When my job as editor-in-chief for one paper was expanded to two in January, it meant meeting and learning about the people who worked in the second newsroom. One of the first things I noticed was the paper towel dispenser in the women’s room. Huh, you say, but please stay with me.
When COVID-19 disrupted jobs, I still went to the office most of the time, as did a number of people. We just followed safety rules. That means anything from wearing your mask everywhere except at your desk to staying six feet away. And then there’s washing your hands a whole lot and drying them, which is how this story twists back to that paper towel dispenser
When it was time to wash and dry my hands the first time in the women’s room, I noticed somebody had thoughtfully left a couple of feet of paper toweling hanging down, which meant I didn’t have to use my wet hands on the lever. Instead, I got paper ready to dry my hands, and then I used the lever (with a towel) to leave paper for the next woman who would need it.
No, it doesn’t happen all the time because not every woman in the building does it although it is rare when I don’t see paper hanging. And sometimes I catch someone doing it. I always thank them.
My parents taught me good manners like saying “please” and “thank you,” which I find goes a long way. You give up your seat to someone who is a lot older. You hold the door for others. You find something nice to say about somebody. I believe I have passed that onto our kids, who are very good human beings.
But back to those paper towels. I make sure I leave toweling for the next person. Actually, I’ve started doing it in the women’s room of my first newsroom and will see if it catches on. It isn’t a big deal, but it is in a way, you know, because one good turn deserves another.
WRITING UPDATE: I am nearing the two-thirds mark for the fifth book in the Isabel Long Mystery Series. This one is called Working the Beat. You can check out my books on Amazon at this link: Joan Livingston books