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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Work Bathroom, or Hold My Calls

I once worked at a place where the corporate bathroom was more like a living room: couches, a little TV, even a little sewing kit for those early-morning seam splittings. Hated the company, loved the bathroom. Sometimes I think I should’ve stayed there.

The bathroom, not the company.

My current corporate bathroom is a no-frills affair. Five toilets, two sinks, a petting zoo.

OK. There’s no petting zoo. But there should be. It would take the edge off the day.

If I ran corporate bathrooms, they’d look different. Sure, I’d keep the toilets. Seems only right. But there’d be other things as well.

Free “feminine hygiene” – as opposed to the “masculine hygiene” – products. Not to take home and stock up on, you understand, but for those “what the !@#$?” moments.

Hairspray. And not that stinky, sticky stuff, either. The shiny stuff.

I would like a random person – perhaps a different employee every day, perhaps in exchange for lunch – to come in and hand out compliments, i.e., “that’s a great color on you!” Or “for all that sweating you’re doing, you don’t smell at all!" Special treats will be assigned for those giving out the most original compliments, i.e., “you really kept your composure at the last meeting. I don’t think anyone knew how badly you needed to pee.” or “when that guy in the meeting said the economic downturn was really a “blessing in the skies” I think you did a very good job of keeping a straight face”.

How about music, or, at the very least, a recording of a waterfall? How many things are as awkward as a couple of people in the bathroom, each waiting for the other to “go” first? Think it doesn’t happen? Think again, my friend. Women all over the U.S. are wishing that other person would just leave...

Hey. These are really pretty good. I should send them to HR.

They’re all off the top of my head, of course. I have a chart at home -- I could show you! -- but I’m confident that my suggestions will be met with their approval.

I probably shouldn’t spend the bonus they’re sure to award me just yet, though.

28 comments:

DevilsHeaven said...

OMG. The waiting to pee?? SO TOTALLY!!!

Not The Rockefellers said...

Why aren't you on the board?
The certainly can use some fresh ideas...

Plus they'd get the "french benefit" of a writer.

Peace - Rene

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I don't know if the sounds of a water fall would be good in the bathroom. I mean, if there's a line, there's bound to be accidents.

Maybe some Amazon Rain Forest sounds or such. Perhaps beach sounds, because who doesn't like the beach? Or, if that's too water-centric for you, try one of those woodsy-type tracks, the one with the loons and the frogs and the rutting moose.

Or, mix 'em up. Variety being the spice of life and all.

De Campo said...

You would love my corporate latrine. Seriously, we have one in the office. It also doubles as a panic room being that it was designed to be bullet proof and blast resistant.

Yeah, it sounds cool but no way would I be able to utilize the gun ports with a petting zoo crammed in there.

Heidi said...

Funny post!
I hear ya on the waterfall thing. I would so appreciate that and why hasn't anyone taken your brilliant idea and done this already??

darsden said...

LOL love it, candy machine would be wonderful...Muzik, yep anything to hide the waiting to hear....LOL

dr said...

We have music and free fem stuff. No petting zoo in the restroom; it's in the main office area. (We can bring our dogs to work.)

Sweet Cheeks said...

YES to sound!

I vote for a large fan. The sound of a fan really covers up the silence...and it would help me when the peson in the next stall pass gas VERY LOUDLY....

I admit it...I laugh out loud...becuase I'm totally juvenile I guess.

;-)
xoxo

mapstew said...

that 'waiting for the other person' thingy must be a female, well, thingy!

Then again you DON'T wanna know 'bout the sounds and smells in the 'Gents'!

Kavi said...

I think you should share all the thoughts to them. They will give you a position of authority and great power...

i am sure !

:)

Under the Influence said...

I often used the "visitors" bathroom - it was single toilet and sink, no sharing of noises with anyone!

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

You should seriously start a "Bathroom creation consulting service." These are good ideas!

Karen McQ. said...

Awesome! Made me laugh out loud. Now I need to go pee.

Madame DeFarge said...

We'd all spend our days in the toilets rather than doing any real work. I need to pinch this idea instantly.

Pearl said...

DevilsHeaven, I believe it’s an experience we can all relate to. :-)

Rene, !!! French benefit. That’s where you get the month of August, right?!

Mjenks, a lot of good ideas there! Hey – I was stuck on your blog for 20 minutes today and finally had to reboot. So you’ll see there are no comments from me, but I was there!!

De Campo, that is defeatist thing. Now you get in there, drop your drawers, say “hey” to the goats and prepare to be the last man alive!

Heidi, honestly, I have no idea. I’m tempted to bring in a boom box. The silence in there is horrible; and if there are any gastric disturbances, well, truly? Just where is a gal supposed to go? It’s like farting in a church.

Dar, a candy machine!!!! Nice idea! But really, we need to do something about how darn quiet it is in there…

Dr, really? Dogs? That’s really cool!

Sweet Cheeks, you silly woman you. :-D

Mapstew, as the mother of a returned 24-year-old, I know about the smell coming from the gent’s room. I believe Canada has laws against those smells…

Kavi, this could be my big break!!!

Under the Influence, wait – you have a visitor’s room?!

Maureen, Bathroom Ambience! Great idea!

Karen, I’m glad to hear it. :-)

Madame De Farge, let me know how it works out!

@eloh said...

Lord, some of the toilets I've seen in my day. You gave me a great post idea. I was in one so nice one time I fell asleep and woke up around midnight...not there anymore, Hurricane Andrew took it to OZ.

Douglas said...

Ah, that brought back such... uh... sweet memories of my days as a janitor in a drapery factory.

There are no secrets.

Eric said...

Brilliantly creative post!

But as far as camoflauge-ish noises to cover up what really goes on in the restroom... Image walking in and hearing a rich symphony (in THx) of continuous random flatulence and pee sounds. You know, to make everyone at ease about their 'business'!

Red Squirrel said...

If you use the disabled toilet you generally get some peace and quiet :)

Fancy Schmancy said...

I've done the corporate bathroom, and they are murder on the delicate issue of the #2. However, I now work in an office that has only one private bathroom for 7 women, with no exhaust fan. Waiting to use the bathroom is no longer funny. And the scented sprays are worse than the original smell.

Chris@Maugeritaville said...

I love the "Designated Complimenter" idea. I think you should suggest it at your next staff meeting.

Fragrant Liar said...

Right? You need to become a corporate office ambience whisperer or something. I like your ideas.

Jodie Kash said...

I was in constant awe that the ladies at my corp. headquarters dispensed free tampons AND pads. But they were the maxis, like having a shoe in your pants, and no "smooth glide" applicators.

Ugich Konitari said...

You think piped music played a bit loud would help there ? Like "Bridge over troubled waters " followed by MJ's "Beat it"....?

Jeve (aka John and Steve) said...

Pearl, you're a pioneer! I think there is something like that in Indonesian bathrooms. I went to a Indonesian Food Fest in Queens which was held in a parking lot at the back of a mosque. My friend, Carlo, said that the guys were having social hour in the bathroom...singing, washing feet, etc. Not quite the same as your idea, but still an experience! Now that I think of it I should checked it out myself.

The Retired One said...

A Popcorn machine would be good....
you know....to cover all those "other" sounds...
Plus the smell of popcorn beats those other nasal insults going on in there!

Warty Mammal said...

I like it.

I once had to share a bathroom with men, and I used feminine hygiene products to stake out my territory. Ah, the frivolity!

SweetPeaSurry said...

I would LURVE waterfall music in the corporate bathroom. I think that would be divine!!! Maybe put some odd drumming in the background too, for those 'moments' that squeak out. You know what I'm talkin about!

Hilarious!

blessings.