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?


2 comments so far

  1. C. Krusty on

    What’s the best way to determine if a stall is occupied? Seems to me like a losing proposition in either case. If you bow down, then you look odd to those outside. If you rattle the door, you can seriously scare the crap out of people in the stall.

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