Photo by The Seattle Times’ Ross Mantle
At work, some people think I’m scary. I’m only scary when it comes to my stuff — really. I like to have things the way I like them. What’s so scary about that? I also dislike putting my arms or hands down on my desk and sticking to it. That’s not cool. I also don’t like other people using my pens. Or my bean-filled keyboard wrist rest.
I once came to work, sat down, opened my drawer where I always put my wrist rest every night, and was flummoxed by the sight of my empty drawer. Now, I had to cajole Trinity into letting me buy this thing during a visit to Fry’s, so I am very careful about putting it away every night. I had sat back, utterly confused, looked around at the desk, looked in other drawers, even went over to the kitchen area in the off-chance that I maybe was using it as a stress-ball and left it there. Finally, I get up and ask my coworkers, “you guys…do you know where my bean wrist rest is? I can’t find it.” The new guy stands up and is all, “what, this?” Apparently, I shot him a look of utter disbelief and irritation. That would make sense, because I was utterly irritated that he would go in to my drawer and take out something that was so obviously put away. Later on, someone else within hearing range confessed that a girl sitting at my computer (and I suspect one person, but at the time, I was sharing a computer with two other girls) had reached into my second drawer and lent her one of my pens I kept stored there.
OH NO SHE DI’INT. I am really weird about my pens. It’s a thing I started as a reporter. I like to write in different colors every day. Leave me alone.
Anyway, all that was to say that I’m vindicated, because now all sorts of articles are coming out, telling us that shared stuff can carry horrific germs and bacteria with it.
E-mail may not be all that’s at your fingertips if you use computers at the University of Washington ‚Äî or for that matter, if you touch public keyboards just about anywhere.
As part of a research project, eight UW students have discovered high levels of fecal coliform, the bacteria found in fecal matter, on keyboards at the two busiest computer areas on campus ‚Äî Odegaard Undergraduate Library and Mary Gates Hall.
Keyboards at Odegaard were cleaned Thursday, the day after an article about the findings was printed in the UW student paper, The Daily, said UW spokesman Bob Roseth.
Library officials said the keyboards would now be cleaned on a weekly basis and that they are looking at ways to make sure all public keyboards on campus are sanitary.
The discussion comes amid a general growing awareness of the nasty things we pass around on shared surfaces such as gym benches, telephones and grocery-cart handles.
So, yeah. If you’re smart, you’ll be like me and wipe down your stuff with sanitary cloths every day, before and after using it. And after you eat. And don’t let anyone else use your stuff. So there. I ain’t crazy. Just…sanitary. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Thanks for the tip, Karl!