Archive for November, 2008|Monthly archive page

Restroom Offenses: A Few Bad Men

Sometimes Restroom Offenses come in waves.  The other day, I witnessed and took part in several during one visit to the Loo.

Right before a totally unnecessary lunchtime departmental meeting, I headed for the restroom to get rid of some coffee (okay, so it was a non-coffee day, sue me).  One of my coworkers had the same thought, and in spite of my objection, he chose to be my Wingman (offense #1).  Then he proceeded to Pair Up with me by taking the urinal next to me instead of taking Junior (offense #2, but it’s not his fault Junior wasn’t in the middle).

Then we chatted the whole time, as I was lecturing him about the wingman thing and the pairing (offense #3, mea culpa).

Then another dude came in and went for Junior.  Full House.  The nightmare scenario, really.  (I could charge him with an offense of Pairing, but that ship had already sailed.)

Then yet another dude came in and waited for a urinal to free up (offense #4).  Allow me to dwell here a bit.  There is absolutely no excuse for queueing behind a Full House, particularly when there’s an empty stall available.  (Wait, can it be a Full House when Stalls are Available?  Must think on this.  Nomenclature needs defining.)

To add insult to injury, he queued at a closer-than-comfortable distance.  Then he took his turn, faked his handwashing (offense #5), and left.

Did I cause all of this?  I mean, when I recognized that my coworker was going to go all Wingman, I could’ve bailed.  Then there would’ve been no Full House (or Three of a Kind), and no queuing.  Dude still would’ve faked it, though.  But that’s still one offense (and a common one) versus five.  What was I thinking?

I need to compile the Rules and assign them numbers.  In just this list of offenses, I’ve got:

  • No Wingman
  • No Pairing
  • No Chatting
  • No Queuing
  • No Faking

Since this is my first post in several weeks, I’m asking (nay, begging) for some feedback here.  Nobody’s been submitting Oddities or Atrocities.  Do I need to do all the work here?  Lob me something.  Anything.  Please?

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Restroom Strategery: On Choosing a Stall

So far, I’ve posted a variety of humorous oddities, out-and-out abominations, and anecdotes of restroom offenders.  Now I’m going to lay on you some tips for effective restroom use.  And by effective, I mean getting out unscathed by all the yuckies.

This time, it’s about choosing a stall.  Is it possible to choose incorrectly?  Well, yes.  But I’m not convinced it’s possible to choose correctly. Maybe you can help me figure this out.

For the purposes of this post, I’m going to go with a standard Corporate Restroom configuration, what I call a 3×3.  That means there are three urinals and three stalls, with the urinals being closest to the entrance.  Perhaps because of codes, or just out of a desire to be especially accessible, the restrooms I’m thinking of include a full-sized handicapped stall complete with hand bars, a second, normal-sized stall with hand bars, and one standard stall.

You might decide to go with the roomy handicapped stall.  I’ll admit…they are nice.  They’re usually bigger than the typical cubicle!  (They’re also really great for changing clothes before going out to pound the pavement.)  However, there’s a fundamental problem with all handicapped or accessible stalls.  What is it?  The swing.

See, in order to be accessible, the door has to swing out (tough to maneuver a wheelchair when the door’s in the way).  Which means, in the very likely event that the stall doors are even slightly out of alignment, you could be open to the public.  Of course, this objection applies to all accessible stalls.  If the door swings out, you could have a bit of trouble.

So, you’ll go for the in-swinger, right?  Well, I’ll just say that that’s my preference.  However, there’s nearly always a downside.  What is that?  Drainage.

See, the in-swinger is normally right next to the urinals.  Occasionally, urinals overflow.  Hence, there’s usually a floor drain right under the urinal-side-wall of the stall.  I don’t know how overflows happens, but the drain is always there, so I’ve got to assume it’s something north of never.  Do you really want to be in the stall with a drain if that happens?  Remember what flows downhill.  And let’s say things go really bad and it’s not a urinal overflowing.  Yeah.  You mightn’t want to be there.

However, I generally run the risk of wading through filth just because of the door.  Why?  Well, let’s just say I’ve been the victim of a wonky door latch, an out-swinging door, and a coworker who failed to divine my presence in the stall (inexcusable, that last part).  At least he didn’t ask me how I was enjoying the book…

With an in-swinger, it’s as simple as raising a foot to stop an uninvited guest.  There’s no dignified way to stop the out-swinger.

There’s another reason I like the near stall (nearest to the door).  Generally, it’s directly across from the near end of the bank of sinks.  Which means it’s in prime position to allow spying on the handwashers.  Or to get a look at who was doing that in the other stall? It’s also more difficult for the other stall denizens to spy on you when you emerge to properly cleanse your hands.  Though you might be proud of that part, you might not want your face attached to the other stuff you were doing.

In summary, it’s a choice between risking exposure and risking taking a dip in raw sewage.  I love it!!!

I say, go with the in-swinger and say you’re trying to leave the handicapped stall for those who need them.  Nobody has to know your true motives…

Anything you might add to this?  Any questions?  Comments?  Put-downs?

Restroom Oddities: Let Them Eat…Cakes?

There’s no good way to introduce this, so I’ll just drop in an image and let you recover before proceeding (hat tip to M. Ivy):

Refreshing and brisk, I'd imagine...

Refreshing and brisk, I imagine...

Now, if you’re of the female persuasion, perhaps you’re unfamiliar with urinal cakes.  As advertised, they’re all about deodorizing the area.  But I’m here to tell you they’re all about giving men a target.

The reality is that men are simply more accurate if they have something to aim at.  If you don’t believe me, just ask the legions of moms who’ve toilet-trained their boys by having them sink the Cheerios.  Or interview your husband about the joys of finding a stray square of TP in the bowl.  That thing is going DOWN!!!

Anyhow, some urinal designs allow for one of these hockey pucks to just sit in the “bowl” (if you can call it a bowl).  Usually there’s a metal drain cover that keeps the puck from clogging up the works.  But some designs feature a nice smooth exit, which means you’ve got to hold that puck in place.

There are any number of designs on these puck holders, and some are better than others.  But few have actually considered the marketing and advertising angle available here.  I mean, he’s looking at the cake holder, right?  Why not sell him something while he’s at it?  Well, if you’re thinking of launching a business, don’t.  Wizmark beat you to the punch.

Advertise beer, guarantee return trips...

Advertise beer, guarantee return trips...

The main problem here is, guys are totally going to snipe that winged horse.  He’s history.   Trouble is, you’re guaranteed a good degree of splashback there.  Not good.

Personally, I’d favor making custom urinal cakes with that logo on them.  Then an enterprising urinal patron could try to obliterate the “r” in “Horse.”  Heh.  Hose Beer.  Heh.  You couldn’t pay me to do this work.  Unless you wanted to…

One other thing to note here.  I’m totally for giving the guy something to distract him.  It makes it less likely he’ll start an unwarranted and (in a perfect world) illegal restroom conversation.  And Wizmark has models that talk to you or flash blinky lights and stuff.  Not that men are easily entertained or anything…