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This is just gross

Posted by mariposatraicionera (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 28, 06 at 10:20

The drywall guy is here working and has used the powder room twice. Each time he's walked out of there without washing his hands, and he wasn't just taking a leak either!!

There is a fan in the powder room but he hasn't used it for some reason. Doesn't this guy know we can here whether it's number 1 or 2 he's doing? And then he does not wash his hands for either. EEEWWWWWWWWWWW.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: This is just gross

YUK! That is one reason we insisted on a Porta Potty out front during the whole remodel. One of the men told me that they keep it stocked with a antibacterial wash, but who knows if they use it.

I knew that I could not clean toilets from a bunch of strange men for 6 months! Your post confirms it.. I have repeatedly seen the mailman exiting the facility, plus some workers from down the street. I will love to see the thing hauled away!


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I've seen the UPS guy stop at our porta potty too. Who knew our new house would be on the local maps as a public bathroom? (btw, the name for one of the local porta potty companies is Honey Pot. Talk about gross.)


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I had to go in there and spray everything down and I still feel grossed out.


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Try not to think about it. Have you ever worked in a large office environment?

When I did, there were employees that I would never, ever take paperwork from (please send it to me electronicly), or try their dishes during office parties (who made the dip?).

Never, ever. . .


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That's true Doc. I've seen so many people bolting out of restrooms without washing their hands. We should adopt the Japanese's way of bowing instead of shaking hands.

And to think I shook this guy's hand the first day we met!


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Mariposa,

We are building new and I am trying to figure out how I am going to get it clean enough to not wonder when I lay my head on the carpet what was there before me. It would drive me nuts to have strangers in and out of my house using the facilites! I'm one of those germ freaks. I just keep telling myself that people are not dropping dead after new builds. LOL


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I had a contractor here to give me an estimate...he knocked on the door, said his name and asked to use the bathroom...I was shocked, but told him where it was...he was here for about 20 minutes. When he left I ran in there to clean, it was an awful feeling knowing a stranger walked in the door and went straight in my bathroom...and then I noticed the sink was dry...I think he shook my hand when he left...bleck!


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Do you have paper towels in there for him to use? Perhaps he doesn't want to mess up your towels? Just a thought...


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We have soap and extra towels in a basket that I put out for subs to use. I told them this on the first day, because I don't want anyone going to my MB.

He's just not a hand washing person I guess. His work is very good, but on the very first day we met he asked to use our bathroom (the boy's room as he calls it).


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RE: This is just gross

I'd say the post is appropriate because it deals with a matter that is directly related to her having her kitchen remodeled - the worker is using her bathroom because he's in her home working on her KITCHEN. And based on the many supportive replies she's received vs. the two negative ones, I'd say others find it a relevant post, as well. : )

And while I'm expressing my opinion, which I rarely do in these matters, I have to say that I've noticed the jabs aimed at Mari, too, and don't understand the need for them. Why not just skip the post? These types of remarks have a way of disrupting the harmony of the forum for everyone.

Now, on topic - Mari, I think the suggestion of a port-a-potty is a good one, if possible. Short of that, how about a great big sign over the sink that reminds them to wash their hands?


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Hadn't thought of putting up a sign. I'd hate to insult this guy by putting up one now, because he's clean otherwise (like tidying up after work), on time as he promised, is meticulous in his work and overall is very helpful.

Will look into a port-a-potty. That's something that I hadn't even thought about as well. Thanks for the suggestions Angel :-)


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RE: This is just gross

If you think the subject is gross, you can't say you weren't warned -- it's in the title, and that was the whole point. No, it's not as much fun as discussing which tile, paint, countertop or floorplan, but any of us having to hire others to do any or all of the work will have to deal with similar issues.

I'm not sure I would have even thought of it if we hadn't had work done on the house before we moved in. My son's bathroom (nearest where the work was done) was so gross when I went to do the pre-move in cleaning. No issues about handwashing since we weren't there, but they used the floor as much as the toilet. And sawdust and other construction guk. I cleaned and cleaned, but nothing felt right until we ripped out the tile (it was pink and going anyway) and put down clean, white tile.

With that experience, I did wonder about having strangers in my house. My experience has been the opposite. Our powder room has been kept clean, soap and towel used, and the fan left on when needed. I'd much rather say something and ask people to respect my home than to have a stinky porta potty outside. The dumpster was bad anough, and it didn't stink or draw critters.


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a porta-potty isn't going to solve the germ problem. In fact, it might be worse, because people will be LESS likely to wash their hands

I think you need to say, "please be sure you wash your hands after using the bathroom--there's soap,a nd towels in there. Oh, and please turn the fan on--it keeps it from being stinky."

SAY SOMETHING!


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Can't say I ever worried about it. I think people in the US are too concerned about germs, but then I spent a few months traveling around without access to running water most of the time so my perspective on such things has changed a bit.

I'm more worried about the stuff the workers tracked across the carpet (which never came out) and the weird holes they drilled in the kick plates than whether or not they used used my bathroom. Whatever germs might be passed along in such a way are all over the place whenever you go to any public setting. Things like money and door handles are covered with people's germs. The best defense is a good immune system, which is developed, ironically, by exposure to germs. Of course, you can carry that too far...


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Please remember these workers are the same guys who tear our your toilets, dig your septic tanks, put in your pea traps. I do not think you are going to get this work done by Martha Stewart. Please, this is manual labor, not a tea party.


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Maybe Angel is right though, I should add paper towels in the bathroom. Maybe they think my towels are too cute and they might soil them in some way?

I'm going to leave the fan running in the powder room before he arrives tomorrow. I was on my phone while he was in the bathroom, so not too sure if he thought it would bother me. At any rate, he's a good worker outside of the sanitary problem.

DH got home for lunch and said a big NO to the port-a-potty idea.


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We actually had this problem with our own children... for soem reason they would NOT turn on the fan, it drove me crazy!.. they would not turn it on for showers or other more odorus events. One day I told the Dh is a moment of frustration and he got up and disapeard.. it was odd but who knows.. well I see him again after a while and he says.. " all fixed!".. and I am like.. WHAT??? .. well my darling went is and wired the fan to the lights so unless they want to shower or potty in the dark.. that fan is going to run!

For the handwashing I got them funny soap that turend colors as they washed with it. now for grown men.. I am not sure how you make them do that.. maybe you could label is Viagra Soap???? ;-)

Maddie


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Bathroom

Maddie, you're hilarious. I'm going to sue you for causing me to spill hot coffee on my clothes!!LOL

That's a good idea about rewiring so they both come on.

Viagra soap? I wonder if Walmart carries that at their neighbourhood store?


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Hehehehehehe...

This is almost as funny as the thread about whether or not to wear shoes in the house and what to do when guests come over to visit.


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Hehehehehehe...

This is almost as funny as the thread about whether or not to wear shoes in the house and what to do when guests come over to visit.

And just as silly. We really do have a segment of society who live in a goldfish bowl and this proves it.


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Maddie, you are a riot. I think Mari would have to have an endless supply of that soap. : )

I remember a bathroom sign from the 70s (yeah, I"m dating myself) that read:

If you sprinkle when you tinkle
Please be a sweetie and wipe the seatie.

Cheers to all having a sense of humor about this. : )


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I have to agree with all my fellow germ-a-phobs out there....I never used to think about things like, did they wash their hands (even though I always did!) but earlier this year I "caught" pneumonia, spent 5 days in the hospital and 6 months later am still recovering from something called Reactive Airway Disease as a result of the pneumonia...now I carry hand sanitizer with me everywhere and use it religiously. NOW, with regard to the contractors using my bathroom...I wipe everything down after they've gone with antibacterial wipes and change out the hand towel. We have no fan in there so you can hear everything but so far...haven't hear any #2's :-)


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Maripose, how's this for gross? I was in the DR when a pick-up load of subs drove up the driveway, right past the turquoise (can't miss it) port-a-potty. I kept thinking now what business does that guy have over behind my Jeep. You guessed it; taking a l**k on the black top in full view of me and neighbors in their own yard. At least my dogs go find a bush!


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Adopted, In broad daylight? Gosh, I would have sent the dog after him,LOL


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Here is a link to a recent study published in Science Magazine, the Journal of the AAAS, about handwashing/sanitizing and other human traits.

As the researchers state: "we showed that physical cleansing alleviates the upsetting consequences of unethical behavior and reduces threats to one's moral self-image. "

Take it however you want.

Here is a link that might be useful: Washing Away your Sins


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re: the smell; I personally don't find fans remove odors. A good trick is to
keep a book of matches on hand, strike a few and blow out immediately, the odor dissipates instantly, it smells like sulphur and not other one.
It may help you clean up without gagging.


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Does everyone realize that after the paperwork is done, these horrible workers turn on the bath faucet BEFORE they wash their hands, probably with the dominant hand if you take my meaning. Who sanitizes the faucet handles after they wash their hands? Or the little flushing handle on the toilet?

Maybe the workers that don't wash their hands after going think the bathroom is not clean enough, and would rather stick with their own germs.

Just pointing out a couple possible scenarios.


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I don't know what everybody's complaining about. At least he flushed the toilet, so count your blessings. Auto-flushing toilets in public restrooms were invented for the folks who, well.....


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This thread is funny!

My dh read an article not long ago that cited a study in which it was found that people who washed their hands in public restrooms picked up more germs than those who did not wash. Interesting, eh?


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Good point muskyhopeful. I carry wipes so I don't have to wash in unclean restrooms. I'm sure some think I don't wash but that be their problem. LOL


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This is way too much information....IMHO


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I put a roll of paper towels in my bathroom for the workers putting in my kitchen floor. In two days only one person washed his hands and used a paper towel.


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Well I stocked the room with paper towels and left some near the sink in the kitchen. He did wash his hands after messing with floating the ceiling so that was good :-).

I wonder how many on this thread would encourage their DH/DW and kids to walk out the bathroom after doing their various numbers without washing their hands? Would you kiss your DH's hand after a bathroom visit if he didn't wash his hands? Would you allow your kids to help roll the pizza dough, help decorate cookies without washing hands after using the toilet?


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Doing their various numbers? How many numbers do you have going on at your place?

We don't do the number system at our house, we say wee wee and poo poo, and we always wash our hands.

Whether he washes his hands or not, I'm keeping the drywaller out of my pizza and cookie dough.


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gross stuff

You never know with numbers these days. I got that from a neighbour actually. She told me that her son did various numbers in the bathroom and she had to make him go back and wash his hands before helping her. I still only counted two, but she swore there was something else. I'd put a puzzled smiley here but don't know how to, LOL

What about tamales? I remember visiting an area in Arizona where this woman was making tamales and her kitchen sink clogged up. She immediately sought out the plunger from her bathroom (not kidding), and proceeded to plunge her sink like crazy. Needless to say, I found an excuse to avoid eating at her place.


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We had a porta potty outside for 9 months. It wasn't that expensive, and we kept it there even when the toilets inside were installed. In a funny way, you have more privacy in a porta potty than you do in an interior bathroom! At least what you're doing is a lot more quiet than in the house :)

All the workmen automatically used it, even when the bathrooms inside were finished.


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Mariposa, I'm sure if you think about it, you'll figure out something else that might get its own number in the bathroom----LOL!!! :-)


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"Mariposa, I'm sure if you think about it, you'll figure out something else that might get its own number in the bathroom----LOL!!! :-)"

Falling out of my chair here. LOL!!!


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"Doing their various numbers? How many numbers do you have going on at your place?"

My husband once asked my youngest if he had to do number 1 or 2. My son replied, "Three." Apparently he meant "all of the above."


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"Please remember these workers are the same guys who tear our your toilets, dig your septic tanks, put in your pea traps. I do not think you are going to get this work done by Martha Stewart. Please, this is manual labor, not a tea party."

Agree. He's working on a construction site. He's not at a tea party. It's gross, because hand washing is a habit and he probably never washes. But I think that getting worked up about it is a little prissy. I can kind of understand where patricia43 is comming from.

Bodily functions are gross, but we are all exposed to the results of them more than we will ever know. You have happened to observe this guy not washing his hands, but there are way, way grosser things in your house you just don't know about.

How can you hear what he's doing that clearly? Can you insulate the bathroom to reduce the sound transmission?


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Rubber gloves and a nose clip can be a stepford wife's best friend during construction...lol....


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Can we not use this thread

to act out our hostilities towards each other? Qua anthropologist I'm interested in this thread and people's concerns about privacy, dirt, contamination etc... in their homes. I, personally, think its wrong to have people in the house who you are implicitly or explicitly unwilling to break bread with, or share a bathroom with. But Mari feels differently, she labled her thread appropriately, and it clearly reflects some non-trivial cultural concerns. Its absurd, and rude, for Paulines or others to accuse other posters of being "stepford wives." Class issues, which I assume are the ones being parodied, don't even enter into this. AS someone who has worked in a hindu society I can tell you our concerns about purity and pollution in kitchens and bathrooms have nothing on the loweliest peasant in Nepal.

As fairegold pointed out above there has been a very recent, published study about issues of anxiety, cleanliness, etc...I think its not surprising that the issue of strange men in the house using bathrooms creates a certain kind of anxiety. There are lots of ways to deal with it, to address it, some of them technical and some of them social but none of them require paulines' or others contempt. The only thing differentiating you all from mari is that you haven't chosen to post as honestly about things that bother you, or you find that no one else is hauling out the insults when you do. There isn't a single individual on this board or in the real world who doesn't have issues of some kind with privacy, home, cleanliness, and work done by outsiders and its simply childish and rude to pretend that because someone's issue isn't yours that its beyond the pale.

abfab


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abfab, I totally agree, you're exactly right. Contempt is never classy.


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I am a nurse, so I have seen more than my fair share of bodily functions...some with smells you could never imagine.

With that said, I am a bit uncomfortable when "strangers" use our facilities. I remind myself, though, that that is why we have a powder room...basically for use of visitors.

We had a moving man once who expelled blood from "both ends". It was truly vile, but I put on my rubber gloves and took care of cleaning what needed to be cleaned. I figured it would not look good trying to sell an empty house with blood spatters on the floor and the walls. I actually felt bad for the guy...he must have been suffering from some major heath issues.

Anyway, we are all human. We all experience the curses and the pleasures of the human body. It is life...it is what it is.

As for washing hands, that too is one's choice. Until they figure out a way to set up a device that alarms when someone attempts to leave the restroom without washing their hands...people will continue not to wash up.

I love l'Occtaine verbane soap, and get compliments on it all the time. I also have Resrtoration Harware hand towels...people love how soft and fluffy they are. I offer a bit of "luxury" to entice visitors to wash up:)


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Okay...this is just getting silly...when did it become too much to expect a gentleman to wash his hands after using your facilities? And what on God's green earth does that have to do with being a "Stepford Wife"? Get a grip. I wasn't impressed with your wit the first time you said it, and with each additional attempt it is losing it's desired piquancy.

The post was prefaced with a descriptive indicating it was going to be a bit off color. If a particular poster annoys you the point that you feel the need to be nasty on a kitchen themed message board, then why in the world won't you just ignore their posts? That way it can casually slip into the abyss of the third page and beyond.

Now let's all get back to polishing our granite and stainless steel whilst humming kumbaya,

Nat


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Pinegrove,

I agree that I too would have cleaned it up, but what sort of person does not clean up their own mess when they make it? I am sure that the bloody mess was a real shocker and you are right that he must have been very ill.. it's a suprise he could be a mover..must have been awful.

As to the rest of the subject,

My take on the whole subject has nothing to do with classism or workers in general and lord knows I am no stepford wife despite evidence to the contrary. Someone who would defacate or urinate and leave a mess, not wash their hands, or leave a foul air in a bathroom is *low class* no matter their job or financial status.

Working a hard job does not mean one must live a crass life. I have had workers of all flavors over the 5 years we have been working on this house. I have had guys who were wonderful to be around and one guy who even cleaned my sink for me!.. then I have had a guy who blew his nose on to my floor!!!!!!!!!!( not sneezed.. blew his nose!) I fired him that moment! He got angry saying that it was not a big deal since it was only subfloor. Sorry buddy, my three year old knows that is wrong. In fact i think that is my guidline.. If my now 5 year old knows it's wrong then you should too.. clean up after yourself!

Mind you, I have had to train my kids and that is no peachy job, but unless as parents we are willing to put in the time to teach the our kids the niceities of life then how will they ever know? It's obvious that great deal of parents fell down on the job at some point or we would not have these problems.

Maddie, off to remind my kids to flush, brush and wash at all times ;-)


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Someone mentioned the names of the portapotty companies. The one near us is Blow Brothers, "we are number 1 in the number 2 business".

Maybe the worker just figures it is a waste of time to wash his hands when he is doing work where they just get dirty again?

I don't think less than pristine bathroom habits are limited to construction workers. Men in general don't have great hand washing habits, based on what I have read, been told and observed. Think about it, they can pretty much go where ever they want. It's not like there is a sink behind every bush. A friend of ours was at a fund raiser that included numerous celebrities. A famous talk show host was at the urinal next to him and then just left the bathroom and proceeded to shake hands with numerous celebrities. Think about it, the guy wasn't even be shamed into washing his hands when our friend, a stranger and not a celebrity, saw him do this.

If you shake hands with men on a regular basis, as I do, you have to assume many hands are unwashed. I keep Purell on my desk and try not to touch my face.


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Maybe he didn't poop. Maybe he's just gassy. Maybe he wiped his hands dry on his coveralls after washing. Maybe he went out to his truck and used a wipe or carries hand sanitizer in his pocket. Maybe he's a germaphobe who used his foot to lift the lid and to flush so he didn't have to touch anything. Most guys don't feel that their member is an object of filth so unless they've touched something else washing up is no biggie to them. Without video survelience we'll never really know.

A lot of construction types will say they wash before, not after. Goes someting like, "I know where my (blank) has been but not so sure where the rest of the tools have been"


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My drywall contractor was a bookkeeper for doctors in his previous life. About 7 years ago he went into construction to have the freedom he said to come and go as pleases. He's an excellent worker. I respect his work. He has a great sense of humour as well. This has nothing to do with looking down on workers. Some on this thread are mainly reacting beause it's my post. That's okay. I seem to have an effect on them :-) It must be my magnetic personality.

My PC is situated on the other wall off the powder room, so unfortunately, I can hear everything. It doesn't matter who uses my bathroom, I do believe that everyone should wash their hands after a bathroom adventure.

Most business places, restaurants, malls etc., have big signs up urging employees to wash their hands after using the bathroom. They know that many don't, so they're hoping the little reminder might do the trick. Didn't mean to offend anyone if they're not a handwasher after bathroom visits.


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Mari,
this was a really thought provoking thread, at least to me! I wanted to add something that I"ve been thinking about in terms of this--understand that our house has gone from being perfectly habitable and even very nicely finished on the inside to gutted on two floors with gaping holes on the front as they cantiliver out our sinking bay windows. We've moved all the way out, to a little house two towns over, and we can contemplate the chaos and dirt from a safe distance. I often find the workmen sitting companiably in the mess over their lunches, looking like hobos enjoying a can of coffee in a wasteland and if they could light a fire in the middle of what used to be my living room I'm sure they'd do it.

Anthropologists say "dirt is matter out of place" that is, we experience as dirty things which are in the wrong place or seen at the wrong time. If we are walking through a vegetable garden we enjoy the sight and smell of the dirt, but when its tracked into our kitchens, or up the stairs to our master bathrooms, it becomes dirty (to us) and unpleasant. All of us mother's know the experience of finding the smells and the mess of our own infants utterly tolerable, but progressively intolerable the older they get. And behavior that is acceptable in the bathroom, or in the bedroom, is unthinkable in the livingroom or dining room.

So what happens when we throw our houses open for renovation? We end up inviting strangers into private spaces, we end up literally tearing down walls between private and public spaces, we end up not being able to control the degree of privacy we formerly could count on. I think that the transformation of our private spaces into public spaces, our family-only spaces into public meeting areas, is really hard to take--and rightly so.

A hundred or more years ago when most people lived on farms, or during the middle ages when even manor houses were the site of mass political and economic activities, we didn't even really have the idea of fully private, domestic, space. In places like Nepal and India, in rural settings generally, it is often the case that the first floor or the area below the second floor is organized specifically for business transactions/public life and that the house gets private and more sacred as you move up (away from the animals, neighbors, strangers) until you reach the kitchen or the family shrine in the attic.

I definitely recommend that people read Home by Witold Rybinski for a fascinating account of the evolution of the idea of the comfortable, clean, family-only house. He has an amazing description of the rise of the hyperclean, feminized, private houses of the dutch in the 17th and 18th century.

What I meant to say is that opening our houses to strangers has become a very rare event. Shopping happens in stores, business happens in the office, the computer is the interface that most people have with the outside world once they are home. Hell, in suburban america very few strangers come to your door at all, let alone come inside. I know lots of people (my grandmother, my mother, myself) who don't even like regular strangers like cleaning ladies because of the sense of intrusion that creates. So why would we like it when the front of the house, in my case, literally ripped off and what was inside becomes part of outside?

From the workers point of view what had been "my little girls nursery" or "the kitchen where I make my 25 pints of hot fudge" is no longer a socialized space at all-- its a half open to the elements work site and the rules that apply outside suddenly apply inside. The poster who described the guy blowing his snot on the sub-floor perfectly describes this--to her, he was "inside" the house, to him he was "outside" the domestic sphere.

I think people like you, Mari and others, who are renovating one or two rooms inside a working house, are in a really difficult position. You are trying to protecct and maintain a sense of clean, domestic, private space while guys are (literally, sometimes) driving through with heavy machinery.

At any rate, I found this thread really stimulating. Thanks for posting it.

abfab


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Mariposa...you might look into getting batting or insulation put into the wall between your computer and the powder room. If you're still in construction and the new drywall isn't up yet on either side of the wall, it can be a very inexpensive (probably around $100-200) for added privacy for you and your guests.

Our dining room wall is a common wall with both the hall bath and the master bath. My insulation contractor suggested putting batting to dampen the sound so that when having a dinner party, the guests sitting around the table cannot hear what is going on in the bathrooms. It was only $150 more to add the batting, and so far you can't even hear the shower running thru the wall!


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RE: This is just gross

I agree it is gross. I hate when that happens in my house. But what can you do? When you hire someone you have to put up with their little idiosyncrasies or fire them if you can't.

We don't like to hire people and are DIYers. DH and I feel like it is an invasion of our private space. That is one of our idiosyncrasies. I would never hire a weekly cleaning service because of it.

And another one of my idiosyncrasies especially as I get older is eating out. You know not every person working in food sevice washes their hands after each bathroom break, or after blowing their nose, etc.

We are becoming a germ phobia nation. Look at the nationwide health scare over E. coli bacteria-ridden spinach. Then there was (still is) the Aids scare. And the bird flu and SARS scare.

The stranger in your home represents a threat. What if he has some terrible disease? Did you just endanger your family by allowing him access to your home? I know that sounds paranoid. But I think that is what is behind a lot of reluctance to allowing strangers into your home and especially letting them do their personal business there.

Look at all the anti bacterial products you see advertised on TV. I am 55 and I grew up with just plain soap and water to clean everything and I survived. Now the hype is you don't have a clean home unless you buy all these anti bacterial products.

That is one reason I have read for people not getting granite countertops. They feel they can't get them clean enough. Here is a quote from Silestone's website, "Silestone with built-in Microban antimicrobial product protection." Advertising playing on our fears.

I know it has affected me to a certain degree. I clean the bathroom area before someone comes so they feel comfortable about using it. I feel no one wants to use a dirty bathroom. Then when they leave, if they did use the bathroom, I clean it again just for peace of mind.
Clare


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It is unpleasant to think about those who don't wash their hands after using the bathroom, but it happens all the time, in every segment of society. Could be the construction workers in your home, the executive in the suit and tie who you shook hands with at your last business meeting, the grocery clerk who hands you your receipt, or the neighborhood kids who come over to play. See the following info I found on a wellness website:

SURVEY FINDINGS
More than nine in ten adults (95%) say they wash their hands after using public restrooms; however, just six in ten (67%) were observed doing so. Among the observational findings from public restrooms, the dirtiest hands are in New York. Only 49 percent of the 2,283 people observed washed their hands after using a restroom in Grand Central/Penn Station.

Conversely, Chicagoans washed their hands most often (83% of adults observed) after going to a public restroom, followed by adults in San Francisco (80%). New Orleans and Atlanta were tied at 64 percent. Across all cities, women washed their hands more often than men (75% versus 58%). This disparity was the most pronounced in Atlanta, where 84% of women at a Braves' game washed up compared to only 36% of men. Americans are also likely to say they wash their hands after changing a diaper (78%) and before handling or eating food (77%). However, many say they don't wash up after petting an animal (45%), coughing or sneezing (31%) or handling money (20%). Interestingly, Americans with college degrees are slightly less likely than those without college degrees to say they wash their hands.

So, to Mari and all the others who are upset by this, remember, you are unlikey to catch cholera, hepatitis, or any other dreaded disease from the gentlemen who are coming in and out of your home during construction. Interestingly, you have much more to fear from being in a hospital where everything is sanitized regularly, workers clean their hands constantly and wear gloves and masks to prevent the spread of infection. The rate of infection in hospitals with serious, antibiotic resistent germs is frightening. In the real world, outside the hospital, we are actually pretty safe. You don't hear about epidemics among construction workers or their families, do you? I'm sure their cleanliness and hygeine is more or less the same as the rest of us.

I think it is somewhat amusing that many people who are grossed out by the behavior of their construction crew (who actually use the toilets), are the same folks that happily slip a plastic baggie on their hand, pick up the solid waste from their beloved family pet, and then allow that pet's behind to sit on their kitchen floor, their living room couch, or their bed. But then, that's just me. As an aside, all you dog owners may want to check out the recent thread on the conversions side about "poop freeze". Very amusing.


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RE: This is just gross

Bruno, I hadn't thought about the insulation which would make sense. Our powder room is really not in the best of locations, so if you're sitting in the dining room or desk area, you could 'hear' your guests using the bathroom. I need to rewire the fan/light together as was suggested. Makes sense to have extra insulation. Thanks for those suggestions.

Our new neighbour is also going to be remodelling two bedrooms in a couple of weeks and suggested we get a port-a-potty since we both have workers coming in. I started to laugh because I hadn't brought up the idea or even told about my drywall guy.

My electrician told me today that he prefers using a 'port-a-potty' because it's more private than the homeowner's bathroom, plus he'd hate to mess anything up. So, apparently they'd prefer their own toilet. Good thing I started this thread because the solutions suggested would never have come to mind. Too much to choose and think about right now.

Apfab, very interesting reading. I honestly don't mind having workers in my home. Our electrician sometimes work until 7-8 p.m. and we share recipes because he also loves cooking. Thank you for your thoughts.


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"My electrician told me today that he prefers using a 'port-a-potty' because it's more private than the homeowner's bathroom, plus he'd hate to mess anything up. So, apparently they'd prefer their own toilet."

Once we had a working toilet (and doors) we got rid of the portapotty. I felt like I would be insulting people if I made them go outside and use a portapotty. Sort of like saying they could work on my house but they are not fit to use the toilet. If an insurance salesman or doctor came to my house I wouldn't ask them to go outside, after all.

Plus, I make everyone take their shoes off, and it would waste a lot of time putting the shoes on to go outside and then taking them off again! ;)


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Well mine keep their shoes on and it's pretty messy work, unlike what the doctor or salesman would be doing.

If these guys warn me that it's going to be messy and stuff is flying everywhere, I'd rather heed their warning.

Drywall guy was mudding yesterday and there was white stuff all over the door knob and door itself. He left in a hurry and didn't clean up because everything was still 'wet.' I told him it was okay because I don't have a problem cleaning up afterwards if it's something like this.

I haven't had any doctors or salesmen working on my house before...novel idea.


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lol!

"If these guys warn me that it's going to be messy and stuff is flying everywhere, I'd rather heed their warning."

ROTFL! Are you referring to their occupational work or their bathroom habits ("messy and stuff flying everywhere")!

I was KIDDING about the shoes. Notice the blink? I was trying to infuse a little laughter into a thread that got a little heavy. I figured a "no shoes" comment might do that. Oh well. (we are no shoes, but workers can wear them since it's a safety issue. Most bring their own booties since our floors are wood).

Our bathrooms are all insulated. Personally, I think a somewhat noisy fan works better (our full bathrooms have quiet, expensive fans, but the half bath has one of those can light/fan combo things. Covers sounds very well.)


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Go ahead and shoot me. I don't wash my hands.


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RE: This is just gross

Just the other day I watched a documentary on the history of plumbing. It was very interesting. They showed castles that had little projections that would 'overhang' the side of the castle. This is where people would do their business and the waste would just fall into a cess pool below. My whole life, I assumed they were for decorative purposes! Who knew?

The lowly peasants would just have to shout out a warning to the streets below and toss the contents out the window.

What did the germophobes do back in those days?? I'm sure this type of phobia wasn't as common back in those days...they didn't know what germs and bacteria could do.

Click on link to see the toilet projections of a castle.

If you want to see one with multiple toilets, go here as well...It's the third photo down on the left.

http://www.jamesmdeem.com/castlepage.htm

Kompy

Here is a link that might be useful: Castle loo's


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RE: This is just gross

Our electrician called bathroom fans "fart fans".


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Gross

My husband has started calling the toilet room the "stink lodge."


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RE: This is just gross

abfab, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. I will definitely look for that book. My degree is in American Studies, with lots of research and papers that dealt with the living and working conditions of our earliest European and African forefathers/mothers. I still enjoy reading on the subject and the dramatic changes that have taken place regarding personal hygiene, especially since the early 20th. century.

Maddie, I bet we could slap some labels alluding to male potency on some generic soap and make a killing. Stocking stuffers - just in time for the holidays. Let me know if you want to go into business. ; )

Mari, thanks for the comic relief! Not sure I helped you any but you and many others have helped relieve some of the stress I was feeling over counter top choices. You go girl! (um, wash your hands if you GO).

And for the grumpy ones who don't like the thread but appear to have no control over their own fingers clicking on it and posting snarky comments, may I suggest a little more fiber in your diet? ; )


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angelcub, I got a chuckle out of this Maddie, I bet we could slap some labels alluding to male potency on some generic soap and make a killing paired with this Stocking stuffers. LOL!

I've done lots of studying of various historical periods and am always interested in the hygiene habits of the time and the superstitions that often drove them. I really enjoyed reading an anthropologist's take on this subject, abfab.

No one in my house washes hands 100% of the time. I always wash my hands before food prep and the kids have to go wash up before meals. They're supposed to wash every time they use the can (and so am I), but honestly, that doesn't always happen. DH is kind of on his own as I'm not going to police him on this one.


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Sue, you gave me a chuckle. Of course I was referring to their work...but one never knows does one, when something might come flying out the loo! :-)

Angel, since this thread was started by yours truly, I have to claim rights here. We'll be splitting the profits by three if you ladies don't mind. I told DH about the Viagra soap and he asked if we ladies really want our workers using that soap while they're in our homes.
;-)


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RE: This is just gross

I guess there must have been something worthwhile about this thread to attract you, nes pas? Thanks for appearing not once, but twice :-)

Happy times are here again Jolly.


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Mari, You should have kept those Kraftmaids! Your life here would have been a lot easier LOL ;-)

Abfab, Your commentary was quite fascinating. I especially loved the observation: Anthropologists say "dirt is matter out of place" that is, we experience as dirty things which are in the wrong place or seen at the wrong time.. I was thrilled but highly amused to read this. Reason for my amusement, you may ask? I'd once come up with and presented something similar to classify "messes" and "junk" albeit in a less studied and more neurosis-riddled way. I'm a bit of a neatnik, while the husband is not. So, I'd evolved this junk/mess classification as a way to explain to him why I was so lathered up over the presence of stuff which I'd happily handled and been poring over not 5 weeks ago.

The rules of my nomenclature: "A mess" is "good stuff out of place" such as this week's Economist anyplace other than the coffee table or one of the reading tables. "Junk" is last month's Economist anywhere at all (other than the recycle bin or a particular folder for mags worth keeping). I explained this classification to him while we were standing knee deep in a pile of 4 months' worth of Economists, AIAA and IEEE magazines, bank statements, paid receipts ... . He, some family and friends got a belly-laugh out of these "Hammurabi Rules - a la L... " (I did too eventually, when the mess and junk was properly decompressed) but we do get overcome with work often and it is all seriousness as far as I'm concerned to whip out the classification since others can go a lot longer than I can before the need for order reasserts itself.

Anyhow, that was all said somewhat t-in-c but I couldn't get over myself when I saw this rather familiar looking notion presented in all seriousness. But I can tell you that my evolutions did not net nearly comparable amounts of respect :-(


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Had to see what 70-some-odd posts were for.

abfab, thanks for that eloquent post - I will look into that book as well.

Jolly, everyone knows you dislike Mariposa - why bother reading her posts? I don't get it.

For the sake of contributing - I wipe my dog's butt and paws with baby wipes when we come home from walkies, then I wash my hands.

:-)


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Well, this thread has moved in an interesting direction. I enjoyed abfab's contribution on anthropology.

kompy, I've heard the thing about yelling before dumping waste from above before, but I've also read that in some cities there were ordinaces that required the chamber pots to be taken to the sewer to be dumped and not just thrown anywhere in the street - too messy even if they weren't aware of how disease is transfered.

Our vacation in China was an education in various ways "conveniences" can be provided in the countryside and city. A lot of them there are the squat variety. My favorite was an outhouse where the channel slanted down and a barrel of water with a big ladle provided a flush - it didn't smell at all. I understand there is some chemical that gets dumped in to help with the conversion to fertilizer without a lot of smell. Less pleasant was a restroom at an evening show we went to - the stalls were only a bit above waist high and a trough ran down the middle of all the stalls in the row. One squated over that. A small flow of water went down it all the time and periodically the attendant would send a bigger flush down. Once one gets use to them, squat toilets make a lot of sense - no worrying about whether the seat is clean and the flush ones often use a pedal rather than a handle so no cleanliness issue there either.

Going back in history, at Ephesus in Turkey, there is an excavation of the public toilets - rows of them where you could chat with your neighbor. Picture attached.

BTW, our contractor put a porta-potty in. That is his standard practice. I was surprised as I feel sort of like sue. I would be fine with the workers using ours. It may be because our GC does mostly kitchen and bath remodels - where the rest of the house is being lived in. If they use a bathroom in the house they have to worry about tracking dirt from the remodel area to the rest of the house. For example, today the electician was putting holes in the ceiling so there was a lot of dust, scraped off popcorn and insulation on the floor. And maybe they like the privacy aspect too. At least they put in the good kind that doesn't smell.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ephesus


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Ah, there it is! I was wondering when Jolly would jump back into this thread. You and too_shilly are either very cranky people, or you do this to bait others and enjoy seeing the uproar it creates. Ignore them, Mari. While this is not a topic I ever expected to be disscussing on the kitchen forum, it has turned out to be rather fun and interesting!

Kompy, I loved your castle loos! Very enlightened for the time. I'd like to point out that there couldn't have been germophobes back then, because the germ theory of disease is a relatively modern idea. Those castle dwellers did not know of the existence of bacteria or viruses. Our collective neurosis about cleanliness is a recent phenomenon.


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RE: This is just gross

My boyfriend kept a can of coins on top of the toilet so I could shake and rattle it whenever I had to poo. It did a great job of covering up the noise.


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"My boyfriend kept a can of coins on top of the toilet so I could shake and rattle it whenever I had to poo. It did a great job of covering up the noise."

How much NOISE do you make? Is there screaming involved? Very loud splashing?

This thread just keeps getting better. LOL


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I checked out this thread thinking it was going to be about something weird you found during your tear-out. I have to say it's TMI for me too. Yikes!

We found something weird in our tear-out today. Huge paper wasp nest in our soffit. The guys said a previous owner must have sprayed for them, it had been abandoned (thank God!) and had no critters in it, dead or alive. I thought that was still pretty gross.


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RE: This is just gross

woodsy, that's what I thought when I saw the title. When they started working on the electrical, we found a dehydrated probably electrocuted little mouse in the box with our GD switch.


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RE: This is just gross

Abfab said, "And behavior that is acceptable in the bathroom, or in the bedroom, is unthinkable in the livingroom or dining room."

I think that depends on whether the children are home or not (grin).

In all seriousness, that WAS interesting reading. In some sense it's reassuring to know that there's anthropological validation for my dislike of old insulation falling on my head and plaster dust in my china cupboard, as well as watching my family's routine fly out the window. As psychologists would liken it to some form of OCD or rupophobia (although this thread seems to have gone the way of rhypophobia), I vote for Abfab's theory (grin again)!


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What did the germophobes do back in those days?? I'm sure this type of phobia wasn't as common back in those days...they didn't know what germs and bacteria could do.

They DIED!! Seriously, people could die if they got a cut that became infected. And if they didn't die, they got sick a lot! Does anybody hear think it's a good thing to rub poopie germs into your eyes, or get it on your food?

Disease was rampant in London before the stopped having sewage swimming in the gutter!

How long did people live then? Not very. And a part of it was that their fecal matter was not disposed of properly!

Mindstorm, and Abfab--my mom, siblings, and I had a big discussion about what constitutes "leftovers" and what constitutes "garbage" (in clearing the table after a meal). My mother's final explanation: "the minute you decide you're not going to eat it anymore, it's garbage. Up until then, it's leftovers."


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RE: This is just gross

Felt I had to join the fun and add my two cents.
Money is absolutely filthy.
Urine is sterile.


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my contribution

Okay, I'll play.

The moving guy once peed on my bathroom floor. Yep. There was a fairly large yellow puddle next to the toilet. More than a dribble. Less than a full pee. But enough to be disgusting. He peed on my floor. And didn't bother to clean it up. I'd hate to see his own house.

Lucky that I was moving out that day. But double, triple, quadruple ICK!


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A really gross thing happened to me yesterday so thought this would be a good place to post it. It is kitchen related. (And I want to see the thread continue just to bug certain people who will remain nameless.)

We are still using the makeshift garage/workshop as our kitchen. Yesterday I was out running errands and when I came back the garage door was open. I know I pressed the button on the remote when I left and thought the door was coming down but can't really remember.

When I went into the kitchen area, what do I see but my neighbor's cat on the workshop counter eating my mince pie. That is the gross part. I don't mind my dog's germs. She can lick my face and give me kisses any time she wants. But I am not taking chances with a strange almost feral cat. We are all selective on what we will tolerate.

Just then my son and dog came out of the house and it was a three ring circus. My mini dachshund, smaller then the cat, was chasing the cat around my sons legs then they ran out the open door into the yard. My dog never has caught the cat. I guess her legs are too short.

I am really mad at my neighbors cat. I love mince pie and I only got to eat one piece but had to throw the whole thing out. I will be so happy when I am back in my regular kitchen. This would never have happened there. (No way my dog can get up on the counter. How do cat people put up with this?)

I am really hating this temporary kitchen after almost 7 months! This last incident was icing on the cake!
Clare


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RE: This is just gross

clare, that is really icky. thanks for adding to this fascinating thread. ;)

so since this is the place for all things ick and gross, you wanna see something really gross? This was hanging on the fence down the street from our property on sunday. I'll post a link so as not to upset those with sensitivities to gross dead things.

and yes. I'm twisted enough to take a picture of something this gruesome. I was trying to figure out if it was a coyote or a fox. The consensus said fox.

Here is a link that might be useful: gross stuff


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Clare, what if you hadn't seen the cat? You might have thought your mince was picked at by a human and continued eating it, LOL

Kygirl, that wasn't so gross. Come on girl, bring on the gross stuff. Actually, it was kind of sad to see the poor animal like that. How do you think he/she got on the fence? Trying to jump over and simply stayed there to die? Or someone shot it?

Mindstorm, about KM...you're right, should have kept them. But I might not have had the fan club that I do now ;-).


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more

mari, oh, I have an icky dead rat pic, too. wanna see? ;)

you're right, though. the pee on the bathroom floor at my old house was grosser than the dead fox. I have been trying to figure out how it died. everyone on the job site thinks someone killed it and then hung it there for some reason. it isn't stuck in the fence, it's just hanging there. so it died elsewhere and then was moved to that highly visible location by the side of the road. gotta love living in the country.


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RE: This is just gross

That poor fox or coyote. Someone should take it down and bury it or call animal control. We are way up in the Santa Cruz Mts. and I have seen a lot of "gross" stuff. I have become desensitized over the last 20 years.
Clare


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RE: This is just gross

clare, it is sad. I've seen it so much over the past week that I've stopped freaking out over it. obviously enough to stop and take a picture.

I wonder if it is a coyote or a fox? I just looked up photos of both and it seems to resemble a coyote more than a fox. Plus, it's pretty big, about the size of a medium dog, and that's bigger than a fox would be. I'd estimate it to be about the size of a 40-lb dog. Aren't fox much smaller? Around 15 lbs? It's definitely bigger than that.


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RE: This is just gross

Kygirl that's not gross...its very sad. DD keeps rats. We have lots of pics many would find gross. Like someone above said it's funny how our own pets are perceived as clean by us where someone elses aren't. DD lost a rat last week. It was too late at night to bury it so I suggested that since she didn't want to leave it outside she keep it in a small cooler for the night. She went "eewww mom I could never do that I'd have to throw away the cooler...I could never use it again". The next day she brought the ratty over for burial. I asked where she kept the rat.In the fridge. Go figure.(shrug)It was in a container she said so its not like it touched anything.

Not to sidetrack this post but I have seen people use their kitchen sink as a mop sink. THAT grosses me out big time. Another is a litter box out in the open where people eat.


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RE: This is just gross

What's so gross about using a kitchen sink as a mop sink? I empty my mop water there all the time.

I also bleach my sink all the time.


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RE: This is just gross.../

In reality its probably fine. I just said it grosses ME out. My point was thar different things gross different people out. Just visit the laundry forum sometime. LOL


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another

You know what totally grosses me out?

Using the public restroom and the hems of my pants dragging all over the floor, so I make it a habit of rolling my pants up before I use the toilet.

One time I forgot to unroll one pant leg, and was walking around in public like that until I looked down and realized one pant leg was a foot shorter than the other.


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When you use a public rest room, think about all the things you touch before you can get out of the stall to wash your hands - the flusher, the lock, the handle, the door. Multiple that by everyone who uses the rest room. I bet those things rarely get washed.


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"...what so I see but my neighbor's cat on the workshop counter eating my mince pie. That is the gross part. I don't mind my dog's germs."

My cat will lick pancake batter from the bowl. I figure cooking it kills any germs her little tongue leaves behind. It doesn't bother me. But I know my MIL wouldn't eat at my house if she knew that our cat eats of regular plates and then we use them after they are washed (for some reason she thinks the germs are still there even after going through the dishwasher).

I don't mind my cat's germs. I give her kisses on the nose, after all. But I wouldn't do that with my neighbor's cats. Those cats are germy. ;)

The truth is, there is no way to control it all. Last week I caught DH cleaning the kitchen floor with my kitchen sponge. How many times did I clean something (like pots and pans or the counter) after he did that, and I never even knew it? He saw no problem with it, and thought I was nuts for putting it in the microwave to sterilize it after that.


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RE: This is just gross

I don't think it's the germs so much as the idea of an animal licking your plate. My mother is the same way. My sister owns about 8 dogs (she lives on 16 acres in Seattle), so they have lots of space for that lot. Mum has a problem with sis washing the doggie's bowls in the kitchen sink, it grosses her out.

On one level, she knows that any germs are washed away with some cleaning, but on another she feels that bowls used for animals should be cleaned in the laundry sink.

Everyone has something that grosses them out.


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I hate the idea of being licked by a cat or dog. Especially a dog, because they have that gluey spit that feels all slick when you go to wash it off. My dh used to give his dog (now deceased) the remnants from his cereal bowl. I bought dh his own 2 bowls, separate from the family ones, because after rinsing out cereal bowls a few times and finding that gluey spit on them I couldn't stand the thought of the dog doing it to *my* bowls :) I am not at all worried about germs, but you're right, it's the gross factor involved for me. The dog we have now has never been served from a people bowl so we've put that routine to rest.

aptosca, I have had cats all my life and have never allowed them on the counters. It's very easy to teach them to stay off and I don't like the idea of them walking around where I prep food. I certainly wouldn't let my kids walk around on the counters :) I also don't let the dog up on the furniture. I figure the animals are lucky to get to be in the house at all. Mean, eh?

My SIL lets the dog lick the dirty dishes in the dishwasher as she's loading. Yuck. Not a germ issue, just the ick factor again. I'll have to explore why I find that so disgusting! abfab, any input on that?


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RE: This is just gross

Mari,
I enjoyed this post very much. If all we talked about were faucets and sinks I would be very bored. It made me laugh and that's always a good thing. If anyone found it inappropriate then they just have to stop reading it, it's that simple.
Donna


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ok...grossest bathroom story

I'm a photographer and over the years, I've documented quite a few "bathrooms" in foreign countries with my cameras. The most most extraordinary one I've ever seen was in Tibet in a very remote Himalayan village. My companions and I were adopted by two teenage Yak herders near the base of Mt. Everest and offered space in their home overnight. Their house was an adobe-like, two-story structure much like a house you'd see in New Mexico.

After greeting the boys parents, we were escorted to space on the roof where we could unroll our sleeping bags and spend the night under the most amazing blanket of stars. The altitude was about 15,000 feet.

When nature called, the host said that they had an indoor bathroom, which was quite unusual in that part of the world. I was taken to this large room on the second floor which was completely empty and spotless except for a 4-inch hole in the middle of the floor boards. I closed the door and peeked through the hole to see, to my absolute astonishment, all the animals owned by the family milling around underneath on the first floor. Wow! Not exactly the most sanitized situation...especially for the animals. Washing your hands...not an option, Viagra or not!

Very nice people, but very primative society!


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RE: This is just gross

I thought of something else gross. My brother-in-law stepped in dog poop and washed off his shoe in the kitchen sink.

Now that's gross.

I didn't have anywhere to write about it until now. I feel better.


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RE: This is just gross

Kygirl, that's a major gross! OMG, in the kitchen sink? He needs a proper spanking for that one. I'm glad you felt comfortable to let this out. We don't need a pic for that one, trust me :-)


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RE: This is just gross

This is certainly an interesting thread on my first visit to this forum.
My DH is one of the "horrible workers" that you all have into your homes on a daily basis. I'm very offended by the comment as should the rest of you. Those men are the backbone of this country and are as talented and skilled in their craft as your favorite plastic surgeon or divorce attorney.
After 35 years in the heating and cooling business (Boston) he's seen it all...including the lady in the Back Bay of Boston living in a $3 million condo who wanted to take the call out in trade LOL (he blushed and backed his way out the door and told her the office would send the bill). He also found that most home bathrooms were dirtier than the ones at the local motorcycle shop.


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RE: This is just gross

Just waded through this whole thread, and I found it HIGHLY entertaining and informative. And THANK YOU abfab - for shedding light.

Unfortunately, I can't think of anything gross to contribute : (

(((Hugs))) to anyone who suffered any bruised feelings when the poop was flying through the air. I love this forum!


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RE: This is just gross

MsMarion, who said the workers are horrible? I certainly don't look down on the people I hire. They're all invited to come to my kitchen party once this is over.

Please relax and enjoy the forum and don't get upset about this thread. Anyone who comes into my home and uses the bathroom without washing their hands will get an EWWWW from me. I might not say it to them, but I sure will think it.

Welcome :-)


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RE: This is just gross

my DH owns one of those local motorcycle shops - and there are more cleaning supplies, soaps, disenfectants, lysol wipes, towels etc. in that bathroom than you would find in most homes. I'd venture to say it's cleaner than our bathrooms at home because we have cat litter boxes in our bathrooms.

That said, there are people in all industries who are slobs and those that are not... We're hearing about all of these "horrible worker" slobs on this thread because this whole board is about home improvement. I bet if it were posted on a board relating to bankers, or brokers, or attorneys etc. you would get an equal proportion of slobs (some of whom bring in million dollar bonuses each year but apparently have no idea what soap is for)


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RE: This is just gross

Mariposa...great thread! These topics that cause a 120+ number of responses are cool...fun to see how the conversation swings wildly all over the place.

I agree with the others in here...when you're in the middle of a very expensive redo of your kitchen, freaking out about the smallest details, and worrying about paying for it all, it's fun sometimes to come across a thread like this. Put's it all in perspective, and adds a little humor to a stressful day.

This thread does belong in the kitchen forum.


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toomuchtochoosefrom, you are so right! My husband worked at a major car foundry. When he hurt his back and had to go on light duty, the company had him cleaning the executive offices...I heard him telling his buddy how one of the big-wigs liked to spray powder on his feet and walk around the office with no shoes...the same person wouldn't use the toilets because he said there were too many germs from other people...he thought it was ok to pee in the sink though.


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RE: This is just gross

Don't get me wrong, because I found this thread informative and amusing, but it amazes me that someone asking help for a legitimate problem might get a couple answers, and a thread on a bathroom topic gets 112 contributions. What is going on here!?


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RE: This is just gross

A lot of people on this forum are in the midst of chaos and a light topic like this gives a chance for lively banter that isn't really important as subject matter perhaps, but is a nice mental health break from the stress of remodeling. It allows one to step back away from the problems encountered for a bit. At least that is my perception of "what's going on here".

Sometimes the "legitimate problems" only get an answer or two because once answered there's not much to add. If opinions are asked for, most threads will be longer than if a solution to a common problem that can be answered by one or two posters is requested.


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RE: This is just gross

cheryl:

Pee in the SINK?? I haven't laughed this much since pre demolition!


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RE: This is just gross

We have new construction so we have a porta potty. For reasons I will never understand my six year old (boy) is obsessed with going in it. Every time we go to the house he decides he needs to go. Its to the point now that when we drive up to the house my 2 year old says "Liam potty!". Just another icky boy thing I guess.

On the Eww factor of contractors- a good friend accidentally burned down the better part of her house. During reconstruction she went to check on things and found the painter and his girlfriend christening her son's playroom floor. Blech!


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My aunt and uncle met in France back in the early 60's at a unisex bathroom. The stalls were only a few feet high. They ended up sitting next to each other (so the story goes). They were both from Canada...I can't imagine what their conversation must have been. I've never asked them. They got married within a year.


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What I find really interesting is that there hasn't been much discussion about the "voyeuristic" aspect of this story. The drywall guy didn't know that he was going to be heard when he asked to use the rest room. You could almost say he got pranked.

I would be mortified if someone could hear me through the bathroom door doing anything. I certainly wouldn't stand around listening to anyone's bathroom activity. If I went to a dinner party and someone tinkled and I could hear it, I would never, ever use that bathroom again (and possibly never return to that person's house unless there was an alternative bathroom I could use).

I guess what I am saying is that, if I knew you could hear through the bathroom door, I would steer people to a different bathroom so that they can have the most privacy possible. Common decency dictates it.


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This thread is like a train wreck. It's just awful to look but I can't help but peek.

We have porta-potties ALWAYS during construction. Our GC insists upon it.

Favorite porta-potty story- SIL and I are at our local Arts Fair with small children. We take turns watching each others kids while we use the porta-potties. They are very clean, odorless and well-maintained. SIL exits and comments about their convenience. Mentions there is even a place to place her bag. Uh, no- it's the urinal. We still laugh about it.


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Break out the tin foil hats & containment suits, kids. I work in the office of a warehouse and one of the men's rooms in right across from us. The majority of the time that door opens immediately after the flush. Those unwashed hands then go out to pack books into boxes and ship those germs RIGHT INTO YOUR HOME!

Seriously, if you think about these things too much they will make you crazy. During 6 months of construction I honestly never gave it a thought if any of the workers were washing their hands or not (fwiw we went through a lot of liquid soap in the bathroom during that time so my guess is yes). For God's sake, we ate the majority of our meals outside in full view of the neighborhood and when we finally DID have an inside to eat at it consisted of upturned sheetrock buckets as chairs & a rolling office cart as table. The workers did the same.

If anyone peed outside my dog made sure to mark over it. Honestly none of this stuff ever phased me.

So today, after a two month hiatus the workers are back in my house installing the pantries and all I can think about is if they're washing their hands or not. Thanks a lot, Mariposa ;-).

What really grosses me out (and I fully expect to be slammed for this) is rolling dough out on kitchen counters. This just gives me the heebie jeebies no matter how well you clean them first. I guess I suffer from the same affliction as the people that are grossed out by a dog eating off of a people plate prior to the plate being run through the dishwasher (FWIW dog spit doesn't bother me).

We all have our own foibles.

Nina


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This got me to thinking, my sister won't even wash her hands in the kitchen sink after going to the bathroom or changing a diaper. She thinks bathroom hands should only be washed in the bathroom. Me, I wash my hands wherever I'm closest to, and with four young kids, a dog, and lots of cooking, I'm washing my hands constantly.

What is grosser to me than a lot of other things is raw poultry juice in the sink. Talk about germs.


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this thread is giving me good jollies every time I open it. from peeing in the sink to dogs marking their turf when workers pee outside to the urinal/purse holder to meeting the love of your life over a short toilet stall to people getting pissy over having to read about such things...this thread has it all and it's really a funny read and a great slice of life.

I'll play again. I was vacationing in Alaska several years ago and took a day cruise to visit the glaciers around Sitka. The cruise director warned us several times to be VERY careful to make sure the bathroom doors were locked because many times people thought they were, and they weren't. So of course I was very careful when I was in the bathroom. But that didn't help a bit when I walked to the bathroom and opened the door on someone who hadn't been so careful. The poor guy was peeing and had looked away from the door so I slammed it shut and ran away before he could turn his head to see who had walked in on him.

Good times.


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We have a fan in the powder room (noisy one), and everyone who comes to visit always turns it on.

Pecan, My neighbour said he had a Port-A-Potty when he was remodelling his previous home. It was ordered by his GC as well. He's ordering one and we're going pay half the cost.

Both bathrooms are due to be torn out soon which would leave us with MB only.

I'm so happy that some have enjoyed this thread. You have a sense of humour and it shows :-).


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OK - as silly as I think this topic is - I'll jump in with a story. Different people have different public bathroom etiquette. At a company I used to work at, one of the women told me that although the ladies' room had three stalls, there was an unwritten rule that if one stall was already occupied, no one would be rude enough to take a dump in one of the other stalls. I found this really weird and silly and asked another femaile employee if this was true - she had never heard of this and said that if she needed to take a dump, then she's take a dump regardless of how many other people were in the ladies' room.


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jerzeegirl, my opinions probably mostly coincide with yours. I don't really think of myself as a prude but I think I must have victorian sensibilities. In pretty much all situations if someone does something embarrassing I tend to look (or listen) the other way. I hope I will be extended that courtesy when (not if) I do something that fits that category. I sometimes tell stories on myself (the purse / urinal story is funny) but seldom on someone else, including my children. If that worker is a good guy and it seems he probably is, I hope he never knows about or finds this thread, but then I am easily mortified and always think others will be too.


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RE: This is just gross

So when did JR become the KF gestapo? Seems like most of these bodily odor/germ concerns are appropriate to a kitchen-related forum. Who said this forum was exclusively for kitchen design/reno topics? Since there are no paid dues here (unlike several years ago), either choose to engage in a topic, or don't -- JR, you can opt-out if the topic doesn't suit your tastes.

I enjoy this forum for ALL it has to offer, not just kitchen design/reno's (although please be kind/helpful to me when I post floorplans/ideas soon!)


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OK. Here is one for you. This is a true story.

Back in college I worked summers for some electrical contactors. One of the electricians was caught by the homeowner washing his hands IN THE TOILET. And, on top of that he was using a bar of soap he grabbbed from their shower stall.

The woman called the office and was hysterical. I don't blame her.

The boss confronted the accused electrician and he admitted it in a very nochelant way. He defended his behavior by saying if he had used th sink and gotten it black and dirty the homeowner would have complained about that! He used the soap bar from the shower stall because he thought the little guest soaps were to pretty for him to use and he didn't want to wreck them! He said he ALWAYS washed up in the toilet when he was out on a job to keep the bathroom sink clean.

Geesh.


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Gardeners know, outside it is soil, inside it is dirt. I could spend hours playing in that outside "dirt," but always use a piece of tp to flush, open the stall door and turn on faucets! We have all become more and more germaphobic and more physically isolated from each other.
This thread has been an interesting read-I even saved the page about the castle toilets. Thanks, Mari


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Paulines: ... "And behavior that is acceptable in the bathroom, or in the bedroom, is unthinkable in the livingroom or dining room."

I think that depends on whether the children are home or not (grin).

That's it Pauline. Next time I come to your house, I'm bringing my own chairs ;-). Make sure you knock & blare your horns, people, when you go a-callin' on the Paulines'. ;-)

Proudmama, I feel I'm like your sister. The kitchen sink is for washing "clean gunk" whereas the bathroom is for washing "intermediately mucky muck". The real sordid, ripe stuff - well, that's what the basement sink is for. ;-) See, there is a proper hierarchy for muck.


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I think that this string is appropriate on this forum because the forum isn't just about kitchens themselves, it's about the process of undergoing a kitchen remodel. Problems with workers are part of that (as are compliments for workers, which I've posted a lot more than complaints). A post like this can lead to helpful suggestions for how to deal with such problems.

I also liked the digressions into dirt vs. mess, sterile urine vs. germy money/poultry, whether we are overdoing antiseptic measures, etc. Really made me think.


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Leave it to you Mindstorm for picking up on that, lol (and you DID bring your own chairs...remember?)


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I haven't followed this thread, but it's an important topic. I wanted to say that I went into my local Curves the other day and on the front counter, right next to the scanner that reads our bar-coded ID cards, there was an enormous bottle of anti-bacterial hand cleaner with a note taped to it that said "Due to the rapid spread of infectious germs at this time of year, please sanitize your hands before and after your workout." I was actually impressed. I'd always used the hand sanitizer after my workout (the bottle is ordinarily at the back of the workout room, near the "lockers"), but I guess they want to kill the bad germs before people touch the equipment. Good for Curves. I love that place. So maybe we homeowners just need to have bottles of hand sanitizer with notes taped on the bottle all over the place to get the message across to our workers.


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I'm just visiting from the Buying and Selling Homes forum and had such a good time reading this thread!! It really brightened my day--so funny and informative. Thanks!


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Here we go again.....


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At our Curves they ask everyone to wash their hands before and after workouts. Hand sanitizers only kill bacteria, not viruses.

Only washing gets rid of most germs and viruses. It is a physical effect soap and water loosen them from your hands and rinse them down the sink. All you need is regular soap, running water and a 15-30 seconds of lathering.


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I have really laughed at some of your stories! Years ago my brother said when he had to go to a bathroom he always flushed several times while doing #2. This way it cut down on the odor---not a bad idea. Also I have been guilty of turning the water on to hide the tinkle sound if I thought others might be near by.


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LOL Pauline.

When my now 22 year-old son was potty training, he had 3 older sisters and one bathroom. Since we lived in the country, his dad taught him to "water" a tree. He was a very energetic kid and I never knew what to expect from him.

We lived on 2 fairly busy highways and one day I noticed cars slowing down and honking their horns. Well, DS figured if you could go #1 outside, then you could go #2 so he did. Little bare butt hanging out for all the world to see!


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About 25 years ago, my ex and I came up here to Maine for about 8 months to help out her family. While we were up here, we stayed with her sister and her family. At the time, the only indoor plumbing was the kitchen sink. They had an outhouse, and our 2 year old son was told it was fine to go out to the back porch and pee off the deck, being that we were WAY back in the sticks (over 20 minutes ride to even the nearest SMALL town, and the closest neighbor was about a mile away). Well, when we moved back down to Connecticut, we stayed with MY sister while we looked for a new house, and my sister, who, with her husband, were the epitome of the term "yuppie couple", was absolutely mortified to see this little boy standing on her front porch, in a young, very upscale neighborhood in Milford, Ct., peeing off the front porch like he had a right!! It was absolutely priceless. Neither my ex nor I even thought to say something to him! We'd gotten so used to it up north that it was just one of those things-- part of life! Talk about culture shock!! LMAO


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Here goes: my mother washed our faces with the same stank old kitchen sponge she used on the dishes, counter, pots & pans, refrigerator...I still shudder to think of it.


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Well, well, well...

Who would of thought, huh? LOL

Glad you all enjoyed some of the stories.

Mari


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I have loved reading this thread. I'm glad this was brought back a year later. I would have never seen it.

I've realized that while I constantaly have to wash my hands at home and at the office, it really doesn't bother when I can't wash my hands, let's say after using the restroom and there's no running water. But if there is running water, it is a need - I cannot go without washing. Go figure.

BTW, I love animals so much, that if someone has a cute puppy, doesn't matter who's it is, I usually give it kisses!


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I kiss those doggies, too!

I thought of this thread the other day when a Cox Cable truck backed out of my neighbor's driveway, pulled THROUGH my circle drive, and the tech SPIT out his open window onto my front porch!!!!

I call that trespass and beyond disgusting. Cox Cable's customer service department was nonplussed, and did not even offer an apology. I even have his technician number. (sweet neighbor called and got it for me)

I don't remember when I've been that hopping mad.

Just had to vent about something GROSS.


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most men do not wash

My husband told me that 80% of the men he sees in restrooms do not wash there hands after they do either 1 or 2. He is more grossed about this than I am, since he OCD about keeping his hands clean. So next time you take your mans hand and kiss it, beware! ;-)


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Hey abfab, mariposa and so many others -- I too find this thread "utterly stimulating", in abfab's words. Thanks for it all. I can't take the time to read more than 10% of it but when I'm in procrastination-mode I'll be back.

I don't know whether anyone else is comforted by the maxim: 'if it doesn't kill you, it'll make you stronger'; it does me. Germs are just foreign entities that your body has evolved mechanisms for clearing away remarkably efficiently. Most of the time you do so very successfully. Biologically, if you don't succumb to the event it was probably healthy for you in the long term.

As has been pointed out, socially, we decide what is gross and what isn't; it's a political choice. Issues of class and home-sacrosanctity and all the rest are completely germane (pun intended). You have a lot of control over what decides to set you off here; it's very subjective. You happen to know about this particular incident, but what of the thousands, millions you do not? Life, is "gross", eh?

I just heard a story on "This American Life" where a security guard at a mall described watching someone wipe boogers onto a stall's counter. This is gross, sure, but what I thought really interesting was the store clerk's reaction when told. Evidently he *threw up*. Really? If he hadn't known about it it wouldn't have been gross, knowing so was so revolting he had to produce orders of magnitude more bodily fluid? Our mind certainly governs matter....


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Ha ha. Three years later, reviving this thread again. I searched THS for well water smelling like sulphur and this thread brings back memories of much worse smells.

Around the time this thread started (wish I'd seen this then!) we were re-doing our master bathroom. One of the guys would arrive in the morning and do a #2 in the other upstairs bathroom which was the only one with a shower at the time. We HAD to use it to get ready for work! He NEVER used the fan. It smelled HORRIBLE. He knew we had a powder room downstairs.

The thing is, my husband and I kept complaining to each other, but we didn't say anything to this guy. We counted the days until he'd be gone, and we made sure someone was already in that bathroom when he got to our house, so he couldn't use it. I know it's hard to talk about these things with people. But we gotta say something to these people. That's really the solution.

And contractors should think about their customer service in all aspects. Our "business" always smells worse to others than to ourselves, you know! So many years later I think of this contractor and I immediately think of his poop. I'm sure that's not the impression he wanted to leave?

I admit I never noticed anything about their handwashing. Our bodies have how many trillions of bacteria already in us and on us? I know we might like to think of our bodies as sanitized temples, but I'm not sure there's anything else in my house that's grosser than what's in my own body, to be honest. Well, uh the litterbox ... speaking of smells I need motion-activated fan for that!


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Workmen will be at my place soon and I shudder at how to handle the new bathrooms. I do not like people peeing all over my toilet and floor! This time they are new. One guy a few months back was also talking lightheartedly with his work mate about his newly acquired STD's while he was here! Then I'm supposed to wipe up after them. Gross!

When my downstairs bathroom was being ripped apart, the toilet still stood. I said we still needed the toilet there for them to use. He got this look like he was being treated like an animal or something to have to do his business in such a place. Well, don't pee all over someone's house and you won't be "treated" like that! lol.

I have read where contractors get offended when they are not allowed to use the bathroom and it is a courtesy we should extend. Well. .... what do they expect when they are slobs. Can they really be that clueless?

What type of people do these things. Worse yet expect someone else to clean it up.

I do not want them staining and grossing up my new grout!


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