it’s high time someone started talking about it

I’ve had enough of this.  Every day it’s the same thing and no one seems to get it.  I would think that after a while it would just sink in, but no, it just doesn’t.  What is it that makes people not realize or consider what they are doing?  I’m speaking, of course, about stall fouls. 

Let me back up, if only for a moment.  I tend to notice things, probably more things than I should.  I cheer whenever the tub shows up in the Cialis commercials, you know it’s going to happen; it’s just a question of when.  That’s just a random example.  I work in a building with many people and as such we have a number of restrooms that are made to accommodate more than one person at a time (versus your home bathroom which was built for however many family members happen to need it five minutes before you are supposed to be at work).  I am a male and as male have the option of two “void” stations.  One where you can stand, and one where you can sit.  When I was in Japan for a brief stretch of time I found a few you could squat, but that’s another story.  Too much information?  Get on with the discussion?  You’re right, on we go.

There should be rules, understood rules about what should be done.  Always wash your hands is one preached since potty training, but even some forget that.  This can’t be the first time anyone has spoken up about it nor will it be the last.  I think it’s just my turn to say something.  Let us then start with the standing area.  Ladies, you can skip this part and move to the next paragraph.  I’ll give you a second.  No really, go ahead, nothing to see here.  Right, now then.  This is a solemn process and should be treated as such.  That means no singing, humming, laughing, looking around like you are on a tour bus, etc.  Do what you need to do, flush, head to the sink.  There really is no need to strike up a conversation with the person next to you, no real need to ask how the kids are doing, or what they thought of the game, wait in the hallway and ask if you really care.  And please, seriously, if there are other options than the facility directly next to someone, take it.  This is not the place to make a friend.  No one will feel shunned trust me.  I can’t imagine someone on a therapists couch, “You know doc, I just feel like no one wants to stand next to me when I’m at the urinal.  Do you think that could be due to the dreams I used to have about waterfalls?”  If you happen on the rare occasion that it is a full house, form a line and wait your turn.  Think the Sienfeld soup episode too.  Step up, don’t look right or left, do what you need to do, flush, move on.  No need to give an embarrassed hello.  Your neighbor is not any more thrilled about this than you.  Okay, we all good on this now?  Great, let’s move on.

And we’re back.  Ladies, if you skipped ahead, you are now a full paragraph ahead, congratulations.  Now we get to the stalls.  Again, I’m sticking to the work environment, airport restrooms, facilities at sporting events and concerts are all completely different and will perhaps be tackled another time (I’m guessing not though, I’ll save it for my bathroom book).  Let’s break this down with a few subject points. 

First up:  Talking.  If you are at the sink and someone comes in, obviously on their way to a stall, a simple hello is all that is required and even that is not necessary.  You could nod your head or not even see the person and everyone is fine.  Do not start a conversation and continue it after the door is closed.  You are trapping the person; I don’t care which side of the door you are on.  Of course, it is funny to be outside, start a conversation then leave when the person doesn’t know you’ve left and is still talking, but that seems rather cruel.

Next: Noises.  Look, let’s be adults about this.  People are going to make noises that are potentially embarrassing.  Let’s all just agree that this happens and if you are going to do that, this is the place for it okay?  No need to laugh, send down a “damn, rough night eh buddy?” or any other acknowledgement.  If anything, finish up and get out before it gets worse. 

Almost there:  Stall selection.  I mentioned this in the guys only section, but it is worth repeating.  I can only guess that some have their favorite spot, but if there is someone right next to that spot and everything else is open, do you really need to park yourself right next to that person?  Really?  Is the seat that much more comfortable than the rest?  Do you have snacks stashed in the seat cover box?  Is the paper softer?  Someone must tell me the answer here because it can’t be that you just feel lonely.

Finally:  Texting and emailing.  Okay, no one is that busy.  Do you hear me?  No person is so busy that they cannot take a few minutes to take care of their personal business without the country going into a financial tail spin.  After all, aren’t we already there?  So why, please tell me, do you find the need to tap, tap, tap on your blackberry, smart phone, text board, etc. while doing what you need to do in the stall?  It’s bad enough to hear beeps, or buzzing, or ringtones which I can certainly forgive.  Do you have to reply?  Can’t this person wait?  Is it really the CEO texting or did one of your buddies want to do a fantasy football trade?  I’m going to say it again, no one is that busy.  Relax for two minutes or however long you need.  You deserve a break.

I think that should take care of a few questions you may have had on proper etiquette.  Just know the next time someone sits next to me and starts talking on the phone, I reserve the right to make loud, obnoxious noises, flush four times and start banging on the side of the stall like I’m trying to pass a stone. 




One Response to “it’s high time someone started talking about it”

  1. aaron Says: around the six minute mark it gets a little off topic, but it’s nice to know i’m not alone here

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