The humble toilet was invented in 1596 by Sir John Harrington and since then there has been some 400 years that the human race has had to come to grips with the correct way to use it.
Yet despite this inordinate amount of time, I am regularly confronted with the foul misuse of one of the most simple and necessary inventions known to us.
I don’t know anybody who gets excited at the prospect of using a public toilet. The very thought of one conjures up images of broken doors, discarded (and probably used) toilet paper, abandoned tampon wrappers and worst of all…. unflushed toilets.
This raises the question, who leaves them in this state? It certainly isn’t me or anybody else that I know. So, if everyone else is walking around horrified at the idea of using one, why doesn’t everyone observe the common courtesy of leaving it neat and tidy? Who are these phantom mess makers?
Even the humble and unsuspecting work toilet can become a mine field of potential life-threatening, nightmare-inducing hazards. What’s bad about this situation is that you know the offenders are somewhere in the vacinty… maybe even right beside you…. Maybe even right now….. AHHH! Where’s my hand sanitizer?
I cannot count the number of times I have unsuspectingly walked into the work toilet only to be accosted by a discarded feminine hygiene product or an unflushed turd. Seriously ladies? Is it that difficult?
At my previous job my colleagues and I started to compare notes about the bathroom comings and goings of staff on another level. Without fail these staff members would each enter the toilet, do their business, then walk straight back out without so much as glancing at the hand washing basin…. The worst part is, they were all being trained as waiters at a very posh restaurant.
These sort of events usually lead to laminated signs appearing in the bathroom. You know the ones, declaring that everyone should leave the bathroom tidy once they’re done or ensure they flush the toilet after use. These are usually crafted by angry employees, I suspect that they think the passive aggressive approach is going to work… but if you ask me, 400 years of the toilet being ingrained in our society hasn’t worked, I highly doubt your flimsy little sign is going to make a shred of difference.
One of my personal favourite toilet signs is the ‘correct hand washing procedure’ that appeared in the ladies toilets at my work… what on earth did somebody see in that toilet that prompted the google search, print and laminate of this little number? Did somebody get things around the wrong way and urinate in the sink then wash their hands in the toilet? I really hope not.
It is beyond comprehension that any woman could miss the bowl, and yet it happens. I understand the concern regarding germs in a public bathroom and the necessary act of ‘hovering’ in certain situations. But in a very posh office building, it probably isn’t needed… and if you can’t aim straight… please don’t try.
So let’s all make a concerted effort here to band together and use the toilet the right way. I may even start a vigilante group whose main job is to pop over the cubicle wall and conduct a spot inspection to determine whether or not you are using the facilities correctly or not “Hey Lady! Get your feet off there!”. You’ve all been warned!