Every tuesday I help a large number of people fix their bikes. Doing so, I am often handling dirty, greasy parts, tools and equipment. By the end of the night, my hands are coated in a grey-black layer of dirty grease.
In the shop we have a huge dispenser of GoJo hand cleaner that does a generally good job of degreasing hands. It works like this: I take a dollop of gojo in the shop, and rub it all over the greasy parts of my hands as I walk to the bathroom for a full wash. I scrub and rinse but inevitably, There are spots I miss or spots that don’t get clean. Most often affected are my fingernails, the backs of my knuckles and any cuts or cracked dry spots on my fingers. A black residue remains. I wash my hands with handsoap, but I am reluctant to use more gojo, as it is very harsh and I have already problems with cracking owing to dry skin (which then capture more uncleanable grease).
The end result is that my fingers look pretty bad for the next few days.
I teach. I have students working with me in the lab and I teach a computer course. I have to demonstrate techniques. When I do so, I can feel their eyes on my hands. I can almost read their thoughts:
“Eeeeewwww…Grosss…Look at J. Matt’s nasty hands! Does he never wash them?!?!”
When this happens, I want to explain, “No! my hands are grimy from bicycle repair. I am not dirty, I swear!” But I never do, because maybe they didn’t notice. I don’t want to draw attention.
So there it is. I have bad hands. I admit it. But not as bad as they look. Please don’t judge me by them.