Stall Protocol

I was telling someone about my day at work and I mentioned an incident which seemed to me to be a clear breach of bathroom protocol. When the hysterical laughter morphed into a look of disbelief, I wondered if maybe the protocol was not as universal as I thought. So I come to you, the internet, to validate or invalidate my insight.

First of all, if I am in a stall, and the only other available stall is the one next to me, don’t come in there. That’s rule one. I don’t need the awkward silence that comes while we stare at each other’s shoes. And I certainly don’t want you dropping anything that might roll into my stall and require it’s return or God forbid, communication between us. Turn right back around and walk out. You can wash your hands first or blow your nose or anything that implies you had another reason for entering the bathroom, but if I’m already in there, go find another bathroom. Use the lobby one if you have to.

Rule 2. If you absolutely MUST use the stall next to me, if you ate Thai for lunch, or you are having some kind of intestinal crisis and just can’t make it to the other bathroom, then wait until I leave before you exit your stall. DO NOT come out at the same time I do or while I am still washing my hands. I do not want to make eye contact with you and I certainly do not want to make idol conversation with a crapper-mate. What if I look down and happen to see something on your hands that shouldn’t be there? I will never shake your hand again, that’s for sure. Give me a minute to exit the bathroom. Trust me, I’m in a hurry to get out of there to avoid a bonding moment anyway, so just play another round of free-cell on your phone or something.

I realize this protocol probably doesn’t apply to woman. They have different routines, more stalls and less of an alpha nature. But for men, I believe these truths to be self-evident.

That is all.

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