Feed on

Today is the 3rd Anniversary of my start date here at the U of R (i.e. I am entering my 4th year here). The men’s room here on our floor has 4 sinks and two soap dispenser. The sinks are arrayed in a horizontally line from 1 to 4. The first dispenser sits above and between sinks 1 and 2. The second sits above and between sinks 3 and 4.

No one uses sink #1 despite it working fine. It sits just below the paper towel dispenser and the trash can sits very close to it – you are crammed in a corner if you want to use it. Very few people use sinks #3 or #4. Why? The soap dispenser has not worked since the day I started. It is a simple machine, and I am sure would cost a few dollars to replace outright, or a few minutes to repair. I actually fiddled around with it once last year and managed to get it to work – only to see it stop working a week later.

The printer, computer, heater, mini-fridge, coffee-maker, clock and fan in my office all work perfectly.

3 Responses to “Feedback Loops and the Profit Motive”

  1. Rod says:

    The U of R needs to get one of its scholarship students to become the men’s room valet, like the guy in the Plaza who turns the water on for you, pushes the soap dispenser for you and then hands you a towel after you have finished washing your hands. Then you reach into your wallet and find two dirty dollar bills to give him as a tip. On the wall above the sink is a reminder to ensure the cleanliness of the men’s room by giving the attendant a tip (the alternative being something like the men’s room on the Jersey Turnpike).

    If this practice were extended to all college campuses across the country, it would reduce unemployment by 0.00017 percent. What’s more, college professors could satisfy their desire to help the poor and downtrodden.

    It works at the Plaza; why not the U of R?

  2. chuck martel says:

    I often wondered why many chairs, and a lesser number of desks and file cabinets, occupied odd places in the halls of buildings on a major university campus where I worked. Investigation revealed that disposing of this worn out or excess property actually costs MONEY, from a department’s budget, so it’s put out in the corridors in the hope that someone will simply take it away. Chairs eventually migrate to mechanical rooms where janitorial staff lounge during their evening work schedule. If you ever need a serviceable but unatttractive chair for your garage or shop, just go get one from the corridor of an academic building on a university campus. No one will object.

  3. RIT_Rich says:

    “What’s more, college professors could satisfy their desire to help the poor and downtrodden. ”

    My experience has been that their primary concern is in inflating their egos, which this scheme would also satisfy.

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