Computers aren't the only ones spreading viruses.
The Right Way
The right way to approach someone is as if you -- Hey, wait! I just remember something I heard recently that scientists have found that there could be over 2.7 million germs on any water cooler spigot. Are you 100% sure you want the mouth of your bottle touching that thing?
Say it in passing, say it with nonchalance, and go about your business. A giant bomb like that is sure to hit with some force, and your co-workers will start thinking about every single one of those germs and how they might be starting little germ families on the rim of their water bottle.
You might also find a moment in a conversation when one of your germaphobic friends gets grossed out. Drop your little tidbit and watch how many people start bringing their own water.
Letting Someone Else Do It
The last thing you can do for this cause is to bring it up with the boss or human resources department. Let them know of your recent findings, send them to the link below, and mention how you are certain they would like to keep people in the office doing work rather than at home with the latest illness. This is also a good place to work it into the newsletter.
You Are Not Alone
There are enough studies being done by enough scientists who care about this that it actually is a big deal. It's not like you saw a Sasquatch in the supply closet and are worried about folks being eaten while searching for paper clips.
I completely agree that you don't want to become "that" person who is always nagging anyone who wanders close the water cooler. You would be listened to but not heard, and you would get wet-wipes from your secret Santa.
So, politely make your concerns known, and if none of that works, go ahead and bring your own water. At the very least you'll stay healthy. Who knows, you could also be the one person who is getting work done and is being promoted while the germ wranglers around you are wasting their money on emergency room visits.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to The Modern Manners Guy's Quick and Dirty Tips for a more Polite Life. Transcripts of this show can be found at manners.quickanddirtytips.com. And if you have any questions or comments, please direct them to email@example.com or leave a voicemail at (206) 666-4MRM. The Modern Manners Guy is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips Network.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock