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Office Bathrooms, Partitions and Talking

AS writes the following:

I’ve been doing some observing for you guys since January 5th 2009. That’s when I started my job at this office. Basically the situation is, 3 sinks on a joined vanity. To the right, 2 urinals (with partition) one handicap sized stall. This is a unique situation, because as it is at work, we often don’t have time for delay tactics. The partition is about 1m (3ft) tall (knee to shoulder) and about 0.60m (2ft) wide. I don’t get that ‘weird’ feeling when peeing next to someone. However the talking rule is still very in place. Some of the older ones have been known to ask how the day is going. In which case the proper response is a simple ‘yes’ and do not follow up with “you?”. This begins a conversation… at the urinal… while peeing. you might as well rip the partition out and get ready for some dude doing dude action at that point. If that exchange must happen in the bathroom. It must be done while one person is washing their hands, and the other is standing half out of the doorway slowly gaining distance from the talker. Then the talker must not be engaged in any conversation work related, or other. Anywhere, for 2 weeks.

My observations are yours.

Interesting observations AS. As you so rightly point out, while partitions may allow two adjacent urinals to be used in good etiquette, they certainly don’t make talking at the urinals acceptable. Of course since this is at work, it’s hard to simply ignore somebody – especially if they are your superior.

I also like the idea of a cooling down period after a breach of bathroom etiquette. Good luck avoiding anybody at work for two weeks though!


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