Bits of ME
It was a conversation that moved from men only knowing how to boil hot water, to a debate that caught both gender in the fangs of improper hand hygiene after using the bathroom.
Are we too corporate not to wash our hands after using the bathroom?
That is the question that was left hanging at a function I attended where a washroom attendant was summoned by my crazy flock of friends to settle a debate that turned into a winning stake.
“From your observation of people that use the bathroom while you await to clean, do you ever notice if majority wash their hands after using the toilet?,” one of my male friends asked.
The washroom attendant replied: “most people just walk out especially the men. Those who wash their hands at times don’t use the soap even when its available but even if it’s not there, they never ask for it.”
And just like that, the male cohort that had staked Shs 100,000 lost the bet!
Bits of YOU
The bathroom attendant let out more from the bag: “I see it more in expensive places (she meant to say corporate places).”
Why? We murmured to ask, but knowing we belonged in the corporate group we shot guilty gazes towards each other!
Could each one of us have felt culpable?
Having that encircled in my mind, my memory raced to social sharing within the corporate circles: the habitual shaking of hands as a graceful exchange, or with bare hands, dipping one’s hand in a pack of crisps, knocking off a piece of toast -never mind not having a napkin or picking a drumstick from one’s plate, to sharing computers, gadgets among others.
The so called corporates subconsciously view their “corporateness” as a privilege that knows no hygiene! View their corporate associations as clean and absolute.
Could the corporate world be the biggest spreaders of hygiene and sanitation related disorders?
A 2013 Michigan State University field study that observed nearly 4000 people in restrooms found that 14.6% of men did not wash their hands at all after using the bathroom; 35.1% wet their hands but did not use soap, compared to 7.1% and 15.1% of women, respectively.
Bathroom behaviour such as washing hands is influenced by so many factors including one’s knowledge on the importance of the practice, and the motivation to carry out the habit according to Dr. David Musoke at the Makerere University School of Public Health.
“Some people in the corporate world may not be motivated enough to observe good hygiene etiquette. This could also stem from them not appreciating the risk of contracting diseases by not washing their hands,” he said.
Dr. Musoke said some people see it as a waste of time even when the water and soap are available to them.
Some people may be using hand sanitisers instead as an alternative to hand washing, others may be using wipes although hand washing with soap is always recommended even when sanitisers are available, Musoke said.
As someone reads through this article, they could well be picking from a workmate’s pack of edibles without washing their hands or using a napkin giving credence to the main argument of this piece.
I ask again: “Are we too corporate not to wash our hands after using the bathroom?”