Washroom Woes

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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  • Kevin Lindstrom

    All I have to say is AMEN!

  • Colin

    Seat covers? I’ve never seen those in Canada. Must be an American thing… 🙂

  • Jonny

    My work has 2 stalls and one urinal for about 70 men. I wait and go to Starbucks before and after my shift. I hate my work washroom. Here! Here! Kev, I love your post 🙂

  • Rich

    What about the pee shy guy who refuses to give up and walk away… thus making everyone else pee shy!!!

  • Rich

    Or the grunters!

  • Mark

    It saddens me that I know which bathroom you took the “paper curtains” picture in. Anyway, you forgot the pube infestation that seems to be a problem in our office. Sometimes the urinals look like carpetting has been installed. sickkkkkk.

  • Ro-Ro (Do-Do, you know who I am!) :)

    You forgot to add:

    * The guy who talks on his cell phone and shamelessly flushes as if the receiver wouldn’t pick up on the noise. “Yes, I’m talking to you with one hand while my dick is in my other.”

    * “Haircuts”. When you approach a urinal and you see a long wavy pubic hair that must have been cut off from the zipper. Gentlemen, please learn to “manscape” your naughty bits.

    It reminded me of when I used the fraternity bathroom I would be sitting on the toilet I’d see random long pubes that were “shedded” all over the bathroom floor. You’d never see that in a gay fraternity bathroom. That’s all I’m sayin. …But now I’m thinking what communal bathrooms in gay fraternities would be like and now I’m all hot and bothered.

  • Mikey

    Hey Kev,

    Your friend Mikey from the states here. Loved the post! Let me add to your list…

    Looky / Touchy … I don’t know why some guys do this, but they actually look down at you while you’re doing your business at the urinal. I’ve seen straight guys do this too, and often more overtly than the gays. Now, it’s one thing at the gym to chance a glance, but in the washroom, it’s just wrong. Then there are guys who pat you on the back or put their hand on your shoulder while you and/or they use the urinal. The washroom is definitely a place where we should be keeping our hands, and everything else, to ourselves.


  • oh ro-ro. you’ll have to be more clever than.

    ps: ewww on the random pubes on the floor

  • rbo

    haha i’ve never seen a paper curtain, but i have occasionally wondered about solutions to the door gaps – when the gap is fully open and wider than an inch, it just doesn’t feel right.

    .. but then I suppose a small gap is still better than the stalls at Pacific Place in Seattle – with doors less than 4ft tall…. just sayin…

  • Peter

    Haha! Kevin, those paper curtains at work have boggled my mind too. You’d have to be paranoid to think that someone is going to peek through the cracks to watch a stranger do their dirty work!

  • Jared

    Haha Kevin, I remember those bathrooms too often! You forgot to mention those puddles on the floor right in front of the urinals. Seriously, how does anyone do that?!

  • myna

    what’s wrong with watching other people deuce in public washrooms?


    kevin, lmao. ask ed.

  • bruin

    lol at the paper curtains…never witnessed that before

  • Dbrewer75

    The pubic hair thing is the worst for me. The urinals at work are always covered in them.