Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bathroom Etiquette. Know It. Use It.

People wittier and brilliant-er than I have written about this. I want to share just two stories from the depths of the stalls here at work.

In the restroom closest to my cubicle there are three stalls. #1 is against the wall, and though it is dark, it is my favorite. Probably because it is closest to the wall. #2 is in the middle. #3 is on the other end. I guess it too is actually against the other wall, but it's so brightly lit that I tend to avoid it, probably because I don't want to draw attention to myself while I'm doing my bid'ness.

Oh. And the main reason I avoid stall #3 is because of this lovely little sign that's in there right now:

Please DO NOT STAND to use these facilities.
Please USE a SEAT COVER and sit down to use the facilities.
We do not enjoy cleaning up the mess left on the seat from the lady who stands and urinates.
It is disgusting and unsanitary.
Please DO NOT STAND to use these facilities.
USE a SEAT COVER and sit down to use these facilities.

A few thoughts about this.

Gross. Ew.

I like the use of "we" as though we are all royalty. At least those of us who actually sit down to use the throne are. Those of you scum who stand and don't use a seat cover are mere peasants. Or pissants.

Nothing says "I REALLY MEAN THIS" like the repetetive use of redundant repeating phrases and words repeated more than once. Like, twice.

As my dad used to say, "Lady? That's no lady." "Woman" would be the more appropriate term here since it's already been established that she who leaves urine on the seat is not worthy of the royal facilities.

Which brings me to my experience of the other day.

I needed to go. Bad. Big go-gos. I went to my favorite stall, #1, but there was an eau d'toilette there that wasn't so much scented as much as it was ew-du-toilet. I didn't want to expose my naked backside to someone else's backside stench.

I moved to stall #3, because everyone knows it's not nice to take the middle stall when you have a choice, because that means that whoever comes in after you will have to sit next to you, and no one wants that. At least, I thought no one wants that. I know I don't. There was copious amounts of water with a yellowish tinge to it on the seat. Almost clear, but with a hint of yellow. (see note above.) The facilities here do not suffer from the flashback effect -- when you flush, the water all goes where it's supposed to: down. Some toilets splash water up on the seat during the flushing process, but not these ones, so any water on the seats should always be viewed as suspect at best. "Disgusting and unsanitary" at worst.

Sighing in frustration, I moved to #2. There was no mistaking the source of the wet toilet seat there. It was pure #55 Crayola Yellow. I can understand why Crayola doesn't market a "Urine Yellow" color, but you know what I mean. ().

In no mood to clean up someone else's mess, (see disgusting and unsanitary reference above; also, remember the "really had to GO" part? Yeah. Still me.) I moved back to #1, hoping the stench had receded enough that it wouldn't attach itself to me.

I had no sooner throned myself, when I hear a voice in the anteroom. The secondary door opens, and someone is talking. I assume that that means there are at least two people, because who would someone be talking to if unaccompanied? Herself? I mean, honestly. Whaddya gonna do, bring your cell phone into the bathroom? Into a shared, public restroom? We all know better than that, right ladies? Dad's voice: "Lady? That's no lady."

Yes, a cell phone user has decided to grace the royal potty with her presence.

It's bad enough to do your thing in front of other people; you want even less to do it with other people and their phone audience. So I waited. Cindy (I don't believe in preserving the identity of stupid people. Names have NOT been changed to protect the idiots.) went directly to stall #2 (seriously??? The MIDDLE stall?) and apparently does not take the same precautionary measures I do. She put her butt directly on the seat. At least, I assumed she did, because no sounds of cleaning up the mess carried over the stall wall.

And then talked. I didn't think the conversation could go on for very long. It became apparent that she was talking to her husband, so he apparently didn't mind that she was peeing while she talked. But I don't know him, and didn't want to share that information with him. (Although I have no qualms about sharing it with you. Heh. Go figure.) It came time for her to flush, and she waited, which I thought was nice...for him, at least. But then ... they started talking about their son. And the psychotherapy he needs. It bothered me that they gave no thought to the psychotherapy I'M going to need after this experience. This bit of the conversation went on for quite some time. I debated flushing my own (albeit unused) toilet just to see if that would shut her up, but chickened out. So I waited. And waited some more.

And waited.

She finally finished the conversation. AFTER she flushed. Nice that she can share all her personal data with her husband. I had already heard the toilet paper dispenser in use, so knew she had wiped prior to the flush. Then she stood.

And I got my revenge for having to wait and be put upon by her personal conversation during my own personal time.

She realized that her bottom was wet. I know this because the toilet paper dispenser was once again pressed into service and more wiping sounds came from the stall. And I exulted, silently, in my own stall, that someone else's pee was on her butt.

Crass? Yes. But let this be a lesson to all of you manners-deprived public toilet users out there: Follow the rules and you won't get wet.