Mindbling ponders the big issues …

Something has been on my mind for some time now. It’s something that I think about often. I struggle daily with finding the meaning, knowing right from wrong, and trying to get it right.

That’s right. Bathroom etiquette.


I bring this up because I was emailing Wormy today. I told her that I had to go to the bathroom, but I didn’t feel comfortable doing it at work. We have a four-stall restroom, and I swear to god you can see the person’s shoes in the stall next to you, and I have just never felt like I could relax enough there. I felt like I would be judged. Because I judge.

Just today, I walked in to brush my teeth after lunch, and someone was doing their business. I was trying to hurry up, brush, and get out before she did, or, hope she felt sheepish enough to wait till I was gone to come out, because she was dropping death bombs, but alas. No.

The stall door swung open, and out walks a woman that I am sure would be universally considered a hottie. She chirps on over to wash her hands, catches my eye in the mirror, and gives me a twee little grin, as if to say; “Don’t bother telling anyone about this. No one believes that hot girls poop. I will just blame you.”

I just continued to breathe through my mouth, as well as one can breath through one’s mouth when brushing one’s teeth. And I pondered work bathroom etiquette. I don’t believe that you should just saunter out of a stall that you just blew up, and smile at the innocent victim at the sink. Alas, this is just one type of bathroom bandit. In my years of working, I have come across others. Such as:

The talker – this is a person who is already in the bathroom when you walk in. Perhaps they are washing their hands or applying lipstick. They say hello to you! You say hello back! You go into the stall. They continue to talk to you. You are trying to pee. Your pee won’t come out, because they won’t shut up. Instead of peeing, you are talking about Bob from accounting’s breath or some such thing.

The I See Your Shoes – this bandit will sit in the stall and say, “Hey, Mindbling? Is that you next to me? I see your shoes!” This freaks me out every single time. Why are you looking at my shoes? Why do you know what shoes I had on today? Why are you talking to me while I am trying to go to the bathroom? I never know how to respond. “Yep. It’s me. Trying to pee in here. Please keep it down.”?

The texter – Listen. I don’t care how quietly you are trying to type, I can hear you texting. I don’t know how half of you managed to poop before Blackberry’s.

And, in one memorable occasion in my previous position, we had what I like to call the holy trifecta of workplace bathroom no-no’s:

The I See Your Shoes talker who also had her morning yogurt – I kid you not. One of my old coworkers would grab her yogurt, go to the ladies room, and if she heard the door open, she would look underneath the stall to see who walked in. She would then proceed to talk to you. While she shit and ate breakfast at the same time.

Bathroom Bandit – “HEY! Shelia? Is that you? I see you! How are you? Did you have a nice weekend? I LOVE that color on you. Are you losing weight?”

Shelia – *headexplodes*

BB – “Shelia? Shelia? This strawberry banana yogurt is delish. Only 90 calories. Shelia? Yoooo-hoooo … SHELIA?”

Several of us were so upset about this, we had an elaborate system of hand gestures and pulleys to indicate when she was going in.

And workplace bathroom etiquette is just one type of etiquette. What about relationship bathroom etiquette? I can’t go to the bathroom anywhere near Mavrick (please. No rude comments about our bathroom sex. That is not what I’m talking about here.)

He has a master bathroom off his bedroom. This would be the logical place for me to go. But there is a problem. There is no frickin door. This means, from his bed, he can hear me go the bathroom. The lack of a door also facilitates another problem, which I like to call Honey, Your Dogs Are Looking At Me.

YOU try to pee when there is a Bull Dog and a Pit Bull watching your every move, and your boyfriend is laying ten feet away from you. I bet you can’t. Instead, I go to the bathroom down the hall. I try to sneak away, like do some Army Ranger shit from the bed to the floor, but every single time, Mavrick catches me and makes a big deal about it.

Mavrick: “Why are you crawling on the floor?”

Me: “I dropped a contact.”

Mav: “You don’t wear contacts. What in the hell are you doing?”

Me: “I have to go the ladies room.”

Mav: “Well why are you crawling down the hall? Just go in my bathroom.”

Me: “But your bathroom doesn’t have a door, and I can’t go if I think you can hear me, and your dogs sit there and watch me. They watch me with their eyes. I can’t pee in there.”

Mav: “You’re an idiot.”

Guys don’t get it, because they can pee anywhere. They will come in and pee while you are in the shower. They will yell out to you WHILE they are peeing. They talk to perfect strangers peeing right next to them, and think nothing of it. It’s like they are desensitized to any kind of bathroom etiquette, at all. And this makes me nervous.

I think we need some universally agreed upon bathroom rules. Don’t talk to me, I won’t talk to you. Keep your food out of the bathroom. Don’t look in the stall next to you. If you DO look into the stall next to you, don’t call out to the person. If you blew up the bathroom at work, have the decency to hide out in your stall till the bathroom is empty. Take your Blackberry with you. Email some friends while you wait. And for the love of god, put a damn door on ALL bathrooms. That is one room that absolutely requires them.





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10 responses to “Mindbling ponders the big issues …

  1. Mavrick

    You’re an idiot…

  2. I agree with all the above rules.

    I’ve been known to pass on going, if there’s someone already in there working one out. I just don’t want to deal with anyone else’s “bouquet.”

    One more violation to add, and this happens at my office…
    Someone yapping on the phone in a stall, while I’m at the urinal. In my office, it’s an Indian guy, speaking in his native language, so I have no idea what they’re talking about. So I always give an extra flush or two. I’m sure they’ll understand that.

    At home, I’ll always use the bathroom the farthest away from the current center of activity. Gotta have a buffer, no matter how long the lady and I have been together.

  3. I can so relate to the boyfriend issue. We also have to bathrooms, one in the bedroom and one down the hall – I refrain from using the bedroom bathroom because the door is frosted but you can still see through it and it is about 1.6m away from the bed so any sound you make he will hear!

  4. No food in the bathroom. I won’t even wash a piece of fruit in a bathroom. And someone in your office eats her yogurt in there? That is simply a violation of all that is holy and good. She needs a slap upside the head.

    Hilarious post. I hate the talker. Just let me do what I need to do and leave me alone!


  5. I won’t go into my work bathroom if someone else is in there. And no matter what I’m doing I will erm clean up and leave if someone comes in. I joke with the secretary not to let anyone go in. She also suggested I hang an out-of-order sign when I go in.

    My officemate and I have developed some super subtle way of communicating that one of us is going so the other doesn’t walk in.

    So yeah, don’t talk to me, don’t be near enough to hear me, go away I want my own bathroom.

    Also, you’re not an idiot.

  6. wormy

    One good thing about being stuck in an office by yourself for 9 hours a day is that I get the bathroom all to myself. Score one for me!

  7. I can’t just pee anywhere and I am a guy. Don’t act like we are all the same ;). The thing that gets me most is people that don’t wash their hands. Non handwashers should be banned to their own quarantined floor of the building. I don’t care if you are in a bar or at work, is it that hard to wash your hands? I mean I’ve even washed my hands in places that I feel my hands would have been cleaner had I not washed them. On a lighter note you won’t notice me texting or tweeting either because I have a touchscreen, it can’t make noise.

  8. I have the converse problem at home… my honey will be talking to me from the bathroom or something, and I’ll think she’s washing up or putting on makeup, so I’ll walk by and she’ll have the door open, sitting there.

    I’ll be like, “So what were you saying, I couldn’t hear y…GAH!!” and spin back around to get out of Dodge.

  9. Manetiquette for the bathroom.

    Don’t use the urinal next to another man if another urinal or stall is free.
    #Step 2
    Just because you’re in the bathroom doesn’t mean you have license to “let one rip” as you pee. Save it for the stall.
    #Step 3
    Don’t be one of these types:
    • The sigher, enjoying a piss way too much.
    • The cell phone talker
    • The premature flusher
    • The conversation (two or more people)
    • The NNF (No Need to Flush)
    • The NNW (No Need to Wash), cousin to the NNF,
    • The hock ‘n spitter
    • The toothbrusher/flosser/hygiene guy
    • The whistler
    • The groaner
    #Step 4
    Make sure to put away your junk before walking away from the urinal. No one wants to see that.
    #Step 5
    Don’t tap your feet, snap your fingers, breath irregularly or do anything that could be misconstrued as some sort of secret message to a neighboring stall.
    #Step 6
    Regulate your stream so that you pee as long as possible, since it’s a scientific fact that the length of one’s pee is proportional to the length of one’s pee-pee.
    #Step 7
    If you’re in the stall, wait until the coast is clear before coming out. No one wants to associate a face with your stench. On a related note, don’t leave your access badge on your waistband. When your pants drop to the floor, everyone else can see your picture.
    #Step 8
    If there is a “glory hole,” get out. Immediately.

  10. Vincent

    When did women get the idea that it is OK for them to drop trousers and attend to their business WHILE their man is in the bath. For I sure as hell was not at the meeting where that was voted upon.
    It is OK to come in and chat, OK to get in with your man. But it is never OK to be that comfy.
    And men never ever ever chat at the urinal. And only rarely at the sink when two are side by side washing the hands. There may be conversation while holding the door on the way out along the lines of ‘nice day/ wet today/’tis a bit warm’ and other similar full conversations.

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