Thursday, August 20, 2009

A wee little moan

I'd like to talk about etiquette for a moment. Ahem. Bathroom etiquette.

I don't know about you, but there are certain rules I follow when in the bathroom. Some of them are universal, and others are not.

The seat - well, that's universal. Washing hands - that is too. Replacing the end of a loo roll when it runs out? Natch.

In the office though, things aren't always that clear. And in MY office, where you could be in the bathroom with 19 other women at the one time - our bathroom is like one big long battery egg farm, stretching out into the distance with a never ending row of cubicles all slightly too small to be properly comfortable (I mean really, why didn't they make it 15 cubicles and give us enough room to turn around properly??) - there you are, with lots of other people.

Other people who have..... different rules.

The reason I'm writing this post is because my notions of etiquette have recently been affronted, in the office bathroom. Twice in two days!

First of all I had to contend with someone talking on their phone. To a real person. While they were using the cubicle - if you get my drift. And that was awful. I can cope with that though, if I must (and must I? really? can you not leave your damn phone on your damn desk where it damn well belongs?), because that kind of happens "around" you rather than directly involving you.

But if it wasn't bad enough, then today I was cornered by the Bathroom Talker. The Bathroom Talker! I hate the bloody Bathroom Talker.

I was just going into a cubicle when the Bathroom Talker came out of one, and spotted me, and said hello, and I said hello back, and that's where things should have politely and cordially ended.

But no. The Bathroom Talker continued to engage me in conversation as she washed her hands, and I squirmed with awkwardness (from behind my closed door) and she wasn't even just babbling on about drivel, she was actually conducting a serious conversation she expected me to contribute to. In a meaningful and intellectual way. Seriously. And this is not an isolated incident - she does it all the time!!

I mean, is it just me, or is that behaviour com-PLETE-ly inappropriate?!? It's wrong, people, it's wrong! Bathroom etiquette states that unless you are both standing at the basin chatting together, you do not have the conversation in the bathroom. Certainly not while one of you is IN the cubicle and all she wants to do is to wee in peace.

Good lord. Completely affronted, I tell you, completely affronted. I'm going to have to start posting a lookout for this woman, and that is just at the very wrong end of extreme measures.

image courtesy of Getty Images


Heartbeatoz said...

I'm with you I like to use the loo in peace and not have someone rabbiting on from the other side of the door does the woman have no shame.

I Purr-Furr to Craft said...

this made me laugh! but seriously i am with you on this one!

Margaret @ Konstant Kaos said...

Yes the Bathroom Talker is a weird one... I know that if I ever approach the toilet chatting to someone, I will hang back and then go in after they are in their cubical. Else we keep on talking and that is a no-no. The other thing that irks me is that the toilet roll has to be over, not under. My mother purposefully puts the toilet paper under because she knows that when I am at her place, I will put it in the correct position. *shrugs*

SoMH said...

Well if there's one thing that will draw forth a comment from me, it's this. I'm sure we must have agreed on this in the distant past at some point - thank you for articulating it so perfectly. Our world is full of Bathroom Talkers; in fact often I feel that I am the odd one out for finding the practice so heinously inappropriate. I'm sure it must be a girl thing too, though I've never asked a man to confirm. My worst couple of instances: a (then) very good friend continuing with a very involved conversation while we were in adjacent cubicles and while she was... erm, making *full* use of the facilities. OMG!!! And now: my Boss does it. All the time. And she's, you know, my Boss, so what can I do? I can't even politely/passively refrain, when it's my Boss. So yes, I do the lookout thing, to avoid coincidental visits. Hideous.

CurlyPops said...

Ewww there are some things that should be done in private and with no chatting!
I don't get the whole going to the bathroom in pairs thing either.
PS - you gave me a good chuckle.