Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Belt Part II

Your clothing will not drag on the conveyor belt if you just set it there.

Conveyor belts are a lot like escalators. The belt moves around and around, but you – or your purchases – stay still. When you go up or down on the escalator, your feet do not drag, or pick up the dirt from the stair you are standing on.

Likewise the conveyor belt. If you put your shirt – even your white shirt – on the conveyor belt, it’s no different than, say, setting it on the counter. Sure, it might not be the cleanest surface in the store, but it’s not like you’re dragging it on the floor.

Now, if you’re really worried about it, feel free to set your clothing on top of one of your other purchases (just make sure I can reach everything). I should warn you, though – my belt is probably cleaner than some of your boxes.

On that note, let me mention the cleanliness of the belt. Sometimes, there are wet spots on the conveyor belt. There are generally two reasons for this:

First, I just cleaned the belt, and it hasn’t had time to dry completely.

Second, someone placed a cold item on the belt, and the condensation dripped off.

Now, in the first case, clearly the belt is clean, or at least cleaner than it was before I wiped it down. Still, many Guests would prefer to set their nice, new clothing on the dry, dirty belt than the newly cleaned, slightly damp one. Fine.

In the second case, though, think about it. Condensation is re-liquefied water vapor. When something really cold is exposed to hot, damp air (as the air tends to be in Philadelphia in the summer), the coldness actually causes the moisture in the air to get cold enough to turn from a gas to a liquid. This water sticks to the cold items, usually sodas or frozen dinners.

The water, in other words, came directly from the air. Assuming your food products are clean, the water that is on the belt is probably cleaner than the stuff coming out of the water fountain (which, if you’re curious, is located right next to the rest room).

So either way, if there’s a damp spot on the belt, it’s likely to be the cleanest spot there. Now, you might have items you don’t want getting wet, no matter how clean it is. But if it’s dirt, not water, you fear, you’re in good shape on my slightly damp conveyor belt.

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