Monday, January 22, 2007

Stop Automating

I understand that there are certain technological advances that have made life easier.


Climate control in cars

Cell phones

Online bill paying

Wicking work out clothes

And many other things, but like the rest of the world I could do with a hell of a lot less automated phone systems, automated telemarketing - generally anything that prolongs a phone call or keeps me from getting something done.

However, I think I would take a few more telemarketing calls a day if I could eliminate something from my daily existence.

The touchless paper towel dispenser. WTF?!

I like to think that I am a fairly normal person. I care about the environment. I wash my hands after going to the bathroom. I recycle. Apparently though, when it comes to paper towels I am a waster. Waster, waster,waster. Because there is just no way in hell that the amount of paper that the machine doles out to me is enough to even stop the dripping on my hands, let alone dry them. Every time I have to get a second and third peiece, but of course I have to wait.

You have to remove the piece you are given and then it gives you enough time to really think through whether or not you really need another piece.

I do.

So I wave my hand underneath the machine, at first I do so slowly and smoothly. The room is quiet except for the soft dripping of clean watere from my hands on to the floor. I wait. After what feels like three minutes I move my hands in front of the machine again, but this time I wave them a bit more energetically.


I am now invoking my special word, Jesus, and saying a silent thanks that Briar isn't present to soak up the angry blasphemy. The little square stays dark, no red light flashing to let me know to prepare for the 4" square of non-absorbent paper towel that will soon shoot through the slot.

I step closer to the machine and hold one hand inder the slot and the other in front of the darkened square.

"Come on. Come on. Just give me another damn piece."

It mocks me, the little button a dark, unforgiving shade of,

"You ain't gettin' nothin' outta me sucka."

I press the darkness, knowing full well that it does not respond to this.

Continued darkness. I glower at the machine and turn to look at my reflection. The front of my pants and blouse have wet droplets all over from my maniacal hand waving.

Fine. Fine I'll wipe my hands on my pants, just like I have done every day since your blasted installation.

"I hate you paper towel un-dispenser, I hate you," I growl thrusting an angry index finger at it (this I must have picked up from Briar.)

I open the door, the automatice light shut off kicks in and the room goes dark. As my heels click against the tile of the kitchen I hear the dispenser...


Doling out a sheet of towel to a dark room.


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