Archive for the ‘towel’ Category

Restroom Design: Think Dry Thoughts

[ Update: I’ve uncovered evidence that may explain this malfunctioning dispenser: Check it out. ]

Look, I’m really pleased with the rise of the Automatic Towel Dispenser doohickies popping up (what does it say about me that I had to delete an extra “o” in “popping”?) all over the place, just as I’m pleased with the new blinking-yellow-turn-signals around town.  But if you’re considering switching your restroom (or even just microwave/fridge/vending station) over to the automagic dispensers, consider these rules:

  1. The towels must not run out.  (Okay, so they can run out, but can we get a new roll put in pronto?)
  2. The machine must actually work.

Point #2 seems obvious, but the reality is that most automatic dispensers are battery-operated.  As mentioned in a previous post, sometimes the little electric eye on these guys gets a twitch in it.  Does this enhance battery life?  I’m going to go with, “No.”

Even without the freaky Poltergeist version of the automatic dispenser, you still may end up in this situation (I apologize for the noise…this one’s right across from the Coke machine, which when we get free soft drinks in the cafe, why do we need anyway?):

This is simply unacceptable.

Update! It’s been restored to life, but seems to be very, very frightened. Just listen to it quake in fear…

Restroom Oddities #4: Auto-manic Dispensers

In general, I’m in favor of automatic dispensers in restrooms.  Automatic soap dispensers are a bit irritating, because if they don’t work, you’re stuck with just water, and most of the time you’ve already touched the faucet, so you’re completely screwed.  If it’s paired with an auto-faucet, you’re still fine (or at least not worse-off).

The auto-towel-dispenser is a nice innovation, too.  I really hate having to touch the towel dispenser, knowing all the fakers did it before me.  It’s a huge step up from the blower, too.  It’s a bit irritating when the dispenser is set to give a too-short towel, though.  I understand you want to save trees.  So use post-consumer paper products, and give us a length of towel that works so we don’t take two.  Fine.

There is a dark side to the automatic dispenser (of anything), however.  On one side, you’ve got the unresponsive dispenser (most irritating in faucets…I’m convinced you get what you pay for).  On the other side, there’s this:

I always like my towels to be dipped in the garbage first...

I always like my towels to be dipped in the garbage first...

I wish I’d had my camera with me last week.  I was in the stall, and this dispenser put out a new towel every eight seconds or so.  By the time I was out, it looked like a huge ribbon candy had landed on top of the garbage can.  Naturally, as soon as I ripped off the big towel (and disposed of it), it took about fifteen seconds before it would dispense another.

One more thing.  If we’re going for Greenitivity, don’t automatic faucets make sense?  I mean, proper hand-washing technique includes turning the faucet off using a towel, which means you’re leaving the water running for an extra few seconds.  Using an automagic one would eliminate both the extra running time and the extra towel.

And one more thing.  I’m not a fan of auto-flush toilets.  Urinals, yes, but nobody likes the random flush while sitting down.