As a young man, I had issues with public bathrooms. When I was shopping or at school and nature called, I'd just hold it. Many were the days I'd rush home, bursting at the proverbial (and literal) seams. Even in college, if I really had to go, I'd just skip class and head to my apartment. Why the aversion to public toilets? Probably most of the same reasons you don't like them.1. Germaphobia
2. Sickly anti-septic smell
3. Sandpaper-worthy toilet paper. Now, we all agree that people (and by the way, who are these people?) misuse public toilets. They miss the seat (or don't aim at all), they use up (and don't replace) the toilet paper, pour water soap and other interesting fluids all over the sink, etc. But do the cleaning supplies to correct these abuses have to smell like a combination natural gas and that stuff from the doctor's office? Wouldn't some nice "country fresh" Lysol do the trick? Let's assume for a moment that industrial strength cleaners are the only ones that are up to the job, if that's the case shouldn't the clean last a while? I clean my bathroom with store bought products (and not that often I might add) but when I do, it stays clean, at least for a while. So yes, friends, I feared and despised public restrooms for most of my life. That has all changed now. What is the cause of this reversal? I give all the credit to one woman, Rose. Rose was my supervisor during my student job my last year at La Tech. Some of you may remember her from my mention in one of the "Life and Times of the Drunken Rogue" posts. Rose gave me some advice (and how this came up in conversation, I do not know), never use the bathroom on your lunchbreak. Come back to work, do it there, and extend your off time. Rose, while an incredible secretary and manager of time, was also a genius at wasting said time. I strive every day to be a little more like her in that regard. At first I scoffed at her idea of work-time bathroom breaks, but the more I thought about it, the more I saw the truth of the principle. I can take my full lunch hour to eat, visit with my wife, watch the news, read the paper etc., and then return to work just in time to head to the bathroom with the above mentioned paper. Now I understand this wouldn't work for some of you. Perhaps your office has a centrally located toilet and you fear the snickers that would come from stinking it up. Maybe you're even more focused on quality toilet paper than I am (I doubt it) and simply refuse to use anything less than cushiony. I urge you to give it a try though, because you are reading the words of a convert. Benefits to Work-Time Bathrooming 1. Use ALL of your lunchtime.
2. Put off that loathsome work a few more minutes.
3. Catch up on your reading. There are however some guidelines to follow if you wish to have the best Work-time bathroom experience. 1. Find the bathroom that is farthest from your actual workspace -- Perhaps there is one located a floor up or down from yours. Maybe there is one in the back hallway that is seldom used. Maybe you use the bathroom right beside the cubicle of your workplace rival. Just as in real estate, location location location! 2. Make sure you have the time you need -- Don't schedule your bathroom time just before a meeting. The whole point of this is to create a leisurely comfortable feel in your office, and rushing won't do that. Also you want to have plenty of time to adequately dry your hands after washing. Nothing gives away your secret like shaking hands with corporate while they are still dripping. 3. Reading material -- While not everyone needs a magazine or newspaper, at least take a pamphlet or even the liner notes for that new CD you picked up. In a pinch the employee handbook makes fascinating reading (I had no idea, I technically could take my birthday off!). The point is to occupy your mind, preferably not with work. This is your time after all. 4. Share the secret, selectively -- It's that much more fun to get away with something when you have accomplices. So those office buddies you get together with on the weekends, or the friend from college that followed you into the workplace should be in on the fun as well. I am not suggesting to take them with you, but tell them what you've discovered. ***Caution*** This should not be used as a pick up line on the hot chick from accounting that you've been eyeing. As much fun as work-time bathrooming can be, I hesitate to call it sexy. 5. Bring in reinforcements -- For me, and probably some of you the biggest drawback to using the office toilet is the industrial (re scratchy and thin) toilet paper. So I bring my own. That's right, I brought my own toilet paper. I keep it in my desk, and take what I need when I head to the bathroom. But how to get it into the office discreetly? Do you carry a briefcase, laptop bag, or satchel? There's plenty of room in there once every couple of weeks. Follow these rules and you too can experience the joys of on-the-clock bathroom breaks. Remember: Wise Man Say -- use the bathroom at work, and get paid to poop.