*Note: This post has NOTHING to do with running, plantar fasciitis, the gym, science, or food. It hardly has anything to do with Singapore. However, it *does* have to do with toilets (tee hee hee!), so read on!
I posted the following on Facebook yesterday:
“Place I do not value creativity: On the signs differentiating the men’s and women’s restrooms. Please, just plaster it up there in big, bold text so I don’t have to hesitate and look like a doofus.”
Although my phraseology isn’t exquisite, based on the number of ‘Likes’ this status received, I seem to have touched on a somewhat common restroom experience. This got me thinking…perhaps my public-bathroom-related pet-peeves are a more shared human experience than I previously thought.
So what the heck…let’s share, feel all warm and snuggly, and bond over some shared experiences/impressions. Note that what I’m presenting here are peeves that are unrelated to cleanliness or other bathroom users. They are purely logistical/functional, relating to the construction of the restroom and its facilities. [I also know they are first world problems. YES, I have visited places without flushing toilets. YES, I am thankful for modern sanitation. YES, I realize how good I have it. YES, I will still proceed.] Without further ado, and in no particular order..
Holly’s Top 5 Public-Bathroom-Design-Pet-Peeves
1. Poor Door Labeling. I don’t care if the restroom is tucked in the back corner of the restaurant, or off the breezeway, or out in the back. That’s totally fine. I can always ask where it is. But once I’m standing in front of it, please for the love of my un-creative mind, keep the labeling simple: “Ladies” and “Gentlemen”, and a simple, skirt/no skirt stick drawing will do just fine, thanks. Don’t make the label tiny. Don’t hide it in the corner. Don’t substitute a stylized drawing for a label. Honestly, don’t even be creative. “Cowboys” and “Cowgirls” makes me feel like I might walk into a hoedown when I open the door. No, thanks, I don’t mix my do-see-doing with my pee-pee-peeing. No, siree…
2. Entry Hall/Doorway Is Too Narrow To Accommodate a Line: If the bathroom is in a busy mall, and there are THREE stalls, there will sometimes (often? always?) be a line. If it’s for the Ladies room, there will sometimes (often? always?) be squirmy kids and big strollers in line. So please, please, please give us enough room to stand. And don’t use petite, Chinese ladies traveling alone when you decide how much space is “enough”. Remember the kids, and strollers, and the elderly aunties with canes. Squeeze three meters from the retail space next door – just make the hallway wide enough so that those leaving the restroom can walk out without risking indecent contact with those on line to go in.
3. Bad Automatic Flushing. This has a variety of manifestations. Most commonly, it goes something like this:
I’m getting ready to sit (2 flushes).
I’m sitting perfectly still, not bending/leaning/reaching for my purse on the door – just sitting still (1 flush).
I hop up so my tush doesn’t get sprayed during the flush.
I sit (another flush…repeat stand/sit/flush/jump cycle).
Finally, I sneak onto the seat, hold my breath, and do my business, muscles tensed and prepared to leap at any second, should a flush initiate.
Stand up (distinct absence of flushing).
Gather bag (still no flush).
Dance in front of sensor (still NO FLUSHING).
I reach over and touch the manual flush button (EW, because this means I’m leaning over the bowl while it starts flushing…).
I turn, unlock door, start to walk out of stall (FLUSHES AGAIN).
Dear Whoever Designed These: Please make them better. And never make them designed to flush as I leave the stall. This leaves me paranoid. I mean, what if I walk out, and it doesn’t flush? At best, I’m alone in the bathroom, and can just pop back in and flush it. At worst, there’s a line, and someone has already stepped into the stall and will forever think I’m a gross non-flusher. Fail, fail, FAIL.
4. Over-Exuberant Flushing: There is no reason whatsoever that any of the water in that bowl should ever ever EVER leave during flushing. I don’t care that it’s probably the “clean” incoming water that sends a few errant sprays out. Use less water. Make a deeper bowl. Use less force. I don’t care – but get your engineers on it, because my shoes do NOT want that kind of bath.
5. Automatic Sinks With A 5 Second Water Limit: You know the feeling – You wave your hand around, finally get some water running, wet your hands, pump some soap on them, start to lather and…the water shuts off. And no matter what you do, you can’t get it back on. You repeat your motion sensor dance (which is no more effective than it was in front of the Toilet Flush Sensor). You wave your hand around like a fool. You accidentally touch the inside of the sink, shudder because you know about sink germs, then wave even more desperately.Eventually, you are rewarded with another short burst of water, which is enough to rinse the soap from half of one hand. Wave, wave, wave, rinse, repeat until your hands are passably soap-free. And don’t even think about trying to fill a water bottle in one of these.
OK – It’s your turn. What have I forgotten?