Automatica

I have a bit of a beef with automatic units in washrooms. Auto flush urinals are great, you walk up, do your thing, and when you walk, away it flushes, once, this however, is not the case with auto flush toilets. My school, Langara College has a lot of auto-flush toilets and recently, I have tried to become more self conscious about being ecological. I have never really bought bottled water, but that’s mainly out of principle since I just think it’s silly to pay such a premium for a resource that is pumped directly into your house, I have also tried to be aware of what I buy, and what I throw away.

Along my journey to ecological nirvana, I have found the auto-flush toilets at Langara to be extremely wasteful. They flush when you walk into a stall, they flush when you stand up from the toilet, and they’ll give you a goodbye flush as you leave the stall. My friend Alisa informs me that they’re fun when you shake your bum at them, and I understand the sanitary reasoning behind having auto-flush devices, but surely they’re only needed for post-washing devices like the towel dispenser or hand dryer.

Once we’ve finished what we came in to do, we get to the drying issue, this all of course is provided you wash your hands, if not, you may as well stop reading. Paper towels work like a charm, and if you’ve had the privilege to dry your hands in a place where they have actual cotton towels, then you really don’t need to be reading this either, but for the rest of us, we know paper towels really aren’t that great because it just becomes garbage afterwards, and some automatic paper dispenser, like the one at my work is infuriating, it won’t give paper when you wave in front of it, but you’ll be on the other side of the room and it will randomly advance the roll, so if you’re going to have one, please change the settings to automatically advance once one piece has been ripped, I like those the best!

After paper, we have air to help us dry our hands, Dyson Airblades are not only cool, but by far the best hand dryers out there. The old “press button, receive bacon” models are awful and outdated:

bacon

I think we all need to be aware of the choices that we’re making in our lives and to be aware of what’s going on around us, not just go day-to-day through the paces. Maybe there are settings that could be changed so that the toilets wouldn’t flush so frequently, or they can lower their inherent eagerness to flush, I don’t know, I”ll leave it to the people at Dyson, they seem to have it figured out.

Slo-Pitch

My brother plays on a Slo-Pitch team, and last night I went out to watch his game.  I used to play baseball when I was growing up but I stopped after grade seven, probably because I wasn’t very good, but also I preferred playing soccer.

I umpired baseball for a few years after I stopped playing, but this became quite boring as watching baseball, standing for the entire game, without beer or all the snacks that go along with baseball, isn’t really baseball at all, it’s work.

Last night was really fun though, because it had all those elements that distance it from work, the beer, the snacks, but what I found to be the single thing that makes baseball most enjoyable, the company.  Baseball, much more that other sports, is very social and laid back, it makes it so much better when you’re watching with people you enjoy being with, the heckling, the spitz and the beer just add to the fun.

Pushy Customers

I work in retail, and I have for close to four years now.  Normally, my customers are fairly friendly, I have never yelled at a customer, unlike some of my co-workers, not to say I haven’t had disagreements with some of them.  Most stress among the workers in my department comes from a customer who comes about once a week, and who buys nothing but blank audio and video tapes, then only pays in change for totals that regularly exceed $40.  He’s quite demanding and normally stresses out my co-workers, but other than being anoying, he doesn’t really get under my skin.

Last night however, I had a customer that kept asking to give them a deal.  Now I understand money, and spending it, is on a lot of people’s minds these days, but when an item is marked down from $550 to $300, you can ask once for a further discount, but after I say “Can’t help you.”  Leave it!  This customer asked me on at least 10 occasions if I could mark it down further, each time replying “I can’t take anything more off.” When it became evident that I wasn’t going to budge on the price, they asked if I’d throw in a case for free, obviously my answer was “No.”

I don’t think I’ve ever been so frustrated by a customer before, I think it was the constant hounding they were giving me, but it continues to be a good motivator to study hard at school.

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