I work in a pretty large building, so I have the displeasure of sharing the bathroom with all types of odd characters. Because of this, I try my best to avoid using it as much as possible. There are a few things I feel that everyone should know prior to entering a public restroom:
1. RESPECT MY SPACE! If there are 5 vacant stalls and I happen to be in the 5th, don’t pop a squat in the 4th stall right next to me. Do you really need to be that close to me? When possible, maintain a buffer zone and keep your distance. The same should go for urinals. I don’t know any guy who wants to be that close to an exposed random penis.
2. NO SOUND EFFECTS! I’m glad you get that much pleasure from dropping the kids off at the pool, but please keep it to yourself. There is nothing worse than hearing orgasmic noises coming from another stall while someone is dropping a deuce. Noises coming out of the other end can’t really be helped, but the giggling afterward can be helped and needs to stop.
3. COURTESY FLUSHES ARE YOUR FRIEND! There are some things you can’t really control, but you can try. If you happen to have an unpleasant situation going on, feel free to waste a little water and indulge in some pre-flushing fun.
4. THE RESTROOM IS NOT A CONFERENCE ROOM! Please take a minute to consider what people are going in there for. It’s not to catch up with old friends or discuss the upcoming meeting, I can assure you of that. Save the chit chat, back slapping, and hand shaking for the hallway. Your paperwork does not need to come out of your bag until you’re finished and exiting.
5. WASH YOUR HANDS! The longer you are in the bathroom, the longer you should wash your hands. Regardless of how careful you think you are, germs can travel through multiple sheets of that cheap excuse for toilet paper they keep stocked. Take a minute and run some soap and hot water across your hands before you leave. You too, guys! Would you want to shake a guy’s hand who just touched his weiner? I sure don’t.
6. NO FOOD PLEASE! Yes, it’s sad I even have to say that, but I’ve walked in more than a few times and heard someone having a snack in the stall. I can’t think of a more disgusting place to eat. It’s makes me nauseous just thinking about it. Drinks are a no-no as well, especially those without a lid. I will make an exception for beer drinkers at public venues.
7. DON’T BE A SLOB! Toilet paper and paper towels don’t go on the floor. Lady products need to stay out of sight. If you have bad aim, at least take a second and wipe the seat. And for the love of God, please flush.
8. YOU’RE NOT AT HOME! Picking your nose in the mirror, trimming your nails, or tweezing your eyebrows is perfectly fine in your own bathroom. Not so much in a public one. Especially not when you’re leaving nail trimmings and hairs all over the sink. The mirrors are not there so you can conduct a one person fashion show. Do a quick check and get out.
9. HANG UP THE PHONE! I hate being on the phone with someone who is doing their business and I also hate being in a stall next to the person on the phone. Your conversation isn’t that important. Hang up, put them on mute and stick your phone in your pocket, just please quit talking so I can quit wishing you drop your phone in the commode.
10. DON’T BE A PEEPER! If the stall door is closed, it’s probably occupied. If you’re not sure, give a light knock. It’s not okay to stick your head under the door and check out my shoes and it is definitely not okay to peek through the crack by the door and see if anyone is there. I don’t want to look up and see a stranger’s eye staring back at me.
11. YOU’RE NOT AN ARTIST! Bathroom stall graffiti stopped being cute around the time one hits high school. No one cares that Joe Was Here. No one actually believes you should call that number for a good time. No one cares that JF and BT are in love forever and always. Why are you writing on the wall in a bathroom anyway?
12. THIS IS NOT A KITCHEN! Please don’t use the sink as you would your kitchen sink. If you have leftover food, pitch it down in the cafeteria or get some fresh air and throw it in the trash outside. No one wants to use a bathroom that smells like stale spaghetti and ranch dressing, and no one wants to use a sink coated in chunks of last night’s dinner.
13. THE TOILET LID IS NOT A STEPPING STOOL! As an adult, this should be obvious. There isn’t any good reason to hop up on the can and see the world from a different perspective. You and your friend may find it hilarious to say hello this way, but the unfortunate soul in the stall on the other side of you feels much differently, I assure you.
14. YOUR PERFUME/COLOGNE ISN’T HELPING! You may mean well by spritzing your personal perfume or cologne as an air freshener, but its job isn’t to mask strong odors. All you’re accomplishing is creating a poop and flower stench that is clogging the nostrils of your fellow bathroom goers. If you’re that worried about masking odors, get a little bottle of actual air freshener to tote around.
15. THERE IS ONLY ONE PLACE FOR USED TOILET PAPER AND ONE MATERIAL TO USE AS TOILET PAPER! It is beyond disgusting to see someone’s dirty TP in the trash can meant for paper towels or on the floor next to the commode. It’s worse to see someone attempt to wipe with paper towels and clog the toilet. And it’s downright nasty to discover someone has found a new substitute for finger paint and has decided their first creation will be displayed on the stall wall.