Bathroom Etiquette

June 8, 2011 at 8:55 am | Posted in Around Boston, Office Humor | 8 Comments
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I like to think I’m well-versed in etiquette.  My friends and family know me as the “thank you card queen” (I really do have an affinity for writing cards of all kinds, especially thank you notes), and I’m often consulted in matters of propriety and manners (I like to think it’s because I’ve been well-trained, not because I’m judgy).  But, dear reader(s), I’m not too proud to admit that I don’t always have the answers, and at the moment, I am perplexed by a situation at my new workplace.

The ladies room in our office building is one of those four-stall deals.  And yes, I do have a preferred stall – it’s the third one – what of it?  Anywho, it’s a rare occasion that I’m in the throne room alone.  Not an unusually strange situation – we’re all faced with public pottying every now and then.  What is strange, however, is the behavior of one of the gals in my building.

A few times every week when I enter the loo, I find her there already – but she’s never in a stall.  Most of the time, she’s pacing around the tiled room, talking (loudly) on her cell phone (in another language, so no, I can’t eavesdrop – not that eavesdropping would be proper, even if I could do it!).  And sometimes she’s pacing around the room without her cell phone.  Mumbling to herself.  Or crying.  She never potties.  She only paces and makes some sort of noise.

And I have NO idea what to do.  I’ve tried a noncommittal smile, a friendly smile, a chin-raise-acknowledgement, a brief “hey,” a wave, and even a “You okay?” inquiry.  I’ve tried ignoring her, acknowledging her without eye contact, and pretending I’m not listening to anything but the sound of my own… breathing.  But nothing really feels right.

What, dear reader(s), would you do?

Perplexed in the potty,


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  1. Have you heard the other woman who goes in to the bathroom talking on her cellphone, goes to the bathroom talking on her cell phone, flushes talking on her cell phone, washes her hands on her cell phone, and leaves, still talking on her cell phone?

    …. The first time, I didn’t know she was on the phone, and when she was like:

    “No. No. NO. Oh my god, NO.”

    I asked her if she was alright from the next stall over.

    Aaaaand I promptly got snapped at- “I’m on the PHONE.”

    … but /why/?

    • Yes! I know exactly the lady you’re talking about!!! It’s sooo uncomfortable. Once I was in the potty and BOTH of them were doing their phone thing – it was really bizarre.

      I can’t believe she snapped at you! Like you’re in HER space! Lady, it’s a bathroom! Come on!! I hope you responded: “I’m on the pot!” LOL

  2. Find another potty. There’s a gas station down the street.

    • LOL or maybe I will teach her a lesson and call you from the loo, pops!

  3. So today in the airport, I was in the bathroom and heard a woman in the stall next to me, on her phone, say “Hold on a minute while I take off my drawers.” Really? I guess she wanted her listener to have any question about the fact that she was a) in the potty, and b) naked from the waist down. The whole scene reminded me of you (via this post 🙂

    • HAHAHAH! That’s nuts!!! What is the matter with people?? And furthermore, who says “drawers”??

  4. Have an “incident” in your stall (ideally staged and not of necessity) to a) make it difficult for her to hear herself speak, let alone carry on a conversation and b) ensure that the person on the other end of her line can hear what is going on. Hopefully one of them will feel uncomfortable enough not to risk having that happen again. 🙂

    • Oooh, I like it, Tracy. A little Austin Powers “who does #2 work for?” reference might work well 🙂

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