Feb 19, 2008

Starbucks for Idiots (or The Curse of Reading Part II)

As I have said before, I am a bit compulsive when it comes to reading, I read everything that crosses my sight.

The very first time I saw this sign I was at the Miami Airport at the small Starbucks "stand" they have there. I was waiting for my coffee when I saw a very similar sign across the waiting area, in the wall right were employees were preparing my coffee.

While "employees must wash hands..." is pretty common, I was struck by the step-by-step indications on HOW to wash your hands. At that moment I was without my camera and I thought that was an opportunity that I've already lost.

Luckily, last weekend when we went to Miami to adopt Lola (our new baby dog that is driving me crazy and the only reason I am awake and blogging at 7:30 am) we stop at another Starbucks and when I went to the bathroom, there it was.... the "How to Wash Your Hands for Idiots" sign.

I didn't have a good camera with me, just my cell phone. So this is the best I could do. If you can't see the explanations below, those images are a reminding of the complex sequence needed to properly wash your hands (the American way):

1. Wet
2. Soap
3. Wash for 20 secs
4. Rinse
5. Dry
6. Turn off water (with paper towel)

As you can see, this sign is disturbing at many levels...

On one hand I am still shocked by the fact that employees employees at Starbucks can understand statements like "A Venti Frapuccino Mocha Latte Light" but can't remember how to wash their hands...?

On the other hand, the order and the details in the instructions are another sign of the so extended American germophobia and their general disdain for the worldwide lack of water: you can rinse, turn off the water and then dry. Your chances of contracting a horrible disease are not really so terrible higher by changing the order and you can save some water in the process.

Last but not least, let's face it: if you really need reminding instructions on how to wash your hands maybe your genes shouldn't survive anyway!


Anonymous said...

First, the sign is there to remind employees to actually wash their hands, not just get them wet and to do so following a corporate procedure. Second, I live in Florida - although I am not from here - and the people here are all fucking idiots. Seriously, you can see their eyes spinning like pinwheels. Do you remember why Bush is president? How about why FL did not count in the primaries? You should try driving here. No one uses their turn signals. People treat red lights like yield signs. The schools day is about five hours long and the education system is pathetic. These are stupid, stupid people. I'm going home.

Christian Williams said...

If you work in a Starbucks, you need all the instruction you can get.