop chewing her nails by telling her about worms, and pointing out … well you probably know. She has beautiful nails now!

    Aug 16, 2012 at 8:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #40   kacky

    What I have noticed about microphobes is that you are incredibly selfish. I have to wait out in the hallway with my disabled adult son while you complete your 45-minute OCD bathroom ritual in the one that’s supposed to be reserved for people like him. Then we have to run the wheelchair over your dirty paper towel that you throw on the floor outside. Then when we finally do get inside, we find that you have “hovered” above the seat and pissed all over it. I have to clean up a puddle of your disgusting pee, and I’m the one with an immune system disorder! You make more germs than you avoid.

    Aug 16, 2012 at 9:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #40.1   faryl

      As someone with OCD – please don’t accuse us all of being incredibly selfish based on your experience with one disgusting person.

      And for what it’s worth, a true microphobe or person with OCD is not going through their rituals by choice. Touching that door knob for some people can be as terrifying as heights for others.

      Also, I’m pretty sure the accessible public restroom stalls are not the same as parking spots – they are there so that everyone can access a toilet, but they are not reserved specifically for people in wheelchairs.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 4:07 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #40.2   kermit

      Unless all the other stalls are occupied, I do think it’s kinda inconsiderate to take the handicapped stall in a mall bathroom or anyplace where it’s highly likely that a handicapped person might use it. If you’re pretty sure there are no handicapped people on your floor at work, then okay. But really public bathrooms? Nah.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 6:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #40.3   kacky

      I’m not talking about a stall in the mens’ or ladies’ room. It’s the separate bathroom that’s reserved for people who need assistance and happen to have an opposite sex helper, like my son. And it happens quite often we travel and every time we go to the local mall, and it’s not the same culprit every time.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 10:18 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #40.4   Ruth

      because disabled people can’t be germophobes too? Anyway, the disabled toilet isn’t just for people with opposite sex carers, it’s for any carers, it’s also for the physical space to manoeuvre, the accessible furniture and fittings, there’s normally a pullcord for the emergency services, etc. You’re being overly-specific about who that room is for.

      Aug 19, 2012 at 6:55 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #40.5   kacky

      No I’m not. It’s for MORE THAN ONE PERSON. Not for one person, at all. Oh, and I can just about guarantee that those same people will have a meltdown, an existential crisis and a screaming hissy when I try to take my son into the ladies’ room because there is no other place for him to go. So either way, you get to make my kid miserable. OCD is a manageable condition. I cannot take care of my child and you, too.

      Aug 19, 2012 at 10:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #40.6   Kathryn

      I agree with kacky, who is not making this up. I’ve seen the restrooms intended specifically for a disabled person with an opposite-sex carer who can’t accompany them in the regular bathroom with a handicapped stall.

      Aug 20, 2012 at 3:05 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #40.7   Slerte

      These toilets are not “reserved” they are just accessible.

      Aug 20, 2012 at 4:40 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #40.8   kacky

      Wrong. The ones that are a separate room, away from the mens and ladies rooms, are reserved.

      Aug 21, 2012 at 10:18 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #40.9   GK_Sutto

      Wrong. Those bathrooms were not built solely to enable someone’s aide to more easily wipe their ass – they’ll called “family bathrooms” or “non-gender specific,” not “disabled-with-a-caregiver” restrooms. They are more prevalent now, not because of the handicapped, but because of greater awareness of transgender issues. You have no idea how cruel non-trans people can be when they see a MTF/FTM in the “wrong” bathroom.

      Aug 21, 2012 at 9:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #40.10   VZG

      Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is, in its way, a disability, and large/handicap accessible stalls are available for their use as well.

      Additionally, there is no way to police those stalls and restrooms. The people you are talking about more likely than not do not have microphobia or OCD, because there are people who simply “like” those restrooms, or are too selfish to wait at other appropriate restrooms.

      At one older workplace of mine, we had one restroom that was used frequently by people coming in from the mall. Less than one in a hundred of those people were in wheelchairs, and less than one in twenty-five were anywhere near elderly; I’d doubt even a tenth of those remaining could have had OCD, microphobia, or another disability that wasn’t immediately apparent, but about half the people who went in there used the largest stall — the one meant to be handicap-accessible. People would go in there to try on (and sometimes steal) clothes from other stores, or to write on the walls, or just because it was some kind of novelty, I guess — but we couldn’t police it, because not only did we not have the manpower, but there are legitimate disabilities, physical and otherwise, that are not immediately apparent to strangers, and determining who truly had them and who didn’t would be nearly impossible.

      Not only that, but, although it may be rude at times (especially when there are definitely handicapped people present, or when they aren’t using it for its intended purpose, or are making a mess) it really isn’t a restricted area. It’s a bathroom built to be used by everyone. I mean, you don’t tell people who are capable of walking without trouble they can’t use the handrail on the stairs, do you?

      Aug 22, 2012 at 3:18 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #40.11   kacky

      I’d never begrudge a transgender person, knowing the screeching that happens when I try to bring my son into the ladies room. But no, unlike the handicapped stall, the separate bathroom is not for everyone. STOP USING IT.

      Aug 23, 2012 at 11:49 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #41   Misanthrope

    Speaking as someone who was raised by a germophobe, they should all be fucking shot. Or at the very least barred from adopting (which is how this particular germophobe was inflicted on me).

    If you’re white, you’re descended from the 2/3 of Europe that survived the Black Death. If you’re not white, you certainly have equally dire plagues in your own genetic history. Get the hell over yourself.

    Aug 16, 2012 at 10:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #42   shepd

    I’d point a camera at the door and fire the lazy ass employee that litters in my company. There’s no excuse for that. If you’re going to be a flaming germophobe, you can still carry your trach to an appropriate receptacle.

    Of course, I’d also want to make sure employees know there’s a camera pointed ONLY at the door (and why–wouldn’t want them thinking I’m going to punish them for too much toilet time!) and not them… And I’d want to check to see if this is legal (beats me… morally it should be as long as it doesn’t have a view of anything but the door).

    Aug 16, 2012 at 10:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #43   Poltergeist

    Frankly, opening the door with a paper towel is pointless. Think of all the things you touch every day without a “barrier” of paper towel in between.

    Aug 17, 2012 at 2:03 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #44   faryl

    Instead of judging microphobes, people with OCD, or those who prefer to be cautious – shouldn’t all this venom be focused on inconsiderate slobs who think it’s ok to drop their used paper towels on the floor?

    Just because one might fall into the first category, does not mean they fall into the second.

    OCD but considerate of others

    Aug 17, 2012 at 4:12 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #44.1   VZG

      Yes, definitely. Personally I’d expect that people who really have OCD/microphobia would be less likely to drop trash behind them.

      Aug 22, 2012 at 3:06 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #45   faryl

    (somewhat unrelated)

    I think my favorite comment was on one of the picture’s flickr pages:

    “who brings post-its into the lady’s room?”

    Aug 17, 2012 at 4:14 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #45.1   macha

      (even more unrelated)
      I used to work in a place where lots of people took post-its into the ladies room. The automatic flusher was so sensitive that it would go off every time you made any movement at all. It also flushed too hard, soaking your butt, the seat, and sometimes even the floor. We used the post-its to cover the sensor, of course.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 8:05 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #45.2   Mawwd

      Yeah, I think the power of many public toilets seems to be a bit…over the top. There are several times where I’ve walked into a stall and thought, “UGH, once again a stupid hoverer has made a huge mess and now I have to clean it up before I can do anything else!” but once I’ve flushed the toilet afterwards and see a veritable waterspout coming out of it soaking the seat, I realize that it was the toilet’s fault.

      I mean, I get that the building management wants these toilets to flush no matter what, but they’re likely making more waste/mess than they’re trying to prevent by having the flush set so high.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #45.3   Seanette

      My question is who brings a pen?

      Aug 18, 2012 at 2:10 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #45.4   L

      Anybody who brings a purse into the lady’s room?

      Aug 19, 2012 at 1:02 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #45.5   VZG

      People bring food into the ladies’ room. FOOD. Into the stalls, even! And I’m talking stuff in open containers. This seems to happen a lot at movie theaters.

      Aug 22, 2012 at 3:05 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #46   Nope

    I admit I use paper towels whenever I have to use a public or semi-public restroom. I’ve seen far too many people not wash their hands when using the restroom to realize that their piss/crap is smeared all over the door handle/knob and that is disgusting. Until you can force people to wash their hands I’ll keep using paper towels. And for those places that think they don’t have to provide paper towels, screw you. You contribute to making people ill, good job. And how hard is to put a freaking trash can by the door as well? And if it won’t fit there, put it just outside the bathroom then.

    Aug 17, 2012 at 8:03 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #46.1   kacky

      How about you carry it til you get to another trash can, or better yet, just use it for all the other doorknobs all day.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 10:24 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #46.2   VZG

      People don’t LOOK for trashcans. At my place of work, people leave their paper towels on the floor even though there’s a trashcan only a few feet from the door; you can’t exit the bathroom without passing it.

      If you seriously have a problem touching the door, I’d recommend carrying hand sanitizer. Even places that provide paper towels run out of them at some point.

      Aug 22, 2012 at 3:01 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #47   Chinchillazilla

    I have never opened a bathroom door with a paper towel. I use my bare hands. And I have yet to die, or, indeed, be hospitalized for this filthy habit. Perhaps people should get over their irrational germophobia?

    Aug 17, 2012 at 11:22 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #47.1   VZG

      …if it’s irrational germophobia (redundant), telling someone to “get over it” is illogical. Phobias are by their nature illogical fears, and it’s not as though people who have them aren’t aware of the fact that their fears are illogical. If they COULD just “get over” them, they would.

      Not that that excuses tossing trash on the floor, though. I’ve yet to hear of anyone having a phobia related to basic manners.

      Aug 22, 2012 at 2:58 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #48   Hmmm

    Just think about this for a minute.
    How often do the toilets at your work get cleaned? Every day I bet. And I’m willing wager that they wipe the door handle too.

    Now think about your own house. How often do you clean your bathroom, couple of times a week may be? Probably more like one a week. And have you ever wiped the door handle? But thats ok, because you and your family wash your hands. However, do you put the lid down when you flush? Does everyone? No?
    Well, every time you flush with the lid up tiny pieces of faecal matter get thrown up into the air. Some of them you will breath in, but most of them will land like dust over everything in your bathroom, including your toothbrush.
    Now you and your family might know to close the lid, but do your guests?

    So as you see everything is covered in poo and pee and the sooner some people stop being so damned precious the easier it will be for everyone.

    Aug 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #48.1   kacky

      Precious indeed. I have friends who scrub nonstop and disinfect every surface in their homes, til their hands get raw and peel. They do not trust their own skin to keep them safe. They do not believe that they possess the germ-fighting capabilities that everyone else has. As I mentioned above, I am on meds that take down the immune system. Since I have been using them, I have yet to catch anything more than a cold, and then only twice in three years. And that’s with caring for my disabled adult son who has bowel & bladder incontinence, and picks his butt. I have also had to touch strangers’ urine, as described above, when people with OCD insist on peeing all over every surface and leaving it for the next person to clean up. So even if you are compromised, you can still stay well with no more than ordinary handwashing – but some people will still refuse to believe it.

      Aug 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #48.2   anon

      Just because you stay fine with ordinary hand washing doesn’t mean everyone with a weakened/compromised immune system does. Some people are advised by their doctors to follow practices like using a paper towel to open the bathroom door. Additionally, you keep saying OCD but I don’t think you actually know what OCD is. The behavior you are describing is not consistent with OCD behavior and continuing to ascribe it to people with OCD is insulting to people with OCD.

      Aug 21, 2012 at 2:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #48.3   kacky

      I know what OCD is. Everything seems contaminated and deadly. Does it help, taking all the precautions and going through the rituals? No. Your brain will still go there every time. I’m sorry for your pain, up until the point where it causes a problem for my child.

      Aug 21, 2012 at 10:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #48.4   VZG

      That’s actually much more consistent with microphobia/”germaphobe” behavior. OCD may relate to cleanliness, but does not always. It’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, not Obsessive Cleaning Disorder, and all it means is that a person has behaviors or habits that they cannot break out of; some people with OCD don’t have issues with worrying about cleanliness at all, and instead do things like switching lights on and off in a particular pattern, or counting everything, etc.

      Aug 22, 2012 at 2:56 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #49   Kimberly

    This is up there with the aholes that use the paper seat cover and then leave it on the seat when they are done. Let me get this straight, you can’t put your ass down on the seat but the person who comes after your or the cleaning person should have to touch paper that your butt has been all over?

    Aug 21, 2012 at 11:28 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #49.1   VZG

      And not just their butt; a surprising amount of people — women, at least, I honestly can’t speak for the mens’ room — piss all over those things. Yeah, I reeeally want to touch that.

      Aug 22, 2012 at 2:53 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #50   Trekkie Gal

    And this issue is why all public restroom doors should open out. That way, the door can be pushed open with a hip or foot.

    Aug 21, 2012 at 12:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #51   GK_Sutto

    What you are not taking into account is the lifespan of these germs. Yes, in all likelihood, I’ll encounter germs frequently throughout the day, but that doesn’t mean I want to. I KNOW the door handle was just touched by someone who was defecating in the stall and did not wash their hands. I KNOW the door handle is contaminated. I also know, that despite how hard I try not to, I will end up touching my face at some point throughout the day. Will I wash my hands between touching that handle and touching my face? Probably not, since the sink is in the bathroom, behind that handle. Using a paper towel just makes me feel better about the fact that my hands will touch my face at some point. It doesn’t hurt you, it doesn’t make me crazy, it just helps keep other people’s shit off my face.

    Aug 21, 2012 at 9:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #52   VZG

    “Oh, man, there’s no trash bin within two feet of my person. Guess that means I can contribute to the germ accumulation in this room by dropping my trash everywhere!”

    The people I’ve seen grab paper towels to open the door never even bother to look for a trash can, which is a shame, because at my workplace there’s one you HAVE to pass when you leave the bathroom; just because it’s not IN the bathroom, they just toss it all on the ground.

    It’ll be so much fun when another customer slips on it, I’m sure. Yay for lawsuits!

    Aug 22, 2012 at 2:51 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #53   Astonished

    I had never encountered this problem before, until I started at my current workplace – the cleaner had a whinge to me and took the obvious route of trashcan by the door – no angry notes needed. Yay our cleaner!

    Aug 22, 2012 at 7:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #54   notolaf

    You’re all just jealous because your parents didn’t love you enough to raise you on contaminated well water.

    That’s right – When I was twelve, my parents bought a farm, unaware that the old hand-dug well and the old hand-dug septic tank were too close to each other. It was a real fun time until they figured it out and started putting clorox down the well periodically.

    I NEVER get food poisoning, even when everyone else around me is groaning with it. Ever.
    Constant low-grade exposure to germs is good for you. Really. Think people who live in Mexico get sick from the water?

    Aug 24, 2012 at 12:10 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #55   E. Johnson

    This is why I just carry a bottle of GermX (or equivalent) with me wherever I go. Every part of a bathroom is teeming with bacteria. Washing your hands only to turn the sink off (thus touching the handle that your unwashed hand had just touched) is counter-productive. Plus, most bathrooms don’t stock anti-bacterial hand soap and opt for the cheap lotion based kind.

    Also, @notolaf: The people in Mexico don’t get sick from the water because their body is used to the bacteria in it, just as your body was used to the bacteria in your well water. Another source would cause you to get sick.

    That doesn’t mean it’s good for you. In fact, it just displays your body’s amazing ability to contain infection and adapt itself to not need to expunge it. Your body assumes that you are smart enough to avoid bacteria, and thus because you’re drinking water teeming with poop microbes it does it assumes it’s the only source of water around and thus contains and adapts.

    Even though the well at my childhood home was PROPERLY dug and away from sewage, it still had traces of bacteria from being in the ground. After I moved to the city, my body was finally able to cleanse itself of the bacteria.

    To this day, now that my body doesn’t have that level of bacteria in it, I still can’t drink the water at my parents.

    The fact that you rarely get food poisoning has little to do with the fact that your parents were dumb enough to not check out the water table and well status in an old farm house and more to do with the fact that 99 percent of food poisoning is actually a virus and not a bacteria (such as the flu).

    Aug 24, 2012 at 7:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #56   Tanya

    My real question is why do people who work in restaurants think it’s okay to wipe the chairs and then wipe the table with the same cloth? That’s just nasty. I don’t want whatever is on your butt or your kids dirty shoes all over the table I’m going to eat off.

    Aug 30, 2012 at 11:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #57   Susie

    you are all mental. i can’t believe i just read so many posts on hand washing and paper towels.

    Sep 6, 2012 at 9:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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