This week, I attended a conference in the Detroit area. The convention was held in a brand-new, state-of-the-art exhibition/conference/event facility. All amenities were quite top notch, except for one thing: the lavatory faucets were of the push button type.

Sometimes called “metering faucets” or “self-closing faucets”, their raison d’être is to prevent careless hand washers from leaving a faucet on, wasting precious clean water. I suppose they could also prevent punk-ass vandals from purposely flooding the restroom.

But the dominant characteristic of these evil devices is that they rarely let the water flow long enough for you to properly wash your hands. You usually have to press the slimy wet button with your wet soapy paws a couple of times before you’ve finished the job. In the men’s restroom of aforementioned conference facility, not a single faucet stayed on after you let go of the button!

Think, people. The accepted way to wash a hand is with the other one. But it’s busy holding down the button on the stupid faucet, which adds unnecessary additional stress to my life.

If the faucets themselves weren’t annoyance enough, they engendered other problems. The counters were always covered with droplets from all these people haplessly splashing water about with their fingers, so there wasn’t any place to safely set down the myriad materials you get from the exhibitors. These had to be held between knees, and were often dropped.

People at functions like this (the guys anyway) are often wearing suit jackets and long-sleeve shirts, which get soaked as they contort their digits to get them clean. You can follow their drip trails as they leave the WC.

I heard at least four other guys grumbling about those silly faucets. If I was the guy deciding on the conference venue for next year, this would be enough a general dissatisfier to the attendees that I would not consider this place again.

Maybe if the facility owners had thought in those terms, they might have spent the extra dough on proper sensor faucets, or simply trusted their clientele to turn off a conventional tap.