review of the bathroom at work

April 15, 2008

I thought about taking pictures. But really, that would just be gross.

I work at a small software company in Salt Lake City, and we have about 30 employees. The company is a start up, and we’re right on the cusp of profitability, and always looking for more VC money. The powers that be are a bit tight with the purse strings, because we’re always trying to show good numbers to the board and prospective VC folks.

Unfortunately, that means our toilet paper sucks. Well, actually, the whole bathroom sucks, but the toilet paper is where the rubber meets the road. We have a urinal, a regular stall, and a handicap stall. Each stall has one of those gigantic, cheese wheel sized TP rolls.

As you may know, the usual problem with the cheese wheel TP roll is that you can never get more than one square at a time, because the weight of the roll overcomes the bond between squares. Our cheese wheel is different. The tensile strength between squares is such that you could swing from the TP hanging out the bottom, though you really don’t want to risk swinging into anything else nearby. But you have to brace yourself to tear off your portion.

Plus, the TP sucks ass. (Um, not literally.)

The best solution here is for one to use one’s private stash of toilet paper. Which I do. There are no bargains when it comes to your ass, I’ve found. I try to be discreet, but unapologetic. I’m not the one who should be sorry.

Would mentioning that there are always crumbs on the bathroom floor be part of a review of the bathroom, or of its patrons? CRUMBS! Does that not mean that someone is EATING in the bathroom? Let’s just move on.

Another problem with our bathroom is that nobody cleans it. I mean,we have a guy, I’ve heard, that comes by every night and “cleans.” But I’m pretty sure he only empties that trash cans (and then only if they’re overflowing).

You know that euphoric feeling you get when you go into a public restroom, and you see the lid in the UP position? Because you know that means nobody has used it since the cleaning people have worked their magic, right?

Yeah, forget that. If the lid is up in OUR bathroom, the only good option is to head straight for the 7 Eleven. Yup, it’s THAT bad. I’m talking debris, I’m talking smell, I’m talking . . . well, how bout I stop talking about that. I mean, there’s even a plunger sitting there, and the plunger is cracked, and, um, debris-laden. Seriously, call Haz Mat.

But there is a silver lining. Our paper towel dispenser has been broken ever since I started here. It was one of those with a big curved lever that you had to push repeatedly to get a paper towel out, and the return spring was missing, so you had to grasp the handle and push and pull it to get a towel. Most people object to grasping anything in a public bathroom.

Now we’ve got a newfangled, electronic paper towel dispenser. You wave your hand in front of the light, and you get a paper towel. It’s like magic.

Cuz, you know. That’s what we needed. That’s where you should put your money. In the paper towel dispenser. What would I do? I think I would have put a pile of paper towels next to the sink, and spent the money on a Haz Mat crew for the part of the bathroom where your actual ass meets an actual toilet. But that’s just me.

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10 Responses to “review of the bathroom at work”

  1. andy Says:

    haha. was it you that wrote the review of the plunger a couple years ago?

  2. dug Says:

    yup, i’m the plunger guy. can’t get a “bathroom” break.

  3. brkeyes7 Says:

    dude, you have a bathroom fetish.

  4. mark Says:

    Glad to see some semblance of the randomreviewer project revived. This is on par with the plunger review–that one was legendary.

    And I agree with Brad that you have a bathroom fetish.

  5. KanyonKris Says:

    Thanks for the laughs (sadly at the expense of your bathroom experience).

    Maybe you should put a donation bucket outside the bathroom for a new plunger. It would have the two-fold result of funding the purchase of a new plunger and informing management to the dire conditions. Make that wheel squeak.

    I fully support your use of your own TP. As a cyclist you quickly learn to take care of your butt, or suffer terrible consequences.

  6. eric Says:

    Do you walk around the office with your roll of toilet paper? Could you spare a square if an employee asks?

  7. Fish Says:

    Dug, I agree that crumbs on the bathroom floor is revolting. I was once at the movies and saw a guy come walking out of a crowded bathroom carrying a bucket of popcorn. I really wanted to give him a talkin’ to, but I was too big of a wuss.

  8. dug Says:

    eric, i actually had this conversation with a co-worker. he was complaining about the TP one day, and i offered my stash to him. he said “are we tight enough for that yet?” i told him that no matter how well we knew each other, we were comrades in crisis. i’d share with anyone in need.

  9. Andrew Says:

    My last job the bathrooms were revolting too. We had “someone” come “clean” once a week. Once a week is perfect if you have 2-3 people using it. When you have 30-50 people that isn’t nearly often enough.

    My favorite part about the bathroom was not the 2mm thin particleboard door that allowed no audio privacy (all three were located on fairly busy thoroughfares — one even in an entryway). It wasn’t the kitchen style paper towels that were often gone in a day and weren’t replaced for sometimes weeks on end. (We often made due with a dirty cloth hand towel that never was washed. Or our jeans.) It wasn’t the fact that there was NEVER any hot water. It wasn’t the old, dirty, and more-often-than-not empty soap dispenser. It wasn’t even the fact that all three bathrooms in the building were unisex (how can a woman be hot AND stinky?)

    My favorite part about those bathrooms was the plumbing was old and the toilets often clogged. I’m just glad that a janitor was always handy to get things running again.

    Riiiiiiight…

  10. me Says:

    Our bathroom is disgusting at work. They supposedly ‘clean’ it every night but I think they just throw some solution in the toilet but never ‘clean’.


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