Field of Science

How to run a university - more cost cutting measures

The Phactor is all for cost cutting measures around the university, so long as they are smart and big enough to provide a meager raise for faculty.  Now there's a dry spell we could talk about, but don't get me started.  For decades the "restrooms" were stocked with the venerable tri-fold paper towels for drying your hands.  Then those were replaced by what we must assume were a cheaper product that was more like drying your hands with a piece of newsprint, but at least they filled the same dispensers.  But now, an even greater cost cutting measure has replaced those old dispensers with new paper towel dispenser that holds a roll of paper, and when you pull down on the corners of the tab of toweling that protrudes, it measures off and cuts a towel for you.  Well, as you can see in this image, this is going to save a lot of money because rather than getting a paper towel you usually get two wet corners.  And one hand just won't do it.  The handy diagram in case you can't figure this sophisticated device out doesn't help because not enough of the towel protrudes to grasp it thusly; it sticks out as much as it does because it was just pulled down.  Does cost cutting have to be so annoying?  The data based on observations about 80% of people take two towels because a single one seems inadequate to dry your hands, although it sort of is just barely enough unless you've lost the two corners.  Now if these paper towels aren't half the price of the old ones per unit area, these cheaper made-to-order towels may actually cost as much or more than the old paper towels.  Will anyone wonder if the building service personnel (= janitors) have to take more time to clean up the little pieces of paper on the floor?  Wonder if anyone will make the actual cost analysis comparing these paper towels to the old ones, or if it will just be assumed that there were savings.  No doubt what with the new dispersers, the university will be stuck with this product for some time.  The next move seems predictable; a new BYOT policy: Bring Your Own Towel.   

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