Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Bathroom Stories

The (shared) bathroom for my office has a motion sensor to trigger the lights. Many is the time I've walked in there to find the room dark. In those cases, all I have to do is wave my right arm once and declare "Let There Be Light!" and lo, There Will Be Light. And I see that the light is good, and I am pleased. (The "Let There Be Light" thing is completely optional, but it's fun acting all omnipotent that way.)

I fully expect that, one of these days, I'll walk into a dark bathroom, wave my hand to banish the darkness, and find myself greeted by some poor disembodied voice from a stall who will meekly say, "Thank you."


I know people have bathroom "insecurities," but this is a bit ridiculous.

The other day I went into the bathroom to use the urinal. The room is pretty small, so I couldn't help noticing that there were feet under the stall. But I also couldn't help noticing that, from all appearances, he was done; I heard the familiar sound of toilet paper being unrolled from its core followed shortly thereafter by the auto-flush of the toilet.

But as I stood there and did my business, he didn't exit the stall. I think I even heard the familiar sound of belt-jiggling and coin-and-keys-clanging as he put his pants back on, but I think he was just standing there. Perhaps he was waiting for me to leave?

I know some people are self-conscious about the whole public bathroom thing, but for Pete's sake, we all do it. Just emerge, wash your hands, and walk out. It's not like you have to make conversation or anything. (Which I admit would be kinda weird.) And it's not like he would have been affected by the fact that I would have tagged him permanently as "The Guy Who Stunk Up the Entire Frigging Bathroom That One Time."


There have been times when I'm in the stall and someone else would use the urinal. (These are times when other people tag me as "TGWSUTEFBTOT.") I go about my business and someone comes in and does his thing. Still being in the midst of my business, I hear the other guy's entire transaction. I can't tell you how many times I hear the guy walk in, unzip, unload his kidneys, zip up and walk right back out -- without making a stop at the sinks! How gross is that? Is it that they're so uncomfortable with the guy who's taking a dump near him that they just kinda rush out, or do they just generally not make a practice of washing their hands? Like, ew.


Anonymous said...

I thing it's gross that people don't wash their hands after using the restroom. I mean, seriously, would it kill them to take 30 seconds to wash their hands? It's sickening especially after you see someone that didn't wash their hands go and eat or shake someone's hand. Ugh!

p.p. said...

Welcome to my life of ongoing bathroom insecurities. Oh, and speaking of "Pete's sake," this Peter has done the "I'm done, but won't leave the stall until you get out" routine. Sad.

katie said...

Bathroom talkers and non-hand-washers, two of my biggest pet peeves.

Waiting in the stall? That seems like a bit much.

AJH said...

OMG, the motion activated lights. I was the disembodied voice, once. It was so mortifying actually!

Steve said...

I make it a point to *try* and not use the stall--for what you use the stall for--at work. If I can, I'll wait. I wear sandals most everyday, and yeah, I know everybody has to do *that*, but people will know my feet, and what if things aren't 'working out' as quietly as I'd like? (Am I a dork, or what?) Anyway, about the hand washing... if the restroom looks clean enough, I'll wash my hands. If it's nasty, I won't. I want to touch as little as possible in places like that.

Sub Girl said...

ughhh yeah if i spot someone not washing their hands, i immediately label them in my mind as non-hand-washer for future reference!

Dennis! said...

Chase: Yeah, it just seems like a good perfunctory (sp?) thing to do, even if, as I'm told, it really doesn't do much in terms of killing germs.

Peter: Wow. LOL. Oh, I should add that as I walked out (wondering about this guy trapped in the stall), someone else walked in, presumably to use the urinal. Left me wondering if the guy in the stall would have to wait through another full pee cycle to leave.

Katie: Amen.

Aimee: That's hilarious! And I can imagine how mortifying it must be. Actually if I'm in there for a while, I start worrying.

Steve: If the bathroom is nasty, that's when you're supposed to do the trick where you follow these steps in strict order:

1. unroll some hand towel
2. tear off hand towel
3. unroll still more hand towel
4. use towel from #2 to turn faucet, leaving towel there while water is running
5. wash hands
6. turn off water using towel from #2 and #4
7. tear off hand towel from dispenser to dry hands (notice how you didn't have to touch the towel dispenser knob after washing hands)
8. dry hands, but do NOT throw away paper
9. use wet hand towel from #7 and #8 to open door

I've thought about this way too much.

Sub: Not shaking THOSE guys' hands!

graceful said...

Makes you rethink shaking people hands, eh? Wash your hands people! Do you use the urinal without holding onto your 'equipment'? Talented for sure. But you still need to wash those hands. Did you touch the coffee pot after? Did you touch door handles? Did you use someone else's phone? GERMS! [shuddering at the thought]

p.p. said...

A couple of days ago I waited for about 5 people to leave before I exited. I know, I know...

Dennis! said...

Graceful: Time to start carrying around those little bottles of personal hand sanitizers... :)

Peter: Oh. My.