Public loos going down the drain

Clayton MitchellThere is one issue which drives me up the wall these days, not just here at OCCC, but in so many places I go. This issue I talk about is public restroom etiquette.

Now when I say restroom etiquette, I mean how people interact with others in the restroom, and with the restroom itself. I must start by admitting, I am not really too sure about the etiquette code of women in the restroom.

My issue may be more with males and men’s rest rooms than with women and their restrooms. But I digress.

Let us start with scenario number one.

Say you walk into the restroom to relieve your bladder, and there are four urinals. No one else is in the restroom, and you choose one of the outside urinals. Then someone comes into the restroom and chooses the urinal right next to yours.

This is a big fat no-no. If there are multiple people using the urinals, the situation is different, but if there is any chance to leave a gap urinal between yourself and the person closest to you, absolutely do that.

The International Center for Bathroom Etiquette, found at, refers to this code of staying farthest away from people as M.P.P.N.B.A., or Maximum People Peeing Not Beside Anyone. It is a great code to live by.

This stays the same for stalls, which can apply to women’s restrooms as well. No one wants to hear someone pooping in the stall right next door.

Scenario two: you walk into the restroom and someone is at a urinal.

You approach the furthest urinal away from them (because it is courteous), and as you start your business, from the direction of the other person you hear, “So how about that weather?”

You should smack the person in the face with unwashed hands (but, of course, washing them afterwards — you are a decent human being after all).

Do not talk to other people in the restroom, especially people you do not know. Now this may be different for women, but ICBE confirms men should never converse in the restroom.

The same goes for phone calls. Do not take them while you are in the restroom. No one wants to hear your personal calls while they are trying to relieve themselves.

You will either be in the restroom too long, or not long enough to be taking a phone call anyways, so just do not do it.

The reason they refer to going to the restroom as “doing your business” is because it should be business-like.

Going to the restroom is in no way a casual encounter; you should conduct your business and go on your way.

I know many readers are in the majority of those who actually use the restroom the way it was intended.

But for those who don’t, please exhibit some courtesy to those who just want to deal with others as little as possible while our privates are slightly exposed.

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