Just came up against a bothersome question of boundaries: Office Toilet Etiquette. Just a few months ago, we finally got enough women working in the office to finally convince all these men that one single-stall women’s bathroom was not enough for more than 10 women. It just isn’t, and until a few months ago, I couldn’t help feeling cranky about the 3 bathrooms allotted to the men. So, we made one of the men’s rooms a unisex bathroom (being a single-stall, it’s thankfully an “either/or” kind of thing… not “both at once”).
This has been a fantastic solution so far, and much appreciated by all the ladies. Unlike other men’s rooms I have had the misfortune of frequenting (mostly at restaurants and bars, so there you go), this one is regularly cleaned and stocked with all the paper-product necessities women will always value/require more than men. (And I don’t mean the latest issues of more sports and tech mags… though they are there in astonishing abundance. Our All-Ladies Room has one ancient copy of something about management.)
Now we come to the problem: Twice in the last week, I’ve had to put the seat down.
Am I grossed out for nothing? I mean, it’s not like at home, where I genuinely worry about stumbling into the powder room in the middle of the night, or first thing in the morning and actually feeling the freezing porcelain before I realize what’s happened. Since it’s a unisex bathroom in a public place, should I just assume that I will encounter the same issues at work as I do at other people’s houses where I can’t just ask the main male-of-the-house to please put the seat down? That is, do I just deal with it?
Or am I right in being a little miffed? I don’t like to touch my own toilet if I don’t have to. And shoot, I spend more time here than I do at home. And if I am entitled to a little disquiet, how in the world am I ever gonna approach this issue? Can’t you just see the office-wide memo? Ooof.
To: The other 40 employees at this company.
From: The other 10 employees at this company
Subject: Please put the seat down
Re: the newly-adopted “unisex” bathroom upstairs, please recall your manners and save your female co-workers from embarrassment and potential disgust. Put the seat down.
All the Ladies