Myths and misconceptions about public restrooms (especially at work)

I find it amazing how courtesy and common sense go out the window when it comes to using public restrooms. I’m mostly talking about the restroom at work, but I’ve noticed some of these trends in other venues as well.

1. The restroom is a great place for an impromptu meeting. This actually happens to me almost every day. I walk into our restroom to run into two or three women standing around talking about issues they’ve encountered from work or family life. I understand a quick chat while washing your hands or maybe even from stall to stall if it’s really important, but remember that other people do use the restroom for its intended use and walking through conversations and around people milling about chatting when needing to do your business or get to the sink to wash your hands is, well, awkward. I always feel like I’m intruding and if I feel that way, those speaking probably feel that way about my intrusion. Now, what was supposed to be a quick bio-break has become an awkward event. If you really need to catch up with someone you bumped into in the restroom, make an appointment and grab a conference room. Everyone will be happier.

2. The restroom is a quiet place for a personal phone call. I admit, sometimes at home, I do this to my sister. But that’s at home and with someone I’m really close to. When it comes to public places, I don’t need to know about your aunt Fannie’s hemorrhoids. In any language. I also wonder what the person on the other end of the phone makes of all the flushing and echoes they must hear. I have to admit, I sometimes flush extra when I know someone’s on the phone, just to hear how they explain all the noise. Do they admit they’re in a restroom?

3. Someone is paid to clean the restroom, so I don’t have to be as neat. Really? Ew. This is a facility used by many people, most of whom are at least slightly germ-a-phobic if not overly so. Other people do not need to pick up your empty feminine boxes or flush your seat covers because you can’t be bothered. I don’t want to look at the wad of toilet paper that you used to pick your nose and missed throwing it in the trash can. Please, make sure your trash is thrown away or flushed properly. And I do mean FLUSHED properly. Because really, ew. Do you want to see that?

Let me digress specifically to toilet seat covers. Personally, I don’t see the point. They are flimsy tissue paper that obviously has no ability to prevent anything as small as a germ getting through. Plus, if you’re sitting on the seat correctly, none of the parts that are known for catching disease will be touching anything that can transmit disease. The only thing they can do is keep your butt from coming in contact with the sweat or goo left behind from the person before you…said like that, I can almost understand it. But, I just wipe the seat with a small amount of toilet tissue to catch any stray drippings.

If you DO choose to use them and waste trees, PLEASE flush them and make sure they actually FLUSH. It’s rather disgusting to walk into a stall and see a used seat cover still on the seat. Let’s face it, if you don’t want your butt touching where someone else’s was, why would anyone else want to touch where YOUR butt has obviously been? (Yes, I know. Your butt is made of diamonds and gold and only excretes pearls of wisdom. Be serious.) Please, flush your seat cover.

4. Washing my hands is my business. Yes, it is. But your lack of washing your hands can become EVERYONE’s business if you happen to be coming down with a cold, the flu, any of the hepititises or a vast number of other sharable diseases. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to be sick. I have too much to do. And with fewer and fewer people to do the same amount of work around the building, I have less and less time to be sick. Sometimes I’m so busy, I start trying to delegate to myself. Imagine if I get sick and behind. Please, help me be less insane and wash your hands.

5. Puddles on the counter mean people are washing their hands. Well, yes, and that’s a good thing. But I don’t know how many times I’ve put papers or my laptop or purse down on the counter to wash my hands only to have a huge wet spot on the item(s) when I’m finished. Or my favorite, when I lean against the counter and get a lovely big wet spot on my pants that makes it look as if I didn’t make it to the restroom on time. I know this is being a bit picky and likely a personal problem (especially about that whole wet pants thing), but can’t you use the paper towels that you just used to dry your hands to dry the counter as well? I swear it would save me a lot of embarrassment. Maybe others as well.

Welcome Xavi!


I haven’t put up too many posts lately, mostly because I’ve been busy. I’m working on the last bathroom in the new house, still working full time and to make life easier, I got a puppy. Yup. Smart, adorable puppy. Her name is Xavi and she’s half yorkie and half miniature cocker spaniel.