I must confess, though, I have had my own frustrating bouts with bathroom technology. One time having deplaned from a long flight, I needed to use the airport restroom badly. Upon completing my needed relief, I thrust my hands under the motion-detector faucet and… nothing, no water. However, the instant I removed my hands, the water flowed freely. So I quickly again tried plunging my hands under the stream of water to wash, only to have the flow immediately stop. Again I thrust my dry hands under the faucet waving back and forth to activate the flow – again, nothing, no water… until I again took my hands away wherein the water flowed tauntingly.
After several ties with the same result (the definition of insanity, by the way), I sidestepped to the next lav figuring the first one was defective. Nope, same thing; each time I put my hands under the faucet, nothing came out… each time I withdrew them the water freely flowed.
So now I am suspecting that I am the brunt of some elaborate practical joke. There must be a hidden camera somewhere in the bathroom – that mirror, it looks suspiciously like one-way glass? I press my face to the mirror and squint. Deciding to improvise, I exited, rinsing my hands in the drinking fountain outside the restroom in the airport concourse.
I guess the strategic idea behind motion-activated plumbing fixtures is that they aid sanitation in that one does not need to touch anything to activate them, thereby not passing on harmful pathogens. But it seems to me that the more technology involved in a system, the more likely it is to break down. I’ve had no problem all these years retrieving a paper towel by pushing the lever with my elbow – then turning off the lav faucet, paper towel in hand.
As far as motion-detector flush toilets; I won’t even get started on that issue.