Washroom tap psychology

Have you ever been in a washroom and failed to get any water out of a tap? Of course you have. We all have. It happens to me all the damned time.

The taps I hate the most are those stupid infra-red taps. The ones that are supposed to burst into life when you waggle your hands under them. Waggle to the left, waggle to right, in-out, in-out, doing the hokey-kokey. Your occasional random reward, if you're very lucky, is a short dribble of water.

The infra-redness is a ruse - it's fake - the tap is really part of sophisticated psychology experiment. Out of sight a white-coated clipboard-clutching technician is carefully monitoring your rising frustration. A favourite ploy is withholding water once you've dobbed a large blob of soap into your hands. And then watching as you fruitlessly search for a paper towel to wipe away the soap.

Another favourite is doctoring a clearly-full soap-dispenser into a soap-refuser. And of course, setting the force of the air-blower hand-drier to either barely-enough-to-fog-a-mirror or enough-to-lift-a-twelve-stone-man-clean-off-the-ground but never anything in between.

I miss the old-style taps.

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