I am going to be deadly serious for a second. Restrooms are no laughing matter.
OK, on with the fun.
Have you all seen the movie Trainspotting? Good. That gives you a frame of reference for the restrooms at my last place of employment.
Let's start with a little background.
We had been around a while, but the software industry wasn't what it used to be, and things started going downhill, at least as far as personal space is concerned. The cubes got smaller, the many floors of people were consolidated into 2, and generally the belt started tightening all around. The rugs were vacuumed less often, the trash emptied less often, and -- here's the one I want to speak to you about -- the bathrooms were cleaned less often.
Combine this with having way too many men on this floor for one bathroom to support, and you can see this train wreck happening in slow motion.
First, it smelled like a pet store in there. And not a PetSmart, either. We're talking an independent pet store in a low-rent strip mall. A quick glance around while you're visiting the bathroom in question will tell you why -- for some reason, and this is based purely on anecdotal evidence I have gathered over the last 5 years - a large number of the men in this building piss using no hands at all. I can name two that I have personally witnessed doing this. I simply don't understand it. Here you have something in front of you that is squirting a liquid most people would rather not be covered in, and yet you choose to ignore it, and say, oh, I don't know, put your hands on your hips like you are the Master of All That You Survey. I mean, you're going to have to get it out and put it back, so why the hell do you let go of it in between? It makes no sense.
Secondly, I've never worked any place where you had to wait to take a piss. All the stalls and both urinals were full from 12:30 to 2 pm everyday. You felt like you were at a rock club between sets. If there were some cigarette butts and empty beer bottles on the counter, you'd be looking around for the condom machine. (An interesting aside: In PA, it seems like every bar has a vending machine that sells condoms in one slot, and aspirin in the other. No headache for you tonight, missy.)
Walk with me.
You see that rather large pool of pee in front of the both urinals? Yes, the one you're standing in. That's there because most of the male population of this building are not, shall we say, "in shape." In fact, most of them have probably not seen their junk without a mirror in 10 years. Combine this with their affinity for going with the questionable "look Ma, no-hands" technique, and it's really not surprising that it smells like a monkey house.
Here's something else. There's two urinals, right next to each other, and no "privacy wall" between them. That means a couple of things:
1) If you are shy, forget about it. These things are CLOSE. Put it this way: There is the definite potential for arm-hair contact. If the other guy's cell phone rang, you might actually answer it by mistake. Suffer from stage fright? Just know you will not be peeing in this building in this lifetime, unless you piss in a coffee cup at your cube and surreptitiously transfer it to a toilet or a potted plant at a later date. (That's a story for another time.)
2) Secondly - and this is by far the more serious of the two issues - If you get next to Mr. Manboobs Nohands, you have a pretty good shot at getting pissed on.
Here's a little quiz:
You are standing at a urinal, minding your own business. The guy standing next to you finishes pissing, then shakes his dick like it's a bottle of italian salad dressing. You look down just in time to see some pee splatter on your shoe. Is the correct response to:
(a) Do nothing. Pretend you didn't just get pissed on, turn, wash your hands, and leave.
(b) Turn and politely say, "You might want to work on that shake. It's a little exuberant*."
(c) Yell "Jesus Christ! You just shook PISS on me!" What the FUCK?"
Well, it turns out that choice (c), the only one I personally have any experience with, is probably not the correct answer. If there is ever a next time, and I'm hoping like hell there won't be, I'll try one of the other answers and get back to you.
And here's some little bathroom tips for all y'all:
1. Wash your hands. People notice. If you don't, don't act all surprised when suddenly nobody will shake your hand. And use soap for christsakes. Don't do one of those wave-the-hand-in-the- general-direction-of-the-water type moves and call it a day.
2. Don't talk to me when I'm pissing.
3. Don't talk to me from a stall just because you recognized me through that little door crack.
4. Basically, don't talk to me at all - until and unless we are both at least 25 feet from any bathroom door.
Note to the cleaning lady: Stop following me around. I'm tired of yelling, "Yes, someone's in here!"
*ex·u·ber·ant ( P ) (g-zbr-nt) adj.
1. Full of unrestrained enthusiasm or joy.
2. Lavish; extravagant.
3. Extreme in degree, size, or extent.