Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Will they start counting sheets of toilet paper next?


Image from viva verde.

My company is experiencing some hard times as a result of the economy but so far no lay-offs are in sight. Instead we have a hiring freeze (boo, I really need a SQA contractor and a full-time systems engineer replacement), a travel freeze (yea, no more trips to Toronto for me, and just one more trip to Seattle next month) and other cost-cutting measures. One of those measures is having people turn off the lights to the bathrooms when they leave. I have no problem with this, except for the fact that it is one more germy thing that I have to touch. I've finally resorted to taking the paper towel with me after shutting off the lights and grabbing the door handle, because I'm sure that my aim isn't any good throwing it out in the dark. Apparently, there was backlash against this proposal from other colleagues because of this email:

[My esteemed company] Employees,

Some employees have e-mailed me thinking that turning fluorescent lights off cost more because the cost of the electronic ballast restart. It takes 20 seconds of fluorescent light run time energy to restart the ballasts. I did a study observation yesterday of bathroom use, it was an average of 1-20 minutes between an employee leaving the bathroom and another employee using the bathroom. From the information of the study it shows that there is a large electrical savings obtained from shutting off fluorescent lights because we have 6 bathrooms. Please keep your ideas and thoughts coming or disapprovals that there might not be actual savings through the tactics we are taking. I have had many ideas e-mailed to me and appreciate them very much.

Thanks

Facilities
[Facilities head honcho]

Watching the bathroom so see how often people are going in and out? What next? Checking to see how many sheets of toilet paper we use? And yes, they will be installing motion detectors in the bathroom when the company "has more money".

November 3, 2008 Edited to add - Just got this email at work. Someone must have been beaned in the head from the dark.

[My esteemed company] Employees,

Until the time we install motion sensors in the bathrooms please don't shut off lights for safety purposes.

Thanks
[Facilities head honcho]
And I will definitely be forwarding Mommytime's comments to him.

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