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To use a hand dryer?

(36 Posts)
SteggySaurus Tue 21-Jul-15 16:16:25

I was out for lunch earlier and went to wash my hands before eating. There was a mum and little girl, maybe about seven or eight, washing their hands at the same time as me. I heard mum tell the little girl that there were no paper towels and to just shake her hands dry. I went and used the hand dryer. Little girl jumped and mum shouted, actually shouted, at me to stop. I did and looked at her before asking if everything was ok. The mum told me that the little girl was scared of the noise and that I should have dried my hands on my clothes or waited for them to leave. She was really annoyed at me and my confusion and unwillingness to apologise seemed to make her angry.

I understand that she might have been scared of the noise but mum was completely overreacting by shouting at me and then having a go at me for not checking it was safe to use the dryer. If mum had asked me to stop I would have and maybe apologised to the little girl saying I didn't realise she would be frightened. Also she only jumped at the noise, she didn't cry or look upset.

I just looked at this mum and asked her if she was being serious and then when she went off again I told her that I was going to dry my hands and suggested she left the toilets. I waited for them to leave before using the dryer again, although my hands were mostly dry by now, as I didn't want to scare the little girl.

Really though, who does that to a stranger in toilets? Was I being unreasonable to not apologise?

formerbabe Tue 21-Jul-15 16:20:38

My dd is absolutely terrified of hand dryers...she puts her hands over her ears and shuts her eyes when someone uses them. I always try to reassure her its just air blowing out to dry your hands and even though its loud its nothing to be scared of. I wouldn't dream of shouting at someone though...its perfectly reasonable behaviour to use one...I wouldn't have apologised if I was you.

FuckyNell Tue 21-Jul-15 16:21:05

Bloody weirdos. Yabu though to use hand dryers in general, they spread disease. Trufax grin

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Tue 21-Jul-15 16:21:31

How were you supposed to know her child would be scared of the noise? If she has asked you before you started using the dryer whether you'd mind waiting until they'd left, and you had refused, that might have been a bit unreasonable, but expecting you to know her child was scared of the noise was very unreasonable of her.

Twunk Tue 21-Jul-15 16:23:51

Mine are terrified of hand dryers and I understand why because some of them are so bloody loud! But I am not going to say that to them because then you are simply confirming they should be afraid. I just say "it's a noise, yes it's loud but it won't actually hurt you".

I certainly wouldn't berate some poor stranger going about her lawful business!

RachieS1986 Tue 21-Jul-15 16:23:53

yanbu. You're not psychic. Ds1 is 3 and afraid of the hand dryer. I don't expect everyone and anyone to know this and certainly wouldn't start shouting at a stranger because they used one whilst we were there.

Mcnorton Tue 21-Jul-15 16:25:41

No YWNBU. At that age, assuming no other issues, the child should have been able to anticipate and plug her ears. My son (nearly 7) hates hand dryers and makes a huge leap and claps his hands over his ears when he hears them. He's a bit of a drama queen (although some are ridiculously loud I must say). But I don't expect anyone to not use a hand dryer when one is available! It's not your problem. Now he's older I warn him to plug his ears and use them myself (when he was little I would probably have shaken dry for an easy life). One time a lady had noticed his reaction and told me she would use the paper hand towels which I thanked her for. It was sweet, but not expected.

motherofmonster Tue 21-Jul-15 16:27:36

of course she was being rude.
How on earth were you to know that herchild was scared of hand dyers.

And anyway if she had half a brain knowing her child was scared of them and seeing that most public toilets have them then why didn't she have any of that antibac gel stuff with her to avoid her child having to hang about flapping her hands in a non existent breeze ?

DoJo Tue 21-Jul-15 16:29:43

I like it when others use the hand-dryer - my son is 'scared' of them and gets cross with me if I use them, so I rely on others to get him accustomed a) to the noise and b) to the fact that the world doesn't revolve around him, not matter what he seems to believe!

HenryHooverMum Tue 21-Jul-15 16:34:24

I could see DS1 having a bad reaction to hand driers (he's being assessed for ASD) but I would coax him through it/remove him/ask the person nicely to stop depending on his reaction. I certainly wouldn't shout at a stranger for using a hand drier for its intended purpose!!

SteggySaurus Tue 21-Jul-15 16:39:01

Thank you everyone. I did feel a bit guilty for not apologising to the girl but her mum was so rude!

I think I just wanted to rant a little bit!

SistersofPercy Tue 21-Jul-15 16:41:52

Of course YWNBU!

I am now eagerly awaiting someone coming along to tell you that the Mum was probably having a bad day and you should have bought her a cup of tea...

Trickydecision Tue 21-Jul-15 16:57:01

SistersofP, I thought it was a cream egg that you are meant to offer in these situations.

FarFromAnyRoad Tue 21-Jul-15 16:59:10

Tricky - or suggest a book wasn't it? Something like that.

I'd have suggested an armful of grips for both of them but I get very angry in public toilets!

littlejohnnydory Tue 21-Jul-15 17:11:23

She was being unreasonable to shout at you but my ds has asd and sensory processing disorder. It does irriate me when an adult can clearly hear him saying 'please don't use the hand dryer' and me reassuring him I won't, and proceeds to use the hand dryer. It's physically painful for a person with spd and not a case of 'reinforcing the fear'.

gabsdot45 Tue 21-Jul-15 17:15:37

My DD is scared of hand dryers, which has resulted in numerous accidents because she won't use public toilets at all in case they're 'noisy'.
However the other woman was very rude and unreasonable to expect you to read her mind.
I'm not sure if there is a polite way to deal with this situation. I don't think you can really ask another toilet user to not user the hand dryer. If there was I would do it myself

Lurkedforever1 Tue 21-Jul-15 17:17:16

Yanbu. If her dd has a problem with hand dryers, it was the mums duty to ask you politely beforehand, not your duty to have psychically deduced it

Wideopenspace Tue 21-Jul-15 17:18:27

My DC was really scared of them.

Until suddenly he wasn't.

Now he likes to dry his hands and his hair under them. Even when it isn't wet.



StillStayingClassySanDiego Tue 21-Jul-15 17:18:57

She was an arse for shouting at you and expecting an apology.

Sirzy Tue 21-Jul-15 17:20:59

Dis is autistic and petrified on hand driers, I would never dream of shouting at someone else for using on though.

SistersofPercy Tue 21-Jul-15 17:55:51

Oh, how confusing! Perhaps a cup of tea with a creme egg on the side is the new norm?

Dawndonnaagain Tue 21-Jul-15 19:37:24

My children are older now, but two are still unable to use hand dryers because of the noise. They both have an ASC. I would have been calmer but had you used it, when they were younger, I would have had to give up on the day and got them home. Now it takes a little time but we can continue with the day.

ouryve Tue 21-Jul-15 19:45:09

I've waited when it's obvious that a child is nervous of a hand dryer because it would have been rather assholish of me to do otherwise. I have one of my own who went through a massive phase of being terrified of them - he has ASD and his sensory responses are all to cock.

ouryve Tue 21-Jul-15 19:48:39

Just to clarify, I wouldn't have shouted in the same circumstances, probably but I do tend to check around me before using one.

Maryz Tue 21-Jul-15 19:48:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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