“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


Public Restroom Etiquette

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I try to be a pretty easy-going person. Most of the time this comes naturally to me - a trait passed down from Daddy Warbucks. I do, however, have a few pet peeves. Most of them center around public restrooms. Today's post is part rant, part plea to those who misuse this modern convenience and make it a miserable experience for the rest of us.

I'm sure no one reading this is guilty, but sometimes these things just need to be said. Some of the points I make here apply only to women, some apply to
men, and some to both.

To managers and owners of businesses everywhere.
Use of public restrooms can be a very unsettling experience for your patrons. There are a few things you can do to help make our experience at your place of business a more pleasant one.

1. When the building is being designed (this may be too late but it still should be considered by anyone in the building/designing process), please ask your architect/designer to consider putting the sinks somewhere other than directly across from the stalls. There are almost always cracks in the stall doors and it is very uncomfortable to see someone facing a mirror that is facing the stalls, knowing that they can see you in there quite clearly if they are so inclined to look.

2. Another way to avoid this problem is by having a private restroom with no stalls and a single toilet, which you can get by with in a small business.

3. The stalls with wooden doors that close tight are a personal favorite - no peek-a-boo cracks - but I understand that these are expensive. If you can't afford this, please consider the first option listed.

4. Please keep an eye on the cleanliness of your restroom throughout the day, especially if you have high traffic. I know this is difficult if you are busy, but it could mean the difference between a return customer and a dissatisfied customer.

5. Please be sure there is always a fresh roll or two of toilet tissue in each stall. We don't like having to ask for paper from the stranger in the stall next to us.

6. Please be sure the soap dispenser is full. Not only do we like to be able to have clean hands after using the restroom, but it makes us uncomfortable knowing that your employees have no soap with which to wash their hands before returning to work.

7. Please stock each stall with paper seat covers. It could help to avoid some misuse of the restroom facilities (see following list, number 3), and it makes most of us more comfortable knowing we're not using the same seat as the previous stranger.

8. You can also help by posting the following list in your public restrooms.

Public Restroom Etiquette
1. When entering the restroom, please do not peer in between the cracks in the stall doors. Some of us do not appreciate being watched by strangers while we "use" the restroom.

2. If you have the option, it is always preferable that you would choose a stall not directly adjoining an occupied one. If there are no such stalls available, this rule does not apply.

3. Please sit on the seat (as opposed to standing above it), so as to avoid missing the opening and hitting the seat. The person after you has to use that seat and you are only perpetuating the problem by making a mess of the seat.

4. I have no idea how it is anatomically possible to get a "smudge" on the front of the seat, but however it is you manage that, please don't do it!

5. If, somehow, you miss the opening and get something on the seat, please use a piece of toilet tissue to wipe it up. I don't care if you think it's gross. It's your mess, clean it up. Honestly, would you treat your toilet at home this way? I didn't think so.

6. Please flush - always.

7. After flushing, please make sure everything goes down before leaving the stall. If not, flush again.

8. Please do not leave pieces of tissue strewn across the floor. I can't quite figure out the purpose or reason for this, but it does not make for a pleasant experience for the next person if they have to walk the maze, trying to avoid getting a piece stuck on their shoe.

9. Please wash your hands. I don't care if you don't think it's unnecessary. It is necessary. Trust me on this one.

10. When washing your hands, if the sinks are directly across from the stalls, please be considerate and don't use the mirror to peer through the stall door cracks. Really, why would you want to see that anyway?

11. Please try to avoid splashing water all over the vanity and floor.

12. If you do splash water all over the vanity, please take a paper towel and wipe it up. Otherwise the next person who comes along and sets their purse or child on the counter ends up with a purse or child with a wet bottom.

13. Please be sure you do not have anything greasy, grimy, wet, or otherwise gross on your hands before opening the door. The next person has to use that same handle and doesn't want your grime on their hands.

14. If you are a guy, please zip up before you leave the room - not as you leave and not after you leave - before. And washing your hands is not such a bad idea either.

Thank you for abiding by these simple rules. I am sure this will go a long way toward helping us all live more peacefully together. At the very least it would make the Geekwif a happier girl.


At 7/28/2005 3:16 PM, Blogger insaneperson wrote:

more amendments:

1) Please design stall doors such that they are taller than 4 feet in height. Why even have a door if anyone can see right over it? Yes, several men's restrooms at rest areas have 4 foot doors on stalls over here in Illinois.

2) Please design the door to the restroom such that it opens outward, not inward. After I take the time to carefully wash my hands, I really get pissed when I have to grab a door handle to get out of the bathroom. Ick.

... yeah, and how on earth do you manage to poo-smudge on the seat? if you are a closet poo-smudger, you honestly need to come out. people would pay good money to learn your amazing secrets.

At 7/28/2005 3:51 PM, Blogger Geekwif wrote:

Good amendments. I thought of another.

If you have your child(ren) with you, please don't allow them to peek under the stall doors. You might think it's cute, but I guarantee you the person on the other side of the door does not.

At 7/28/2005 4:13 PM, Blogger ccap wrote:

Here, here, sistah!

At 7/29/2005 12:27 PM, Blogger Kristi wrote:

OMG- these are great. And your amendment mentioned above is especially funny, and true. Your "precocious" child peering at me, or trying to wrench open my stall door, is NOT appreciated.

At 2/13/2006 7:33 AM, Blogger Daisy wrote:

This just totally cracked me up! I love it! I am in computer class and I'm getting way to much attention because I'm laughing so hard!


Post a Comment

I'm having trouble with word verification so all comments will now go through moderation. Don't worry. I check my email often so it won't take long before your comment shows up.

<< Home