6 Realities About The Bathroom At Work

When I first accepted my current job, I knew the transition from being home to working in an office would take some time. I focused on the positives of returning to an office.  The number one positive in my mind was not the paycheck or the stimulating work.  It was the chance to pee alone.   I pictured myself behind a locked stall door taking my own sweet time without having any little people come in and ask me where licorice comes from or whether I’d be serving ice cream sandwiches for lunch.

Image credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Image credit: commons.wikimedia.org

And, then reality caught up with me.  Turns out my bathroom situation at work doesn’t quite measure up to my fantasies.   And while I am grateful for a job that affords me the opportunity to avail myself of such modern conveniences as running water and flushing toilets, there are days when I can’t help but note the drawbacks.  And I’ve selected my favorites to share with you today. You’re welcome.

  1. Public.  Do I seem like a populace-loving person? Because I’m not. I fall more on the misanthropic end of the spectrum.  So, sharing a bathroom with the public is somewhat . . .  humbling for me.  It’s fine if someone wants to duck into my favorite stall to eat Quaker granola bars and slur obscenities into a flip phone, while I am mere feet away trying to void my bladder.  I mean, I guess it’s fine.  She didn’t ask me to wipe her ass so I guess it’s still better than the bathroom at home.
  2. One-ply toilet paper.  I know, I know, I’m such a Cinderella, all clamoring for toilet paper that actually absorbs fluids without leaving a rash on my tender bits.  But I’d like that.  I’ve considered bringing my own two-ply, but then I’d have to share with, well, the Public.
  3. Soap.  Ok, now I’m just being a generic princess, but tell me how you like to wash your hands with a practically microscopic dollop of soap that has the texture of cotton candy, only to get back to your desk to find that your hands now smell like dirty flip flops.  You like that? Well, you are welcome to swing by and use the bathroom so long as you are a member of the Public.
  4. That metal thingy.  OK, I hope my mom isn’t reading this, because I swear she taught me better than this.  But, ladies, you know there are certain times of the month when you have to put your personal effects not in the toilet but in that metal container?  In our bathroom (by “our” I mean me and every member of the human race), those little metal things are rigged so that two adjacent stalls share them, because there is an opening on both sides.  Can you picture this?  EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. that I have had the pleasure of dealing with those metal contraptions, it falls out of its opening with a gigantic CLANG! and everything inside of it falls towards my feet.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that because I’m a lady and I can’t begin to describe this in more detail without grossing myself out.
  5. Self-flushing toilet. I don’t like it at the airport and I don’t like it at the office. You know what I’m talking about, right? You’re mid-stream and suddenly the toilet flushes, spraying you with your own waste products. I’m a grown ass woman, why can’t I decide when to flush the toilet?
  6. Cleaning schedule.  My tiny, shriveled up heart is full of gratitude that someone cleans the bathrooms.  I mean that honestly.  It’s just that, I have a habit of waiting until I have to go really, REALLY badly and then I race to the bathroom only to find that the cleaning crew has set up shop and blocked the door with a yellow sandwich board thing that says “DO NOT ENTER.”  I feel bad vaulting over the sign and disturbing their work flow, so I have to take an elevator to another floor to take care of my business.  Guess what? Last night I had to try four different floors before I could an unobstructed bathroom. Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve had two babies and I drink a lot of water.  Taking three elevator rides to find a bathroom is not pretty.  For anyone.

I could go on, but that’s enough. You get the picture.  My suggestion is that before you take your next job, get a good understanding of how your bathroom situation will be so that you can adjust your fantasies accordingly.

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33 thoughts on “6 Realities About The Bathroom At Work

  1. I am so with you on public restrooms. My single biggest pet peeve in life is why don’t women wipe the seat off after they pee and drip a little. I have never been in somebody’s home where there was pee on the seat, yet 60% of the time I go into a public stall, there it is. Ditto with not flushing. I guess that’s why they have the automatic flushers, but I always feel like I’m in a race to finish before the flush goes off and I’d rather be more relaxed doing my business! Then, when it invariably goes off too early, I feel guilty I have to waste the water to flush again.
    Also, single-ply. The worst! I easily use 3 times the length I’d use of nice 2-ply at home. No savings there, people.

  2. Public restrooms, in general, give me the willies. An office restroom is one step up in the world. But for all the reasons you’ve described, I still don’t like them. I once chose my apartment b/c it was a few blocks from my office, so that I could go home to use the bathroom, if I didn’t like what was going on in there 🙂

  3. Hahaha! Auto-flushing toilets are my biggest pet peeve. I mean, are we adults, or what? Can we not figure out how to flush the damn toilet ourselves? Sure, touching the handle might be gross, but we’re about to go and wash our hands anyway, so what’s the big deal? I wouldn’t mind so much if the damn things actually worked. But they ALWAYS flush at the wrong time. You walk into the stall, the toilet flushes. You sit down to pee, it flushes before a single drop of urine hits the water. Then it flushes mid-pee, like you mentioned. Then when you’re actually done, it doesn’t flush and you have to hit the button. Great water savings there, toilet designers! Oh and I haven’t even mentioned how they scared the crap out of my daughter when she was potty training. She would put her hands over her ears and cry every time the damn thing flushed. We took to covering the electronic eye with TP.

  4. Oh, the metal thing. I feel like I’m going to get a disease just opening the little flap. I have to, like, pad my hand with toilet paper. And those self flushing toilets (which are flippin’ EVERYWHERE now)? I feel like the person who invented those didn’t think it through all the way. How is it possible that I get sprayed with my own pee 9 times in one sitting, yet every other stall was filled with unflushed disgusting-ness because the toilet wouldn’t flush? Also, the things you find on the floor/toilet/walls/everywhere in women’s restrooms. Why are women so gross? WHY?

  5. Last year they were gutting and remodeling the bathroom on my floor at work, so I also had to ride the elevator down a few floors to use a different bathroom and it was just a hot mess.

  6. As hard as those automatic flushers flush, you’d think they’d be able to get things down. But nope. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into the bathroom at work to find all four of the toilets – ALL FOUR OF THEM WHICH ARE THE ONLY ONES IN THE STORE FOR WOMEN TO USE (who’s brilliant idea was THAT???) – are in desperate need of plunging and cleaning before they can be used. Don’t even get me started on all four stalls being out of tp. I’ve developed my high school bladder of steel again out of sheer desperation. I’m not sitting my backside on those things with their coatings of human waste OR risking someone else’s waste touching my bits when the flush goes off!

  7. One ply toilet paper is of the devil. I am SO glad you included it in your list because…pffft. I cannot with that stuff. I’ll remember this the next time a child barges in on me and I have toilet envy. –Lisa

  8. This post reminds me of one of the key benefits of not working. For me especially, since my youngest is 9 and I’ve been able to pee alone for quite some time now!

  9. I will be impressed by the caliber of information on this site. There are a lot of fine resources right here. I am sure I will visit this area again before long.

  10. I once worked in an office building where we shared a bathroom in a common entry with two other offices. So, this woman in one of the other offices liked to bring her dog to work with her. (Yeah, you can can see where this is going.) So one day she was apparently on her way out of the office for the day and decided it was WAAAYYYY too inconvenient to go back to her office 20 ft. away to get her dog after going to the bathroom. So I’m sitting there doing my business when the dog tests the length of his leash and decides to visit my stall. I like dogs, but so not cool.

    Also, at that same job “in a meeting” was code for “in the bathroom” when clients called to talk to our boss.

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