Everyone has a favorite bathroom. You know it’s true, so don’t act like you’re excluded from this. Like everyone else, I’d just prefer to go at home and never, ever have to darken the door of public “facilities.” You know how frequently your own bathroom has been cleaned and whose bodies have been there. That, unfortunately, is not an option when you work outside the home.
I make do with the restroom nearest my desk at the cube farm. The peeling wallpaper, crumbling ceiling, and ghastly peach colored doors/walls aren’t ideal, but it works. Until it doesn’t.
My favorite stall has a door that kind of sticks when you try to lock it. This would be a bigger problem were it not for the near-ideal lighting in that particular spot—all of the others are quite dark, and I don’t enjoy feeling like I’m answering nature’s call in a dungeon. Still, I have this sinking feeling that one day the door will be stuck and have me trapped. With each visit and door-latching, I fear it won’t unlock. There’s probably a diagnosable phobia for this, and it’s probably the same one that covers the fear of elevator doors not opening and blood-pressure cuffs not releasing. All things that send me into minor bouts of panic.
Anyway, what would I do if I got stuck in the toilet stall at work? Surely I’m not the only one who has thought this.
I can surmise only a couple of options:
- You crawl out under the door….eeeeeeewwwww! Heaven only knows what has missed its target and landed on the floor, or at least been carried in on shoes. On second thought, this is definitely not an option.
- You try to climb up on the toilet and hoist yourself over the wall to the next stall, which (presumably) is unoccupied and has a working door. Granted, this assumes that you are either light enough or have sufficient upper arm strength to hurl yourself over the wall. Neither applies to me; not an option.
- You carry your cell phone at all times and dial a coworker’s desk to ask for help. This will only work if you have actually carried your phone with you
[side note: don’t talk on your phone while you’re in the bathroom. people don’t want to hear flushing toilets or other noises while they’re talking to you. nor do people want to feel like their bathroom activities are being broadcast to an unknown person on the other end of some other unknown person’s conversation]
It also assumes you have preloaded contacts into your phone. And that your coworkers are actually at their desks; between meetings and PTO, this is virtually destined for failure. Probably not an option.
- You abandon your introverted ways and actually try to engage a fellow bathroom visitor in conversation. Said discussion should focus solely on the fact that you are trapped in the bathroom stall and need assistance from the maintenance crew. Anything else at such a time is just plain weird.
If there’s no one else in the restroom, you just have to wait it out until you’re not alone. Take a nap, maybe. If you ask me, this is starting to sound like a pretty good option.
I’m open to other options. They can wait until Monday, though; it’s the weekend!