I have disturbing condition that needs a bill of rights and a support group, at the very least it needs medical terminology. You know those “motion activated” faucets and towel dispensers that are now ubiquitous in public facilities? They don’t work for me. Well, at least 30% of the time they act as if I do not exist. I wave my hands in front of the fixture and nothing happens. I show it my palms, my wrists, my fingernails. I clap, jump up and down, step out of and then jump back into its line of sight and nothing happens.
Sometimes showing the right body part does the trick, other times a shoe or my phone has to be pressed into service. It gets really embarrassing when I am standing there dripping and I have to ask a total stranger to repeatedly trigger the air-drying device on my behalf. This is not an option at the hand-washing stage when all of the faucets are activated by infrared sensor.
The engineers who designed these devices must be aware from pre-market testing that there is a small segment of the population that is deficient in motion-activating-aura. You would think that they would equip the devices with some fallback analog instrumentation, but no, we the unreflective, the hypo-present, the less-than-solid, we are subjected to the tyranny of digital sanitation and the mockery of little infrared panels that stare back at us like HAL9000 saying “I wouldn’t do that if I were you Dave” as we sneak back into the stall to dry our hands with toilet paper.
The worst part of being a member of the infra-undead is that its a condition that seems to ebb and flow. And that is a disaster when you are sitting on a toilet that is flushed by motion-activation. If you think about it for a moment you will understand what I mean.