Automatic: adjective – operating with little or no direct human control.
It’s my first time using the renovated washroom in the office building where I work. I hold my hands under the new automatic tap and wait expectantly. Nothing. I move them lower down–still no water. Higher up–zilch. Come on! Back and forth. Give me some water! Up and down. I could just move to another sink but now it’s personal. Left hand, right hand, both hands. A human hand is supposed to trip the tap’s sensor. Frenzied waving. Who (what?) is this faucet to judge me as less than human! Back and forth, up and down, circles. The tap remains stubbornly unresponsive.
Meanwhile, in a well-intentioned but somewhat misguided attempt to atone for its co-worker’s churlish attitude, the automatic soap dispenser is merrily spewing great blobs of soap. Wait, I silently implore the dispenser, I don’t need soap yet–squirt squirt–and my hands aren’t even near you–squirt squirt. Suds are congealing on the bottom of the sink at an alarming rate–squirt squirt. I try keeping one hand waving under the faucet–up and down–and the other lying motionless under the soap dispenser in a sly attempt to limit the waste while remaining undetected, but there’s no fooling the cheerful dispenser–squirt squirt. It is thrilled by the presence of an actual hand and excitedly dispenses enough soap for several more people–squirt squirt squirt.
Finally the tap grudgingly acknowledges that I’m not about to be put off and gushes water. Now my hands are clean, but the sink is a frothy mess. I wonder–can I use one hand to keep the automatic tap running and the other to wipe the sink clean of the suds without setting off the automatic soap dispenser again? After a few false starts–squirt squirt–I accomplish my mission and, leaving the sink tidy and the dispensers quiet, I head back to work.
Other words that may apply to this situation: frustrating, messy, go!, stop!