Friday, April 25, 2008

Wash your hands, people!

The other day I went to a required training session for my company. (That sounds weird - like I own my own company, but I couldn't very well say "the company I work for" because that would end the sentence with a preposition, which, as we all know, is wrong. Oh, the quandaries of trying to be grammatically correct.)

I had to get up early and drive up through the city, both things of which I am not fond.

I got there and found that it was a session on "Universal Precautions." My heart sank. Just thinking about the words 'bloodborne pathogens' is enough to make me feel weak. I found temporary salvation in the annoying jaw clicking noise coming from the girl sitting to my left. I was so close to telling her to stop chewing her gum but I realized that the distraction and irritation was saving me from thinking too much about the grossness of bloodborne pathogens.

Basically, the class was an OCD person's worst nightmare, confirming the need to be paranoid about the unseen perils lurking in our midst. There was a long lecture on the dangers that we all face as we live in this germy world... and what is the thing that will save us all? Handwashing! Regular, thorough, extended washing of the hands. Under the nails, up the wrists, for as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday...

The lecturer reminded us that germs, bacteria and viruses are everywhere. "When was the last time you cleaned your lightswitches? Doorknobs? Cell phone? TV remote?" Now I knew she could find no fault with my handwashing; I'm really crazy when it comes to that. But cleaning my lightswitches...? She had me there. Guilt assailed me. I've really let my housekeeping slip - especially after Aiden's birth. In fact, I think the only reason my kitchen floor is as clean as it is, lies largely to my mother's credit. Today I bought some Lysol and cleaned every lightswitch I could find. And more. A NEW outlet for my blossoming obsession with cleanliness! ( I say that with a fair degree of sarcasm because if you could see my house, you would know that my obsession with cleanliness is pretty selective. There are certain zones in the house that have been settled exclusively with clutter. In fact, this clutter thinks it has squatter's rights.)

Now, whenever I touch anything, I envision little squirmy, evil looking germs transferring themselves from the item I have touched and clinging to my hands. I feel like I'm living in an ad for Purell.

She also mentioned another thing I already knew - that the bacteria, germs and viruses that survive all this manic cleaning will become freakishly strong and resistant to cleansing. So we must remain vigilant and continue to take the battle to these evil baddies. "This Present Darkness" meets Flylady. ( I was going to put links up to both those things but this computer's being weird... and if you don't know what either of those things are, Wikipedia has EVERYTHING you EVER need to know about ANYthing. Trust me. The internet is a brilliant miracle.)

So pretty much, all this stuff was stuff I already knew. Stuff EVERYONE already knows, if they had a halfway decent mother. But hey, I got paid for listening. I got paid to have someone tell me to wash my hands. I got paid to have someone validate my OCDness. So I'm not complaining too much.

I wonder what kind of nastiness lives on this keyboard? On this mouse? Ew! I'm off to go wash my hands! You should too! Right Now!

5 comments:

ljmax said...

Uggh...universal precautions, the most boring of all health-service related inservices. Did they go over proper removal of dirty gloves? Now that's a skill!

Claire said...

No- they didn't go over the gloves thing, strangely enough. But when I took my CPR class a couple weeks ago @ the Red Cross, they went over that.

Brenda Jo said...

Don't forget that Stan could brush against the poison ivy and carry it over to your clean hands...

Claire said...

Yep. That's what happened. I now have poison ivy on my neck. Yay. Ugh.

Shari said...

Lol! See, I think about all that stuff too (keyboards, light switches, etc.), but that's where it ends. Yes, I wash my hands often and thoroughly. But I don't freak out about the germs too much. We clean regularly and I figure that's enough. I do, however, freak out when I'm in other people's houses that don't clean. I hate it. We have a relative that doesn't clean, at all, and we haven't been there in years. And they want us to come there with Maisy. Um, no. We won't be coming. No, thank you. Maisy crawls everywhere and I'm NOT putting my baby on a floor that never gets cleaned. I'm sorry, but no. Did I say "no" enough times?? Actually, we haven't been pressured to visit yet, but I know it's coming, and I'm dreading it, because I don't want to be rude. What would you do if you were in my shoes?