You arrive at the restaurant, but before you eat you need to stop by the restroom. You take care of your business wash your hands, ready to go enjoy your meal.
But first you have to exit the restroom. You go to the door, reach out and grab the handle so you can pull it open. How many germs are on that door handle? How many people who have used that restroom ahead of you exited without washing their hands? How clean will your hands be when you get to your table to eat?
We all have pet peeves, and this is one of my giant ones. Where do you go to get an audience with the people who decide how to hang restroom doors? Do any of them have the sense God gave a jackass? Why do they always have them opening inward rather than outward?
This whole problem would disappear if they just designed the doors to be pushed open rather than pulled. You could push with a forearm or shoulder rather than grasping a filthy handle with your newly pristine hands. Yet, in my experience, upwards of 90% of public restroom doors open inward.
Why is this? Do the architects and builders not have to wash their hands, too? Do they not think before they design and build? Do they just plain not care?
The problem could also be easily solved by using paper towels instead of hot air dryers and placing a trash receptacle adjacent to the exit. This would allow customers to wrap a paper towel around the handle when they open the door and then throw the towel away after they get it open.
McDonald’s proudly proclaims that it saves umpty-eleven tons of paper a year by providing the hot air dryers and no paper towels, yet every McDonald’s restroom door I’ve seen opens inward. Why is this?
My favorite breakfast place, a mom and pop operation called Rise & Shine, gives its customers restroom doors to push rather than pull. Why can’t others do that? The Barnes & Noble where my writers’ group meets has door you pull, but they provide paper towels and have a receptacle right beside the door. What’s so difficult about that?
How do you feel about grasping a filthy door handle with your clean hands?
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