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March 2018

What made me more hygiene aware [first person story]

Written by Lemay Rogers
Cleanliness and Hygiene

Many of us who experienced childhood in the 90s can’t help but smile when seeing the image below. These days things like drinking out of the hose is just taboo. “The chemicals!”  “The microbes!” “How could parents be so irresponsible?”

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The one thing I can add to the list is hygiene. For the average middle class child growing up in the suburbs in the early 90s washing your hands entailed rubbing soap all over your hands and then rinsing straight away.If there was no paper you would wipe your hands on your pants and get on with the next task. Routinely hands were washed before eating, after using the bathroom, before prepping food and after taking out the rubbish, and that was about that.

In your pre-teen years you were given more information regarding hygiene with a focus on preventing body odour,  and then fast forward to high school where you would have learnt about microorganisms and other contributing factors to hygiene in subjects like Biology (now known as Life Science). If you were lucky you had a passionate Biology teacher (in my case it was Ms Schroeder) that took the time to explain subject matter with practical examples and actual application. These principles became my new “normal” and were the principles that lead to more care and understanding around hygiene.  

During my early career I picked up some interesting facts through reading and watching documentaries on a range of subjects, but my biggest ‘AHA’ moment around hygiene awareness came when I joined the Rentokil Initial family. Once you have done your induction and been infield with the Experts there are some things you can’t unsee and it changes your life! From bacteria counts on staplers vs toilet seats, to the reasons why toilet deep cleans prevent odours, and the link between absenteeism and hygiene, this business has really taught me the value of good hygiene practices.  

I must admit that all this expert training has made me rather paranoid and I need to be mindful not to cross the line from hygiene aware to obsessive germaphobe! My personal worst was after I welcomed my son into the world.I had this beautiful healthy baby and in the hospital I was determined to not let anyone taint him with their germs! Luckily common sense kicked in early as children need some exposure to germs to strengthen their immune systems (read our post on 5 reasons  you should let you Children play in the dirt)  and after all, not all bacteria is bad - beautifully illustrated in Peta’s recent post titled Fact or fiction: All bacteria are bad.  

On a positive note, having expertise in hygiene is a great conversation starter.Once you start talking about how dirty your belt buckle really is people become very hygiene-centric.People are interested in learning more about improving their personal hygiene and the hygiene of their environment.Of course, with my marketing hat on, these conversations also allow me to share that Initial isn’t just a business that deep cleans toilets and provides soap, we are making a difference by improving the quality of life around us!

Contact us for a consultation on Hygiene Services from Initial and let us guide you on making your business more hygiene centric.

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Lemay Rogers

Lemay Rogers

Lémay Rogers is the Marketing Manager for Rentokil Initial. When not contributing to the Initial blog, she is the custodian of all things Marketing for Rentokil Initial South Africa, and supports the Sub-Saharan African businesses. As a frequent traveller AND mother of a toddler, she is all too aware of how easily germs can travel with us, from one location to another and then back to our homes. Follow Lémay on Twitter and LinkedIn for practical advice on good hygiene practices, both at home and in the workplace.

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