I had a rant the other day. And it seems that my dear, dear work colleagues are still giggling over it. Can’t say I blame them to be honest; I kinda brought it on myself.

I’ll explain.

After the Swine Flu scare of 2009, my place of work has ensured that there are always adequate hand washing facilities on site. Not that these weren’t there before, but they weren’t as obvious. On many of the walls, there is now a dispenser of antibacterial hand gel and all the toilets (to my knowledge – I haven’t been into the men’s loos) are plastered with signs on ‘how to wash your hands.’ Our sign even quotes ‘minimum hand wash time 15-20 seconds.’

Brilliant! And, admittedly, since I actually caught swine flu and ended up quarantined for two and a half weeks at that time, I’ve taken hand washing very seriously ever since. Even more so since understanding that everything I do outside my body can have an affect on the twins growing inside my body. So… I paid attention to the posters, learned the technique and I have to say, I’ve caught far fewer bugs since then.

In our toilets, we also employ the super fast Dyson hand-dryers. You know; shove your hands in, slowly pull them out. You get a ten second blast of pleasantly warm air and by the time you’re done, if you use the whole ten seconds, your hands are totally dry.

Well, since I work on computers, I make sure my hands are dry each time I go to the loo. I use the full ten seconds.

But…! Over the past couple of weeks I’ve noticed something very odd. And disturbing.

Given the frequency that I now have to use the loo (*frustrated fist shake*) there are always other ladies in there around the same time as me. I don’t mind, even though I’d prefer just to be able to void myself in peace. Anyway, as I wash my hands another lady is more often than not still using one of the three cubicles. So I finish wash my hands, shake the excess water off and shove my hands in the dryer. By the time I’m five seconds dry however, the other lady has usually come out of the loo, ‘washed’ her hands and is looming behind me waiting to use the dryer.

On the surface here’s nothing wrong with that, but think a little about the times involved.

I have ten full seconds at the dryer.
Washing your hands should take 15-20 if you’re doing it properly (hell, at least 10 seconds if you’re at least pretending to do it properly)
That should be plenty of time for me to finish using the dryer, wander off and thus leave it free for the next lady.

So… if someone coming out of the loo after me is waiting to use the dryer that I’ve only just started using, there is no way in hell that they’ve washed their hands properly. Hell, they probably haven’t even used soap, since it takes at least ten seconds to get that crap off your skin if you’ve worked it into any sort of lather.


When my realisation was too much to handle alone, I went back to my desk to share what I’d discovered. Unfortunately, by that time of day, most of the women on my team had already gone for the day (key time workers), so I ended up sharing my observation with a pair of blokes.

It didn’t go well. They laughed at me – both of them – and told me that I was clearly a bit OCD. My immediate response was to correct them; ‘Don’t you mean CDO?’ At which point I received twin blank looks.

Now, this joke has been around in my gaming circles for ages, but when I explained that the letters had to be in alphabetical order, I got even more stares. Slightly bemused ones this time. *sigh* I guess they just don’t get me.

But I put the question to you guys; what do you think? Not about my clear CDO tendencies, but how gross it is that these women are just not properly washing their hands! And then waltzing through the office touching printer buttons, keyboard keys, lift call buttons, stairs hand-rails…. Just thinking about it makes me want to break out the haz-mat suit. -_- Or at least some back up gel any time somebody comes near me.

And is it just women? What about blokes? Having not spent much time in the blokes toilets, I don’t have anything to compare it to. So tell me guys; how do you wash your hands?My hand gel; carried in my handbag at ALL times.

About Ileandra Young

I'm a thirty-*mumbles* year old (purple loving, cheese worshipping) author of fantasy, juggling a pair of beautiful twin boys with my burning desire to make up stories and write them all down. When I get the chance, I play games, listen to music, and in days long past I even ran a radio show. Though I occasionally write non-fiction, my heart lives in fantasy and my debut novel, Silk Over Razor Blades is now available through Amazon along with part two of the trilogy, Walking The Razor's Edge.
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9 Responses to CDO?

  1. Sally Edmans says:

    It’s a good idea to wash your hands regularly to get rid of dust, dirt and anything else you’ve picked up without noticing (and when the twins arrive you will discover just how much more there is to pick up without noticing…), but after a wee is actually not as essential a time as you might think. Urine is sterile. Most flush handles are now made of plastic which cannot support bacteria, for that very reason. Even toilet bowls are so unappealing to bacteria that they are not as risky as, say, eating a sandwich.

    Remember as well that bacteria living on your skin are essential to a healthy pH balance, and wiping these away regularly with vigorous washing or alcohol gels can upset your skin and eventually weaken your immune system if you do encounter something pathogenic. Have you ever heard the expression ‘you have to eat a little dirt before you die’? It’s been said for years for good reason. The modern living habits of cleaning and sterilising everything in sight actually contributes to more complex problems such as allergies, superbugs and weakened immune systems.

    Faecal matter is rather nasty and toxic, so you should always wash your hands after an ‘extended sit’. But if she’d just dipped in for a quick wee or – as is not unheard of – 5 minutes to sit and be quiet after a phone call with an angry customer, it might not be as bad as it looks.


    • Hmmmm varied thoughts and opinions across here and Facebook. I love how a quick rant can get everyone thinking and talking about it so much. I never thought of the hiding from the world after an angry customer angle though; I’ve done that more than once. Though I’ve got to say it, I still wash my hands afterwards. Mainly because god knows what else is lurking in the bathroom or on door handles. From the amount of skid marks and muck on the floor some days (though its been much better in recent months) who knows what lurking in the good/normal grime.


    • I agree; one certainly can over do it, but I just can’t make myself walk out of a bathroom stall and not wash my hands. Feels like ick. 😦
      Possibly at home where I know how clean it is – possibly – but not at work.
      Though I’ve got to say… since this blog post it seems like the ladies at work are at least using soap. I wonder how many of them read this…?


  2. Kana Tyler says:

    My husband also insists on “CDO”–he’s tickled to learn he’s not alone! 😉


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