Our break-room at work is not what you call cozy and inviting. There is a coffee machine that makes really bad coffee, but it’s free and it’s there. We also have cream, sugar, and Splenda. There are some shelves against one of the walls, stacked with boxes of tea, plastic silverware, and Styrofoam cups of various sizes. We also have a table that sits in the middle of the room. It is a huge table, really long and quite wide. Ironically, there are only two chairs around it, which makes it quite difficult to have a group lunch there (coincidence?). I guess you could have a lunch date, though, if you didn’t mind the comings and goings of co-workers. We also have two microwaves and, of course, a water cooler. No matter how crappy it is (the room or the water cooler), any break room worth its salt must have one.
I thought our water cooler was just peachy, but last week we got a newer and improved model – well, at least newer. I’m not too crazy about this new machine, but I got more important things to worry about. Besides, it has cold and hot water, and that’s what matters. So today, after I drank the last of my Propel water (most commonly known as “crack water” in my house), I went to the break room to refill my bottle with bland, no-fun, normal cold water. And as I’m filling it up, I notice a small container sitting on top of the water cooler. At first I thought someone left their contact cleaning solution laying around, but that didn’t make too much sense. I take a closer look and I see it’s a water cooler cleaning spray (??). I thought I was a more or less intelligent person, but I have to admit that after several minutes trying to figure out where the hell I was supposed to be spraying the stuff, I had to break down, pick up the stupid bottle, and read the instructions.
Apparently, we don’t have enough with the hand sanitizers, surface sanitizers, computer sanitizers, and Lysol. We need the Cooler Clean Spray for Water Coolers, “designed to sanitize the outside contact points of the water cooler, like bottle cap, waterguard, and taps.” Seriously. In addition, “[…] it is tasteless and odorless, which means that it leaves no taste or smell.” (How great of them to provide the definition for the words and save you a trip to WordReference.com). I mean, people are obsessed with germs. My own son is obsessed with them (he must get it in school or something), to the point that his hands are like two shades lighter than the rest of his body he washes them so often. Most moms have to get after their kids for them to wash their hands; I have to yell at mine to stop, for the love of God!
I’ve been wrong before, just ask around. But I think it’s no wonder people get sick all the time. In this perfectly sanitized world we live in, our immune system has taken a permanent leave of absence, anxiously waiting to flip us off when we run out of Clorox® Wipes.