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Everybody poops and some people do it at the office.

Even though we are all going to share the restroom facilities several times a day, the Human Resources department never starts the employee orientation day with ground rules for going to the bathroom.  Is it too much to ask to throw in a couple policies, maybe a few best practices, or a diagram or two in the employee handbook?

Even though we are all going to share the restroom facilities several times a day, the Human Resources department never starts the employee orientation day with ground rules for going to the bathroom.  Is it too much to ask to throw in a couple policies, maybe a few best practices, or a diagram or two in the employee handbook? Or maybe they could use the stalls as an opportunity to remind employees about fiscal responsibilities by hanging photos of the CFO inside each stall, with the proclamation “Remember, the bottom line begins with bottom, only four squares per session.”

They don’t.  But they should.

As a founding member of Citizens Reclaiming America’s Potties, we are here to help fill what we like to call “The Porcelain Gap”, in American business culture.  Here are four recommendations to achieving a better bathroom experience for everyone.

The first thing we should learn is that there is no talking while making.   Men go through several phases during their careers.  Phase one is when we are born and we go without thinking about it.  Then there is phase two where we go while thinking about it.  Then as you get older phase three kicks in and we go while thinking about it really hard.  Then the last phase, we go without knowing that we have gone.  If you work in any office then you are spending quality urinal time next to people who firmly entrenched in phase three.

What they are doing is intentional.  What they are doing requires focus and concentration.  Extraneous conversation only makes it harder build up pressure and to keep to the business at hand.  I wouldn’t be surprised if companies start piping the sounds of rushing waters while being motivated by the disembodied voice of the CEO offering employees encouragement such as “you have a powerful stream” through the loud speakers overhead.

The next issue to be addressed is reading the community newspaper while in the loo.  We all understand that bathroom reading is your way of keeping up with the world situation.  Those precious moments that you spend in there with the paper let you better yourself.  The only thing standing between you and ten more IQ points is a high fiber diet.  Here is the problem through.  Your daily constitution of self-improvement and discovery is brought to you by a document that I am going to have to read over lunch.  It is affecting your co-workers.  Your morning sabbaticals mean we miss out on current events.  We have already called your spouse and begged that you not be allowed not have Mexican food on the first Tuesday in November, otherwise none of us may learn wins the elections.

It has gotten so bad in fact that we found ourselves celebrating when you were out on vacation last month.  Each morning we all happily gathered in the break room around the paper.  Words were read.  Hearts were stirred.  We laughed as we read Maramaduke.  We cried at the obituaries.  We felt enriched as we read George Will.  When did he start wearing bowties?  All in all, it was a glorious five days.  We are glad to have you back, but we miss our time with sports section.  Can’t we have you both?

This brings us to the washing of the hands.  This is a vital part of the restroom experience.  You aren’t done just because your zipper went up.  Don’t make excuses.  Your work can wait while you make yourself sanitary for the rest of us.  I know you are confident in your hygiene, but no offense, I don’t know where that thing has been, and based upon conversations I have overheard in the hallways I am not entirely convinced that you are an expert on the subject either.

We will have none of this cursory running of your hands under the water.  Let’s use some soap here.  The easy way to remember how long you should wash your hands is to sing Old MacDonald Had a Farm while lathering.  You should sing the same number of versus as the number that you just went.  It isn’t that hard.  Here a cow, there a pig, E, I, E, I, O. Sing out loud if you need to.  And who knows, someone else may even join in.  I personally wouldn’t mind being treated to a barbershop-grade performance of the barn yard classic each time I open the door to the facilities.

And last but certainly not least: Flush early.  Flush often.

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Copyright by B. Todd Bright. All rights reserved.