If you're a regular reader, you'll know that we've done several articles on the rules we should all live by. Today we take a look at the 6 rules in the Workplace Bathroom Code of Ethics. Follow these rules, and your co-workers will respect and love you.
All you have to do is follow these 6 simple rules of the Workplace Bathroom:
1. Do not acknowledge people. This includes eye contact, greetings, or business talk. People are in the bathroom for one of two reasons: they either need to relieve themselves or they want to escape to some privacy. The bathroom is not a place for socializing or small talk.
2. Maintain the appropriate stance. When at the urinal, there is a correct and incorrect way to stand:
Correct: Legs are shoulder width apart, head and eyes are facing forward, use one hand to maintain a clear path to your pants, use the other hand to direct the stream.
Incorrect: Legs spread more than shoulder width apart, wandering head or eyes, one or two hands on hips, one or two hands on the wall.
3. Anonymity is key. This is almost exclusive to workplace stalls for men, but I imagine females sometimes have these feelings too when urinating. Wait until the bathroom is clear or the others are safely in stalls before exiting your own stall. Imagine if you had just wrecked a toilet or let out some weird smells and sounds, you wouldn't want the person washing his hands to know it was you! Similarly, if you are finishing up in a stall and you hear somebody else finishing up next to you, slow it down and let them leave before you. Not only do you give them the same anonymous courtesy, but you protect yourself as well from being identified.
4. Sounds are worse than smells. A lot of people will argue with me on this one, but I think sounds stay in your memory longer than smells do. It's much easier to recall a sound than a smell. It's also easier to track location based on sound than smell. Think of it this way: pretend you are in the middle stall of three occupied, side by side stalls. You suddenly smell something foul, terrible, and unforgivably repugnant. It will be difficult to determine if the perpetrator came from the left or the right. Now let's pretend that instead of a bad smell, you suddenly hear a loud, flatulent, and bubbly squeal. It will be MUCH easier to identify the culprit.
5. Know your enemies. Just because you shouldn't interact with people in the bathroom does not mean you should ignore them. Your goal should be to be able to identify people in the bathroom without them identifying you. Use shoes, vocal grunts/groans, the cracks in the doors, and mirrors to identify people who have made your bathroom experience unpleasant. This is useful because by spending time in the bathroom you will encounter all manners of noises and sounds that you do not want to be a part of. If you can identify such a culprit already in the bathroom before you get entrenched in your own business, you can wait a few minutes or find a new outlet.
6. Keep it clean. The bathroom is a biological garbage dump. It's only natural that it is going to get messy quickly. By doing your part you will ensure that at least some measure of upkeep is being taken. And while I don't suggest that you should clean up other people's messes or start scrubbing toilets, I do think we should all help take care of the little things. Pick up paper towels on the floor, rinse out the sink if it is dirty, and compact the trash to make room for more waste.
That's it. Six simple rules for appropriate bathroom behavior. Learn it, live it, love it.