Tag Archives: etiquette

Jamie’s Law of the Workplace Restroom

I don’t know what it is with people and restrooms–or more┬áspecifically, men and men’s rooms. First it was being able to hear the clicking of BlackBerry keys coming from the various stalls; and then recently two other oddities:

  1. The guy at the urinal next to mine had one of those hands-free blue-tooth phones that are almost invisible so as to make it look like your talking to yourself. So get this (and I kid you not). He stood in front of the urinal, chatting away, clearly in some important meeting, clearly having a strong opinion. Meanwhile, he’s got both hands clasped behind his head, back arched slight, and is standing there, emptying his bladder. There’s something about that whole scenario that just seems wrong.
  2. Earlier today, a fellow came in to the men’s room, occupied the urinal next to mine, and proceeded to begin humming the Air Force song, just like that scene in The Right Stuff. I just don’t get it.

Finally, I have developed Jamie’s Law of the Workplace Restroom, which is a likely┬ácorollary┬áto Murphy’s Law. It goes like this:

Whenever you are in dire need of the restroom, one of two things will happen: (1) a conference will be on break and it will be like Grand Central Station in there; or (2) just after you get into the quiet, empty restroom, the cleaning lady will knock on the door to see if it is safe to come in and clean.

That is my bathroom humor for the week. Enjoy the rest of your Thursday.

When connected is too connected

I hate to bring this up again, but it’s been happening more and more and I just don’t completely understand it. Just about every time I go into the men’s room at work and someone else happens to be in there, that someone else happens also to be busy on their mobile device. At first, you could hear the soft clicking keys of a BlackBerry emanated from within a stall (in and among other sounds). That someone can’t even go to the can without having to read and reply to email messages is a bit disturbing. But it is at least somewhat understandable. I mean, you’re sitting there right, your hands a free and you’ve got a few moments on your hand. Why not?

But then, I walked into the men’s room the other day and found myself standing at the urinal beside a fellow who was texting or IMing and emailing on his BlackBerry at the urinal next to me. He was doing this with two hands, unashamed, while emptying his bladder. Some might call this multitasking. But come on, I mean there is a line right? There is a point at which the IM or the text message or the email can wait the 60 seconds or so it takes to relieve yourself. No text message is so urgent that it must be coterminous with expulsion of the morning coffee, right? This is the part that I just don’t get. This is the part that seems to me to be too connected. And I wonder if this is just a guy thing. Do women find the same thing going on in their restrooms? (Granted, women don’t have urinals in their restrooms, but those BlackBerry keyboards are surprisingly noisy. My guess would be that they do not do this–at least not as frequently.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to run to the john. Someone just texted me and I’ve got two more emails to reply to.

More elevator etiquette

I get on the elevator to head down to the mall to get a bagel. I’m deeply engrossed in Creating Short Fiction, which is not uncommon for me. I read in elevators (and while waiting for the Au Bon Pan people to make my bagel). The elevator stops at the lobby and a guy gets in. The doors close and the elevators continue down to the mall level. As soon as this guy detects the elevator going down, he lets out an exasperated sigh, turns to me and says, “It’s going down. How come you didn’t say anything?”

I wanted to say, “I was reading a book, nut-job, and I didn’t even know you got in the elevator. Am I supposed to read your mind too?”

Instead, as the doors to the mall level start to open, I look up from my book, look at this guy, and say “Huh?”

People: for crying out loud, pay attention when you get into an elevator. And if you accidentally get into an elevator going in the wrong direction, don’t blame anyone but yourself!

Things it’s not cool to do in public restrooms

I may have mentioned this before to some of you, but I was reminded of these once again today:

  • Regardless of what you might think, grunting of any kind is not cool in a public restroom. That kind of thing goes over well in a Jim Carrey movie but is simply disturbing in the real world.
  • It’s also not cool to answer your phone, either standing at the urinal or in one of the stalls. I mean, if you are really that busy than what are you doing in the bathroom in the first place
  • Just because no one can see who you are doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wash your hands. I’ve got to touch that door handle after you!

I imagine other people have similar lists.

You’d think people would know these things. Maybe the President needs to give a speech in support of better public restroom etiquette. (Cue for President-in-bathroom jokes.) That would get their attention!

Elevator etiquette

Dear Person Who Nearly Knocked Me Over In the Elevator —

Please don’t walk onto the elevator as soon as the doors slide open. Hold back a moment, savor the experience, and see if there is, perhaps, anyone getting off the elevator before you get on. It makes life much more pleasant and it avoids nasty collisions.

How about some elevator etiquette, huh?

Sincerely,

JTR

Back to work

I caught the 10 AM Acela back to DC this morning. It was nice because the train was not too crowded. I sat in the quiet car, as usual, and this time, I was a little annoyed.

Read about the annoying lady seated in front of me