hand hygiene rant

Please Sign For Your Purchase With Your Finger (and get the flu)

Okay, I need to vent. We are in the middle of a huge flu epidemic. Everywhere I go people are sick. Two weeks ago I canceled a trip to Arkansas because my client there had the flu. The week before that it was one of her colleagues. This week, the client I visited in Boston had the flu and my client in Maine was home sick with some kind of bug. I was proud of her for staying home and not sharing her germs with her co-workers. This crud is everywhere – and so is this ridiculous technology where we are supposed to sign for our purchases using our fingers! Really?

Who thought this was a good idea? People’s hands (fingers included) are not clean. End of story. And no one sanitizes these screens that we are signing. No one! Meanwhile, this business of signing with your finger is becoming commonplace. I went to a fancy restaurant with my wife recently where the wine list was on a tablet. The only way to look through the list was to swipe the screen. And do you think they wipe down that screen before passing it to the next table of guests? Of course not. I refused to use it.

When did common sense fly out the window? I work in healthcare. I see the devastating impact of this flu epidemic in each hospital I visit. I also know how rare it is for Americans to wash their hands regularly. Heck, in healthcare, we have to work really hard to remind the doctors, nurses and other professionals involved in patient care to wash their hands. Germs are rampant and we are all extremely careless and tolerant of unsanitary practices. This signing with your finger is the latest on my list of pet peeves. I even have to sign with my finger at my favorite watering hole, The Glass Jug.

Please do everyone a favor: wash your hands regularly; stay home from work if you are sick, and don’t return until you are well; and spend a little time sanitizing your work area and common areas at your place of business (that includes your smartphone!). Here’s a link to an article in Forbes that peripherally touches upon this topic. Be well.


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