Monday, February 26, 2007

What’s That Growing In Your Desk?

I read in an Arizona Daily Star story a week or so ago that our desks at work can actually have more bacteria than our bathrooms at work. Obviously the study didn’t take into account what our customers and clients do to our places of relievement. I’ll spare you those details though. According to the story, Clorox commissioned the report. How convenient, I say.

The study showed that a woman’s desk is more likely to be worse than their male counterparts because of their more frequent interaction with children and the fact that they keep food and makeup at their workstations. Fortunately for us, female coworker purchased a case or so of mini Purell hand sanitizer. And of course all the men in the office use it all the time (since you can’t seem me, I feel compelled to inform you that I’m winking right now…).

I guess discovering that our desks are breeding grounds for things that would make us gag was inevitable. Although I’m sure it’s not as bad as when all of those investigative reporters decide it’s time to hold a black light up to a motel bed. When you realize that we spend most of our waking moments at our desks, it all makes sense. We come to work with colds and cough and sneeze in the vicinity (which means all over) our work equipment like phones, keyboards, computer mouse, post-it notes, coffee mugs and PEZ dispensers. We shake hands with clients or are handed things to us by our coworkers who may be sicker or dirtier than we are. I suppose it’s possible that we engage in more germ transference than snotty nosed young children do. Obviously we have cleaning crews that come through every night, but I don’t think they are expected to double as HAZMAT officials.

Speaking of dirty things, although it’s a little unrelated, the work gang and I witnessed something interesting at lunch today. We went to one of our favorite little chicken places specializing in chicken burritos, tacos, combo plates and chicken food sculptures. While there, we realized we were sitting across from a food inspector. It was her thermometer that gave her away, well that and the fact that she was sitting by herself filling out a lot of paperwork and not eating. Male coworker #3 observed her in a somewhat heated argument with the proprietors, at which point she walked out to her car quickly to get more paperwork. Here’s a tip: a great way to lose weight is to be eating at a restaurant when the health inspector leaves quickly and visibly upset. Male coworker shouted across the parking lot to her as we were leaving to ask what the restaurant’s score was and she could only give us what we interpreted to be a dirty look and yelled that we could find it on the county website. For some reason, I’ll just let my imagination assume what their score was.

While I feel comfortable in stating that I do not have toxic mold growing in my desk, my top left hand drawer may be a breeding ground for something. If you open it up and move all of the CDs out of the way you will find several varieties of tea and hot chocolate, candy canes that must be 3 years old by my estimation, every flavor of PEZ refills ever made. I could probably run a general store out of that one drawer alone.

There is also a substance in there that vaguely resembles algae. Hey, no wonder I sneeze every time I open that drawer. I wonder how I’m going to clean that out though. Oh yeah, that’s right, I can use Clorox Wipes. Gee, thank you Clorox for sponsoring such a groundbreaking study. Who knew that when you decided to commission research about how dirty our desks are that we’d actually find a need and desire to use wipes to sanitize them.

20 comments:

James Burnett said...

I'm paranoid. I clean my desk top several times a week. I want only my germs on it. Actually I don't even like my germs. So I scrub away.

Lee said...

Oh Clorox, you sly fox, you! I love those things.

Natalie said...

People do really scary things in our bathrooms also but, as I recall, urine is sterile. Germs are not. When the whole office was getting sick our Deputy Director went around and sprayed every office door with lysol and reminded people to wash their hands.

you'dneverguess said...

Along those lines, I had sex on a desk in an unused office. Later that week someone used the desk as a buffet table. I'm sure it wasn't cleaned first. I thought it was funny, but kinda gross.

C said...

The water cooler at work grow algae because it sits too close to a window that gets direct sunlight daily. Yum.

abbagirl74 said...

One other dirty part of a woman (that didn't sound quite right) is her purse of hand bag. Think about it. We set these down on the floor when we go to the bathroom, then they go on the dining table in a restaurant. They are really disgusting accessories to have. But, I am sure Clorox could cure that as well.

mist1 said...

I can't remember the last time I was around children or food for that matter. I think I'm safe with my travel bottle of Purel.

Odat said...

Geeze...the germs were there before clorax and they'll be there after clorax...I try not to worry about it all...altho I do wash my hands...and clean my desk every once in a while. But come on...the germaphobes can't rule our lives...lol. Remember that Seinfeld episode? I did that to someone at work today..!!! He told me not to touch something so I took his stapler and rubbed it all over me...lmao. I did this in front of him...and I did have my clothes on...ok i'll shut up now.

Michael C said...

James B: I should be more concerned about my desk than I am.

Lee: With the twins, we go through about one a week it seems like.

Natalie: I did not know that about urine. i do know ;-)

You'dneverguess: Thank you for sharing that. Hopefully those who ate off that desk haven't discovered my blog yet ;)

C: really? That's pretty scary!

Abbagirl 74: You'r right, that doesn't sound right ;-) I never thought about it, but yes purses are the breeding grounds for the sick and disgusting ;-)

Mist1: Sounds like you're pretty safe!! ;-)

Odat: I'll have to try the stapler thing tomorrow! Thanks for the tip!!

Abigail S said...

The new Clorox Anywhere Spray is great! I keep a small, travel-sized bottle in my purse, so I can spray down a public potty in times of dire need.

I also keep dozens of hand sanitizers scattered all around my classroom. Those kids already gave be bronchitis, tonsilitis, and larangitis a month ago! Horrible! Kids are gross.

Violet said...

it can't be that good for you to be spraying disinfectant and antibacterial stuff around everywhere. If the place is too clean it gives your immune system nothing to work on.

Lizza said...

Ewww at germs. But they can be good for us in moderation. Builds the immune system. But I still take a hand sanitizer nearly everywhere I go. :-)

captain corky said...

I'm a Clorox bleach man myself, but either way the bastards have a piece of my soul.

angry ballerina said...

Heaven only knows whats living on my desk. I just may have an entire sub culture of bacteria living there. I think I shall name this culture, Bactirumalaballeinus.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Have you watched War of the Worlds? Breeding your own spectrum of bacteria is a good way of preventing someone from taking over your desk and hence your job. Yes, germs are your friends!

Jay said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: thank heavens I don't have a job.

Jay said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: thank heavens I don't have a job.

Michael C said...

Abigail S: Kids aren definitely breeding grounds for that stuff!

Violet: I had never thought of that. I'm writing Clorox today!

Lizza: I always have a sanitizer with me, I just don't always use it...

Captain Corky: Yep, it's like once they put you on a medication you need for the rest of your life, they've gained a long term customer.

Angry Ballerina: That's a pretty good name. I like the idea of naming our bacteria! I shall call mine imbecilusdumbus.

Lone Grey Squirrel: i learn so much from you. I shall cough on my desk tomorrow!

Jay: How do I get into your line of work? Anyone who says they don't have a job must be doing something right the way I see it.
;-)

CSL said...

I just can't get worked up about germs. Or dust mites, or any of the many other creepy crawlies out there. You can't eliminate them, you're going to get exposed anyway, so why waste time fretting? That's my theory anyway. I figure I have way bigger things t worry about if I ever find a need to spend my time worrying.

Mr. Healthy Child said...

I use Clorox to clean everything! I hate germs, and I hate being sick