Back in the ’70s, futurist Alvin Toffler coined the phrase “Future Shock” to refer to the mindset of many people in modern societies. According to Toffler, “Future Shock” occurred when constant technological advancements and other changes in the world produced a peculiar psychological state in which individuals were overwhelmed by experiencing too much change in too short a time.
Me, I’ve just encountered “faucet shock.”
That’s the baffled condition you experience when you go into a bathroom in a hotel where you’re attending meetings and the sink complex looks like the controls of a motorcycle, or maybe a video game, with nary a lever or handle or anything labeled with a C or an H in sight. So, what do you do here? Which gleaming device supplies water? Do you grasp the wings sticking out of the central column and twist or turn? Or just wave your hands around underneath the whole complex, hoping that there are photoelectric cells somewhere that will activate the water flow?
If you’re confronted with this bathroom set up, here’s what I learned after some embarrassing “faucet shock” trial and error. First, you stick your hands under the little unit to get a dollop of soap foam, then insert your hands under the central column to activate the water flow — with no option to change the lukewarm temperature of the water, incidentally. Then, after your hands are soaked, you place them under the wing pieces to have a Dyson unit blow-dry your hands.
Or, if you feel silly doing that, as I did, you just grab a few paper towels, briskly dry your hands the old-fashioned way, and back away from the whole enterprise.