Jan 23, 2007

Men's Psychology (or How I Found a Pristine Bathroom Stall at 3 in the Afternoon)

Disclaimer: Though this won't qualify as TMI about me, and I'll stay away from the toilet humor (har har), this is not particular to desi people. Who the hell cares, though, right?

So I have a tough time with public bathrooms. I would never use them while growing up (and this may be somehow linked, I think, to how I wouldn't change for gym in front of the other boys - opting either to have my gym shorts underneath, or taking a non-participation mark until I got past it in high school). Ah, the joys of growing up different in small town America.

Men's bathrooms are interesting places, as it is. You don't talk to other guys in the bathroom, you stare at the wall in front of you at a urinal, and you try really hard to touch as little as possible. As it stands, they are incredibly non-social places, and remind me again and again of why I hate most men. I tend to do what I have to do - i.e. nothing involving contact with any surface - quickly and without any delay. But the worst is opening a stall and confronting whatever the schmuck before you left there with no courtesy or consideration for the next guy or the staff that has to clean up his mess.

Anyway, so at my school, which is already bulging at the seams, the custodial staff does its best to clean up after the idiots who go here, but it gets pretty nasty by the last couple of hours before afternoon cleaning. The bathrooms have three toilets and one urinal each, and there's one on the first floor, and generally 2 on each of the 4 other floors. But with ~600 men in the building on any given day, that's not a lot of places to do what you have to do.

The first floor bathroom is one of the worst. It always has people in it - and there's inevitably some kind of mess because people tend to be in a hurry. The top floor is too close to the cafeteria, which is generally not a good scene, not to mention that it's busy. And 2 of the other floors have large classrooms, which tend to have long classes with hyped-on-caffeine students who run out and in with no concern for the next guy (see the theme here?).

But today, I figured out what I'd been trying to assess for the whole time. The best bathroom to use where there won't be a lot of traffic because there are only small classrooms and faculty offices (and it's right near the Dean's office, no less). So it was clean today at 3 PM.

And what's even better is that, when I looked at the stalls, I finally figured out how to get the least used stall when I need some privacy: guys hate to be near other guys. So the handicap accessible stall, which is the most roomy, and my personal choice when I have to make a choice, is probably the most popular. On top of that, I think that guys probably do the quick "if I'm on one side of the other of the three stalls, I have a chance of not being near another guy because he'll choose the farther one."

So that takes out the stall on the far end from the accessible one. So I thought - I wonder about the middle stall. Because that one gives people the sense of claustrophobia, and the highest chance of having to be near another guy. Sure enough, the stall was clean, and the TP roll indicated that it had not been used since the last cleaning. Woah. That's unheard of.

It's the little things in life that really make things worthwhile.


Anonymous said...

Ha ha... that's so true. I've had the same thoughts myself when it comes time to pick a stall out.

Rage said...

Glad to know I'm not alone. :)