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AIBU to think quarterly 'PC Cleaning' is over-indulgent?

(36 Posts)
seeingthrufog Thu 11-Dec-14 09:25:52

I've recently switched from a commercial employer to the public sector, and I'm getting used to a few cultural differences. This one is relatively trivial I suppose ...

Every 3 months, we get an email to say a contractor is coming in for the day to do 'PC Cleaning'. They work their way through the building - about 4-5 surly guys. When they get to our room we all dutifully stand aside as they tip our keyboards up and bash them around a bit with a brush to get the crumbs and dust out, and dust behind the monitor. It takes about 3 minutes per desk. Then they move onto the next room.

I previously worked for a management consultancy, and they would never have spent money on this sort of thing. Costs were strictly controlled. If you had a crumby keyboard you were responsible for cleaning it yourself. (Yes, they got a bit yucky, and sometimes people complained, especially at hotdesks, but it was never a big enough problem to bring in specialist cleaning contractors).

So, I'm wondering how common this is in other people's work places? Is it the norm?

WeeFreeKings Thu 11-Dec-14 09:30:58

It isn't but I wish it was. We hot desk and desks get cleaned once a week! We were told that the whole point of a clear desk at the end of the day policy was to facilitate cleaning. Has it bollocks! One woman uses her own antibacterial wipes to clean the desk she sits at every day and people take the piss but I've returned after my two days off (part time) & my 'usual' desk (I get in early so get my pick) has been disgusting. I've tapped crumbs out of the keyboard many many times. Wish it was done more often. It's a shame people can't keep their desks & equipment hygienic but I'd be happy with this.

OstentatiousBreastfeeder Thu 11-Dec-14 09:35:59

We clean our own, they buy a pot of antibacterial surface wipes for communal use. We use them for dusting and cleaning our keyboard/screens before and after our shifts.

Yanbu! That is a really odd way to spend money.

NoSundayWorkingPlease Thu 11-Dec-14 09:38:16

I work in a large office for a well known company.

Staff have their own cleaning duties, of the desks, including the computers and keyboards. The cleaners that come in clean the communal areas, Hoover, do the skirting boards etc but don't touch the desks.

We have a disinfectant spray and giant bog roll, anti bac wipes and keyboard brush thing per team. It's the team managers responsibility to oversee it but everyone is expected to give their desk a thorough going over at least once a week. Any empty desks are shared out.

It takes all of 5 minutes. Having a seperate team of people do do this is bonkers. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask staff to keep their own immediate work area clean.

NotYouNaanBread Thu 11-Dec-14 09:41:02

That's ridiculous and wasteful.

Fudgeface123 Thu 11-Dec-14 09:46:45

We used to have this but it's since been knocked on the head, as have the people who provided and maintained the office plants.

We still employ a company to deliver and decorate a Christmas tree each year though

londonrach Thu 11-Dec-14 09:48:34

I used to work at a place that cleaned telephones and pcs once a week. Never had a cold when i was there...

upthedamnwotsit Thu 11-Dec-14 10:05:45

When I read the thread title I thought you meant people were brought in to open up the computers and clear out the dust inside- which is better done by someone who knows what they're doing.

But having a contractor come in specifically to shake a keyboard and wipe away a bit of dust? No, never had that at anywhere I've worked.

HopeClearwater Thu 11-Dec-14 10:13:03

In the 1950s/60s there were women (obviously... low-paid office job... so of course women did it then) whose job it was to clean the office phones. They had a special name, can't remember it now. Never mind keyboards, phones in frequent use get disgusting.

Sparklingbrook Thu 11-Dec-14 10:18:02

I used to work in an office where they employed people to do this. IIRC they had soft paintbrushes to get all the crisps out of the keyboards (bleurgh), and cleaned the screens too.

It stopped after a while. Probably ££ related.

CupidStuntSurvivor Thu 11-Dec-14 10:56:12

I actually wish this happened more often. My previous (household name) employer left it to the staff and the whole building was hotdesking only. The vast majority of people can be trusted to uphold a certain level of hygiene and clean their desk before leaving but there are frankly some dirty bastards about. About once a week I'd be stuck with a minging desk due to a 2 hour meeting first thing in the morning (we weren't allowed to 'reserve' a desk we'd be away from for more than 30mins so my normal desk would always be occupied).

Sparklingbrook Thu 11-Dec-14 11:04:44

Eww Cupid. One woman I worked with chain-ate crisps while inputting data. The whole desk/drawer was full of crumbs. Keyboard was greasy.
This was the woman who always had a can of pop on the go too. Turned out it wasn't just pop in there. shock

Rinoachicken Thu 11-Dec-14 11:25:09

Company I work for has this annually. The IT guy hates it because apparently they are way too rough with the keyboards and snap off the keys!

CupidStuntSurvivor Thu 11-Dec-14 11:26:43

Sneezing all over the keyboard and monitor = the grossest thing ever when you see it knowing you'll be stuck with that desk the next day. envy.

Didactylos Thu 11-Dec-14 12:20:40

but do you have 'telephone sanitizers?'

seeingthrufog Thu 11-Dec-14 13:02:23

Yep Didactylos, there are telephone sanitisers too ... another team come in to do that, again about ever 3 months (at least I think it's a different team - wouldn't surprise me if it wasn't).

I suppose at some point in the past, someone complained of dirty telephones/keyboards, and this was the response. If they stop it to save costs then the unions will perhaps get shirty about it.

We also have those big bottles of mineral water that have to be delivered by a man in a van. People made a huge fuss when they ran out in the summer and weren't immediately replaced. At my commercial employer we had a water purification device, so at least it was continuous (although it always tasted a bit funny to me). Personally, I think if people are too precious to drink tap water they should buy their own mineral water from the shop!

Immovableobject Thu 11-Dec-14 13:04:59

Yeah, I worked in an office that brought in the Telphone Sanitizers once a week - cue surly wiping off the handpieces with a damp cloth while we all sat around feeling silly confused We didn't hot desk so only ever used our own phones...

Douglas Adams sent them all off on the B Ark for being bloody useless!

TheCunnyFunt Thu 11-Dec-14 13:19:09

I read the thread title and wondered what on earth quarterly political correctness cleaning was fblush

cogitosum Thu 11-Dec-14 13:24:04

Spraying my keyboard with the air thing that send crumbs flying out is the highlight of my day so I would not be happy with that arrangement!

AMumInScotland Thu 11-Dec-14 13:32:44

Public sector here, and nobody ever cleans our keyboards! Someone flicks a damp cloth over the desk once a month if we remember to leave it clear on the right day.

They did buy us lots of the little wipes in individual sachets back at the start of the bird flu scare. My team haven't finished that box yet...

SwingingBalls Thu 11-Dec-14 13:40:56

Public sector here and I've never heard of such a thing. We all bring our own anti-bacterial wipes and clean the desk etc at the start of each shift. There are wipes provided for our use but they're not very good quality. We work long hours and change desks frequently, the office is a 24 hour facility. I like to tip up my keyboard and give it a good bang. The debris that falls out is hideous sad

seeingthrufog Thu 11-Dec-14 13:41:27

When I say public sector, it's a university - so possibly not in the front line for political cost cutting. I can't imagine our local council spending money like that - at least not since the recession.

ghostyslovesheep Thu 11-Dec-14 13:47:16

I work in the actual public sector (Local Authority) we clean our own PC's - which are 5 years old and don't work very well money for new ones - not too much of an issue though now we have 55% less staff needing to use them hmm

Flippityflip Thu 11-Dec-14 13:54:06

What Department are you in???I also work in public sector and there is no way we would ever get this,nor would I want it-hardly an appropriate use of public money.Bizarre.

Flippityflip Thu 11-Dec-14 13:55:26

Aah that explains it,still though,still seems a bit of a waste.

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