If you know a little about me, you may know that I can be fairly opinionated. It’s taken me a while to become comfortable with that, but I’ve learned to embrace it in certain ways. Generally speaking, I’m fairly easy-going but when something strikes me as strange, ridiculous, stupid or otherwise – I’ll probably say something about it.  It’s this that has driven me to finally break down and write this article - even though it forces me to admit that I occasionally have to use public washrooms.

A little background… I worked in an office with approximately 800 other people split between 3 floors.  With that many people , you’re bound to encounter some weird shit (no pun intended… well, maybe it was) but I am constantly surprised at people.  Here is a list of my public washroom pet peeves:

Dirty Dash

I’ll start off with the obvious. A “dirty dash” is when you see someone leave the washroom without washing their hands.  This is just nasty. I wish I could say that only the straights do it – but alas, I’ve been witness to even some of the homos doing it. Sick. Sick. Sick. I don’t understand how people do this… it just baffles me. Soap and water, boys. It takes 20 seconds and your immune system will thank you.

Swamp Water

This one really chaps my hide. “Swamp Water” is when some dude uses the urinal and then walks away without flushing it. Unfortunately, this happens WAY too often. In fact, I would say the vast majority of times I go into the washroom, at least one of the two urinals is yellow. It’s disgusting. This isn’t Adam at fetish night – it’s a public washroom. Flush the damn urinal!

This also applies to those who go into the stall to pee. Likewise, lift the stupid seat up if you’re going to pee. There’s nothing worse than having to wipe someone else’s piss off the seat before you put your seat cover on it (and if you don’t use a seat cover – that’s nasty). You’re already mad enough about having to duece in the public washroom – having to clean up someone else’s pee in order to do it makes it infinitely worse.

Pond Scum

Related to “Swamp Water” – “Pond Scum” is when you find yourself forced to use one of the stalls because you just can’t hold it until you’re home (you know we all do it – everyone prefers to poop in solitude) and wind up finding someone’s “leftovers”.  Yes, they flushed – but their leftovers are still there and it falls to you to get rid of them. Sure, all you have to do is flush the toilet again but this is totally sick. If it’s your mess – deal with it. No, it’s not pleasant – but it’s even less pleasant when someone else has to do it.

Paper Curtains

It’s not sick like the aforementioned problems, but it’s completely ridiculous.  A “Paper Curtain” refers to when people find it necessary to drape a long piece of toilet paper from the top of the door to the floor – even though the gap is already covered by a piece of metal – because they actually think someone is going to try and peek in on them taking a shit.  If we were at the Pumpjack (a gay pub/bar in Vancouver), I might understand this a little more… but seriously? I’m here to tell you – no one wants see you taking a shit. It’s not pleasant for anyone. Get over it.

Chatty Cathy

Why, oh why do people answer the phone while in the washroom?  I don’t understand this at all. Personally, I have no interest in talking to anyone while dropping the kids off at the pool. Likewise, I don’t want to speak to you if that’s what you’re doing. Just call me back. Seriously. (After you wash your hands please).

Equally annoying is urinal talk. Generally speaking, I’m really not going to want to talk to you while peeing. I don’t want to tell you how my day is going, what I’m doing for lunch or the weekend… let me just do my business and I’ll talk to you at the sink – or better yet, after we vacate the bathroom. No one else wants to listen to our conversation while doing their business either. It’s the bathroom, not a social lounge.

So there you have it… a brief list of my biggest public bathroom pet peeves.  Lest it be said that I’m just a Negative Nelly – here’s a recap of just what TO do when being forced to share a bathroom:

  • Wash your freakin’ hands.
  • Lift the seat if you’re gonna pee.
  • Flush the toilet.
  • Remember that no one else wants to be there with you either. Just do your business and get out.
  • It’s quiet time. Answer your phone and have conversations elsewhere.

Thank you. That is all.

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