What I am about to say is equal parts uncomfortable and necessary. It’s about public bathrooms, primarily ones around the workplace or at places like Starbucks where you might recognize someone if you go there more than once. There is an issue with public bathrooms that has gone on for too long and no one has the courage to talk about it. Well, that ends today.
At my office, there are a three bathrooms that the men can use. Two of them are your standard, two-piece bathrooms that have a sink, toilet, and very private door that keeps the outside out, and the inside in. It’s comfortable (enough) and offers as much privacy as one could ask for outside of the comforts of their own home.
The third bathroom is a bit bigger and falls in line with what you might expect to find at most restaurants, department stores, concert venues, or any place that has a maximum occupancy of more than 18 people. This bathroom features two urinals, two sinks, two stalls, and, oddly enough, two showers.
Harmless enough, right? ABSOLUTELY NOT! This is me, a man, complaining about something I can only imagine women feel all the time for having to use stalls anywhere they go. We can all pretend it doesn’t exist, but there is a window into that little cage that doesn’t need to be there and it’s time to address it!
Like a magnet, our eyes are drawn to that little sliver of space in between the door and stall wall and God forbid someone is using it because somehow our eyes manage to connect with whoever it is in the stall. The stall sits in direct view of anyone walking in to the bathroom. No I don’t want to look, but of course I do. Even if I am going in just to use the urinal, I have to take inventory of everything in a split second to know if I need to find another bathroom.
Did someone just #2 it in there? I’ll pass.
Is someone #2 in there currently? I don’t want to be the guy who is just peeing while someone else is pretending they’re not there, uncomfortably NOT doing their thing while I do my business and wash my hands.
It’s an unwritten rule that if someone is using the stall in a men’s bathroom, anyone else has to pretend like they don’t notice anything is different.
It is. You know it is and I know it is. But in order to not be weird in the office, I’ll play the game.
You might say, “everybody poops,” to which I would agree, but not everybody has to know about it. Women have been living by that mantra for generations and men pretending that’s true is the only thing that lets us humans coexist for the first couple weeks of dating.
The best inventions identify when there is a problem and solve it simply. At some point, somebody got really tired of his papers blowing all over his desk, and the rock he found outside just wasn’t feng shui enough so he invented a paper weight. It’s time we stop pretending that we can’t see people pooping when we walk in to public bathrooms and close the window for good in this very serious issue!
My first thought is to have some piece of loose fabric covering that sliver of window so that it wouldn’t get in the way of the door swinging open or shut, but it would also allow the privacy needed to #2 in peace.
Another idea would be to have the door almost wrap around to the side of the stall so that the window gap would not face directly into the stall. You can keep the handle where it is, but protect the gap by moving it.
Whatever someone decides, feel free to take 100% credit for this and make your millions. As long as I have my privacy when I need it, I’m a happy guy.