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Old 07-29-06, 10:12 PM   #1
Chimera
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New policy at work

So I received an e-mail from the HR department on a new policy concerning the showers at work that has had me steaming for the last few days. They are concerned that some employees are actually using them Now as far as I know, I am the only one that uses them. My ride to work is 16 km, and with the hottest part of the summer still to come, I don't relish the thought of doing it without a shower (I work in an office). This hasn't affected me yet, as I have been on the road the last few weeks, but it ticks me off just thinking about it.

My plan is to send an e-mail to the health and safety committee stating that I believe it to be a health issue due to unsanitary conditions if I am not allowed to shower. I was thinking of including the whole list of benefits attributed to bicycle commuting (more alert, more energetic, lower health ins costs, etc.), but not positive on that yet, as I tend to ramble (case in point).

Of course, if that elicits a negative response, I will just go ahead and shower anyway. I will be taking another position with the company at a different location or leaving at the end of August, so I kinda feel like stirring the pot anyway

here is the e-mail for those interested:
Quote:
It has come to our attention that employees are using the showers on premises. As we are on a septic system the showers are available for and are to be used in emergency situations only.

Please advise your employees the showers are not to be used unless there is an emergency (i.e. the employee has had significant exposure to a contaminant).

Individuals that have toiletries (i.e. shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc.) and towels for showering on site are to take them home immediately.
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Old 07-29-06, 10:16 PM   #2
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You could walk around stinking all day. Next time you ride in, just change and go sit in the HR office.

It kind of doesn't make sense. Could you talk to your boss and see if you can get some kind of permission?

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Old 07-29-06, 10:33 PM   #3
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Why not go and talk to the HR boss and see if something can be done?

Wouldnt that be the logical thing to do? Talk to the people involved? eh?
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Old 07-29-06, 10:48 PM   #4
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That is pretty funny--they are on septic and showers are for emergency use only!

We are on septic and there are 5 people in our family. At least 4 of them shower evey day, if not 5. We have a dishwasher that runs at least 1 load daily. 5-8 loads of laundry a week. Not to mentions all the flushes from two toilets, tea and coffee made . . .

Maybe our drainage is good; we are on mixed soil and rocks. Maybe your work's drainage isn't so good, and if it isn't, maybe they need to install more leach fields/seepage pits.

You need to ask about showering and see what is going on there.
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Old 07-29-06, 10:49 PM   #5
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Tell them to replumb the shower - it does NOT need to go into a septic tank.

And who did you annoy if you are the only one that you know who uses it?
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Old 07-30-06, 01:58 AM   #6
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haha, stop showering all together...

if they say anything, refer them to the email until they concede that it's an "emergency" lol
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Old 07-30-06, 02:39 AM   #7
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They put it in writing, I think you need to put your response in writing.

Let them know that you use it because you cycle which has great health benefits for you which in turn creates benefits for them by providing them with a healthier and more attentive worker.
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Old 07-30-06, 04:23 AM   #8
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Typical HR department, they do not have a clue how anything in the real world works, especially engineering or science. If your showers are causing problems with the septic system, then the system is not working properly. More likely, everything is working fine and the HR idiots created a problem only in their minds. They probably think they are paying the vacuum truck to pump out your shower water, when it is really only pumping out their sh*t (we all know HR sh*t does not break down).
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Old 07-30-06, 04:32 AM   #9
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You should get the local health dept involved, I mean if the septic system will not handle one guy taking one shower per day it is clearly not up to code. I mean when they put in the septic system the size is based on the size of the building, how many people, rooms, fixtures, etc...they need to update the septic system. Or stand outside and soap up under a garden hose on the front lawn.
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Old 07-30-06, 04:33 AM   #10
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alslo let them know you do a 'Navy shower'; i.e., you get soaked, turn off the shower, soap up and clean yourself totally, and then turn the water on to rinse off quickly.
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Old 07-30-06, 08:03 AM   #11
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So you are transferring within the company to a different region? And you feel like stirring things up with the HR department? Oh Lordy! The most vindictive Swell Old Boy I've ever met was a HR director for a major company. If you didn't toady to him and pissed him off he could ruin your career even if you quit and moved to another company. He was known to contact your new employer with "tales" about you. By rare fortune I had enough clout to protect myself. Do you? You are leaving soon, good, live with it. Ride slower, ride less, and dry towel / Klean wipes when you get to work. After you are gone borrow a manual typewriter from somewhere like a public library and send an anonymous letter to the health department. That sounds good.
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Old 07-30-06, 08:49 AM   #12
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or you could simply say you think you were contaminated-- something was stinging your eyes (your sweat!)
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Old 07-30-06, 10:56 AM   #13
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Stealth is the answer.
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Old 07-30-06, 11:00 AM   #14
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A friend of mine is a dedicated student of the "It's easier to ask forgiveness than to beg for permission" school of thought. Maybe that's the way to go here.
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Old 07-30-06, 08:00 PM   #15
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Heh, good ideas all around. As I said, I'm on the road for a while yet, so nothing will come of it till I get back. I told my boss I was pretty PO'd about it. If that doesn't go anywhere....

As far as talking directly to HR, useless. As for him ruining my career, I don't think I have to worry about it...that would entail work on his part.

Now contaminated by sweat...hmmm...I think I like that one, though my wife is in support of walking around stinking all day
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Old 07-30-06, 08:06 PM   #16
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Just go into the HR guy's office and pee on his desk. What's the worst that could happen?
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Old 07-30-06, 08:38 PM   #17
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Maybe the concern is that the showers do not cleaned sufficiently for constant use. Maybe you can make a deal to clean the shower after you have used it. Just a suggestion to meet them half way if indeed that is the HR guy's problem.
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Old 07-30-06, 09:15 PM   #18
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Step 1: Go into HR and say exactly this: "I've got a problem and I need your help." If they refer you to someone else, begin every single conversation with this line, and then wait for them to respond. Then calmly outline the situation, explaining politely all the reasons why this is NOT their problem but yours, and YOU NEED THEIR HELP. I can almost guarantee they will fall all over themselves finding a solution (Obviously the easiest and best solution is for them to tell you to forget about their memo and continue what you've been doing.)
Step 2: If this doesn't work, keep going higher in the company until there is no higher place to go.
Step 3: If this doesn't work, offer to notify every news organization in the area.
Step 4: If this doesn't work, notify every news organization in the area, including local talk shows and community newspapers.
Step 5: If this doesn't work, you've obviously got the wrong job. Rectify that situation.
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Old 07-30-06, 09:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nelson249
Maybe the concern is that the showers do not cleaned sufficiently for constant use. Maybe you can make a deal to clean the shower after you have used it. Just a suggestion to meet them half way if indeed that is the HR guy's problem.
+1, this is what I was going to say. If everyone is right that septic is a BS excuse, this might be the real reason.
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Old 07-31-06, 06:30 AM   #20
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If there are several "showerS," maybe you could suggets that they install a low-flow shower head on one. Then, you could go in there with a stop watch, a funnel, and some gallon water bottles and find out just how much water you would use in a quick post-ride shower. I, myself, if necessary, can get through a shower pretty fast. If it turns out that a quick shower with a low-flow shower head uses just a few gallons, then your sewer-clogging shower is not much worse than one flush of the toilet. They would do more for their septic system by hanging a sign on each toilet that says something like, "Here in the land of sun and fun we never flush for number one."
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Old 07-31-06, 07:03 AM   #21
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You aren't using the emergency showers in the hallways, are you?
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Old 07-31-06, 07:07 AM   #22
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Send a response memo asking how much of an odor constitutes an emergency.
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Old 07-31-06, 09:02 AM   #23
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I work as a consultant for a company that has showers for employees only. After my 22 mile commute, the last half of which is all uphill I stink. Screw them. Not my problem.
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Old 07-31-06, 09:10 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by withak
You aren't using the emergency showers in the hallways, are you?
BWAHAHAHA! The mental image of someone standing in the hallway using a chem/spill 50 gallon dump shower just made my day.
I think tomorrow I'll use the emergency spill shower in the QA lab instead of the showers in the locker room. With a high-flow volume like that I won't even need any soap. It'll just blast me clean.
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Old 07-31-06, 09:22 AM   #25
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Quote:
Please advise your employees the showers are not to be used unless there is an emergency (i.e. the employee has had significant exposure to a contaminant).
List of hazardous chemical contaminants in automotive exhaust fumes:

Carbon Monoxide
Nitrogen dioxide
Sulphur dioxide
Suspended particles including PM-10, particles less than 10 microns in size.
Benzene
Formaldehyde
Polycyclic hydrocarbons

Define "significant exposure" in a method to bend the rules to your needs. "I was exposed to <insert contaminant from above list> fumes for <insert time it takes for your commute>."
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