Monday, July 11, 2011

It's not that easy, being green

In the men's room at my office are four sinks for us to use for various hygienic purposes. Each of the four has a proximity sensor that activates when someone puts his hands within range, ostensibly inside the bowl, as the sensor is located at the back of the basin under the base of the faucet. The sensors are to help regulate the amount of water as well as being more hygienic than handles.

However, this is not always the case.

The first sink has had so many problems since it was upgraded that the sensor must be set on "I am so p.o.'d at having to re-do this **** sink again that I will make it really difficult to use!"

In order to activate this sink, you must place your hands as far back in the bowl as possible, in order to obtain a flow of water that lasts for, maybe, three seconds before it shuts itself off, even if your hands are in front of the sensor.

The second sink has a setting of "I will work when and how I want to!", as nothing can turn it on about half the time. When it does deign to work, it puts forth a 30-second stream of gushing water when you walk within two feet of the bowl. If you use this one immediately after the water has stopped, placing your hands in front of the sensor will not avail you. You must completely step away from the sink for at least 10 seconds, then place your hands back in the bowl, by which time you could have used one of the other sinks.

Sink number three is similar to number two, but with fewer problems. This one activates correctly but runs for 30 seconds even if you have withdrawn your hands.

The last one is the sink that formerly had the larger handles on it to accommodate use by handicapped persons. Its bowl is lower and closer than the others, making you bend lower to use it, in exchange for a weaker and cooler stream of water than the rest.

Whatever water "savings" we are supposed to be achieving with these contraptions is not what we were promised.

As Kermit the Frog and Frank Sinatra, among others, have sung, "It's not that easy, being green..."


  1. Wonderful DaughterJuly 14, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    I want to know what your "keep the bathroom clean" sign says; the one in the ladies' room was rather entertaining!

  2. We have a sign, handwritten, next to the urinals, which are new and waterless and hygienic (their words, not mine!), that tells us not to pour coffee, soda, etc in them so as not to mess up the seal and screw up the system. Hmm...those things are contained in the fluids that go down the pipe; won't they mess up that seal also?

  3. Wonderful DaughterJuly 15, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    oh my! at least the one in the girls' bathroom is typed and framed. i don't remember the first part, but the end is something like "if you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie." ha! I thought it was creative!