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At Least He’s Washing His Hands?

, , , , , , , | Right | February 14, 2023

I work at a grocery store that has a by-the-pound premade food bar.

Our store was recently renovated, and we got a new employee handwashing station at the hot bar. The old station was just a metal sink with very hot water. The new one has two holes into which you insert your hands, and you hold still while they spray you very hard with very hot water full of disinfecting chemicals. The spray nozzles move around the inside of the holes as they spray. They leave your hands smelling vaguely of lemon.

Even though employee handwashing sinks are not supposed to be available to the public, for some reason, the new handwashing station was installed in such a way that customers have access to it. Perhaps this is considered acceptable because we still have a standard hot-water sink in the employee area behind the hot bar.

There’s a pictographic sign on the station that explains how to use them.

A little kid, maybe eight years of age, noticed our handwashing station. He dragged a box of product in front of it to stand on, stuck his hands in, and went, “Wheeee!” while the water spun. Once it stopped, he removed his hands… and then inserted them again. He just sorta… kept doing this.

Now, having a customer stand on a box of product? Not a good thing. But I didn’t want to kick him off of the handwashing station, because he was clearly having fun. I got a step stool from the back and traded him for the box of product.

When he finally went home with an older girl that might have been his sister, I decided I was feeling too lazy to put the step stool away, and it looked like it belonged there. I also had a feeling that the kid was going to be back.

Sure enough, the next day, he was back, obsessively sticking his hands into the hole and letting it spray him.

Ever since that kid discovered our handwashing device, he’s been by almost every day — some days multiple times a day — just to stick his hands into it and get sprayed. He’s become a regular in the store. His stool still sits there next to the handwashing station.

I guess a part of me wishes I could still take so much pleasure in such a simple thing.

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