Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Rules of Engagement

Engaging in using office restrooms, that is. This post is inspired by my newlywed friend's recent post, "Potty Talk." I had planned on writing something about this for a while, after Brooks and Jacki and I discussed this very issue about 3 months ago. Brooks said that if he had a blog, this is the kind of thing he'd write about. Well, since he doesn't have a blog, I'll steal his thunder.

Now, without further ado, here are my Rules for Restroom Behavior at the Office:
  1. First rule about restroom behavior: no talking in the restroom! (Before, during, or after.)
  2. No eye contact in the restroom. Everyone is a stranger in the office restroom.
  3. Whenever possible, use the restroom on another floor, preferably one that gives you the most anonymity.
  4. If you walk into the restroom when one of the stalls is obviously occupied, but there is no audible noise coming from the stall, get your business done quickly and wash and dry your hands very loudly to save the occupant some embarrassment.
  5. If you hear your restroom neighbor produce flatulence, get out of there as soon as possible. If she gets her business done first, stay in your stall until she has exited the restroom. There should be absolutely no eye contact or personal recognition in this situation.
  6. If there are only two of you in the restroom, and both of you are quiet in your stalls for at least 60 seconds, abandon ship, and get outta there! Do your business later.
  7. If you are witness to an embarrassing moment for someone else, or someone is witness to an embarrassing moment for you, never talk to this person again.

Oh, how I wish restroom stalls reached from ceiling to floor . . .

I think that's it for now. Can you blog-readers come up with any rules? If so, please leave them in the comment section!

Thing I'm thankful for: the creative outlet that is Blogger.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't really have any other rules, but I do want to document some behavior that I think all would deny, but that all do at one point or another.

1) once seated, everyone peeks under the stalls to see if they can recognize anyone else's shoes.

2) once seated, everyone peeks through the cracks to see if they recognize who is or is not washing their hands.

3) if you do recognize whomever is washing their hands, then hide in such a way so that they can not recognize you through the cracks.

Question -- are these rules and observances the same in the men's room?

1:47 PM  
Blogger Blake said...

Blokes only: stay the furtherest distant apart when using urinals. If there are five urinals and one occupant on the far left side, take the far left side and so on...

4:50 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

excellent rules... the kind that everyone thinks of, but only the bravest venture to publish to the world

7:55 AM  
Blogger Ezra said...

I agree with Blake's urinal proximity rule. Other than that I think I break every one of your rules on a daily basis. I talk, I look, I stay on my floor, I take my time, if I hear flatulence I usually comment "Bad lunch eh?", I know who the noisemakers are and who witnessed me making noise and I still talk to them. I think I have less shame as I get older.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Ha! Good post, my friend. And I find it funny that the guys are coming out of the woodwork and commenting on this one.

I concur, except that I'm beginning not to care as much because I have friends that are the talky, unembarrassed type, and you know, we're girls. We go to the bathroom in groups of three. I, however, am still the embarrassed type. I'm not embarrassed for them, but I am for myself. So I try to keep my embarrassment to a minimum.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Heather S. said...

#6 I find totally hilarious! Except for I'll try to break the silence by taking toilet paper from the roll, or clearing my voice or making some sort of small noise. I feel as though it's almost a battle of the wits... like- "who's going to last the longest"??? And I do talk sometimes, ONLY IF I know the person I'm in there with feels ok talking back to me and there's no one else in the bathroom.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Jacob said...

I think your rules go a bit overboard, because I've got no problem talking to someone in the bathroom, although I do prefer to talk at the sinks (inter-stall talking can be awkward). Also, in regards to "who's going to last the longest?", I always win. I'll sit, dead silent, in the stall for ten or even twenty minutes waiting for the other person to leave.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Jacob, you're right -- talking at the sinks is allowed. Definitely no talking from within the stall, though . . .

10:54 AM  
Blogger jet said...

If only the world had this list...

2:07 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

8. If a janitor walks in and proceeds to clean while you're going numero dos, abort mission. Abort! Abort!

1:30 PM  

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