It’s Throwback Thursday. So I decided to post an entry I wrote way back when and never published. I think it’s somewhat funny, but hey, I live the situation five days a week. I give you my ode to the workplace restroom:
Before accepting my current job, I did not ask about the office restroom facilities. I guess I figured they couldn’t be any worse than in my last place of employment’s. There, we had six staff people, 3 male and 3 female, working in a fairly small office space, with a fairly small restroom right next to the office. The restroom was uni-sex, in that it had one toilet and one sink. Because of the proximity, we fully knew each others business. I won’t go into graphic detail, but, suffice it to say, we knew, fairly down to the minute, how each others bowels and bladders worked. It was laughable, and I suppose because we worked in abstinence education, aka sex ed, it was not considered highly personal information. We openly discussed questions high schoolers asked during presentations, and trust me, kids aren’t afraid to ask. . . . . Once our director went in the restroom to find someone had left a mere few inches of tp on the roll. He decided to write a haiku of sorts to the entire office and pin the remaining paper to my bulletin board. I don’t think whoever neglected to replace the roll ever owned up to it.
In my current workplace, we have a restroom consisting of one toilet, one sink, and one chair. Why we have a chair in there, is beyond me. It takes me back to shopping as child with my mother, sister, and grandmother. When visiting a department store (such as Dillard’s) in the 1970s, females would find nice, comfortable chairs in the ladies’ room. I’m guessing the chairs are still there, but I don’t frequent these rooms like I used to. It seemed reasonable to me back then that a lady might want to sit down and take a shopping break. Now, not so much.
Back to the workplace. . . . our restroom is larger than the one mentioned before, in my previous job. Yet, there’s just one and we’ve got a staff of thirteen people. Seven men, six women, and an occasional visitor need to use the facilities. While it’s not as confining as my old job’s, it is conveniently located next door to the CEO’s office. Meaning, there’s a shared wall. I think if I was him, I would have selected a different office.
Back to the chair, and speaking of our CEO. . . . a while back I entered the dark restroom, started to turn on the light and close the door, when I realized he was sitting in the chair (mentioned above), using his phone. Sitting, in the dark, in the strangely placed office chair. Obviously, this caught me off guard. I let out something between a scream and a yell, then almost hit him. Please note I am not one to hit people, especially not the man who signs my paychecks, but it was a knee jerk reaction. In other words, automatic. Fortunately, I caught myself. He was embarrassed, and explained he was waiting for a specific male staff person to enter so he could scare him. Meanwhile, this specific male staff person had meandered on foot across the street. It was funny, and now I have something to hang over my CEO’s head if I need leverage. Male supervisor lurking in dark public restroom. . . .
I will say our work restroom stays fairly clean, and because there’s a can of Lysol on the back of the toilet, germs are kept at bay. At least as far as we can smell. At times the scent of Lysol permeates the entire office space and I wonder if it would be better to simply let nature take its course. There is one other oddity worth mentioning. That’s the toilet paper and paper towel dispensers. We have the type affixed to the wall (think industrial). It is my responsibility to refill these (yes, four years of college and it’s my responsibility…..). The great thing about the dispensers, and I’m pushing it when I say “great” is that a key is required to get into each. I am not the Keeper of the Key. Our landlord’s assistant is. So, whenever they need to be refilled, I must go downstairs and ask for the keys. We’ve tried to get around this, get our own keys, perhaps install another type of dispensers. . . Alas, the landlord insists we continue with this methodology. It frustrated me at first, but I’ve grown used to the system. It works. Why complain? Oh, and not so long ago I realized I could use one of my personal keys to jimmy the lock on the tp. That was good news. Plus the paper towels can simply be stacked up on the holder. Perhaps not the best way to handle it, but hey, again, it works. The biggest downside to relying on the assistant for the keys is she doesn’t work on Fridays. Unless there’s an emergency. Our office running out of tp is not considered one. Timing is everything.