Monday, May 22, 2006

Proper Etiquette

My hurrah-almost-over job is at a place where a lot of ladies work. There are a handful of men, but it is mostly women, most of the time here. The office is a whole floor, and of course there is a men's room and a women's room to fulfill all our bathroomly needs.

But someone wasn't thinking things through, though I understand the need for equal facilities under Title WHATEVER, and I understand that I should expect facilities to be equal because the majority of workplaces aren't like mine.

There are not enough men to fill up the men's room if they all were in there at the same time. Just enough men for it to NOT be worth it to risk using the men's room. But there is roughly 1 stall per 20 women in this office (that's three total). With that kind of woman-to-stall ratio you tend to come across some poor bathroom behavior. And due to the vast number of women, the estrogen-charged atmosphere encourages you to notice most peoples shoe collections as an identifier if the face isn't visible. And after a nice matching shoe-to-sound session, you know that so-and-so had a burrito for lunch and you are caught along for the ride. Pinto beans and all.

I know women's rooms and men's rooms are different places. But women use the restroom more, and when working in an unfavorable ratio, just makes some of our lives miserable. I hate to ruin some sort of fantasy that the women's room holds-- as if we just have pillow fights with satin pillows and there are rose petals on the floor and everything is soft and pink.

I was raised too Catholic to be ok with all of this, I feel the need to speak up for my sisters in silence.

Allow me to address my bathroom-friends who decide to treat the work restroom like it's your own private colonic session.

Here are five friendly hints

1.) Don't enjoy that there work poop.

This is ridiculous, this nonsense of bringing the paper in or flipping through some files as you take care of some business. As someone who is low-ish on the totem pole, I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO TOUCH THOSE FILES NOW, but it's sort of my job to do so. This shouldn't be a 30-minute spa treatment. GET IN. Get the job done. LEAVE. Don't dilly-dally. Don't chat with me walking down the hallway with the Post under your arm and then leave me to my horror as you walk into the restroom with me and enter a stall ready for some fun.

2.) Never underestimate the power of the courtesy flush.

Have a heart. It's an easy thing to do. Your peers will thank you and trust me, I know that there are little gaps between the doors and the latch in the bathroom. You can see people walk in, you can HEAR people approaching. Have a heart-- and flush. If not, I can see a sliver of you THROUGH the doors that have slight gap and I will clear my throat at you in a passive-aggresive beg for a courtesy flush.

3.) Please, though I am sure that you are GRATEFUL to be going through this, don't sigh as though your bladder is JUST NOW processing the 3 venti skim lattes that you had today because who has time to eat?

Also, when the OTHER effects of coffee take hold, please refrain from any sort of grunts, strains, or vocal explanations for the work that it takes to purge yourself of $14 of coffee. Do you feel good about paying that much money for that much coffee? If only Citrucel had caffeine!

4.) Why did you, lady at work, argue for the removal of the air freshener in the bathroom because of your allergies?

You did us a disservice and a organization-wide memo should have prompted a vote, rather than you deciding to take matters into your own hands. I'd much rather spend five minutes in a nightmare where I'm 15 again and doused in Plumeria-scented-EVERYTHING-Bath-and-Bodyworks-NIGHTMARE then have to smell the bathroom from around 10:30am -- noon.

5.) If you in fact, needed the work poop and were respectful of the above rules, don't CHAT with me when you come out of the stall as I am trying to FLEE your burrito.

Seriously? Just smile and wash those hands. I don't want to chat with you post-poop, it's just too personal and this is a work relationship. There's no one else to blame but you, and I don't know you well enough to rib you about it so please just stop prolonging my agony.


ElisaRocks said...

Word. I can't believe it took you two years to write this. Flee that burrito, girl!

Runjit Chandra said...

uh...ewwww. That is all i have to say.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe you would embarass our office after you have left. A few of us have read your blog today and have lost much respect for your disrepect. We wish you good luck at your next job, but I(we) hope you would be more considerate and private about your next workplace.

Culinarily Quixotic said...

Great write-up, your bathroom etiquette list is not a matter of embarrassing people but a plea for future commode consideration. Yay Kat!