July 14, 2008

Can you spare a square?

I work for a small company. We rent office space in a big building that houses a bunch of other small/medium-sized businesses. This means that our little IT company shares a floor with a diverse group of industries, from a doctor’s office to a petroleum processing group to a small travel company. This ALSO means that we are all faced with a situation I have not dealt with since my sophomore year of college.

Community bathrooms.

There are 2 bathrooms on each floor, one for men and one for women. Each woman’s bathroom has 3 stalls and 2 sinks. They are not big facilities—no couches or baby-changing stations or anything like that. Basically, they’re built for business, if ya know what I’m saying.

So it never ceases to amaze me when I walk into the bathroom and find women doing a number of different things, aside from actually GOING TO the bathroom.

It weirds me out when people talk on their phones in the bathroom. First of all, what kind of Nazi do you work for that they won’t allow you an extra 3 minutes after a bathroom break to have a quick conversation? I know people are busy, but really? The only time in your day you have to discuss your dinner plans for the night coincide with the time you spend on the john? And the topics I have heard some women going over while they’re locked in a stall, feet poking out from under the door, toilet paper roll spinning! Everything from baby food brands to anniversary plans to bitchy bosses. I don’t know about all of you, but I have very few friends who would actually be amused at hearing me pee while talking to them on the phone, and they would probably be REALLY offended to hear other people peeing while on the phone with me. This odd bathroom habit grosses me out.

Even grosser than that, though, is something I have witnessed for about a year, and is apparently following me from floor to floor. We moved from the 2nd to the 3rd floor in March because we needed more space. While on the 2nd floor, I noticed that if I ever went into the restroom around lunch-time, I could usually find 2 or 3 small Asian women in there, doing dishes.

Doing DISHES.

Yeah…

They would bring the Tupperware containers that they carried their lunches in and wash them out after lunch. Not too bad when you read it just like that, but if the situation were really that simple I wouldn’t be making such a big deal out of it.

Not only do they wash out their containers, but they also dump the remnants of their lunches into the sink and then proceed to smash the noodley mess down the drain. Then, they wash their faces and brush their teeth. I suppose I could commend their hygienic habits, but it is just so weird to observe that I avoid the bathroom between the hours of 11 and 1 altogether.

I made a point of saying we have moved from the 2nd to 3rd floor for a reason, too. When we were on the 2nd floor, I would see these women doing this every day. Their office was right next door to mine so I could see when they were headed for the bathroom. I was hoping to escape this when we moved to the 3rd floor, but now they just come to the 3rd floor bathroom every day! I felt like I was stuck in some weird bad dream the first day I walked into the bathroom on the 3rd floor and they all looked up at me from the sink, noodles going down the drain, one of them in mid-face wash.

Have you ever witnessed strange bathroom habits? In PUBLIC areas? Please make me feel better about this insane circle of bathroom hell I have to endure each day.

4 comments:

KAREN! said...

the cell phone in a public bathroom is weird (although i admit i go to the bathrm at home with people only the phone, but always ask if thats ok first-- sometimes ya gotta pee and tell a story at the same time!), but what really is weird is the DISHES stuff! don't they clog up the drains with their noodles? and washing their faces-- what's next, a sponge bath?? we have the same bathrm set up here but luckily no one is EVEr in the bathroom. have you ever said anything to these ladies?

Liz Casstro said...

That is a really random and interesting story! Asian people tend to eat different foods so I can imagine the smell may not be all that pleasant either!

My bathroom story isn't as strange as it is unpleasant. We are in our own building and have one mens and one women's restroom (the kind with just one toilet and sink) and they are in the hallway outside my office. Well, the guy's bathroom is closer to mine and I have to shut my door when I hear the spray can go off because I can taste the sent...they spary that much! It's rather gross but I guess it's better then smelling something else!

hahaha...that's a gross story huh?

Chandra Lynn said...

My bathroom is the SAME way!! Dishes, brushing teeth, phone convos... All three give me the heebie jeebies. Brushing teeth is the least of the evils, but it's still a little weird to me. And this morning there was a woman in a stall on her phone, and it sounded like she was on a service call. Can you only imagine what the poor person on the other end of the line thinks?

ps - love the new layout! :)

Sorrelleellis.blogspot.com said...

The Boutique has one bathroom. My sister is a bathroom commander and OCD, it can be very uncomfortable to use the bathroom because she always ask what you are doing in there, watches to make sure all the water is up, listens to make sure the toilet it flushed properly, and then inspect it. After a few years of that I just stay and work at home most days so I can enjoy my own bathroom without her.

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