Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Workplace Bathroom Situation

This post has been brewing for a while, but after seeing this over at Chez Roz, and having the topic come up with my girls on stag n' doe weekend, I thought it was about time I formalize my concerns on the blog.

As the title indicates, workplace bathrooms create a stinky (no pun intended) situation. In any offices I have been in, there are usually three or four stalls in one main bathroom. Normally, this isn't a problem, if your heading through the doors for a quick pee. You're in and out in under a minute (unless of course you've drank 2 coffee and a bottle of water without making a trip to the lou, creating a power pee situation... but that's a whole other blog!).

Anyways, if you going pee, there is clearly no problem (minus the air farts - that's right I said air farts, you know what I am talking about, so blush, and continue reading)... peeing is not the issue here, it's those unforeseen circumstances when you eat some spicy Thai food for lunch, which brings on the number 2 situation in under 30 minutes. Your cramps make you power walk to the washroom, but when you get in there, 3 out of the 4 stalls are full, and you know if you step in the one that's free, you are going to be embarrassed in no time, so somehow, you hold it together, exit the premises, and return 5 minutes later hoping the place is cleared out. If you happen to be lucky, the coast is clear, you do your business as quickly as possible, and try to get back to your desk without being noticed BY ANYONE.

Now, if your a man reading this, you probably can't relate, because for some reason, most men don't have the same privacy issues as women when it comes to making a number 2. In fact, I know a few men who leave their desk, and say out loud 'shit, I forgot the paper', and walk back to get it. Then, they give the nod and wink to the other men in the hallway, while they proudly place the paper under their arm, as they enter the facilities -urrrrrrrrrrgh, disgusting in a woman's world, but to the rest of the male posse, they are non-verbally high-fiving one another with their eyes, after the deed has been done. GROSS.

However, back to the female issues. In my experience, when you're in the restroom taking a pee, and you don't hear any noise in the stall beside you, but you see feet, you know somebody is trying to wait. you. out. It's embarrassing for all parties involved, because you know what the woman is doing, but at the same time, the evil side of you wants to push the limits to see how long the guilty party is willing to wait you out - while at the same time mentally noting the shoe style and colour (and in my case trying to match them up later in the day with the other woman in the building - evil I know).

I know.... you were thinking I was a nice catholic girl, raised in a small town, with good family values, yet I am talking about people's poo patterns - but seriously, if you're a woman, one or all of these thoughts has crossed your mind at somepoint in a public washroom.

This weekend my girls raised these very concerns... and it was suggested that large offices, have one or two private bathrooms, where a woman can go and use the facilities without the fear of being interrupted mid-process. I would add to that suggestion, that there should be one hell of an exhaust fan in each of those private stalls, and for good measure a truck load of air freshening spray (or stinky bum spray as we use to call it at 130-O), because you just never how nasty the end result will be.

The private stalls are definitely one solution to the workplace bathroom situation, but perhaps you have others solutions? That is, if your not embarrassed to leave a comment, with your name beside it!

What do you think... any ideas on how can we make the workplace poopie situation more bearable for the average working woman?

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