I daresay I’m not unique in this. And yet, invariably, public restrooms are set up with several stalls side-by-side, as though a little metal partition would make all the difference in comfort level.
Oh, I know public washrooms have to take efficiency into account, and the number of people expected to use it and all that…. Doesn’t mean I’m happy about it.
Even at work, the restroom on my floor has two stalls. But I’m considerate. If someone is using the stall, I won’t sit down to do my own business (assuming it’s not an emergency). I’ll simply return later to avail myself of the facilities at a more opportune (and private) moment. I expect the same courtesy in return, although it’s not always forthcoming.
Well, today, one stall was occupied, so I quickly turned away in search of another restroom: the one a floor up, on 8. I knew that wasn’t going to be easy, but time was of the essence, so I had to give it a try.
All the restrooms in our building have punch codes to prevent vandalism (which did in fact happen on occasion prior to the locks being installed… some people just have no class.) Sadly, the locks on each floor are keyed uniquely, so those of us on 7 are pretty much restricted to the washroom on 7 – for what reason I cannot fathom.
The 8th floor used to be an exception. Because it houses a government office, it had to be set up for accessibility, and the big red button for the automatic door used to override the lock. I knew, however, that they had fixed this loophole (Ha! Poophole?) and was just hoping that I might still find a way in. You see, the washroom on 8 only has one wheelchair-accessible stall, thus assuring no bathroom buddies. If I could only find a way in…
Just as I came up the staircase to the 8th floor, someone was exiting the washroom, which allowed me to enter. Yay! It was my lucky day. Or was it? The fellow that let me in must have been suspicious. I think he tattled!
When I left the washroom to head back downstairs, another fellow was waiting for me and stopped me to ask if I knew the code to the washroom. I answered that I did not, but he prodded further. “Someone was going out as I was entering,” I said. Then he cut me off, saying “Because this washroom is just for the 8th floor.”
What a jerk.
I told him I work on 7 and lied that our washroom was being cleaned. But I immediately felt stupid about lying. I hadn’t done anything wrong. It’s just a washroom, and the locks were only put on to discourage vandals, not fellow office dwellers. We all work in the same building. Who designated this guy the washroom police?!
Our brief exchange irked me enough to write up this blog post…but maybe I should just let it go. Maybe he was in a bad mood because he REALLY needed to poo.