Ever look at things around you and just wonder WTH*?
I just got off a brief Delta flight that featured a brand new Embraer 175. The aircraft was sleek and immaculate, as you’d expect a new plane to be. It sported the latest navigation technology, comfortable seating, smart controls for the lights and air vents. And, a “turn off electronic devices” light replaced the dated ones that used to say “no smoking.”
But, despite its newness, the lavatory signage and equipment were, well, different. (For a more intellectual discussion of “emotionally intelligent signage” visit Daniel Pink’s website and choose “emotionally intelligent signage” from the categories column on the right.)
The faucet was a sleek mixing variety that, if pressed just right, dispensed cold, warm or hot water for a nearly perfect 20-plus seconds or so—just long enough to require a second press for another 20-plus seconds of water, of which you usually only need another five, unless, that is, you subscribe to the 60 second hand washing rule, and then you’d go for a third push.
Then there was the “smoking is not permitted in the restroom” sign under which a strategically positioned ash tray was mounted. “But if there’s no smoking in the rest room,” I reasoned, “Why would there be a…?” I decided that logic would not apply here.
And there was the sign to the left of the faucet. [Note: An airline lavatory affords plenty of reading opportunities.] It read, “No liquids other than water should be put in the sink.” Coffee, tea, or soda, I wondered? Then I realized there must be some reason for the sign and, at that point, I stopped thinking. On purpose.
A small notice along side the toilet’s “flush” button then caught my attention. “Do not flush toilet while seated,” it read. Since I wasn’t seated, I figured it must be safe to press it and WHOOSH, air rushed in around the lavatory door, water in the basin gurgled, and my hair shifted ever so slightly.
What would happen if someone was actually seated while flushing? Would she be permanently glued to the seat? Would he remain stuck until flight attendants entered, armed with crowbars, to pry and free his newly framed rear from its captor?
I concluded that the sign was there for some sort of reason, but decided not to Google the subject to learn if (and how) the public unwittingly (hopefully) contributed to its presence.
It would seem that any toilet system with such hostage taking power should be against the rules, whatever they are. And should some small sign be adequate protection to keep some unsuspecting Joe getting his booty glued down? Maybe I will Google it to see if it’s fact or fancy.
Then again, maybe not. I’d rather not know.
*That would be “What The Heck.” (Sometimes other four letter NSFW* words are substituted for the “H.”)
**And that would be “Not Suitable For Work.”