Monday, August 11, 2008

The male office dwellers' guide to finding the right toilet

Something off topic I need to get off my chest: the male office dwellers' guide to finding the right toilet.

Usually, a man doesn't have to go through a lot of trouble to get rid of the waste his body produces. Liquid waste especially is easily disposed of - sometimes a tree is all a man needs.

But things change when you're locked up in this huge office building you get to spend your working days in. Especially for those of us who work in technical professions, finding a nice, clean toilet can be quite difficult, as offices occupied by the IT department tend to have a larger than average male population - young, geeky males I might add. This does have a distinct, noticable, negative impact on sanitary hygiene in bathroom areas in the immediate surroundings of said offices.

So what's a civilized man to do? Again, disposing of liquid waste is still not difficult, as long as you can hold your breath for, oh, 30 to 60 seconds and can find a dry spot on the toilet floor to stand on. But the real problem arises when you, a hygiene conscious man, need to get rid of the solid waste your body produced. You are definitely not going to sit on those toilets used by the IT dept - that would be beneath your human dignity, and you would need to take a shower afterwards, which is, even if possible, highly unpractical.

So here's how to go about this business: the male office dwellers' guide to finding the right toilet!

First off, locate those areas in the building where, on average, more women than man seem to work. Target your search; look for the HR or marketing department to begin with.

Once you've found such a location, locate the male toilets in the area, and execute a quick visual inspection of those premises. Also, use your nose. No need to sniff explicitly, just take notice of what signals your nose sends up to your brain.

If the visual and nasal inspection leaves room for doubt as to the level of hygiene at the site, repeat the steps above until you find a place that passes this first, initial test. Once you've succeeded, proceed with the steps below.

If no one is at the scene, proceed to inspect the available stalls, executing a more thorough visual inspection. If someone enters during this procedure, you're supposed to do like you were just entering the stall; enter, lock door, wait until other person leaves again and proceed as necessary. This should not be difficult, as males tend to ignore one another in bathroom areas anyway.

The nose plays an important role in this second, more thorough examination of the site. As you're not the only one looking for a suitable place to sit and relax a while, some of these stalls may have been used recently. No matter how clean they look, these should not be used unless you can hold your breath for many minutes.

By now, there are probably one or two choices left. Choose the one that has the least visual contamination on the installed hardware. After all, you need to sit on it. Ideally, there's no contamination at all, but you can still wipe the thing down a little with some toilet paper, just to be sure. Be careful to keep a couple of layers of paper between said hardware and your hand; no moisture should be able to penetrate the layer between the moment you wipe and you throw it away.

The best choice is the stall that has little dust particles floating in the water in the toilet bowl. This means it hasn't been used for some time, probably not since it was cleaned last night, and it's the best result an office dwelling man can hope to achieve in his quest for sanitation and hygiene. Sit down, let out a deep sigh and relax. You're safe.


Nacon said...

Uhh... it's not because guys don't want to sit and have a leak.... they're just too lazy to sit. They want to just leak and go.

I think you were going over your head with this.

Sered said...

Nacon, don't take it too seriously please :-) It's just some behaviour I've noticed at the office I currently work.