Bathroom Kudos

Bathroom Kudos

Going to a restaurant the other night, I stepped into the men’s room for a minute and noticed this sticker on the right of the mirror that said “Great Work” in big yellow letters on the red background.

I wondered what a strange sign to put in such a private setting as if we need applause for going to the bathroom or washing our hands.

Then again, if you’ve seen many men’s bathrooms, it could certainly be a time for kudos when it is kept clean and people use good personal hygiene–hence, the other sticker on the left, “It’s cool to care!”

The frog sticker in the middle, he’s just keeping an eye on things and thanking everyone for the job well done.

This is a funny commentary on our society these days where people seem to need a pat on the back for everything–even the highly mundane and personal.

Presumably, going to the men’s room will never be the same boring, uncaring event again–at least at this fine eating establishment. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Now That’s Robot Clean

How many of you heard the phrase as a child, “Cleanliness is next to G-dliness”?

Over the years, we’ve learned that germs and associated illnesses are frequently transmitted by touch and through the air.

And so we’ve become sensitized to the importance of things like regularly washing our hands, using antibacterial soap, and generally keeping our homes and offices as clean as they can be. (Okay, some people I know aren’t so good about this–yes, you know who you are!)

The problem is that even with regular cleaning, corners, cracks, and surfaces are missed and harmful germs survive.

You can imagine that this can be especially true in places like hospitals and nursing facilities where unfortunately, there are already a lot of sick people.

Xenex Healthcare has invented an amazing robot that takes care of the problem–no, I am not taking about euthanasia (just kidding).

But really, this robot is wheeled into a room–generally after a manual cleaning that according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek (25 February 2013) often leaves 50% of the room still infected–and these germs can survive up to six months.

The Xenex robot generates a pulsing ultraviolet (UV) light from its extending head that zaps viruses and bacteria–destroying their DNA–and leaving a room 20 times cleaner!

There are 20 million hospital infection a years in America, killing about 100,000 people, and costing about $30,000 per infection, so the Xenex robot that kills up to 95% of many deadly infections and superbugs is significant.

The robot costs around $125,000 or it can be rented for $3,700 per month–but it can disinfect dozens of rooms a day.

I’d like to see a Xenex robot for every home and office–that should do wonders for improved health care in this country.

Oh and it makes a great gift for Howie Mandel. 😉

WATERgate

These were pictures of some water sculptures that I took at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C.The waterfalls remind me more of the landscaping around Floridian high-rises or the water flumes at Walt Disney parks than of what you normally see around town, here.I liked these aesthetically and think we generally need more integration of nature and art into our urban (and often sterile) environment.

A little more green, a little more clean, and a lot little less crime and congestion–and don’t forget a decent climate–those were some of the things that I look for in attractive places to live and to work.

While no place is perfect, having grown up on the upper west side in Manhattan and then Riverdale (in the Bronx) and now in the D.C. area, let’s just say that there are differences all around us. 😉

Then again, as my father always taught me, you can live anywhere–if you have your health, family, and a good job.
He’s right, a place is just a place–and it’s the people and love between them that makes it great.

So water sculptures aside, give me a real home, and that’s the best place in the world that I want to be.

(Source photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Watergate_1 Watergate_2

High-Tech Pooper Scoopers

A few weeks ago (17 September 2011), I blogged about the Peepoo for human waste disposal, and now we have the AshPoopie for handling doggie waste.
Made by Pauli Clean Tech, this device turns dog poop into odorless, clean, 100% sterile ash.
With push-button ease, the AshPoopie picks up the poop and mixes it with a capsule at high speed to render it into simple ash for easy disposal.
AshPoopie is scheduled for release in first quarter 2012.
A welcome site and refreshing smell to our doggy doo streets.
While I personally am not obsessed with this fecal subject matter, I am a fan of cleanliness…
So cheers to these high-tech pooper scoopers. 😉

>Mr. Clean and Enterprise Architecture

>How many of you know people at work whose desk’s are BIG dumping grounds for papers, magazines, office supplies, coffee cups, knickknacks, and G-d knows what else?

One guy at work moved out of his office after about 4 years collecting mounds of stuff, and a new guy moved in last week and cleaned up the place, it looked like a completely different office. I had never noticed how spacious the office was, how bright it was with the big window, or how gorgeous the shinny mahogany furniture was. It was a true metamorphosis.

One of my colleagues, told a story about how one of the people she used to work with had so much paper on the desk, people used to think the guy was incredibly busy with work all the time. When he moved on and they finally got to check out the work at the top of the 3” pile, they found that the newest stuff, at the top of the pile, was THREE YEARS OLD!

Why do some people keep their offices looking like a dump yard?—Perhaps, some people are truly busy, overworked, and maybe even a little overwhelmed; others, like in the story above, may just want to SEEM very busy and hardworking so their bosses and peers leave them alone at work; then there are those who just like having a place to sprawl out their stuff without their significant others yelling at them to clean up after themselves; finally, some people just feel more comfortable and homey in their clutter—so different strokes for different folks.

While some workplaces, let each person handle their workspaces as they see fit, The Wall Street Journal, 27 October 2008, reports that others are enforcing a more structured and clean work environment, called 5S.

5S is a “key concept of lean manufacturing techniques that have made makers of everything from cars to candy bars more efficient. The S’s stand for sort, straighten, shine, standardize, and sustain.”

The 5S approach “has been moving from the plant floor to the cubicle at hundreds of offices around the country.”

Some companies, like Kyocera, are taking this even further and invoking “Perfect 5S,” which “not only calls for organization in the workplace, but aesthetic uniformity. Sweaters can’t hand on the back of chairs, personal items can’t be stowed beneath desks and the only decorations allowed on cabinets are official company plaques or certificates.”

When I started my career at IBM, we had a “clean desk policy” that was more like 5S than Perfect 5S, and it was generally speaking a good thing. Coming into this environment right out of college, brought discipline to the masses and promoted positive work habits.

In architecting a better enterprise, should 5S or clean desk policies become the norm?

In my opinion, if we implements 5S to create a rigorous authoritarian culture (emphasizing top-down) and to micromanage our employees, then no, we’re just acting the workplace police and making our people miserable because we can. However, if we do it in order to truly increase efficiency, promote a cleaner more livable environment for all, and we communicate this effectively to our employees, then it has the potential to be a good thing for the people and a good thing for the enterprise.