I walked into the women’s restroom at work. There is one set of bathrooms per floor in our office building. We share the floor with four other companies.
Unfortunately, this day, I was not feeling well. When I walked in, I noticed that there was someone in the stall a couple of doors down from the one I picked. I sat down, clenched, and did my best to wait until the other person left.
After a few minutes, there was no sound of toilet paper being ripped off, no flushing, no standing and adjusting of clothes, no movement whatsoever from the other stall. Fuck! They must be having a movement as well and are hoping I will leave soon so they can finish. Sorry, sweetie, let the battle of wills begin!
I feel like there is an unwritten set of rules one adheres to when using a public restroom. However, I didn’t realize just how many rules until I started writing this post.
To begin with, my desk at work happens to face the hallway where the bathrooms are located. So if I see the cleaning people heading to the bathroom or see someone else go in, I’ll wait until they come out before even heading that way.
Picking a Stall:
- I like to leave at least one stall between myself and others. Only time I won’t follow this rule is if the bathroom is full or the only other option is the handicap stall.
- I use the handicap stall as a last resort. I would be mortified to be in that stall and a handicapped person come in and need it.
- I’ve noticed that other people will skip a stall where there is toilet paper in the bowl. How hard is it to flush the toilet before you begin? I don’t get what the big deal is.
Rules for #2:
- I will wait for everyone to be gone before beginning. Doesn’t matter how long you take, I will wait. Diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at 17, by now I am an expert at controlling the flow of my plumbing.
- If I’m really feeling ill and can’t wait, I will only poop when someone else is flushing or running the water in the sink.
- If I am alone in the bathroom, I will repeatedly flush while going. I’m convinced that if I am sitting on the toilet when it is flushed then no smell will escape.
- I do not like to run into people in the bathroom. So if I finish shortly after someone else, I will wait until they leave before coming out of my stall. I’ll dick around with my clothes or something so I’m making some kind of noise like I’m still doing something and there is an actual reason why I’m still in the stall. I wouldn’t want it to appear like I’m just waiting around for you to leave. I mean, I am, but I don’t want the other person to think I am.
- If I get the feeling that someone else is in distress and hoping I’ll leave soon, I will actually rush so that they can have their moment alone. I’m very accommodating like that.
- People who take phone calls while in the stall. I really hate having to listen to other people’s conversations no matter where I am, but do I have to endure this in the bathroom. There are some places you really don’t need to take a call!
- People who like to chit-chat at the sink. Get the fuck out already! The hallway would be a better choice and probably smell better too.
- People who put their makeup on in a public restroom. I understand that there may be situations where you would have no other choice. But if I see you more than once doing this, get your shit together!
- People who douse themselves in perfume while in the bathroom. It’s a small area with limited ventilation. Just don’t!!
- People who brush their teeth after lunch. This doesn’t really get on my nerves. It just make me feel guilty for not having the same level of commitment to my own oral health.
So did I lose you? Am I bat-shit crazy? My anxiety level is probably unhealthy, but I don’t think I’m all alone here. Have any rules you follow that I missed? Share in the comments below.
More than likely currently stressing in my stall,