Many people work in an office or other workplaces where we have to share a bathroom with other people, and most people are usually potty-trained by the time we begin our careers. However, if you share an office bathroom with enough people, you’ll know that the question “how to go to the bathroom” is not as trivial as it seems. Judging by the behavior of some of our coworkers, many of us don’t use the bathroom correctly. Here are a few hints on how to go to the bathroom in the office properly.
Use the time you spend in the bathroom stall to call in to a meeting or make a personal phone call. You have more privacy there, because the walls of the stall are higher than the walls of your cubicle. Always pick a bathroom for its cell phone reception because the rest of the stuff there is pretty standard.
Do not flush. Flushing wastes water, and you know how your company is committed to slashing costs. Also, a flushing noise can disturb your colleagues in the nearby stalls who might be in a meeting.
If you need to use the stall, don’t automatically assume that a closed door means that the stall is occupied. Shake the door a little bit. If the door doesn’t open, it still doesn’t mean it’s locked from inside – the door could just be stuck. Look under it. You may see the shoes on the floor, but once again, don’t make any assumptions, because someone could have just left their shoes there. Instead, jump up a few times until you can glance over the door and decisively verify that the stall is occupied.
If you are the one inside, the only way to prevent people from jumping over stall the door to look at you, is to call in to the meeting from inside the stall.
If you work in a place where the stalls are always occupied (for example, where Arby’s is the only lunch place within driving distance), and you are sure that your co-workers will never read this post, you can always designate your own personal stall by tightening the door and leaving a pair of old shoes on the floor.
Remember, when the money’s tight, the workplace bathroom is the place where you can stock up on some free toilet paper.
How to go to the ladies room. Do not go into the ladies room if you’re a guy. This may seem obvious, but in some offices this advice can be really tough to follow with the company’s tendency for constantly moving the bathrooms and for using really gender-neutral signs on the bathroom doors.
Unlike the ladies’ room, the men’s room has a designated area for having brief in-person business meetings. Just head to the nearest urinal and wait for the person you need to talk to. Scientific studies have shown that people are more likely to be honest with you when their pants are down.
To maintain professional appearance, do not go to the bathroom empty-handed. Print out an article from the internet (this post is a good choice) to read and carry it with you to the bathroom in a neat stack or a folder. Also, waiting to go to the bathroom until the last minute will give your face an extremely concerned and professional look, and add the sense of purpose to your walk.
If your office doesn’t care about professional appearances, bringing printed reading materials is still a good idea. You think you can just read anything from your smartphone, but let’s see how useful your iPhone will be when you belatedly find out that somebody just used your stall to stock up on the toilet paper.
And finally, don’t forget to thoroughly wash your hands. That way, you can delay going back to the routine of your work.