I Did Not “Buy” The Artificial Sound Bite

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By now everyone knows that swine flue or H1N1 as it has been renamed, is ravaging across the world and one of the steps recommended to remedy the influx, is to wash our hands thoroughly. So, you would hope the message is getting across right? Think again.

My request:
“I attempted to IM but since you did not respond to my invite, I decided to draft you an email instead.
Please don’t take me wrong and understand my request but due to the environment we are currently experiencing (we have been advised to take the necessary precautions so to avoid it), I thought I would bring something that I observed to your attention.
I was in the restroom when you walked in and out without washing your hands. Please don’t take it personally but it would be nice and I would appreciate it, if you did it. Sincerely,”

The answer:
“I use anti bacterial stuff at my desk. I don’t like the way the soap dries my skin, it makes it crack between my fingers. Wow!”

Huh! This is the same excuse the motorist gave to the Judge for not paying the toll leading to an International Airport years ago. This is genuine; it actually happened to one of my ex-classmates.

The judge asked, “Sir, did you know you had to pay the toll?”

The motorist, “Yes Sir, I did. I did not have the money with me; so, I was going home to get it.”

The judge, “So, if I understand you correctly; you were going home, get the 50 cents and come back to the toll booth to drop it. Is that right?”

The motorist, “Yes Sir, I was.”

Ok! What am I missing?

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It Is Called Hygiene!

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Really, I don’t get it.  What is the fuss? What are you afraid off, to wet your hands? It is called hygiene – cleanness, sanitation; nothing else, nothing more.

It does not take much, possibly two or three minutes of your time. It is that quick. You turn the faucet on and let the water run, soak your hands, rub them with soap, hopefully a little longer than expected and then rinse it with water. It does not take a full moon to understand it. It is that simple and does not require the world over.

You see mama knew best when she told you to always wash your hands and cover your mouth when coughing. Perhaps, if everyone was following the first rule of Cleaning 101, we would not be in the predicament we are today specially with the swine flu. It would not cure it but perhaps, it could have impeded the spread of it.

As I watch everyone realizing that a simple wash of hands could have stopped its progression, I could not help but think of a few good soldiers who may be experiencing some problems with this rule right about now.

Take Sophia – name has been altered to protect the individual (we worked together for the same fortune 500 company but in different departments) for example. For the hell of me, I never got it.

She was this attractive and smart, friendly and pleasant, always smiling, always in the go but she had one big flaw.

She worked in Human Resources of all places, a division dealing with staffing, recruiting and training employees and independent contractors; meaning that she would be meeting and greeting “tons” of people from various facets of life. So, you would expect her to be the last violator of Cleaning 101, right?! You expected her to be aware of her closeness to the people, her handshakes and kisses, thus the need to wash her hands; you would think that right? Wrong!

The rule did not concern Sandra; it was just a little silhouette under the tree.

It was irritating and sickening, yaks, a constant hiccup for me and the fact that I could not advise her on Cleaning 101 department, really exasperated me more. I came close a coupe of times but conscious that I could potentially be hurting her feelings and not knowing how she would react, I was advised to do otherwise; to mind my own business. (That was yesterday; today, it would have been a different story)

I so carefully drafted a sensitive note with the header splashed in big bold letters and stacked it right by the door – at a face’s level – so that anyone leaving the premise would be forced to read it. (And any violator permanently condemned; not!)

It was futile; unfortunately the news did not reach Sandra as she continued paving the numbers (even chit chatting right after the business) and kissing and shaking hands without shame or care in the world. So, what’s wrong with that picture?