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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.

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Monday, August 22, 2005

Restroom Rules

Since I have a fairly long commute to work (and I’m addicted to coffee) my first stop when I get to the office is usually the ladies room. Since many of the people I work with seem to have no clue about office bathroom etiquette I decided to take this opportunity to educate the public and vent about my office restroom pet peeves.

Cell Phones:
Upon entering the restroom PLEASE turn your cell phone off.
What goes on in the restroom is NOT for public broadcast. I’ve seen (ok heard) people actually continue a telephone conversation or answer a call while using the toilet – how rude is that! It’s not as if the person on the other end of the line doesn’t know where you are calling from either, what with all the flushing in the background…
If someone called me and I suddenly heard a flush I’d be pretty sickened but maybe that’s just me. (See also: Toilet Conversationalists)

Dish Washing/Tooth Brushing:
So you have some dishes or plastic containers from lunch and you want to wash them out in the bathroom sink. Ok, I understand that. Who wants to drive home with dirty dishes?
Now, how about you do the REST of your coworkers a favor, and clean out the SINK when you are done. No one wants to look at the remains of your lumpy oatmeal or fried rice at the bottom of the sink all day. The same goes for the toothpaste remnants you’ve spit into the sink. Just get a paper towel and wipe out the sink when you are done. Try giving half as much thought to public property as you do to your own private property/personal hygiene and you’ll be on the right track.

Toilet Conversationalists:
If you entered the bathroom with a friend or a coworker (as women often do) the time to end the conversation is when you enter the stalls. The toilet is a place for quiet reflection, maybe reading magazines (if you are at home) but definitely not chatting. It kills me to hear two people prattling on – nearly yelling to continue their stall-to-stall conversation as they do their business. Don’t talk to me either. I’m not up for that kind of multi-tasking.

The 30 Minute Makeover:
The mirror in front of the sink is a great place to give yourself the once over. Maybe run a brush through your hair, fix your lipstick etc… This is not the place to perform your entire beauty regime from moisturizing, to makeup application, to the use of a curling iron. Some of us would like to wash our hands. And speaking of which….


Enough said.


Please do all your buttoning/buckling/zipping inside the men’s room. While we are all familiar with what goes on inside a rest room I don’t need to see you closing up your pants in the hall. If you are in such a rush to get back to work that you can’t take the time to readjust your clothing inside the men’s room I shudder to think about what other steps you may have skipped.

Thank You


At 12:42 PM, Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

(WASH YOUR FREAKING HANDS)where i come from we don't pee on our hands

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

What i don't understand is men who talk in the bathroom. MEN DON'T TALK IN THE BATHROOM! Everyone knows that! Especially not at the urinals! Gaaaah!

Speaking of urinals...

At 1:51 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

Ugh talking at the urinals...
Good lord.

As for not peeing on your hands:
There are other ways to contract bacteria in a bathroom senario...

Am I to assume you are a non-washer Amshi?

At 2:05 PM, Blogger Little Wolf said...

I have to agree whole-heartedly with your bathroom pet-peeves. As someone who, for medical reasons, frequents restrooms both at work and out-and-about in the community, I really find this to be a major area of agrevation.

Just once I would like someone who does these stupid things to look at themselves as other people do.

As for the Cell phone call in the bathroom. This seems to be becoming more and more prevalent. NO ONE is so important, and no phone call is so life threatening, that it can't wait a minute or two for you to finish up.

At 2:53 PM, Blogger Air Time said...

are you also against the portable phon in the bathroom at home?

At 3:02 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

Yes, of course!
I can't think of anything less respectful than speaking to someone on the phone while you are using the bathroom.

There are phone jacks in the bathroom of our house... their very presence disturbs me.

Since our house was owned by an elderly man before us I have assume that he had a phone in there for safety purposes... Still... ick!

At 3:23 PM, Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

Am I to assume you are a non-washer Amshi? i'm litte bit howard hughes when it comes to asher yatzar

At 4:37 PM, Blogger orthomom said...

LOL! I'm glad someone feels the same way about this as I do. The cell phone in the stall thing is something I've seen too many times to count.

At 12:24 PM, Blogger Air Time said...

I used to work in an office where one could easily send an email to everyone in the company.

One day, we get an email sent out to everyone in the company from a woman complaining about the condition a stall was left in by a woman on the rag. Although the email did not get into specific details, it was quite apparent that some woman had left the stall a bloody mess.

The guys at work all sort of snickered, but for the most the email was ignored, until the girl sent out a second email a few months later complaining about the same thing.

This time, though, the sender was reprimanded for sending this email out to the entire company, instead of either just our floor, or the women on the floor.

So I don't know if you want to add these to your list of Restroom Rules, but here goes.

A) Clean up after yourself
B) If someone else doesn't clean up after themselves, don't send a company-wide email around to complain about the bathroom

At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Essie said...

Our office doesn't have cell phone users in the bathroom, but I can't stand when people start talking to me about work-related things in the bathroom. Come see me at my desk! It's called a bathroom BREAK for a reason.

At 7:51 PM, Blogger Mirty said...

The nice thing about being an IT person is my badge gets me into the executive suite, where apparently the minions clean the restrooms constantly. It's always clean and fresh on the top floor.

At 9:33 AM, Blogger Shifra said...

Airtime- that's really funny/gross.
I think it's worse when a mess goes UNreported.

I mean if the toilet explodes or something (for whatever reason) how can you just walk away.
At least report it in the passive tense ie "I happened to notice the toilet has overflowed" if you are too embarressed to admit "I overflowed the toilet."


At 11:47 AM, Blogger Just Passing Through said...

It irks me when I see a guy, standing at the urinal with both elbows resting on the dividers like he's tanning, and reading his blackberry. yuck.

Oh. One more request. Please keep all grunts and groans to a minimum. We're not playing tennis here.

At 8:56 PM, Blogger Sweettooth120 said...

I know it seems like a silly thing to be gross out over, but somehow it annoys me when I see a man walk into the public men's room, especially at work, carrying a magazine or newspaper. Just too much information.

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Just Passing Through said...

At work we keep a list of those who were seen not washing their hands. It's called the 'shake and walk club'. I wonder if these people are curious why no one shakes their hands anymore.


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