Wash your hands more.
There are two types of people in this world. Well, since this is based purely on my restroom observations, let’s say that there are two types of guys in this world. And no, it’s not the standing versus sitting debate, it’s far more nuanced than that.
Are you ready?
There are two types of guys in this world: those who wash their hands before they pee, and those who wash their hands after they pee.
Okay, it doesn’t actually end there. I would argue there are four types of guys in this world: 1) those who wash their hands before they pee, 2) those who wash their hands after they pee, 3) those who do not wash their hands at all, and 4) those who wash their hands both before and after they pee.
Here’s a handy matrix/diagram (if you would like a .pdf hardcopy to print-out and share with your friends, just leave a comment below):
Pretty interesting, right? Now some of you may have no association with the hard data shown above, and may not be able to find the “wow” factor of why this is interesting. I’ve done a lot of analytics and number crunching and even thought about using AI/machine learning to better explain my findings. But I think the best way to tell this story is with an actual story.
Several years ago, I worked at an office in a tall office building and it was awesome. There were between 10-100 people who worked on my floor (I never actually counted so have to estimate), and the restrooms were large, spacious, and very modern. Since at home I shared a cramped apartment bathroom with another dude, the restroom at work felt luxurious. My favorite person at work was a guy called Elliot. I’m not 100% sure what his actual job was, but I would go to him to help accomplish various office tasks at least once a day. We always had pleasant conversations, and he laughed a lot, even when I wasn’t trying to be funny. This made me feel good, even if I didn’t understand why he was laughing; I just thought he liked me as a human being.
Anyway, one day I was washing my hands in the restroom and Elliot strolls in, gives me a friendly smile in the mirror (ever use a work restroom? and you know how when you’re washing your hands and someone walks in, and you don’t know whether to turn around and make eye contact and acknowledge them, or look up in the mirror and make eye contact and acknowledge them? or just ignore everyone because hey, it’s a restroom, not a social club house), and then Elliot proceeds to wash his hands. I figured he just ate lunch or just sorted the mail or just handled some money for something, so he wanted to wash his hands off. But after washing (and drying) his hands, Elliot proceeds to one of the 15 urinals and goes pee. At this exact moment that Elliot beings the process, a tall manager type walks into the restroom and takes a position near Elliot. This is their exact conversation:
Tall manager: “Hey Elliot, how was your weekend?”
Elliot: “Hahahahaha, how was your weekend.”
Elliot obviously thought the question was hilarious, and repeated the question like it was comedy gold. I still to this day have no idea what that interaction meant, but I loved Elliot for laughing, and the conversation went no further.
A few days later, similar situation (sans tall manager). I realized that Elliot washes his hands before he pees. Like, every time.
And then I thought more about it. It wasn’t just funny or quirky or cool. It was logical. Hands get super dirty. Super dirty hands should not get other things dirty if it can be avoided. Imagine that. Maybe we should all wash our hands before and after going to the bathroom. Maybe it would make us less sick and more healthy. Maybe it would end poverty and social injustice! Or maybe not. Maybe that’s a lot. But I tell you what, just talking about this kind of stuff openly can help, that I truly believe.