LONG OVERDUE: That’s what this rant is.
Spoiler Alert: If you have an issue discussing restrooms and what may/may not go on within them, you might want to bypass this blog.
If you are one of my poor coworkers, you have not only heard this rant daily, but you have lived it, and I apologize in advance for scarring your memory once again with this post. Honestly, I am quite surprised it has taken me so long to go off on the topic of public restrooms.
I need to be clear about a few things. First of all, I have a really big issue with germs. A BIG ISSUE. I am constantly washing my hands or sanitizing something. In fact, Bath and Body Works is in business because of the amount of hand sanitizer I buy. Germs are just gross, and I don’t understand how anyone could disagree. Furthermore, I don’t get embarrassed about any topic, so a discussion about the restroom is just everyday banter for me.
I’ve worked in higher education for a loooooonnnnnnnnngggggggg time, and as rewarding as it can be, there are an array of negatives that accompany that feeling. Yes, I love the fact that I get to see someone start a new career and achieve a sense of accomplishment once they complete it…it really is a cool feeling to know I was a small part of their success. Know what I don’t love? Preaching about professionalism and having to deal with nasty restroom etiquette. Do I work at a daycare? This may come as a shock, but the answer is NO. (Note: I feel that it is imperative to continually state “higher education” to clarify that I am not working with toddlers or small children. I work with students ranging in age from 18 years old to 60+) Due to a multitude of occurrences stemming around the third floor restroom at my college, as well , I have compiled a list of questions I have for those using public restrooms.
1. I understand it is sometimes fun to toilet paper a friend’s house (I do this at least once every Halloween), but why are you toilet papering your own restroom????? Every. Single. Day. I walk into the restroom that I am fortunate enough to share with the student population to find some additional decor: toilet paper strewn across the floor, on the sinks, through the stalls, etc. Why is this happening?
2. Why are you peeing all over the seat? This, again, is something I run into daily, and it really confuses me. You’re not a dude…you don’t have a device that can spray all over. Get it together. The only explanation I can come up with is that you are out of toilet paper due to my complaint #1.
3. Why are you eating in the restroom???? I have seen numerous food items discarded in, on, or around the toilets, and I don’t understand. Why would anyone want to eat in a bathroom? This isn’t Mean Girls…you don’t have to eat your lunch in there to hide from others. My favorite items to date include a plate of pasta salad (this means someone had a fork and were shoveling it into their mouth during “the act”) that I found on the floor next to a toilet and a stack of Oreos stacked up on the tuna tin. For those unsure what a tuna tin is, it is a sanitary napkin dispenser. Apparently, it is also a cookie jar. My co-workers and I joked about why we weren’t invited to the “Oreo Party” for quite a long time…I’m okay with that invite getting lost in the mail.
4. Why are you spraying that awful perfume after you are done???? We know what you are doing in there. Please don’t attempt to make things better by spritzing Red Door or anything by JLo. It doesn’t work. I’d also like to personally thank whichever student starting using one of my absolute favorite perfumes, Pink Sugar by Bandolino, because now I don’t ever want to wear it.
5. Why are you in the medical field if you refuse to wash your hands after you are done???? By far, the most disgusting thing ever. I have started calling people out for their lack of handwashing. This also applies to some of my co-workers, not just my students. I practically bathe in the sink to make sure my hands are clean, and I use a paper towel to open the door upon exit. When I get back to my desk, I sanitize. Nothing infuriates me more than these sick $#@ks making eye contact with me as they exit their stall and then leave the restroom. WASH YOUR HANDS!!!!
6. Poo, why??? If it is brown, flush it down. This means just as it says. It does not mean take your poo and fingerpaint with it in the stall. Unfortunately for our janitor and dear friend, George, he was given the fun duty of cleaning up someone’s poo paintings awhile back. If the perp is who we think it is, she is older than my mother. Regardless, you are disgusting!!!! I’d hate to see the inside of your house…it probably looks like a dumpster. It’s obvious this topic doesn’t make you nervous based on your artistic displays, but for those who get nervous about it, there’s a site for you to check out. Please visit this site if you need further instructions on how to poo.
7. Why are you drinking water from the bathroom faucet??? I often catch students going into the restroom and filling up cups and water bottles. I know you are thirsty, but right around the corner in the hallway is a water cooler complete with cold (or boiling hot if you prefer) water. Why aren’t you using that???
8. Why are you getting into fights with your baby daddy while you are doing your business??? I am a big fan of multi-tasking, and I have been known to chat on my speaker phone while at home in my own bathroom (of course, I creepily sanitize the phone when I leave the room). You will never catch me in a conversation while doing my business. The conversations I overhear in our restroom are similar to those on Maury Povich. Maybe I will make fliers with the show’s contact info and slide them under the stalls from now on….
9. Why are you following me into the restroom for a conversation??? I think I’ve made it clear enough for even Helen Keller to realize that our third floor restroom is a disgusting germ-infested disaster zone. Honestly, there are days where I consider just wearing a diaper so I can avoid going in there. When I absolutely must enter the gates of restroom hell, I am planning on being in and out in under a minute, so don’t get in my way. By all means, don’t try to have a deep conversation with me regarding your future. Wrong place, wrong time.
10. And finally, why, oh why, are you doing any of the aforementioned things??? My parents made sure I knew how to properly use restrooms, and I am sure my grandparents, aunts, babysitters, etc contributed to me understanding the importance of this skill when I was young and learning. I’m not sure why grown adults are displaying manners worse than a five year old, but if this trend continues, we are really in trouble…………
And there will be a lot more of this going on…….