There are few things more disgusting than the customer who has
trouble removing a ring, then promptly sticks their finger in their
mouth to provide the lubrication necessary to get the job done. The
moment I see a customer having the slightest difficulty, I
immediately reach for the pump bottle of Purell hand sanitizer I keep
at the counter. Not only does it make their finger slippery, it's
very handy for me, as well.
After being required to attend a two-day lecture about Universal
Precautions and The Bloodborne Pathogens Rule regarding the tattoo
industry, I developed a slight phobia about handling people's
personal adornments, especially those worn on or near the hands. At
the start of the program, we were asked to "wash" our hands with a
liquid in which a fluorescent pigment was suspended, then wash as
thoroughly as possible with soap, water and a surgical scrub brush.
Afterwards, we put our hands under longwave UV light. Every person
had residual pigment left after scrubbing. Some had more, others had
less, but all had enough to make them think very seriously about how
disgustingly germ-ridden everyone's hands are at any given time,
even after a thorough scrubbing.
So now, I keep the hand sanitizer close by. After louping people's
rings, bracelets, watches (I do LOTS of battery and bracelet
replacements), etc., and seeing the nasty funk that accumulates
there, I can't live without the sanitizer. Some jewelry is so funky
that, after an hour in the ultrasonic, the steamer can still release
the scent of their perfume and hand lotions that are still stuck to
it. I use it after handling any customer's jewelry. If I can get the
sanitizer on their finger before they hand me their ring, so much the
James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL