I am standing in front of a banking hall with my lips pouted like an opened tulip flower. I am very angry with everything around here right now. Deception! Deception! Deception!
It’s my first-time visiting that branch to transact business and I just had to use their washroom out of desperation. You know me. I usually wouldn’t like to patronise such a public lavatory. But nature calls.
You should have seen me “doing my thing” in a Moonraker style. I felt like the Ghanaian version of Roger Moore. In fact, I began to laugh at my pose in the “manageable” cubicle as I tried haaaaaaard to not get myself, the seat and potty soiled in anyway.
Deal done, I washed my hands alright under running water. But what is so much of hand washing if one has to exit a washroom by touching an over-used door handle? My next option was to walk towards the sanitizer dispenser in the banking hall, to have at least 98 percent of germs on my hands disciplined.
My first attempt to squirt out the refreshing liquid into my palm, sparked disappointment. The canister was full of nothing but air. I tried a second time with my palms fully stretched out underneath the machine, in anticipation of falling gel. I was justified to have a second try. After all, did not that nursery school poem teach us that “if at first you don’t succeed, try again?” Huh, absolutely nothing dropped.
A few clients standing close-by, I am sure would wonder what was wrong with me because I kept pressing backward, the push paddle to let out that which wasn’t there. Just then a man who had finished cashing his money and was making his way out said, “Madam, sorry. Filling up that dispenser ended last year”. I felt so ashamed; it looked like I was the only stranger in Jerusalem.
Making a quick about-turn, I came out of the hall to let out some steam, before going back in there to ask whose responsibility it is to fill up that cleansing device. Why had they stopped making available to their clients, hand sanitizers? Why? And why had all the cashiers stopped adorning their hands with latex gloves like they used to some months ago?
I am still leaning on the pillar in front of the Hall, wondering why Ghanaians easily forget certain dangers. Was it not for the sake of hygiene that every public building, and even some homes chose to drive away Ebola through the use of sanitizers?
Was it not a few months ago that everyone suddenly became conscious of what they could or couldn’t contract from the sweat and secretions of others? Why are most people suddenly pretending we never lived in that era?
This banking hall is the eighth place I have found with an empty sanitizer dispenser. The first was a broadcasting station I visited; the second was a conference hall I attended a programme at; the third was the reception of an office I had attended a meeting at; the fourth was my own church; the fifth was a Driving School at where I had made enquiries on behalf of a relative; the sixth was a shop in one of the Malls; the seventh is a large auditorium of a hotel I had attended a wedding at; and the eighth is this bank in front of which I presently stand akimbo.
Someone must answer me today. Why that dispenser has become one of the interior decors of the banking hall should be answered. I shall go in there and politely ask to see the branch manager. “Today be today”.
You may be wondering why I didn’t raise an alarm in those building facilities I had previously visited other than this one. Well, on all occasions, I had a pack of wet wipes and a small bottle of hand sanitizer in my handbag. But this afternoon, I left my handbag in my car, and the car park is quite a distance from the point of dispensing.
And that brings me to another question. Why are all these high-rise buildings without enough parking spaces being allowed to spring up in the city? Eh? If you put up a facility which can house about 10 organisations or more, and about 500 people at a time, but create a parking space for just 250 vehicles, what have you done? And where do you expect the other cars of staff and clients to park?
As I think, my car is some two blocks away because I couldn’t get any space to fit it at the park. The only available I identified was loyally blocked with a standing plaque which had MD boldly inscribed on it. The loyal security man was in no way going to allow me to park there. No amount of convincing would let him give me an opened sympathetic hearing.
Without audibly telling me to, the wave of his flag directed me to look for my own parking outside the yard. His act wouldn’t have hurt me as much as the pinching high heels I was to walk in from those blocks to the banking hall. Now see what I’ve had to battle with too.
Ghanaians … we easily forget. Should another disease appear to remind us to be conscious of our personal hygiene? Hear ye hear ye!!! Arise!!! Let every sanitizing dispenser be filled!
• This article was published earlier