Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bathroom Diplomacy

As has been the case throughout my childhood and adult life [and it's quite possible I might come across as an immensely repulsive human being after I've narrated this story] when I'm done taking a leak, I wash my hands thoroughly with water (no soap, mind), wipe them and walk off. Indeed, if it is a nature call of the second variety, I most certainly use copious amounts of soap, but I digress.

At my workplace, the rules are a bit different. Typically when I enter the restroom, more often than not, I see other coworkers there. Once done relieving myself I head over to the wash basin, and if someone is washing his hands in an adjacent basin, my use of liquid soap is subject to the other person using some to wash his hands.

You see, if he's using soap and I'm not, he'll think I'm as clean as a raccoon after a mud-wrestling match. That wouldn't be cool. Imagine the awkward moment if we were to shake hands? Or the time in the break room where I may have to pass a paper cup to him. So I will in that situation, always help myself to a generous lump of liquid soap and rinse my hands like a paranoid germaphobe. If he's not using soap, he'll never even notice what I'm doing.

[Again, I repeat, the above is true only of my post-pee cleansing escapades. Post- number two cleansing is pretty thorough.]

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If you've had a lot to eat the previous night and were in a hurry in the morning to get to work, you might have the urge to visit the office restroom with the morning newspaper. Or, like is the norm these days, the New York Times app in your iPhone. Now, you don't want to go into one of the toilets when another coworker is also entering an adjoining one. I cannot, let's say, expose my inner bean burrito to my coworker. Next thing I know, I'll be burrito boy. Also, you don't want to make a lot of noise in there.

If, on the other hand, you enter when there's not a soul inside, you are free to do whatever you want inside. Take your time. Read that article you'd bookmarked last night. Update your twitter stream -- not with your current status, but with that intelligent one-liner you dreamed up last night. But remember one thing: when you get out, make sure no one else is around. Visible. Restrooms are quiet rooms and echo well, so it's not too difficult to figure out. Walk out quickly, and pump out lumps of your liquid soap. Take your time rinsing; now it doesn't matter if anyone walks in.

Of course, if there was someone in the adjoining toilet (but he's not aware you were in the other one) you must try to wash your hands and sneak out, as soon as you can.

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What are your experiences. Feel free to share them, OMGLOLZZZ! KThxbai
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