Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bad Bathroom Etiquette

Fair warning: if you're overly sensitive or squeamish about bathroom etiquette, this may not be the post for you.  It won't get gross or inappropriate, just...well...direct.  I'm speaking from a corporate America perspective, by the way, not a personal home perspective.  Different rules.

One of my pet peeves is bad bathroom etiquette.

There are only a few rare circumstances under which discussion can or should be started in the bathroom.  Generally speaking, just don't do it.  I don't want to chit-chat or small talk while you're standing next to me.  And yes, you're standing RIGHT next to me.  It's bad enough that every bathroom designer in America apparently thinks that 12" of wall space split by a divider that's approximately the size of a piece of construction paper is sufficient privacy.  I mean, seriously??  Ladies, you may complain about having to wait in line for one of only two stalls, but at least you have full walls and doors to surround you in a comforting shell of invisibility.  Would you rather deal with the potential of inadvertently bumping the woman next to you while you reach for the toilet paper?  I think not.

Regardless, as I'm standing shoulder to shoulder in an almost absolute lack of privacy and doing my business, I really don't want to talk to you about my day, my kids, your kids, the weather, the Chiefs, or anything else.  I want to get away from you.  It's nothing personal, you understand.  I just don't want to be in that sort of proximity for any longer than I have to.  I suspect you don't either (though if you're the type to strike up a conversation in this situation in the first place, maybe you do), so let's just call a spade a spade and get moving.  Talking just prolongs the experience and makes it more intimate, and if there is one place in the world I do not want more intimacy, it is in a corporate America bathroom.

Also, I really don't understand what's so hard about getting your used paper towels into the trash.  It doesn't take Wilt Chamberlain to drop wet paper into a wide open hole, just gravity and half of a functional thought.  I can't remember how many times I've watched a guy toss his trash at the can, miss, and continue on out of the bathroom.  Quite frankly, it's rude.  It's rude to the people who are paid to clean up the bathrooms, and it's rude to everyone who has to use the bathrooms and look at your nasty trash until someone cleans up after you, you lazy moron.

The worst thing for me, though, is what I've taken to calling the fwoosh-n-flick.  Some of you know what I'm talking about.  You do your business, you walk up to the sink, you stick one and a half fingers under the water in a hygenically-deficient fwoosh, then flick off the three drops of water that actually made their way onto your fingers.  And that's good enough for you.


If you think this is acceptable, I think you must have been born in a barn.  And you've lived in one your whole life, too.  There's a guy on my floor who subscribes to this theory of hand 'washing', and I can assure you I will never shake his hand.  Not only this practice downright gross, it's also hygenically irresponsible.  Don't get me wrong, I'm generally not a big fan of overreacting to health and germ issues, but still...that's crossing a line that just shouldn't be crossed.  Even if there were no germs involved...it's still crossing a line.  Perhaps the most astounding part of the fwoosh-n-flick, though, is what happens after those three drops of water are gone (wait for it)...

You go grab three paper towels and dry off your hands.

Pardon my language, but W.T.F.!

I know you didn't get enough clean water on your hands to require one paper towel, much less three.  The fact that you grabbed them and used anyway is essentially an admission that you really REALLY should have washed your hands in the first place.

And then you miss the trash can with your nasty trash.

Come on, people.  Leave the bad bathroom etiquette behind and join us in the 21st century.

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