Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Paper Towel Mystery

At my workplace there are two places you find paper towel. The washrooms and the kitchenettes. In both places they use the exact same paper towel, but in different dispensers. I'm not mystified that they use different dispensers, but there is a fundamental difference between them that I do not understand.

The kitchenette dispenser:

The men's room dispenser:

Do you see what I'm talking about? The washroom paper towel dispenser has a lock on it.

Why does the washroom paper towel need protection, while the kitchenette paper towel doesn't?


RealGrouchy said...

1) The washroom's primary (if not sole) form of refuse is paper towels, whereas the kitchenette has kitchen-related refuse. Thus, the kitchenette needs a waste container, usually larger and located somewhere more conveniently than the paper towel dispenser.

2) The lid of the kitchenette's dispenser is hinged on the top, whereas the washroom's one is hinged on the side. The kitchenette's will naturally fall into a closed position, whereas the washroom's will often prop open if not locked.

3) I've seen the 'kitchenette' kind with locks. It could just be that they building owners didn't care.

4) A washroom is more likely to be visited by a broader audience (visitors, etc.) than the kitchenette, which is generally frequented by people who work there (and, following the theory, is more 'trusted')

5) If one were opened and its contents strewn about, the one with the built-in garbage bin would require MUCH more work to clean up (depending on what was discarded in it).

6) Similarly, if someone were to remove the paper towels, the worst harm is that people can't get paper towels from it. By contrast, if someone removes the bin from the garbage receptacle, people will still be able to throw their refuse into it, which will be very annoying when the cleaners come.

There are some ideas to start you off...

- RG>

David Scrimshaw said...

RG, I am afraid that your explanations don't satisify me.

RealGrouchy said...

Then I suggest you send a request to the building manager and request they purchase and install a lockable paper towel dispenser in the kitchenette.

I think more evidence needs to be gathered. Does the toilet paper dispenser have a lock?

- RG>

David Scrimshaw said...

RG, I like being able to open the paper towel dispensers when the paper towl isn't feeding out properly. So I will not be following your suggestion.

And no, the toilet paper dispensers are not locked. That is a factor underlying my confusion that I should have mentioned.

RealGrouchy said...

Ah, another clue wriggles itself out. The kitchenette's dispenser suffers from paper towel jams. I'd suspected this would be the case, as I've seen it with rolled paper in those types of dispensers.

Does the bathroom's dispenser jam?

You could do what I do, and bring your own towel. You are hoopy enough to keep a towel with you, aren't you?

- RG>

David Scrimshaw said...

RG, of course the bathroom dispenser also jams.

I don't think I need to comment on how hoopy I am.

Anonymous said...

I don't think there's any particular reason beyond one is a newer dispenser. I'm more concerned about you hanging around the men's room with a camera.