Dear Male Colleagues

An email I drafted this morning but decided not to send because I didn’t want to be that guy. Even though I am that guy.

By Jonathan NatiukDear male colleagues,

I’m shocked that I have to explain to adults how toilets should be used, but here goes:

When peeing (in the urinal or the cubicle (or the sink, but if you ever do this then I’m going to start arming myself with a machete, just so you know)), stand in front of the bowl with the seat up (if applicable), face it, and pee into it. Some people appear to be mixing up some of these steps or skipping them entirely. I don’t appreciate tip-toeing into the cubicle hunting for the dry spots on the ground on which to stand.

To whomever was responsible just now for the lake to the left of the bowl and – far more worryingly – the large puddle by the cubicle door: how can you not notice what you’re doing? How is it even possible to get a puddle by the door? Is there some sort of inter-office game of urine squash taking place and this was the result of a practice shot off the back wall? Why was I not informed about this game in a company email? If it was through a fear that I might have coated the back wall with copper sheeting and wired it up to the mains then you’re damn right I would have. Any sane person would. I suspect this isn’t the case; I suspect something far more mysterious is responsible: the mystery of how a grown man cannot aim his penis at a hole nearly two feet in diameter. We’re in the nerdiest of industries; would it help to imagine you’re Luke Skywalker and Han Solo has just told you you’re all clear kid so you can blow this thing and go home? More seriously, one of our clients provides spectacles and contact lenses to the general public; may I recommend an eye test?

If none of this is palatable then the only course of action is to purchase some adult nappies. You become more productive, we keep the soles of our shoes dry; everyone’s a winner.

This brings me to the second point: I would have fought the gag reflex and grudgingly – exceedingly grudgingly – cleared up the miniature recreations of the Great Lakes I discovered in the nearest cubicle this morning myself were it not for the lack of toilet roll both in the dispenser or in the cupboard outside the toilets where we store the spare rolls. Oh, you didn’t know there were any there? Well there are. Usually. If you run out of loo roll then fetch some from the cupboard. If the cupboard runs out of loo roll (or gets close to doing so) then alert someone who can organise the restocking of it. We’re not rocket scientists here but fortunately for us none of this is rocket science; it’s common sense. We’re not common sensists either but you get the point. It’s the sort of thing you should know how to do without being told by some grumpy developer in a company-wide email.

Finally, when sitting down to use the toilet: depressing the handle on the cistern causes water to fill the bowl and carry away what you have evacuated but it’s not a guaranteed, one-press-and-you’re-done affair; sometimes you may need to press it again. Maybe even several times. The way to know if you need to do this is by checking the bowl after the flushing has taken place and looking for that tell-tale sign that there’s something unpleasant still there. What is that tell-tale sign that something unpleasant is still there? It’s the presence of something unpleasant. If you see something unpleasant then flush again. And sometimes you might even have to use that thing beside the toilet bowl which, contrary to what you may have been led to believe, is not abstract ornamentation designed to add a pleasing and thought-provoking counterpoint to the otherwise bland confines of the cubicle but is, instead, a tool used to aid in situations just like these; it’s known as a loo brush. You don’t use it on your hair and you don’t use it on your teeth; its purpose, however, should be blindingly obvious to anyone with a bit of thought. If you’re still unclear on the mechanics then ask someone or look it up.

This concludes the rant.

Author: Mark

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  1. You should still send the email using an anonymous remailer to everyone in your office. It sounds deliberate to me, because who pees on the floor and doesn’t realize it? It’s just covert aggression directed at their dislike for other office personnel or their employers. The other alternative (I have the same issue where I work, but since there is no internal email system other than for supervisors and human resources) posting a hand printed sign with a Sharpie in the restroom explaining that if someone urinates on the floor, or defecates anywhere on the outside of the toilet bowl, then they’re responsible for cleaning it up. If they don’t clean it up they can expect to have several people who have to follow them to make complaints with the dispatch supervisor on duty who has access to video footage taken outside the restroom facility, and they can see who was the last person to use it and didn’t clean up after themselves. More than three warnings and they’re terminated without further notice.

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  2. A colleague suggested needing to pass a written and a practical test before using the toilet unattended; until that time all non-qualified toileteer personnel would be required to wear a large brown ‘L’ and seek accompaniment from an expert before using the facilities. It sounded such a horrible proposal that I gave the suggestion my full backing.

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  3. They need a good thrashing. It appears to me that it’s deliberate, because who could be so stupid as to pee on the floor?

    I would post the message anonymously or post an anonymous hand written sign in the restroom explaining the problem.

    Does your company have video surveillance outside the restrooms? You can make a complaint and whomever used the restroom before you will be suspect. If they repeat the offense, the suspects will be narrowed down to the offending individual(s) and they could be reprimanded or terminated if the offense continues. Eventually the problem will be solved.

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  4. Better yet, everyone should have to request a key. The key-holder will then know who soiled the facilities.

    What about the poor janitor that has to clean up after these imbeciles? Is this some vendetta against the janitor? What the hell has the janitor done to anybody?

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