As I was working today nature called to me and I headed down to our office bathrooms. After looking in Stall Number One and seeing the unsanitary state that it was in I quickly moved to Stall Number Two. I found Stall Number Two was satisfactory and began to go about my business. While I was taking care of these important matters I happened to see that one of the previous occupants of Stall Number Two had left their phone sitting on top of the toilet paper dispenser.
I finished my business, stepped back as the auto-flush kicked in and spit water out of the toilet bowl. I then exited Stall Number Two and washed my hands. After my hands were thoroughly clean I grabbed a paper towel and went back to Stall Number Two and collected the phone. As I am a good co-worker (plus it was an iPhone… I don’t want an iPhone!) I took the phone wrapped in the paper towel down the hall to HR for them to deal with it. They sent out an email and the owner came and claimed it.
When I turned the phone into HR I got a funny look because of the paper towel wrapping. I didn’t explain myself to HR but I felt it was important that somebody, somewhere know that I am not totally crazy and that there was a reason for the toilet paper wrap.
It has been done several times but the articles I remembered were all older ones. There was the article written in 2011 by TIME “Study: 1 in 6 Cell Phones Contaminated With Fecal Matter“, “Now wash your hands – and your mobile” by the BBC, “Poll Shows People Text On The Toilet, So Wash Your Hands After Borrowing A Phone” by the Huffington Post, “Do YOU Always Wash Your Hands After Going to the Loo?” by DailyMail and “Your Phone Could Have Poop On It” by When You Put It That Way! There is also the article from yours truly about the app specifically designed for social networking in the bathroom, Pooductive.
The facts in the articles are all pretty gross. Check out these highlights!
“Researchers analyzed 780 swab samples — 390 from mobile phones and 390 from the hands that used them — in 12 U.K. cities. They found that 16% of both hands and phones were contaminated with E. coli, potentially illness-causing bacteria that is fecal in origin. The likely reason: because people don’t wash their hands after using the toilet.” – TIME
“If your phone comes into the bathroom stall with you, you’re not alone. Half of smartphone users age 18-29 admit to using their phones on the throne, according to a new HuffPost/Yougov survey.” – Huffington Post
“A new study from the NED Journal of Research – called Mobile Phones: Reservoir of Infectious Diseases in University Premises – ran tests on 367 cell phones belonging to students, staff and faculty on a university campus and found that a shocking number, 98.6%, were contaminated with some type of bacteria.” – When You Put It That Way
“A staggering 62 per cent of men do not wash their hands after going to the bathroom, a survey has revealed. And while women are slightly better than men, 40 per cent admit they too share this dirty habit.” – DailyMail
“Pooductive is an app that is designed to give you the freedom to talk about poop while pooping. According to their homepage the definition of Pooductive is ‘A place of magic and wonder where people from all 7 kingdoms can meet to seek refuge and enjoy their time of zen, peace and quite together, by conversing, philosophising and sharing ideas with each other…whilst sitting on their iron thrones.’” – EpicDro.com
The long story short is that people are disgusting. We use the bathroom and rarely wash our hands and almost never wash our phones. I’m sorry to whomever it was that left their iPhone in Stall Number Two. Even though I am a good person, I didn’t want to handle whatever it was that you got on your phone as you used it in the bathroom. I’m not that good of a person!
So please, quit using your phones in the bathroom or at the very least wash them once in a while!
Source Links: TIME | BBC | Huffington Post | DailyMail | When You Put It That Way