Letter: I should have known

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The description of this bathroom is a composite of several on campus.

The men’s room on the 5th floor of MLC has a water faucet that sprays a fine mist all over the sink, mirror and the user’s trousers. The lights on the 7th floor are prone to turn off if no movement is detected. I think other frustrations will sound familiar to everyone:

If it comes on by itself, it is liable to go off by itself. That is the way it is with new-fangled technology.

I looked for a coat rack or bookshelf. I would think that the designer of a college lavatory would have foreseen the need for such furnishings. I guess not; I parked my briefcase on the floor and began my business. Before I could finish, the lights went out. I guess the sensor detected no movement and shut itself off to conserve energy.

I waved my arms to get the light to reappear; didn’t happen. I stood up to awaken the motion sensor. The toilet flushed. It splashed on my trousers. I took a step forward and backward and the lights came on.

I finished my business and reached for the toilet paper.

It was low to the floor and hard to reach. I guess they wanted to save paper too, because the paper unrolled only enough to dispense little four-inch squares.

Moreover, the dispenser had sharp teeth-like edges, perfect to rip the flesh of the user. After I finished with the paperwork, I stood — and the toilet flushed, spitting on my trousers.

I wanted to cleanse the raw flesh but there were no handles on the sink faucet. I moved my hands up and down, back and forth until finally, the water came out in a spray.

The fine mist was projected such that it dampened the sink, the mirror, and the front of my pants.

The soap dispenser was motion- activated too. And it had a timer such that I had to ‘milk’ the soap from one dispenser, then the other, until I had enough to make a lather.

I waved my hand repeatedly to get the water to come back on. Although projected at a tremendous pressure, it was not enough water to rinse the soap. My pants were thoroughly moistened by the time I finished rinsing my hands.

Now it was time to dry my hands. A device hung on the wall where paper towels used to be. I surmised my hands were to go in the dual chambers.

The sound of jet engines assailed my ears as a deafening roar of air blasted my hands. That was fine to dry my phalanges, but I could not direct the air stream to dry my pants. What if I wanted to dry my face? Too bad, the apparatus was only good for drying hands – and destroying eardrums.

These infuriating inventions … they undermine the undertaking. I would rather occupy an outhouse!

Don Mathis

International Student Services Designated School Official


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