We’ve all been there. It’s awkward, annoying, and somewhat disturbing to be in a public restroom, minding your own business when someone in another stall takes a phone call. There you are listening. You can’t help it. They might whisper or somehow try to cover the fact that they are in a restroom, but some seem to have no conscious about it at all. They just talk away regardless of the signature echo of the porcelain environment.
I once had a co-worker who said to take a call in the bathroom was the height of arrogance. I don’t know if I agree with that, but I do think it is rude and can’t bring myself to do it. It would just feel wrong to tell Aunt Mabel about little Billy’s birthday party from that position.
When did we as a society get to the point where no phone call can wait two minutes? (Or ten for the fiber-deficient.)
While we’re on the subject of bathrooms, I’ve got a little complaint to the people of New York City. I understand you are a crowded place. But seriously, there should be some limit to the number of urinals you can put in a bathroom. When a broad-shouldered hayseed from Georgia comes to see a show, his visit to the bathroom should be a solitary affair instead of one that makes him feel like he has been recruited into the follies kick line.
By far the worst bathroom in my experience was in the Army. I remember being corralled into our barracks on the first day of basic training. After the drill sergeant-induced shock eased, I took a quick trip to the bathroom only to find it lacked a significant item – doors. Not a door or partition in the room. Just four elevated toilets, four urinals, and six sinks. Yes, we spent eight weeks getting to know each other very well (or holding it all day hoping to find solitude at night).
For the male reader, what is proper etiquette for talking to a fellow bathroom-goer? If we agree that phone use is wrong, is it wrong to say hello to the man next to you? I am okay with a terse, non-looking, “Hello” or “Sup”, but don’t try to engage me in conversation. No matter how friendly the banter, that crosses several lines I am just not comfortable with.
Okay, back the original point. I believe I have found the perfect solution to the bathroom phone talker. It is something everyone can do, and if we all do it, we might create a social moray that ends phone conversations in public restrooms for good. When someone answers a phone call in a public restroom, it is our civic duty to out the heck out of them.
Then FLUSH again!
And add a few more FLUSHES for good measure!
Whatever the person on the other end of the line might hear, they are certainly going to hear the unmistakable swoosh of a toilet flush.
You know what happens if we all do this?
A movement starts.
Well, not that kind of movement, but you get the idea.